January 10, 2010

IT’S HARD TO TAKE CONOR FRIEDERSDORF’S CRITIQUE OF LAZINESS SERIOUSLY WHEN HE SAYS THIS: “I’m not sure if traffic is up at Instapundit these days or down.” And when, you know, there’s a sitemeter that answers the question right on the Instapundit front page. But Friedersdorf can’t be bothered to look for things like that. (Or, apparently, to distinguish properly between “knew” and “new.”) He’s got a point to make here. Which is, I think, trolling for his Tucker Carlson’s new venture, which launches Monday. Good luck with that, Conor. I understand you’re planning to distinguish yourself by featuring carefully researched, non-sloppy pieces. . . . .

Meanwhile, as I noted earlier, InstaPundit is for serious blog readers. The rest will have to keep up as best they can. Or not . . .

UPDATE: Actually, rereading this piece where Friedersdorf praises “the talented Tucker Carlson” while slagging Breitbart, et al., it’s not entirely clear to me if Friedersdorf is actually working for them or not. It sure sounds like it, and I’d heard that from somebody, but maybe not. Still, the Sitemeter counter’s right here on the page . . . .

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Shawn Church writes:

Noting that I’d never even heard of Friedersdorf prior to your posting, you did pique my curiosity enough that I went and read his, well, critique I guess.

Personally, I felt as though he completely missed the point of Instapundit. I’ve never come to your site to be told what to think, or even to be told what _you_ think. Rather, you do a great job in aggregating a great deal of information that I use to help me form my own opinions on a variety of issues. As an infophile, you make my life _easier_. I don’t always agree with your positions (when you express them – I wonder if Friedersdorf bothered to count the number of posts you make which are simply a link and a title? I like that “read it and make up your own mind” approach).

Is there a selection bias for the links you choose to post? Well of course, there has to be such a bias by definition. But since many of your interests (either expressed or implied by your link choices) coincide with mine, that selection bias is _useful_ to me. And you throw enough stuff out there that I might not normally read, or might disagree with strongly, that it helps keep me on my toes.

You’re not the only blog I look to regularly, not even the only aggregator, but the utility of your contribution is huge.

Thanks! In an age where Twitter is prized, it’s funny to be slagged for excessive pithiness. But if Conor’s disappointed with InstaPundit, there are plenty of other blogs out there. Unlike a TV station, or a local newspaper, I don”t occupy a limited niche with little room for alternatives. One criticism he didn’t make, but that I think is fair, is that I’ve gotten into a bit of a rut on my blog rounds. I’ve been trying to do better lately, so if you’ve got stuff, especially from smaller blogs I haven’t linked lately, that you think is worth my attention, then please send it along.

And I appreciate the kind things Conor said, too. But, you know, it’s a one-man blog — I don’t have ghostbloggers like Andrew Sullivan — and it’s going to reflect my prejudices, interests, tiredness, crankiness, and enthusiasm as things happen. That’s how it is around here.

And reader Gerry LaMontagne writes: “Is it ironic that Friedersdorf takes about 1500 words to talk about ‘pithiness?’ Or is that just me?” Heh.

MORE: Jim Treacher writes:

Conor Friedersdorf is not working for the Daily Caller. I am, though! Check me out starting in about 11 hours or so.

http://dctrawler.dailycaller.com/

P.S. Could you maybe put up a correction that Friedersdorf has nothing to do with the Caller, and we’re no more fond of his attempts to divide and conquer than you are?

For a fellow pithiness-devotee, of course!

FINALLY: Pithiness is hard!

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