January 9, 2017 marks the day I began blogging a decade ago.
I suppose now’s as good a time as any to launch my second panhandling drive.
If you like the words that I write, and want me to write more of them, you can personally make that happen: http://akarlin.com/donations/
My first (non-intro) post: Reading Russia Right. On rereading it, I see that all of my main themes were already present. I might have perhaps been rather too pollyannaish about Russia’s prospects – after all, I did start off blogging as “Da Russophile” – but I don’t think anything there was actually cardinally wrong.
In contrast to the brief and more personalized account that follows, you can read a more detailed history of my blogging career here: http://akarlin.com/start/
The mid-2000s to the early 2010s were the golden age of blogging, and I hitched myself on about midway through the process.
There were considerable successes – although I never cared much for catering to popular trends, my blog(s) were getting around 750,000 annual pageviews by the early 2010s, despite a nasty pharma hack destroying my SEO ratings in early 2012. I also started openly incorporating HBD insights around mid-2012; just in time to scare off lefty Russophiles (majority in the West then), but too late to be one of its early adopters (I was writing about the importance of IQ from the very start in 2008, but had up till then been careful to maintain racial agnosticism, largely for education/work-related reasons).
But there were failures too. Part of this was due to blogging in general falling into a sort of dark age as social media ravaged community after community like an online venereal disease. But the main reason was that at the end of the day, blogging was a hobby for me. The disparate projects I had tried to launch in 2013 – most prominently, The Russian Spectrum translation portal and The Russia Debate forum – had all floundered, and I was increasingly busy with other things. I produced a total of about 5 posts in 2014. I did have some loose plans to resume serious blogging at that time, but to be fair, I am not 100% sure I would have ended up following through on them. Maybe in an alternate timeline, my blogging career would have ended around then.
But then Ron Unz wrote an email to me on Jan 2, 2015 offering me to resume blogging at The Unz Review, and the rest is history.
I more or less recovered my visitorship and pageview numbers in my first two years at The Unz Review, despite continued depreciation of my old websites, and blasted past them in last year, when I returned to Russia and began doing this and other related things more or less as a job instead of as just a hobby.
That said, I still have some ways to go. For instance, Steve Sailer gets an order of magnitude more pageviews (c.11 million in 2017).
What next for the Russia blogosphere?
My impression is that things are becoming dumbed down, very r-selected. The Russia commentary now is dominated by folks who make La Russophobe (remember it?) look like the apex of nuance and reason. Which doesn’t stop the likes of Louise Mensch, Eric Garland, and Molly McKew from having a couple of orders of magnitude more Twitter followers than myself (or other minimally sane people, such as Bryan MacDonald, Ben Aris, or even Leonid Bershidsky).
It has to be admitted that grounding the Russia discourse in reality, a goal which I was seriously pursuing as late as 2013, has completely failed – and that the New Cold War is here to stay, even though it was a ridiculous prospect when Ed Lucas first wrote the eponymous Russia-baiting book. I do not care to participate in this information war on either side of the trenches, since I am not making money off it, and because my goals and values are orthogonal to those of the Kremlin elites and the globalist elites anyway.
With this in mind, I now feel more strongly than ever that I need to put a capstone to my Russia watching career in the form of a book: Dark Lord of the Kremlin.
Yes, yes, I know I have been promising it to my long-suffering readers for years now – but I really do think 2018 will be the year.
Could the increasing inanity/censorship of social media drive resurgence of a blogging?
I sure hope so, but there’s tentative signs that social media usage is falling off.
However, it seems many of them are migrating to other media formats, not back to bloggers.
Video seems like best way to reach the masses.
Our ROGPR YouTube channel (Alt Right politics and video gaming for Russians) now has 4,200 subscribers after half a year of intermittent new content.
People like RAMZPAUL have become media sensations, up to the point that Ron Unz has opened up a videos section on this journal.
This is certainly something I will delve into deeper, though not in 2018. Spreading oneself too thin is a mistake, and one that I have made more times than I should have.
Other potential projects
- Dark Equilibrium: Book length version/expansion of my essay on The Age of Malthusian Industrialism.
- A post-apocalyptic sci-fi book (if I manage to get DLK and DE done this year).
- Apollo’s Ascent: Book length version of this essay. Realistically speaking, not going to happen until 2021 at the earliest, since it’s a massive undertaking and I frankly don’t have the necessary background to adequately realize it yet.
What next for HBD, futurism?
Momentum is building up at a blistering pace, with new discoveries in the genomics of IQ made seemingly every week.
In the long-term, the political hysterias of today (Ukraine, Russiagate, Trump, etc.) will fade into irrelevance, but the future dynamics of genetic editing + IQ augmentation will pretty much determine who gets to rule the 21st century (unless machine intelligence cuts humanity out of the loop early). And I will gradually – especially after the publication of DLK – want to reorient more in that direction after 2018.
Definitely seems a good idea to get in on early on this for both publicistic and commercial reasons.