January 26, 2004

Belgravia's First Blogiversary?

Belgravia Dispatch is now a year old! The first substantive post--the day after I proved to myself that Blogger was indeed idiot-proof and Luddite-compliant by putting up a test post--aimed at debunking the (then and still now) in vogue theme that, pretty much, the Bush administration was about as theologically radical as Osama and Co.

B.D.'s first real breakthrough occurred when we caught the Guardian grossly distorting comments by Paul Wolfowitz. This led to significant press coverage for the blog in varied media outlets including 1) a Sarah Baxter Sunday opinion piece in the Times (UK), 2) a Clive Davis Washington Times books section piece and 3) other media outlets.

I was even rung up, out of the blue, by the Guardian's ombudsman Ian Mayes (or do I mean 'public editor'?)! He later wrote a piece on the entire episode too.

Shortly thereafter, B.D. was ranked one of the most influential blogs by Online Journalism Review. In text accompanying this chart, Mark Glaser wrote that such blogs were "pushing the direction of media coverage and perhaps even public policy." [ed. note: True, especially the public policy part? Who cares, it sounded great!]

Some of my friends ribbed me a bit about my placement on Glaser's chart (so far to the right (only Taranto was further right on Glaser's chart)! So 'bloggy' (as opposed to journalistic)! But, hey, it was nice to be on the chart at all.

There are a few other highlights in my first year blogography worth noting. It was very fulfilling, given that Sullivan's blog was, truth be told, the main inspiration for starting mine, to have him describe a post that I wrote up for the second anniverary of 9/11 as "the best 9/11 commentary".

The indefatigable Glenn Reynolds was also kind enough to link a bunch of my posts, including this one keeping an eye on potential perfidious going-ons in Paris and this one keeping an eye on Maureen Dowd's, er, Dowdifications.

This brings to mind some of the lucky days when Glenn and Andrew would both link to the same post. The resulting tsunami effect resulting from the confluence of Insta and Sully-lanches did, it should be admitted, sometimes lead to that strange condition defined by the good folks of Samizdata as "hitnosis."

A few other thank yous are in order. One important one goes out to David Adesnik of Oxblog. He was the first major blogger to link to B.D.--way back in early March of last year. And David was also the first blogger I actually met in person (he was kind enough to drop by my office in Mayfair to swap blog and politics talk over a quick cup of coffee).

Thanks go out to Innocents Abroad as well, a fine blog that blog-rolled me in my early days. And Dan Drezner has been kind enough to link me a few times as well--doubtless helping provide me with a smidgen of street cred with cerebral academics hunkered about Cambridge, Chicago, and Berkeley.

Most important, of course, a big thank you to all those readers who boosted my readership from a couple of old high school buddies to a slightly more respectable amount of readers. Please keep coming and, as ever, write in with suggested improvements, gripes, kudos, or whatever is on your mind.

A final note. While this blog is quite often on the conservative side of the foreign policy fence (often pitched, somewhat perilously, between the rocky shoals of realpolitik and neo-conservatism), my most important goal throughout is to strive for intellectual honesty, put simply, to write what I believe.

Thus, when an argument (say, like Flypaper) strikes me as hugely bogus, I won't make any bones about trying to debunk it in muscular fashion even if such a thesis is touted by some of my favorite (right-of-center) bloggers.

Coming soon, therefore, as someone who supported the Iraq war based on the WMD rationale, an in-depth look at where U.S. credibility stands on the world stage (and no, it's not in tatters) given such stories.

Look for continued coverage in B.D.'s second year of Euro-American relations, Middle East politics (including, so critical, the unfolding Iraq story), assorted media excesses, and the like.

And, of course, we hope to ramp up election year coverage too.

So don't go away. We're just getting started.

Posted by Gregory at January 26, 2004 10:38 AM
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