They're not much different from my reflections after 100,000+ visits and 6 months which I wrote about here: all seem pertinent, especially (1) and (4a):
"(1) The quality of discussion and commentary in the blogosphere is neither better nor worse than in the public culture generally. Just as in the public culture, you can locate alternative points of view that have intellectual substance, so too, you can do the same in the blogosphere. The blogosphere has not made any advance on this score over the mere fact of the Internet making it possible, e.g., to get to Znet or TomDispatch, with ease from your home or office computer."
(4a) "The less they know the less they know it" (a finding of empirical psychology) and "You can't talk to the ignorant about lies, because they have no criteria" (Ezra Pound) are still the order of the day in the blogosphere generally. I've tried to adopt the policy of no longer linking to the hopeless cases, especially since the blogopaths among them seem to crave the attention."
I'll go further on point (1): in most respects, the blogosphere is inferior to the existing media that the Internet makes available. From my home computer, I can read newspapers in Britain and Canada, I can have easy access to the current commentary of Chomsky and Roy and others without parochial blinders.
Now contrast this with most of the US-based law and political science blogosphere, which functions almost entirely as an echo chamber for stale right-wing tripe, that was already widely available in the reactionary United States. Why turn to the blogosphere when The Weekly Standard and The National Review" and The Wall Street Journal, not to mention the various pseudo-scholarly publications of AEI and Heritage, have long been around?
A few additional observations based on experience the last few months:
The blogosphere brings one in to a kind of "contact" with people one wouldn't ordinarily encounter ideologically or intellectually. Some of these individuals are a pleasure to have discovered, since they bring to bear knowledge and competence from which I, and I hope readers of this blog, have benefitted: for example, the biologist Paul Myers at Pharyngula, or the scientists and concerned citizens at The Panda's Thumb.
Others, alas, are the kind of people one would prefer to keep at arm's length, the various noxious mediocrities and defiantly stupid for whom the absence of editorial (or even grown-up) oversight in the blogosphere is essential.
(For amusing discussions of one of the more ridiculous examples of the former, see here and here; as an illustration of the latter, check out the demolition of this fellow.). There is something decidely weird about becoming the object of enraged rantings by, e.g., a Bristol law student whose aggressiveness and hostility is inversely proportional to his knowledge, judgment and insight. The blogosphere often calls to mind the image of the lunatics running the asylum.
But the blogosphere, being the ultimate democratic forum (in which, as I noted at 6 months, distinctions of rank, competence, and qualification do not matter), is consequently the quintessential forum for the expression of ressentiment, in which the professional and intellectual failures, as well as the "nobodies" of all stripes, exact their revenge. The results are, as noted, "decidedly weird."
But the weirdness, and the "virtual contact" with noxious mediocrities, are a small price to pay, I think, for the benefits of the blogosphere: namely, efficient communication with a wide community of scholars (faculty and students) about matters of common interest; efficient circulation of political and cultural commentary to people with similar sensibilities and concerns; and easy access--once one knows one's way around--to intelligent people with real expertise and insights. Corresponding with interesting folks from all walks of life who read the blog has also been gratifying, and I thank them for writing, as well as for reading.
So, overall, it's been an interesting and worthwhile 10 months.