It has been a while since I did an update on where things are with the site and other miscellaneous things related to the blog. Since we are heading into the long holiday weekend, it feels like a good time for one of these catch up posts. There’s also the fact that most of my posts the last few weeks have been on more serious topics so a little break from the doom and gloom is a good idea. I’m not into the happy warrior stuff, but life is for living and you should not spend all of your time on the dark side of the gloom.
As far as traffic, the average is right around 100,000 unique non-robot visitors per month and 1.5 million page views. The strange thing I’ve noticed is traffic will slow for a while and then tick back up, like the tide coming in and going out. I’m not really sure why that is. I know my habit is to visit a site daily until I find something else for a while. I then drift back to the regular rotation of sites again. Maybe that’s true of most people and that’s what I’m seeing in my traffic. Perhaps the lunar cycle has something to do with it.
The refresh of the site is still on the drawing board. I’ve done some of the prep work, but real life has sidelined this project recently. The plan is to implement a drop down menu for links, post collections and so forth. I’m also going to roll out donations, as that is something you’re supposed to do. I’m told that alternative media needs to foster the donation culture, since we don’t have billionaire grifters on our team. I’m a bit skeptical about it, but if it covers the cost of running the site that’s a good thing.
Comments have ticked up steadily and you can see a community forming in the comment section. I think this is a good thing as the hate community needs places for like minded haters to congregate without be harried by screeching harpies from the Cult. Just as important, there has to be a place for the right side of the curve to debate with one another without the sort of mindless hooting you see in the Breitbart comments or on twitter. I frequently hear that the best part of the blog is the comments and I take some pride in it.
Someone asked me the other day if I would ever consider doing an “Ask Me Anything” sort of thing. I’m generally open to anything, but I don’t really get Reddit or Voat so I have no idea if it is something I’d like. I do get questions via the miracle of e-mail most days and I try to answer them. I get some of the same questions every week, so I thought putting them and the answers into a post may be useful. I’ll give it a test run now and maybe make a feature out of it going forward. That way I don’t have to learn about Reddit.
Q: Why don’t you write about Israel? Do you support Israel?
Me: I get this every week from someone. Judging from the e-mails, my guess is it is mostly Zionists. I’ve never had a sane conversation with an Israeli or Arab about Israeli or Arab-Israeli relations. As a result, I think it is an unanswerable riddle so there is no point in me thinking much about it. Israel is a civilized country, so I wish her and her people the best. Otherwise, I have no opinions on Israel or Arab-Israeli drama.
Q: Why do you hate libertarians? Why don’t you learn something about libertarianism before commenting?
Me: I don’t hate libertarians and I learned all about libertarianism in the 80’s. That’s the thing. I’m not a 30-something. I’m a 50-something. The young guys in the hate community will tell you that they came to the dark side through the Ron Paul campaigns when they were in the 20’s. For Gen-X types, our path was most often from the Left. My people were all conservative Democrats who held populist opinions on economics, but conservative opinions on social issues. We were the so-called Reagan Democrats of the 80’s.
As young guys, my generation flirted with libertarian ideas because they are easy and appeal to young people, but also because they were one leg of the Reagan coalition. Young people tend not to appreciate social conservatism so libertarian economics, particularly its anti-communist rhetoric, was appealing. The collapse of the Buckley Right and the Reagan coalition in the 90’s taught a lot of us that you don’t win a culture war with pie charts about tax policy. Libertarianism is mostly worthless in this fight.
Given the choice, I’d choose to live in the libertarian paradise over most any other form of social arrangement, but that’s never going to be on the table. The only way to get anywhere near close to it, means getting the culture right and that means getting the demographics right. It also means accepting all sorts of compromises on the economic and political front. If a commie is my ally in the demographic fight, so be it. If a libertarian chooses to be my enemy in the culture war, then I will be his enemy.
Q: Why don’t you do other sorts of media?
Me: After I did Grace & Steel, I got asked this a few times. I don’t have anything against doing these things. I have turned down two interview requests from liberal outlets claiming to be doing pieces on the alt-right. I believe in supporting the media that supports me and doing everything I can to destroy the media that hates me. As a result, I’ll gladly help those on our side where I can. I’m not trying to build a media career so I’m not putting any effort into getting on other platforms. I’ll help if asked.
Q: Why do you hide behind a pseudonym?
Me: I’ve had this domain for roughly 20 years so when I started the blog, I just put it here out of convenience. The story behind this is that in the early days of the internet, ISP’s would assign you a user name. I always got assigned some variation of “zman” and it was a bit of a joke with friends. As a gag, I registered the domain and started using it for an e-mail address. Everyone I know, knows me by this domain and as a result, they know about and read this blog. If I were hiding, I’d have registered a new domain.
Someone who knows about interwebs marketing and branding told me that it was a good idea to stick with it, as it makes it easy for people to find the site. Put “z blog” in a google machine and I’m right at the top. Given the amount of traffic that comes via web searches, I think they were right so I’m sticking with the concept. David Goldman did a similar thing when he wrote for years under the pen name “Spengler” for the Asia Times. It has turned out to be a good gimmick that I landed on by accident so I’ll keep it going.