Over at EUReferendum, Richard North mentions us in passing. James was concerned about the negative implications of the following paragraph:
On the other hand, organising the independents makes herding cats look like a gentle stroll, while the one recent attempt seems to be going nowhere. The great British public seems happy to be led, rushing to the corporates, and feeding in their comments, needing little encouragement to ignore the independent blogs.
I can see why James was miffed, but it isn’t something that bothers me. Success or the lack of it is something that is decided by the people who make the initial creation. Bear in mind here that Richard is comparing our first few weeks with the recent launch of the Huffington Post. Our launch was advertised among ourselves and potential contributors, not the wider media at large, with whom we don’t have a convenient cosy relationship. Yet despite that we are seeing regular visitors, most posts receiving comments and people coming back – along with new people dropping by. Our hits, while being modest are consistent.
I know from time to time you will see a post from James saying that we are out of posts, but I am relaxed about this. Both James and Julia produce multiple posts per day on their own blogs. In this, I differ as I have rarely tried to achieve such a high output. Consequently, if we run out of posts I am not unduly concerned. It simply means that we are settling down. Samizdata and Liberal Conspiracy do not necessarily produce multiple posts per day and they have survived well enough. There is a by product of this as well. The longer a post stays at the top of the page, the more time it will be subject to discussion, so it is possible that the comment count per post will rise.
Either way, it is something best not to worry about. Even if ultimately, we do run out of steam and we have no posts at all, ever, well, we had a go and for a while we had a following of sorts and held some fine discussions. As these were the criteria against which we originally set this place up, I dispute Richard North’s assertion that we are going nowhere. By our criteria, we are a success. The HuffPost we are not and we never set out to be. And as mentioned in the comment thread to Richard’s article, 2400 comments is an awful lot to wade through. I tend to lose the will to live following a Cif thread of a few hundred – too much noise, not enough signal. Nor, for that matter, did we set out to achieve what Richard North is hoping for, either. This is just a group blog, nothing more, nothing less. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.