"This Blog's Final Post"

There's something sad about a blog post titled "This Blog's Final Post", which is what just happened with The New York Times' Idea of the Day blog. You can see on the comments that many of its regular readers will miss it — they're saying stuff like "tragedy" or "I miss it already" or even the simple "thanks to everyone who worked on this enlightening enterprise." I had the Idea of the Day on my own reader and it was one of the easier blogs to manage — one post a day, and generally you got the gist without even having to click through. I guess that's not a great model for a blog's success, but at least it wasn't a "mark all as read" type of feed.

Blogs are different from bands in that bands can put out a last album and let it go off into the sunset. The band Big Black, for example, knew it was going to break up after its last album. In the liner notes they wrote that "breaking up is an idea that has occurred to far too few groups, sometimes to the wrong ones." In interviews during their final tour they said that they wanted to break up before they started to suck.

The worst kind of blog death is a slow death, with a final post that isn't really a send off or a final post of any sort but rather something that stays stuck in time kind of waiting for another post to happen. Maybe you go to the site every once in a while to see if they didn't just change their feed address or something, but it was just abandoned.

It's worse when the blogger dies — there are examples I've heard about and here's one that comes to mind but fortunately blogging is still pretty new, so it doesn't seem to happen all that often. (And what happens when you die? Someone pulls your domain out from under you.) The idea of suddenly expiring without a "final post" haunts me — it would be horrifying to have your last thoughts on earth be something snarky about how the mayor wants to ban salt. (Here's Guskind's last post, by the way — a picture of a pleather sofa . . . with a typo in there — insult to injury.)

Idea of the Day's Tom Kuntz avoids this worst-case scenario by signing off succinctly: "The blog's end is a result of limited resources in a medium where any number of worthy projects are possible, and where new priorities continually emerge." Fair enough, understandable — I've been a part of more than one blog that kind of peters out for similar reasons — but the way blogs kind of sit there in perpetuity just waiting to be updated is depressing — not depressing in, say, the way Srebrenica was depressing but more in the way C.J. Wilson not blogging is depressing; put plainly, C.J. Wilson is the kind of baseball player that is best seen and heard (and I'm sad that his MySpace page is now set to "private").

Yes, C.J. Tweets, but I've never liked/been skeptical about Twitter. One, it's important to control your own content. Two, why only 140 characters? Lame.

On Why C.J. Wilson Is Great

One, C.J. Wilson is the living embodiment of Mark Harris' Henry Wiggen character — the book-writing pitcher in Harris' baseball novels. I should add that Wilson is much more articulate — and way more straight edge. Two, like Wiggen the character, Wilson is also a great player — and how many awesome pitchers also studied screenwriting?

But let's go back to the straight edge part — in the era of Roger Clemens and Mark McGwire, a Major League Baseball player proclaiming a straight edge lifestyle carries a significance that goes way beyond the typical don't drink-don't smoke-don't fuck connotation. That is cool. No, it's great. And — in my best haughty adult-something voice — it's also important — not so much for the kids (though that's important, too) but for anyone who watches baseball.

Wikipedia C.J. — he's interesting. And if the Rangers make it past the Yankees, you'll be one up on Joe Buck.

Oh, And By The Way, Here's An Abbreviated Appreciation Of MLB Extra Innings That I Meant To Write But Didn't

I came across C.J. Wilson this year while watching the Texas Rangers' feed on MLB Extra Innings. If I had had it together, I would have also written an appreciation of MLB Extra Innings — watching the local feeds is a lot of fun for all the local commercials. You might not have realized, for example, that the Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki was growing a mullet this year for charity. If you had the Rockies' local feed, you'd know this — over and over and over, in fact. This local color made midweek Royals-Mariners day games that much more exciting. If you're a fan of baseball and have the time and inclination to sit through more Brewers-Pirates matchups than you could ever dream of, I highly recommend the service.

Posted: October 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Clickthrough | Tags: , , ,