We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, January 1. 2008
My take-home message from these data is that we have become a solid and steadily-growing small-to-medium-sized "boutique" site - a bit obscure but but surprisingly more often-read than many of the wonderful sites we read, admire, look up to, and depend upon for good stuff and interesting thinking. With millions of sites out there, we are grateful for our readership and for its steady growth as folks find us.
If we did not have fun with this, learn things, and receive some appreciation from our readers, we would quit. For 99.99% of "blogs," it's a hobby and closer to vanity publishing than to anything else. (If we could take in $1 per visit, we'd be more than delighted! But we decided not to do ads, etc., because of the hassle, the messiness, and the reality of the de minimus after-tax income from it.) That is why we have not chosen to be a an official member of the excellent Pajamas Media site, despite being on their blogroll: we would have to take the ads.
Our recurrent question is whether we have any slight impact on "the world" at all. In some ways, we would like to: in others ways, we would not like to, because we suspect that people who want to save the world might be a bit insane. (Still, we would love to have 100,000,000 readers across the globe, of all political stripes and colors.)
So we forge onward into a new year with the hope of adding something fun, stimulating, informative and provocative to the life of each individual reader in 2008, and with full awareness that what matters most is our own integrity and intellectual integrity, clarity of thought, our bred-in-the-bone Yankee skepticism and distrust of politicians and experts, our various random interests, the joy we are able to take in life, and the firmness of our foundational ideas and beliefs about "man and God and law," as the Dylan line goes. Trust us to question these all the time: we do.
We have had many comments about the amount of totty on Maggie's - some positive and some negative. It's really never been all that much, but it has led to some awkward situations at work or school for some of our readers. We will deal with that issue, somehow. Perhaps we need to control our inner 13 year-old.
Also, we have had frequent suggestions that we create a place for comment threads, because they become diluted among all of our daily posts. Well, we have been determined to reduce the amount of daily "product," but it never seems to happen. I cannot think of a solution to that. Furthermore, is reducing productivity a worthy goal anyway?
Finally, another response to a repeated question: Why the anonymity of our writers? For a variety of personal and professional reasons, we want to keep it that way for now. We are sorry if you disapprove of our modestly hiding behind the cybercurtain, but it is our choice because, as RR would say: We paid for this microphone.
Happy New Year, and stick with us! And tell your friends about us, if you haven't yet. They might get a kick out of Maggie's Farm.
Image: Ingres' depiction of the Maggie's Farm newsroom. (We felt obliged to photoshop out all the the Coors Lite empties and the bottles of Wild Turkey from his artistic effort, to protect the children.)
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Like glue, I'm stuck on you, even if you ARE fun, stimulating, informative and provocative. :-)
Is that image a picture of the 72 celetial virgins? If so the muslims can have them! I'll take Theo's virgins any day. Happy New Year to all at Maggie's Farm. My wish to all is good health for it is truly a gift we take for granted. Health is better than wealth any day. You have the best site out there.
Thanks for all that you do. It is truly a unique and interesting site. In fact, it is one of my top five favorites. As for totty, I vote to keep her. She helps shake up the day a little bit. Or a lot depending on your circumstances and point of view. Keep up the good work, whoever you are!
Do keep the totty. I just like the idea of something spicy and unsafe out there in the general mix.
Excellent site, yes. Do keep up the good work.
I read and enjoy "Maggie's Farm" every day, and sometimes several times a day, looking for updates.
I love the variety of your subjects, including the totty. Why not?
As a Vermonter (Northeast Kingdom), I enjoy your New England attitude.
Thanks. We know that area pretty well, up around St. Johnsbury.
We may back off the totty, tho, because it makes it difficult for people to read us during work breaks. Theo provides a good daily dose of artful totty!
And good on you! :)
As for your points;
- The multiple posts (and multiple voices) - that is what creates a return visit throughout the day.
- The totty is nice, although not necessary, as I can (and do) go to Theo directly. Take note, however, that one day a prude moderator of a corporate firewall may see a totty and add you to the ban list. That would decrease your readership from all of us who work so hard at our corporate desk....
- PowerLine established a forum that is linked to their posts. It works, but it has become an entirely separate website. Your subscription method works well enough for me. You could go with a 'most recent comments' widget. But that would require either a third column (boo) or to put the blog-roll in a frame, with the comments widget in a frame too.
"Take note, however, that one day a prude moderator of a corporate firewall may see a totty and add you to the ban list. That would decrease your readership from all of us who work so hard at our corporate desk...."
