Andrew Sullivan and the Future of the News Cycle Blog

There’s a piece up at CNN Money by Tom Kludt that was bound to get my attention: a summation of remarks made by Andrew Sullivan in New York last night about his retirement from blogging. Andrew allows as how the frantic pace of The Dish very nearly killed him:

“The truth is, I had to stop primarily because it was killing me,” Sullivan said Sunday night at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan. “I used to joke that if blogging does kill someone, I would be the first to find out.”

He described the grueling pace that he maintained along with a small editorial staff.

“This is 40 posts a day — every 20 minutes, seven days a week,” Sullivan said.

Huh. I read The Dish pretty regularly, but had no idea the output was that massive, though he did have a fair amount of help and the count did include all those “view outside your window” pieces (just as mine includes Daylight Videos). Still, that’s really prodigious, and I can understand why he hung it up if that was the established expectation of paid subscribers.

The piece ends with an interesting question:

At one point during Sunday night’s conversation, Greenfield read a question from an audience member who complained of “Dish-withdrawal.” Is there another website that is comparable to Sullivan’s creation?

“I’ve been looking, and I can’t find it,” Sullivan said.

I’d look at it from a slightly broader perspective: what blogs out there maintain not necessarily The Dish‘s specific pace, but even the basic idea of news-cycle blogging: offering takes throughout the day on every sparrow that falls to the ground? It used to be relatively common. Now there’s this place and the Maddow Blog–where Brother Benen and I pretty much write at the same pace, though Steve does some posting on weekends and I have the benefit of our wonderful team of Weekend Bloggers. Where else can one go? There’s obviously the big community blogs like DailyKos that still offer very comprehensive blogging. And there are plenty of places (many of which I quote here) where smart people regularly knock out three or four fine posts a day. But where else is the model of (mainly) one person sitting at the laptop navigating the day with frequent observations still in place? I’m naturally very curious about this. Do any readers have a better handle on this than I do? Is news-cycle blogging an endangered species? Is it time for us survivors to check in at the zoo?

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.