Archive for the 'Meta' Category

All good things must come to an end

This is the post I wrote on March 2nd 2010 to announce I was stopping nearly 3 years of daily blogging. But I then briefly took up blogging again in the fall of 2010 in the run-up to the midterms, so this ended up buried under a dozen new posts. I am bumping it up to the top to give Campaign Diaries some closure.

Dear readers,

I launched Campaign Diaries more in the summer of 2007, and since then I don’t believe I took more than half-a-dozen full days of break (at least if we leave out a brief period this past summer where I was attending to personal obligations). What a roller-coaster it has been: I started in the days Hillary Clinton looked like the invincible presidential front-runner, worked through the endless Democratic primaries, innumerable debates and convention speeches, covered Barack Obama’s triumphant victory and chronicled the rising signs of a red wave in the 2010 midterms. All of it has added up to more than 2100 (often very) lengthy posts.

Unfortunately all good things must come to an end, and I regret to say that the time has come for me to halt regular blogging.

While I have enjoyed every minute I have spent writing, I am sure I don’t need to tell you how all-consuming an endeavor all of this is. I have been trying moving on to new activities that need my attention and it has become increasingly difficult to balance them with the sustained focus blogging requires. I no longer have it in me to pull the sleepless nights necessary to get it all done. While I am obviously tempted to continue through November, the volume of stories that will demand urgent attention will only grow by the day from now on. I also doubt scaling back the amount of writing is an option, since it would not take care of my desire to spend hours covering the latest events, especially as we get closer to Election Day.

I certainly do no intend to shut the site down for good. Since this is a great plateform for any writing I want to do, I’ll hopefully periodically put up analyses like yesterday’s breakdown of the House’s health-care vote, last month’s breakdown of Harold Ford’s voting record and any issue that I think is undercovered and requires my intervention.

That does not amount to regular blogging and news coverage of the type I’ve been doing here, of course. I realize I am leaving you Campaign Diaries-less at a key political moment, but I’ll at least try to maintain Twitter activity (my handle: @taniel). Another thing I am considering is starting a weekly post of Senate/House/Gov rating changes (once I am done with a two week break); this would at least give me the opportunity to cover some ground while also giving my take on how the landscape is changing, but I am not sure whether this would be satisfying to me or to you readers.

I have left the most important for the end: Thank you to all those who read this blog, to all those who generously think I have interesting things to say and to all those who have in any way contributed to making me keep it on far longer than I envisioned when I created it.

Thank you especially to all my faithful commenters, especially Jaxx Raxxor, Guy, MSW, Nathan, Cliff, Cicero, Maurice, Panos,, Ogre Mage, fritz, Gerard, Patrician, Scott, Joe from NC, kewgardens, Ron, Daniel, Earnest Dodge, Mr Rational, drg3750, Chicago Joe, TJ and all the other prolific writers who made this website a community with many familiar faces I enjoyed interacting with, and a forum with in-depth and long-running discussions. I hope we will have the opportunity to interact in the future, perhaps when I figure out that I cannot live without daily blogging and come begging for all of you to take me back!

Thank you all for letting me take you on this ride,

-Daniel Nichanian, aka Taniel

A quick round-up

My readers know that I seldom disappear for entire days, but other writing obligations made me take the extraordinary step of unplugging my Internet connection all day. I’d never tried that method, and I’m happy to report it allowed me to be productive, but it also means I won’t get back to blogging until tomorrow. All my apologies. To compensate, here’s a quick round-up of the day’s news, some of which I’ll obviously come back to tomorrow:

Rep. John Shadegg is the 14th House Republican to announce his retirement. A new poll has Martha Coakley leading by 8%; she also got The Boston Globe’s endorsement, Bill Clinton will campaign for her and Vicky Kennedy is cutting an ad on her behalf; yet, both Stuart Rothenberg and Charlie Cook moved the race to the toss-up category so conventional wisdom is preparing for the possibility of an unfathomable upset. Elsewhere, surveys show the GOP in very solid positions in Nevada and North Dakota’s Senate races while Democrats look all but certain to save Connecticut’s Senate seat.