Sounds like good advice to me.
just to say All the Best u Can muster for the new year just simply the best site u have
super variety thumbs up
I'm an old guy and live in northern Illinois and I would like to add my thanks for your blogging efforts, I visit your site every day. As a Libertarian, I enjoy the variety of stuff you put up including the totty which celebrates female beauty in a tasteful way.
Keep up the good work!
This is my single favorite blog on all of the Internets. Great work, keep it up! And all the totties.
I Love the Totty!
I, also, Love your Blog. It's one of the first two, or three, that I go to every day.
Thanks; And, have a Great New Year.
My, those certainly are some flowery comments up above! Not a harsh word or criticism among them!
Of course, if you hear nothing but praise, then how are you ever going to improve the site?
How about a critical response to the article?
"Well, no, Doc, actually we're-"
Excellent. Let me grab my fine-grade whetstone and let's go to work:
"My take-home message from these data"
If there was just one item of data in the table, would you still refer to it as "these" data? Of course you would. Likewise, if just one TV station was reporting a story, you'd still say the media "are" reporting the story, right?
Peggy Noonan posted a real refreshing article last summer on the interesting divide between the Old School journalists who continue to use "data are" and "media are", and the vast majority of people who refer to them in their singular sense. The data is on your computer. The media is reporting the story.
So, do you write 'properly' and end up confusing the readers with clunky readability, or do you break the rules and write how the people you're writing for actually use the words? I'm solidly in Peggy's corner on this one. You're writing for people, not to please your high school English teacher of 20 years ago.
"small-to-medium-sized 'boutique' site"
"Boutique" site? Where'd you pick up that faggy term? Call it "eclectic" and be done with it.
"With millions of sites out there"
90 million as per last estimate. What's really interesting is how many 'dedicated' blogs there are for subjects we had no idea anyone was even blogging about. In the recent 'Best Blogger' contest, I read a raging screed from someone doing a fashion blog and how upset he was that "fashion bloggers" didn't have any representation in the contest. Who knew?
>For 99.99% of "blogs,"
If there's 90 million of something, is it still supposed to be in quotes, like it's some hip new term and not really an official word yet?
"...it's a hobby and closer to vanity publishing than to anything else."
You verify this by focusing on your site stats. On one end of the spectrum is someone like me. I set up Google Analytics for my site stats when I opened my latest site a few months ago, dropped by the next day just to make sure it was working, and haven't looked at it since. Who cares? Do I write differently or post different things if I have 5,000 daily visitors or 5?
From my viewpoint, if someone cares very much about their "number of visitors", then it is, indeed, a 'vanity' site.
"If we could take in $1 per visit"
You probably should have clarified that a bit. You meant when someone clicked on the banner, not just visited the web site, heh. And did you mean $1 or 10 cents? Traditionally, the usual click-through ad pays a dime. For a whole buck, I'd be buying computers by the dozens at flea markets for $10 and setting up a macro program to have them click on the dang link every 10 seconds. Get a program that 'rotates' your IP number and you're good to go.
"That is why we have not chosen to be a an official member of the excellent Pajamas Media site, despite being on their blogroll: we would have to take the ads."
Why not slip the ad on your site, but decline to take in any revenue from it? That way you could get into the PJ mainstream, but not have to deal with the paperwork. Also, I note that TigerHawk is a PJ "Correspondent" and in on their "Blog Roll", yet doesn't carry any ad banners, so maybe that's a nice compromise?
"Our recurrent question is whether we have any slight impact on 'the world' at all."
I've commented on this a few times in the past here, and in various blogsites around town.
The answer is, you'll never know.
Congress is about ready to pass the Shamnesty Bill. Michelle Malkin tells everyone to call or write their personal Congresscritter. 10,000 people dutifully call or write their Congressional representative which helps halt the bill.
Maggie's Farm tells everyone to write or call their Congresscritter about the upcoming Shamnesty Bill.
Half of the readers go "Huh?"
3 readers write or call their Congressional representative.
Maggie's Farm posts an article on a beetle. It gets young Bill Jenkins interested in beetles, and, years later, he discoverers the cure for cancer in a beetle he found deep in the Amazon Basin.
So, no, you'll never know.
But you can bet none of Michelle's readers are going to invent the cure for cancer. With your readers, there is always that chance.
"Still, we would love to have 100,000,000 readers across the globe, of all political stripes and colors."
