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Impovertwitting Online News

I used to rely on Politics1 for a quick look at interesting political news. It was well written, and the stories were chosen well.

Lately, however, I’ve stopped going on over to the site, except to take an occasional glimpse at its well-compiled state by state summary of major campaigns. More and more, the political writing at Politics1 has been characterized by gaps. It seems that the veteran site’s creator, Ron Gunzburger, is working more on other projects these days…

… and those projects seem to include hanging out on Facebook and Twitter. To readers begging for continued coverage by Gunzberger, he wrote, “for those who say they like following the news stories I find of interest blended with my personal take, then I’d suggest you follow me on Twitter and/or friend me on Facebook.”

I enjoy Gunzberger’s writing, and that’s why I won’t be following him on Twitter or Facebook. What happens on those sites isn’t so much writing as a bunch of people shouting at each other, “Hey! Look at this!” I use Twitter and Facebook, to keep in touch with what people are doing, but to understand ideas and events, they’re just plain rotten.

Gunzburger’s descent from self-publishing online into Twitter belies the claim from Twitter afficionados that writing Tweets requires extra discipline because they’re so short. The brevity of the Twitterverse is motivated more by shortness of breath at the keyboard than by inspiration.

I don’t blame Gunzburger from pulling back from writing at Politics1. Following the news and thinking about what matters enough to write about again takes a lot of time and consideration. Economic times are tough, and the profitability of online media isn’t what it used to be.

However, times are sure to change again. With that in mind, I encourage Gunzburger not to give up the Politics1 site for good. It’s been online and active for many years, and that makes it worth quite a bit, even if that value isn’t translated into financial form at present. It would be a shame to see Gunzburger devote the worthy content within his skull to the benefit of the owners of Twitter and Facebook, rather than to preserving his own independent stage.

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