Finally, the Supreme Court has postponed issuing a decision on Citizens United again, which is puzzling all Court observers; Rick Hasen writes that recent hint suggests the ruling could “turn out much worse than [campaign finance proponents] have dreaded.”

Two years!

This week-end marked Campaign Diaries’s 2nd anniversary! Thanks to all of you that make it possible for it to continue by reading or commenting - especially those who have been around for a long time.

It’s been one hell of a ride, with a presidential election, hundreds of congressional races, the interminable Obama-Hillary slugfest, the frontrunner-less GOP primaries, thousands of polls and campaign ads, the Coleman-Franken recount, unexpectedly competitive special elections, debate nights, convention speeches, dumbfounding scandals, mouthwatering retirements, puzzling resignations, very very very very long Election Nights (all but that last one entertaining, what was up with Gary, IN?), Sarah Palin and Tina Fey, Democrats attaining 60 Senate seats, conservative Democrats’ determination to block liberals, and now the midterm preparations and the innumerable questions surrounding 2010.

Campaign Diaries is obviously a very time-consuming endeavor but I have derived little income to account for the countless hours I have put into this blog since August 2007. Back in February, the last time I had to make my biannual payment for domain name and hosting service, I set up a “Donate” account via PayPal. Thanks to some of you readers, I was able to raise enough to cover those expenses.

Now that six more months have passed - and with it another payment - I am appealing to you again. I would be tremendously grateful if anyone who has been enjoying the blog wants to contribute a little encouragement in order to help me cover the website’s maintenance costs. Access to PayPal is available on the right sidebar and here.

On hold

Dear readers: As you surely noticed, the blog’s pace slowed down since the week began - and I am now putting it on hold for a few days because of family matters that demand my attention.

I was thinking of doing this a couple of days ago, but writing kept me distracted so I kept the blog going. But I decided I shouldn’t be spending time thinking about politics right now.

If some major news breaks that can be covered with easy writing and little thinking, I might quickly jump in to give my take. Otherwise, you’re going to have to look elsewhere for the latest in Senate polling (Vitter is under 50%!), House recruitment (did the DCCC finally score in PA-15?) and health care reform (looks like conservative Dems are succeeding in delaying matters into to the fall…) over the next few days.

1,500 posts

I bumped up this post (originally written on Monday) since I have almost reached my next domain name/hosting payment date.

Campaign Diaries just passed the mark of 1,500 blog posts, and I am all the more proud of reaching that number since I rarely post short entries. Another symbolic moment is coming up in just a few days: the blog’s one and a half year anniversary. Thank you to all my readers - especially those who have been reading since the beginning!

While things have gotten less hectic than my seemingly full-time blogging in the run-up to Election Day, Campaign Diaries’s is obviously a very time-consuming endeavor and that is why I set up a “Donate” account via PayPal. (You can access it in the right sidebar.)

I did install Google Ads, but the amount they provide is laughably small, and I have derived little income to account for the countless hours I have put into this blog since August 2007. Quite the contrary, since I have to keep spending to keep my domain name and hosting service. With yet another payment scheduled in a matter of days, I would be tremendously grateful if anyone who has been enjoying the blog wants to contribute a little encouragement in order to help me cover the website’s maintenance costs.

Yet another design

Here is yet another design for Campaign Diaries - the fourth since the website’s launch and the second in the space of ten days.

For the first time, I am hosting Campaign Diaries myself. That allows me far more control of the website’s look besides choosing the template. So I can now also incorporate suggestions more easily. This change also means that I am putting ads again. (My longtime readers will remember that I had ads for more than six months - until mid-June, to be exact.) I know that is annoying, but it should help me take care of the website’s operating costs.

Finally, I would like to thank Yonah Freemark, who provided invaluable help through the technological and design process over the past two weeks (he keeps up his own blog related to transit issues at The Transport Politic).

- Daniel Nichanian

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