Finally, the big blog occasion this week is the one-year anniversary of cultural critic Terry Teachout's abundant blog About Last Night. He writes, "Blogs are the 21st-century counterpart of the periodical essays of the eighteenth century, the Spectators and Ramblers and Idlers that supplied familiar essayists with what was then the ideal vehicle for their intensely personal reflections. Blogging stands in the sharpest possible contrast to the corporate journalism that exerted so powerful an effect on writing in the twentieth century."
Other bloggers write to celebrate the generally rising profile, quality and influence of blogs. What strikes me is the way Teachout has utterly changed his profile as a critic and his relationship with his audience through his blog in just a year. Its no accident that he's had three books coming during the year that he's been blogging, and he's developed a meaningful connection with a large circle of readers (he cites about half a million page views).
As I noted on my BEA blogger panel, what writers do best is write. Blogs are a great way of letting writers connect on a regular basis with readers, and attract new audiences and fans, while still keeping whatever respectful distance they like and having the power of their words rule the day. I still can't figure out why everyone isn't getting their authors to blog.
I feel some kinship: One of Teachout's books is a biography of H.L. Mencken, who may be the cultural figure most easily compared to my biography subject Caroline Lockhart.Join the discussion at