Calculated Risk: Sad News: Tanta Passes Away.
I learned a lot from her, all of it via her blogging. And she had great style in her prose as well.
If you wish to learn how a singular voice can develop a “blog community” go to CR’s archives and read Tanta’s contributions and reader responses. Then read the reader tributes to Tanta. Both Tanta and CR engage the readers by responding to them in the comments sections. That is how it is done.
I just got this news last night, and was greatly saddened. What strikes me is that, in the absence of the relationship she had already built with CR prior to her diagnosis (and of course in the absence of the internet and blogosphere) Tanta would have never been known to anyone outside her coworkers, family and friends.
That’s rather amazing to me. In just a very short time she influenced and educated so many people.
As for building a community, while the above is basically correct there are a few notable aspects of CR: First, the site is non-political. That means no trolls posting stupid messages and trying to hijack threads. Second, it was very narrowly focused, initially at least, on the subprime mortgage crisis. Third, it is extremely wonky and nerdy content, which means (1) someone like Tanta can relatively easily prove her bona fides, and (2) many of the commentators are trying to understand the topic and data better.
Please note that Tanta was originally a commenter not a blogger, and CR, who, according to the NYT’s write-up, is not a professional mortgage industry expert, allowed Tanta to gain blogging privileges. This is not something that happens often or is easy to do, when one has created a serious blog.
I could break down the unique aspects of CR to a greater degree, but I think this is sufficient to make my point. While I would enjoy to see a larger community here, in order to build one Michael would need to spend exponentially more time on the blog and even the focus of the blog would likely need to change. Both of these are serious barriers that I do not see happening.
LACJ, Agree. I don’t understand how any normal person can maintain an active blog. There is just not enough free time in my life to do one if I had anything to present to the world.
Group blogs (2-4 consistent writers) seem to work best, but when I think of the really solid, important blogs I think of the model of Digby’s blog or the Washington Monthly (i.e. one main blogger and a strong second blogger).
Come to think of it, CR was like that. Maybe its like sports announcing, where you need a play by play person and then a strong color person…unless you are Billmon.
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