If you blog, you don’t frequently receive credible market signals about the value of what you do. You experience psychic satisfaction. You can count the comments under your post. You get emails from friends and colleagues—not to mention the missives from strangers, friendly or otherwise. You can Google your stuff and check for good links. Much of what I, anyway, produce arrives unadorned with more than a token paycheck. So it’s largely untested by a real market test.
I’ve recently looked back on my web journalism after passage of health reform. I’ve received great satisfaction from producing it. Some of it was valuable or entertaining. Overall, though, I’ve somewhat drifted from my distinctive competence and voice. A great thing about a community such as RBC is that one has an available remedy. Mark, Michael, Keith, Jonathan, James, Andy, and others are so productive that I don’t have to constantly generate product to provide oxygen to sustain a site.
I’m not retiring, but I am rebooting. My posts may come somewhat less frequently for awhile. I’ll still occasionally chime in with personal items or political thrust and parry. I’ll be posting more links to my own and others’ academic work. Abstinence is a worthy but unrealistic personal goal. More of my writing will be refreshed with first-person reporting and analysis in areas in which I bring specific experience or expertise. I hope this will increase its lasting value, both for me and for you.