marked its 16-year anniversary). I hope the blog has at least partially succeeded in its mission (announced in my very first of 19,600 posts
) to provide both (1) permanent resources & links, and (2) daily news & information, of interest to law school tax professors and students, tax lawyers in private practice and government, accountants, and others in the tax community. The following chart shows the blog's continued growth over these seven years:
Several prominent bloggers recently have discussed the dangers of blogger burnout:
Winds of Change (Marc Danzinger), Whither Winds:
I've always considered my blogging habit to be a hobby, rather than work. While it has opened professional doors to me and taught me things that I use in my work, I've never made any significant fraction of my income from blogging. ...
[F]or the last few months, it's been a struggle rather than a joy. I've tried hard to power through and rediscover the pleasure but with no success. ... I'm just bored and unmotivated. And since I've always been an amateur at this, the difference between a professional - who delivers when bored and unmotivated -- and an amateur -- who doesn't -- is pretty significant.
So here's my plan. I won't be writing here for a while, if ever.
Belmont Club (Richard Fernandez), The Ten Thousand Rule:
Marc Danziger at Winds of Change says he’s going to take a vacation from blogging. ... It’s the ten thousand rule.
Once, at the first and only time I ever sat on a panel in New York City, I described the pressure that comes with having a modest readership. “When you’ve got ten visitors a day you can say what you like. When you have ten thousand, you become very careful.” The other rule, which Marc has probably discovered, is that at ten visitors a day you don’t give a hoot whether you write that day or not. When the site gets to a certain level of traffic, that luxury disappears. You have to show up every day because you know ten thousand readers will. The only thing worse than having your own business is having a moderately successful blog. ...
Neo-neocon, Blogging and Burnout:
I don’t have a readership of ten thousand readers a day, but I have considerably more than ten. This blog could definitely be described as “moderately successful,” and I understand the feeling of not wanting to disappoint my readers, many of whom come here not just to read me but to talk to each other.
A very successful blog, such as Instapundit, is more like a job, and probably a fairly lucrative one at that. Although money is hardly the entire impetus that drives it, and most likely wasn’t at the blog’s inception, it can mightily reinforce the desire to continue.
But a “moderately successful” blog can never be the monetary equivalent of a job, despite the wonderful efforts of readers ... to help out as best they can. So it will always be mostly a labor of love—or perhaps of OCD. ...
I haven’t yet freed myself of the tyranny of the sitemeter, although I don’t check it all that often and I’m not ruled by it. ... But it’s still hard to watch that sitemeter climb ... It would be so very nice if traffic just built and built and built, instead. I know life is full of ups and downs, but a sitemeter is so—well, so graphic about showing them. ...I’ve been doing this for over (gulp!) six years.
Don’t worry, I have no plans to follow in Danziger’s footsteps and quit blogging, although I might take a few days’ vacation here and there. No biggee. But I think I understand quite well what drove him to make that decision, and I wish him the best.