Yesterday 7992 people logged onto this blog. The day before it was 10393. These figures are slightly exaggerated because they are so-called “unique visitors,” meaning those who logged on from different computers are counted twice (or three times, I suppose, if that ever happens). Still, these numbers are no longer exceptional and, though they are considerably lower than blogs like Instapundit, Sullivan and LGF, they are growing and substantial. Readers are coming from over 100 countries. Many of these readers are influential and, judging from their comments, quite educated.
This is hugely flattering, of course, and, frankly, scary. It is also sometimes embarrassing. (Who wants to see his late-night grammar or usage errors show up on Instapundit to be mocked by every English teacher he ever had, not to mention his publisher?)
Whatever pride I take must also be tempered by the fact that I am only part of a rising wave. The blogosphere is continuing to grow in influence. The recent discussions of the role of the mainstream media on here only underscore that. We are their editors.
Now here’s the self-serving part, though I don’t think it’s entirely self-serving. The better blogs are clearly performing an important function in our society on a variety of levels. Because Liebling’s old saw “Freedom of the press belongs to the man who owns one” remains as true as ever, we are uniquely positioned as critics, even, occasionally, as constructive ones. We have no Sulzbergers or Murdochs on our necks – only you. You must find a way to support us better.
(I notice some people were confused by the “subtlety” of my post. I was of course talking about financial support – ads, paypal, etc. Perhaps I was being more opaque because I find the subject embarrassing. Also, I was once again soliciting genuine advice on how to make blogs more financially viable.)