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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Off your knees, boys

Please, please let me on your blogroll

Jon Swift is one of the best new bloggers around, a terrific writer, but he has a problem. He thinks petitioning Dr. Black matters. Or that blogrolls matter.

This past weekend Atrios, the proprietor of Eschaton, declared a Blogroll Amnesty Day, saying, "one of the big complaints by new bloggers is that it's impossible to get onto blogrolls because established bloggers tend not to add them." I thought that adding new lesser-known blogs to his blogroll would be a wonderful idea. Although for some inexplicable reason that I am at pains to discover, Atrios has never seen fit to link to me, I, nevertheless added Eschaton to my own blogroll and introduced myself to Atrios with a sincerely sycophantic email, since he is after all a blogging pioneer who deserves our respect.

But the more I learned about this Amnesty Day, the more I realized that it was a very strange amnesty indeed. The amnesty he granted turned out to be amnesty for himself. He wanted to assuage himself of the guilt he might feel at kicking blogs off his blogroll instead of granting amnesty to others to swarm across the border into his domain. "Everyone feels a wee bit guilty about removing blogs from their blogroll, so they're hesitant to add new ones to an ever-expanding list," he explained. So Atrios deleted his entire blogroll and disappointingly repopulated it for the most part with the usual suspects. Then others in the liberal blogosphere followed his example, including Jesus' General and PZ Myers at Pharyngula, who already takes a very Darwinian survival-of-the-fittest approach to blogrolling. Then Markos at Daily Kos joined this ruthless bloodletting. "It sucks and it feels bad," he said, daubing the tears from his eyes as he typed. So the end result of Atrios' Amnesty Day was to make some blogrolls smaller and even more exclusive than they already were.
Son, get off your knees.

Why the fuck do you care if Atrios or Kos has you on their blogroll. Does it feel like a pat on the head? A reward?

The ONLY blog you should worry about is YOURS. None of those people matter. It doesn't matter who links to you, only who reads you.

A good blog draws readers, a bad one doesn't. People begging for space are little better than the teens hopping around a Meat Packing district club hoping the bouncer likes them.

If you think a link on one of these sites will help your site grow, you're deluded. Only your work can help you. Cyberbuddying up to Atrios means nothing if you suck. I've never, ever exchanged a link or asked anyone to link to here. Why? Because I felt if people wanted to read this site, they would find their way here. You need to have the same confidence in your work.

It doesn't matter what other people do.