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December 21, 2005


I'm a minor donator, and I expect nothing in return. Just saying. But I'd think folks should consider donating to wampum, 'cause it's a lot of work to put these on.

And I'm thinking this piece was written by the 2004 recipient for best commenter, whom I voted for. Though Digby is good.

What a wonderful, wonderful post. Thank you. I'm fairly new to the blogosphere. I've been running my blog, The Reaction, since April (although I guess that really makes me something of a veteran now). Yes, there are the "bad apples" out here, those who detract from the blogging experience by launching blogwars or otherwise by being horribly uncivil. But my experience has been astonishingly positive, so much so that I cannot imagine not being a blogger and not being part of this great community -- of blogger in general, but really of liberal and progressive bloggers.

Forgive me if I sound excessively romantic, but each day seems to bring with it so much more to learn, so much more to experience -- and, Meteor Blades, you get it exactly right. I still read certain mainstream media outlets, some of which are still essential, but why go there when there is so much here. Sure, you read Dionne or Krugman or whomever and that's all well and good. But here you can e-mail your favourite blogger and strike up conversations and perhaps even friendships. I know that I've made some truly meaningful connections with other bloggers, not to mention with readers of my own blog. Plus, when you're done reading Dionne or Krugman or whomever, that's about it. Maybe there's room for feedback, but it's all rather impersonal. Here you can actually have an ongoing and meaningful conversation, you can challenge others and be challenged yourself, and you an click on all these links and travel around as much as you desire.

This is obviously my first year experiencing the Koufax Awards. Sure, they're a lot of fun. I've been nominated, but I realize that it's a game and that it shouldn't be taken too seriously (in the end, most of us will "lose," after all). Sure, we all hope to be nominated, we all hope to pass on to the next round, we all hope to win. I do -- I'll admit it. But what's struck me about these awards, and what I truly get out of them, is the sincere comraderie of it all. There may be some jostling, some self-promotion, some hubris, but all that negativity is clearly trumped by a read dedication to the medium -- and that means to our fellow bloggers. In short, there is a spirit of frienship to the proceedings. For someone like me, who's still somewhat new to it all, that just reinforces my own dedication.

Plus, it's great to find new blogs. We all know about the big ones -- the Political Animals, the Informed Comments, and the Hullabaloos -- but it's wonderful to be able to come across some great smaller blogs that are incredibly well done but don't yet have the huge traffic and the dominant name-recognition.

Anyway, sorry for the lengthy comment. Needless to say, your post got me thinking and ultimately enabled me to put down on paper (or on this screen) some of my feelings about blogging.

-- Michael Stickings

Great post, MB. I'm preparing my list of nominees right now (TNH is definitely getting a couple noms). Since I've been into the 'sphere (almost 3 years) it (the left side) has always felt like a community. Easy to forget that it was not always thus.

I have discovered a few new blogs I liked from clicking through via Koufax, but most of the time I find stuff I like in a more organic manner. There was an old time columnist (I'll remember his name in about an hour, probably) who used to publish a column once in a while called something like 'Things I Learned En Route To Looking Up Something Else'. The blogosphere is like that, except that it's amazingly coherent, in a loose way - it breathes.

BTW, I found TNH when Kaygro X mock-chided commenters at Mark Schmitt's old blog to the effect that if they REALLY wanted to learn about the subject at hand (it might have been the Unconstitutional Option) they should read the multi-part series on it here. Oh what glittering webs we weave!


Great post! Thanks! I didn't know that Dwight had started the awards. Kudos to him.

Before the Spring '02 flood of Lefties, there was also Oliver Willis and Ted Barlow doing the partisan thing. Other lefties were not terribly partisan at the time, but that all changed when Atrios and Kos arrived.

I also started The Lefty Directory (www.newleftblogs.blogspot.com)that Spring to have a place to put all the requests I was getting from new lefties looking for blogroll links. I figured I'd throw a couple dozen in there and be done with it - the roll is now over 800...

It is so much harder for new Lefties to break in now than it was when I started. The Koufax Awards are really important, but I'd also suggest that every Lefty blogger who has made it should be on the lookout for new kids to promote. I was one of the first to link both Atrios and Kevin Drum - seems silly now to think that they ever needed attention from someone like me, but at one time they did.

Here's hoping that '06 brings us a few new allstars.

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