No you wouldn't. You wouldn't be happy with a bunch of moonbats taking over the comments, and, with little instances of CDS popping out here and there, I'm not so sure you're even comfortable with Centrists such as myself. That ol' "all political stripes and colors" in a nice trope, but it's a total nightmare in reality.
"with full awareness that what matters most is our own integrity and intellectual integrity"
"Hillary quote of the day:
"Where is the G-damn f***ing flag? I want the G-damn f***ing flag up every f***ing morning at f***ing sunrise."
That your idea of "intellectual integrity", BD?
How 'bout this one from the home page:
"Nanny-staters just never, ever, ever stop fucking with people. -- Ace"
I guess we'll be removing "family-friendly" from the site description, eh? How about the next time you post an article touting good, strong Christian values?
"We have had many comments about the amount of totty on Maggie's - some positive and some negative."
Not much fun when the screeching moralism preached by many in the right wing comes home to roost, is it? You post maybe FOUR pics of scantily-clad females a month, and (1) the complaints from the biddies in the audience come floundering in, and (2) you knuckle under just like the store that won't say "Merry Christmas" because it might offend someone, with this:
"Perhaps we need to control our inner 13 year-old."
Why don't you just tell the complainers that if they don't like the occasional hot totty, they can just take their hackneyed, antiquated, stifling Puritanical morals, shove 'em where the sun don't shine and get the hell off your site?
Of course, that would cost you a few readers, wouldn't it?
Too much for your 'vanity' to take?
Besides, I thought you were making a point. One of the real downsides of the RW blogsosphere is the rule, "If you're going to be taken as a 'serious' site, then you have to be serious 100% of the time." That means no jokes, and certainly no pictures of scantily-clad women. If you'll look, Ed Morrissey and Michelle Malkin have never, ever, cracked a joke on their sites. A little witticism is okay, but that's it.
Maggie's proves how wrong this assumption is.
"Also, we have had frequent suggestions that we create a place for comment threads, because they become diluted among all of our daily posts."
That's such a dumb suggestion I had to read it over three times to understand it. On average, a post here probably gets 4 or 5 comments. Some gets lots, but some don't get any at all. So, how is "4 or 5 comments" so many that the comments become "diluted"? Tell them, if they want to see "diluted", go over to Little Green Footballs. He currently has a picture of an ocean liner far out on the ocean. That's all, just a big ship on the horizon.
Anybody else here want to complain that their precious comments are being "diluted"?
"Well, we have been determined to reduce the amount of daily 'product,' but it never seems to happen."
Sure, that makes sense. "Well, there were so many comments that they got diluted, and that's why we cut back on the number of articles, so the readers wouldn't be hurt because their oh-so-valuable comments got lost in the swarm of 5 or 6 comments every article received."
That's one of the main reasons I don't have comments on my site. You end up changing the site's direction because of a very vocal minority, like the people who complain about the hot totty. But once you lose that internal compass, it's not really 'your' blogsite anymore. It becomes nothing more than pandering to the (approving) masses.
"Finally, another response to a repeated question: Why the anonymity of our writers?"
Unless one were (literally) trying to make a name for oneself, I can't think of anything stupider than using your real name on a blogsite with the slightest hint of a political leaning. You'd be going into the local market and wondering why the clerk was being particularly rude to you. Bad breath? Ugly shirt? Uncombed hair?
That Fred Thompson video you linked to this morning?
Bingo! And just feel grateful you didn't hear what the clerk called you behind your back after you left.
Okay, that's my response to the post. Probably a bit harsh in spots, but that's how I write. Strip it all away, though, and the strongest point remains:
Michelle activates. Maggie inspires.
Doc's New Years Resolution Suggestions:
We, Birdie, Barry and the Junkman, do hereby resolve:
"a bit obscure but but"
"chosen to be a an official member"
"The NYT makes no sense on immiration."
- To proofread better. :)
- To spell it "Muslim" like the rest of the galaxy does.
- To recognize that the Clinton Derangement Syndrome that infuses this site is just as unreasonable as the BDS that infects the Left and that you have no right, whatsoever, to criticize the Left for the extremes it carries politics to as long as you're coming off sounding like a bunch of high-school sophomores.
- To either eliminate the worthless email link on the page, read and respond to the damn things, or put up everybody's email address and let them deal with it individually, rather than you, BD, acting as some kind of censor or 'gatekeeper'. For a links guy like the Junkman not to have a 'hot line' email link is almost unbelievable.
