It's a Brand-New Day, So Let's Greet It Together
"if you bombard your audience with half-assed crud, you'll lose whatever audience you've built up": And that's why I don't read Matt Yglesias.
Okay, not really. I never was part of the audience for Yglesias. I don't read him, because the few things I've ever read by him were half-assed crud or worse.
I'll even go so far as to suggest that Yglesias, like many other writers who churn out half-assed crud, is commercially successful not so much because he churns out so much as because that half-assed crud affirms the prejudices and superstitions of many people, no matter how much evidence and logic it has to disregard in order to do so. Many lucrative careers in what we jokingly call "journalism" are made that way.
It's mildly ironic that this news arrives on the same day as the news that the kinda-sorta-but-not-really revived Gawker has died. I'm inclined to say that's just as well, because it was a sad ghost of its former self, and Bryan Goldberg (its current proprietor) is notoriously obnoxious. I note, incidentally, that the new Gawker churned out posts, but very few of them interested me or, apparently, many other people.
So still, and now more emphatically, there's what I called here awhile back a Gawker-shaped hole in the web. I was hoping the new Popula might fill it. Getting Alex Pareene involved was a good idea, but I was sorry to see he didn't post much. I still think a "group blog" (or whatever the trendy term is these days) featuring you, Pareene, and other smart, snarky people commenting on these smarmy times with the intelligent scorn they deserve could be, if not exactly a hit, at least a sustainable enterprise, as I gather Gawker was before Peter Thiel paid lawyerly hitmen to murder it. In very much the sense you've described in this post - a steady flow of new content - the whole could be greater than the sum of its parts.
By the way, four months is a very short "runway", as "they" say in Thiel's appalling milieu.
Meanwhile, however, I'm all for Indigni2y. No doubt Substack still has my billing data. Please let us know if we need to do something here in order to renew our subscriptions. Or if Substack will be sending us email messages telling us what to do, that's fine too.
While I'm sorry to hear that Popula didn't work out as hoped, I am delighted by the rest of the news. The more Indignity, the better!
I, being a modern consumer, embrace the new 2Dignity. I subscribe to Yglesias (among others) and he posts all the time and sometimes I read it and sometimes I don’t.
I do look forward to more value for my internet dollar and if it is too much I just won’t read it or will save it for a binge like I do with my gigantic stack of magazines that gives me anxiety.