When Andrew Sullivan announced he was stepping down from blogging, it prompted a whole lot of serious navel-gazing from the blogosphere, which has a bunch of conventions that Sullivan played a big role in shaping. We’ll leave alone Sully’s often-infuriating, myopic racial ideas for a hot minute (*ahem*) but it says something that folks who disagreed with him so vehemently often still regularly read him.
Sully’s announcement got Ezra Klein wondering if “the social web was a threat to the conversational web.” Ta-Nehisi wrote that Sully helped him see how being open to self-correction is a necessary part of thinking out loud as a writer.
We’ve been thinking a lot about all this as it pertains to PB, and even more so after our homie Alyssa Rosenberg shouted us out on her WaPo blog.
But blogs can also serve to credential journalists in very different ways. And it’s this role that means blogging will continue to have a vital role beyond the publishing mechanism it introduced and made commonplace, even after some of its most famous practitioners either get absorbed into bigger media organizations or hang up their keyboards.[…]
Last Saturday, my friend Gene Demby, the lead blogger for NPR’s Code Switch site, spent some time on Twitter discussing the evolution of PostBourgie, a group blog he founded and still runs. I was lucky enough to observe some of these shifts firsthand, and what Demby describes in a stream of tweets and retweets from PostBourgie-affiliated writers too long to reassemble here is the construction of an alternative structure to do what Sullivan’s links did — and more.
PostBourgie had mass-media connections — Ta-Nehisi Coates was an early fan of the project and its writers — but much of what it did was build a ladder for all its participants. The blog gave the people who wrote there a chance to workshop their voices and refine their ideas for a smart audience, even when they didn’t have paying assignments for an idea. When one PostBourgie writer got a new job, he or she encouraged others to freelance for that new outlet and to apply for fellowships and jobs there.
And this post by Vinson Cunningham at his spot had us in our feelings a little.
Most interesting to me amid the bloggy talk was a nostalgic conversation yesterday on Twitter (that chief suspect in the case of the blog’s murder), tracing the provenance of the excellent, still-extant blog PostBourgie, which, now that I think of it, I also first found in that ‘07-‘08 electoral haze. It’s fair to say, I think, that PB was every bit as influential as The Dish, if in younger, Blacker precincts, spawning now-ascendant careers in every corner of online and traditional media, from NPR to Slate to Buzzfeed to the pages of novels to come.
All this love hit us in our heart place. Blogging is (still) unparalleled as a medium for conversation and commiseration and debate in a way that Twitter, which is meant to be ephemeral, just can’t be. And of course, it’s still where you can find really sharp, insightful folks with points of view that aren’t often considered or heard from.
We miss that, which is why we’re re-dedicating ourselves to it. So this is the official relaunch of PostBourgie, and we hope it will be again be a regular space to write and think out loud in a way that is more permanent and communal. We hope you’ll keep rocking with us as we move forward.