- To not use the F-word on the home page anymore -- and still want to claim it's a respectible, family-oriented site. If you guys want to be Ace of Spades North, have at it, but please remove the word "intellectual" from any future description of the site or its bloggers.
- To promise to find out what it would take to incorporate a comments area that accepts embedded links. I haven't actually sat down and done the tests, but I think there's a distinct correlation between sites with tons of comments and ones that have comment areas where it's easy to embed a link. Some of the coolest sites I go to are from Ace's comments area. But if they're difficult to embed, like TigerHawks', or difficult to use, like here, people simply won't bother. That's a shame, really, as links are the lifeblood of the blogosphere.
- And finally, to promise not to change the site in any other way.
Speaking as someone who's been webmastering since the web was one month old and was the Director of Graphic Arts at a computer college for two years, I'd give the site an 'A' in design. Your balance of text & graphics is perfect, your images are usually sharp, the mix of vids and pics is excellent, and taking the extra effort to hide some of the longer articles behind a 'Continue reading...' is certainly a professional touch.
As far as the actual commentary goes -- despite the cool articles on beetles and tractors -- it's really the site's strong point, and is probably why so many eclectic sites never get off the ground. Interesting links are great, but if that's all we wanted, a couple of Instapundits would do just fine. The commentary here is a cut above in more ways than one.
To you three lugs, as well as Roger and Dr. Bliss, here's hoping for a fun, interesting, successful year ahead for a blogsite that is truly, truly appreciated.
This 79 year old reader of your site would be extremely disappointed if you eliminated the lovely young things whom you seem to refer to as "totties." Having lived my entire life as a woman, I enjoy reminiscing how things were back then, when young women had some artfully arranged flesh on them, like the ladies in the Ingres picture above, and young men really enjoyed and appreciated them. Oh for the good old days. Today, comics like George Carlin lament that sleeping with a model is like sleeping with a bicycle. Think for just a moment how pleasant it would be to share an evening with Sophia Loren in her prime. Hold that thought.
P.S. My husband really enjoys your "Theo's picks," so you can content yourself that you are "doing good by doing well."
Now, I know what a totty is.
Keep posting the whiskey formulas, though.
Okay! What are we polling, Rufus?
Do you like nekkid womens?
RE; Mission statement and no ads...
I like that this site is often oriented towards the charitable and humanistic with an inspirational and an educational slant and I think Maggie accomplishes it with good humor and good entertainment too. Also, more boomers may choose to work philanthropically (with no ads) in years ahead as many can afford to and old age setting in puts some focus on legacy.
RE; design of sight...
Have always liked the look. Hope it does not change much but trust if it does it will be for the better. I am not trained to assess but I think the quality of the writing here is very good too. Often feel out my league in the comments. Thats ok. Makes me aspire to improve some.
I am lazy with the subscription button and following up on old threads. I like the pace of Maggies. It is a challenge to keep up and that keeps me coming back. I hereby resolve to give the subscription button a spin.
IMO, Maggie can do as she pleases, for whatever reasons suit her. Tis still a free country. Sort of. heh. But especially so if you own the farm. Also, I dislike how some people still attack and criticize the Duke young lacrosse players for hiring a stripper like that is equivacable to rape. And I hate burkhas and how feminists give the Muslims a pass while they criticize and demonize boys and men who are 'upfront' about liking to look at young womens bodies. I do not often object too much to sexy pics featuring beautiful young women. And some of my favorite people are 13 year old boys. Might get a bit embarrassed sometimes and must admit I am probably made more jealous than offended by young underwear models. Here is a cynical thought. Lots of 'sophisticates embrace fashion'(and underwear models). If Theo were to call totty 'fashion' and get a fashion 'editor' like a lefty fashionista from Hollywood or Vanity Fair, could get a pass on the soft porn that is giving such problems and fits.
Re: anonymity on the internet.....
Truth can be so much stranger and scarier than fiction. Recently read Ann Rules true crime book "Too Late To Say Goodbye" and am now pretty sure that BD actually lives in Wyoming. In real life he is a 200 pound lesbian with a personality disorder and has made up all the characters on this site. Okay, maybe not. But at the very least I think he is making up Roger. haha. Just Kidding! Privacy is often touted as a right. It isn't and the internet is certainly a challenge in that regard, but I do prefer those who respect others privacy and modesty and like you say BD, it is Maggies dime and her microphone.
Happy New Year to you all and best wishes for 2008.