Posted on | June 25, 2012 | 32 Comments
FROM AN UNDISCLOSED LOCATION
Today Mrs. Other McCain got the news that we had been turned down on a rental application for what we had hoped would be our new home, which is rather a bitter pill, considering that we now have less than five days to find a new home. Selah.
It has been five weeks today since I published “Never Doubt That God Answers Prayer,” my first post from an Undisclosed Location, and I’ve been Whereabouts Unknown since then. Also, today is the one month anniversary of “Everybody Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day,” when this story occupied the top eight threads on Memeorandum.
No guts, no glory, eh?
When you decide to go “all in,” you play the hand you’re dealt. I’m grateful for everyone who has hit the tip jar to assist in this unexpected emergency relocation, and tip-jar hitters will please accept my apologies for failing to send thank-you e-mails. I figured you were contributing to keep me reporting on “The Kimberlin Files,” and so I have kept reporting, rather than taking time to thank each of you individually.
Sunday, unfortunately, I wasted several hours composing a reply to an “Open Letter” posted by Seth Allen. About 2,000 words into my reply, I figured it was a waste of time, abandoned the draft and moved on. But this afternoon, during a phone call with a source, I was grumbling about the storm of infighting and recriminations among bloggers over the Kimberlin saga, an unfortunate development that has been a distraction and an emotional drain for the past several weeks. I’ve written nearly nothing about it, simply because it was fundamentally irrelevant to the important story I’ve been trying to cover.
Not to whine, you understand.
Mandy Nagy, Patrick “Patterico” Frey and others have been coping with these problems far longer than I have. Since October 2010, there has been a nearly incessant (but unseen) wrangling over the Kimberlin story, engendering much bitterness, weariness and demoralization. When I jumped onto this story May 17, I had no inkling of the background, and found myself inexorably drawn into a bunch of tedious personal drama that other people have facing for months.
Here I was, thinking we were trying to cover an important news story. Instead, I’d wandered into the International Championship of Butt-Hurt.
You. Have. Literally. No. Idea.
Regular readers know, of course, that I was recently honored with the Pulitzer Prize for Butt-Hurt Journalism for my three-year investigative series, “Not Good Enough for BlogCon.” That was a sequel, of sorts, to my pioneering work in the field of New Media Butt-Hurt, “Why the Hell Doesn’t Allahpundit Ever Link Me, Huh?”
Yet in the past month, I’ve come to understand that I’m a mere amateur in this field, incapable of withstanding the really serious competition. Let’s just quote Seth’s 1,180-word “Open Letter”:
Mandy Nagy and Patrick Frey have done nothing for me. In fact, I have major gripes against everyone except Aaron and ok Dustin too. But the other four members of Team Breitbart are no good in my eyes and never will be- Patrick, Mandy, Brandon, and Lee. That goes for Ali Akbar too while we’re at it. But he showed up out of nowhere and really has nothing to do with anything other than making “our” side look bad. . . .
I have two Master’s degrees. Mandy Nagy has a degree in Music. Patrick Frey is a public prosecutor and no scholar who without proof has ruined an individual in Ron Brynaert. Lee Stranahan is the ultimate marketing whore. This has all been proven. Brandon Darby, wow, he is as un-American as they get. That dude is psychotic. . . .
Robert, I’ve been studying internet convolution since 2006. My background is Social Theory, an interdisciplinary Sociology including History, Psychology, Philosophy, basically all the liberal arts goodies. I know my stuff. I read a lot of books back in the day. . . . I may not appear as all that, but my academic resumé speaks volumes.
This is the greatest thing I’ve ever accomplished, and I will not let self-promoters steal my destiny.
I hereby surrender the Butt-Hurt Crown to Seth Allen, and suspect that no one would dare challenge his undisputed title henceforth. Yet the weird thing is, I remain entirely sympathetic to Seth.
The dude has done excellent work, with insufficient recognition, and had the courage to go it alone when no one else was paying attention. However, to declare that “self-promoters” are trying to “steal [your] destiny” is the kind of blanket accusations that is best avoided.
To say the least.
Where to begin? When you call Lee Stranahan “the ultimate marketing whore,” Seth, you’re insulting my advanced market-whoring skills.
The entreprenuerial approach to online journalism generally requires that independent operators act as their own P.R./marketing shop. If you do not promote yourself — if you aren’t pimping out your stuff and calling attention to your own unquestionable awesomeness — you’re going to be ignored. Nobody else is going to do this for you.
Let me offer three pieces of helpful advice:
- Install Sitemeter — The first step to increasing your traffic is measuring your traffic. Who is linking your blog? Which links generate the most traffic? Which of your posts are most popular? In general, the idea is to do more of what works, but you have no idea what works if you’re not measuring your traffic.
- Install Google AdSense — It’s practically an automatic feature on BlogSpot, and is the easy first step toward monetizing your traffic.
- Install a PayPal “tip jar” — Don’t think of it as charity. Instead, it’s “reader-supported journalism,” providing an opportunity for readers to show their appreciation and support for your work. After more than four years at this gig, when I invoke the Five Most Important Words in the English Language – “Hit the Freaking Tip Jar!“ — the response is generally gratifying. As I once remarked, people can be divided into two categories: (A) Good People and (B) Worthless Sons of Bitches Who Never Hit a Blogger’s Tip Jar.
Your mileage may vary, of course. If you had a tip-jar button on your site, Seth, I’d gladly hit it and tell others to hit it, even if you never feel the need to apologize for the bad things you said about my friends. Because I know how you feel, and I know sometimes the butt-hurt gets so bad you write things you later regret.
There’s no “un-publish” button on the Internet, eh?
Maybe one day we’ll all get together for beers and laugh about this, perhaps after Neal Rauhauser has been committed to an institution for the criminally insane, and Brett Kimberlin is back in prison where he belongs. And then I’ll tell you about the real scandal:
THE DOUBLE-SECRET AGENDA:
How Tabitha Hale and Allahpundit
Conspired to Exclude Me From BlogCon
(and Also Kinda ‘Steal My Destiny’)
I’m sure the Pulitzer Prize Butt-Hurt Committee can’t wait.
– Robert Stacy McCain, Whereabouts Unknown