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Sunday, August 29, 2004

This blog is not one of the popular ones. It probably never will be. That bothers me. Not much, because I mostly write this for myself, and anyone else reading it is kind of a bonus. But it would be nice to be widely read, too.

Steven denBeste has what, in my opinion, is one of the best sites on the web. It is interesting, wide ranging, well written, and well argued. He even reads and (mostly) responds to the email people send him by the terabyte. He is, as a result, widely read. And just as widely criticized. All three regular readers of this site will know that I think most of the criticism of Cap'n Clueless is unwarranted and ill founded, but I suppose it comes with the territory. It's an unfortunate fact of Life On The Net that the moonbats will try to make your virtual life miserable, and that those attempts will be increase in frequency, stridency and viciousness as your readership increases.

And apparently for denBeste, the moonbats have managed to surgically remove any trace of enjoyment from doing what he does. So he says he won't be doing it again for at least a while. He's complained about it. He's tried to deal with it, in a number of other ways, as well:

Turning off the comments on his site.

Consigning people to the Bozo Bin.

Asking (nicely in the beginning, more pointedly towards the end) not to write letters commenting on peripheral or irrelevant minutiae in his posts.

Addressing the criticism, both privately and publicly.
And they still managed to shut him up (even if only temporarily). And it remains to be seen whether the Captain's self imposed hiatus is temporary.

That's a shame. DenBeste is a very smart guy who writes well and has a lot to say. I enjoy hearing from him, and would like to do so more, not less, often.

But he certainly has no obligation to continue to provide me with enjoyable reading material, and he has this problem that won't go away. It's not a problem I have, so I wonder whether any advice I could offer would be effective. But I'm going to anyway. You just knew that was coming, didn't you?

There are two basic ways to approach the problem: Reduce the amount of annoying commentary and reduce the annoyance caused by said annoying commentary.

The first approach is not within even denBeste's ability if he is going to continue to do things as he does them now. Publicly posted material will draw public comment. So maybe he can change things so that, if the muse strikes and he pens another essay, he could email it to subscribers. Then his essays would at least start out life in a less public manner and would presumably be sent only to those he found not to be annoying. More work? Maybe. I don't know. I think it might be less expensive than the way he does things now, since the bandwidth usage on his website would be reduced.

As to the second approach, I think that Steven's problem is almost entirely internal to him. That's the bad news. The good news is that this means he can fix it by himself. He gets so much crap from various quarters in part because it has a visible effect on him, and therefore invites more of the same. This, of course, is easy to say, coming from one who does not get any grief by reason of posting here, much less the volume directed at the Captain.

But still. Why the hell should denBeste give two shits what Moonbat Mary from East Bumfuck thinks of his post. Or his character, or his motivations or his intelligence or... or ... or ... And, for that matter, why should he care what anyone, important or not, rational or not, informed or not, thinks. What matters, or rather what should matter, to him is what he thinks of the post, not anyone else. At least that's the way it is for me, otherwise I would long since have given up on this blog, because practically no one thinks anything, good or bad, about what is written here, except on a few infrequent occasions. But I am not facing the constant drip drip drip of minor annoyances by reason this site that denBeste is as a result of his. So maybe I'm full of it.

Illegimiti non carborundum.

Don't let the bastards wear you down, Steven.

And send out some more of that free ice cream. The portions have been too small and too infrequent lately.
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