You may have noticed that there hasn’t been anything published on Tuesday here for the past few weeks. This post might help both you and me a bit.
Everyone except me calls The Neoprogressive a blog. I have given up on trying to steer people away from the term, because it’s nobody’s fault but my own that this website is visually indistinguishable from one.
Why do I not want The Neoprogressive to be a blog? Well, I’ve written before about why we should not trust people who write as often as they think. I view most blogs as self-indulgent, hyper-incremental, mindlessly conversational, careless. The compulsion that drives both bloggers to blog and their readers to read so manically has created a perfect storm that destroys the twin lights of enlightenment and instruction, and leaves in its path a reading ethic of purposeless gluttony. If both you and I are always reacting to what catches our attention in the moment, neither of us will get anywhere we need to.
Initially the way I envisioned a response to blog culture was to make this a careful, minimalist enterprise: Only one piece of writing a week, fairly polished and often long. While I knew this would not be a recipe for traffic, it is consistent with my skepticism toward the excesses of the Internet.
It turns out this is not an entirely realistic goal. The Neoprogressive is not a full-time project, but something I do on the side. It would seem then that one piece a week should be perfect! Ironically, it is precisely because there is so much pressure to create something long and serious with a beginning and an end for a weekly post that I struggle at times. This struggle is natural and healthy, but not necessarily the best expenditure of my mental resources for an unpaid side gig.
For this reason, I intend to loosen my self-imposed publishing guidelines. While I hope to continue to write some long-form meditations, I am now open to writing very short posts. I sincerely hope to resume Tuesday posting, but right now I want to experiment with the idea of posting more or less than that (ideally more). If all this means that The Neoprogressive will begin to resemble more of a “blog” and less of a “politico-intellectual journal,” then so be it. In the meantime, I will take measures to showcase the more substantial reportage and essays for long-term visibility (such as the recently added “features” function on the home page) and to organize major ideas that contribute to the cumulative nature of this project (such as through the “theses” tab at the top of the website).
The idea here is not to provide myself with license to become intellectually reckless, but to explore the possibilities for hybridity. I can promise that whatever happens, this space will never be used to churn out thousands of words a day about daily ephemera, and publishing will never be reflexive or purely a means for maximizing traffic.
As it is so often, improvisation is the critical principle here. I can’t wish away concerns about how the medium is the message, but I can set them aside; for now I will experiment with different ways of writing without fear of labels.