It's truly silly season for free online media, as the WSJ coughs up a web piece on an issue that's burning up America: How much does traffic drop when bloggers take August vacations and turn their sites over to guest bloggers?
Reason's own "Delaware" Dave Weigel, fresh from ghosting Andrew Sullivan's web log, features prominently in the story, and in the process learns an important lesson: If you're in a trend piece and you're the only source who doesn't blow smoke up the reporter's ass, you'll end up being the scapegoat. As the Journal puts it:
"The frequency of emails of 'Bring back Andrew' and 'This is stupid. Bring back Andrew' is definitely higher than anything I've ever written," says David Weigel, a 24-year-old assistant editor at Reason magazine, who is one of Mr. Sullivan's guest bloggers and has filled in at other sites in the past.
Weigel nemesis Michelle Malkin, on the other hand, downplays her own traffic drop and blames it on "fickle" readers. (Isn't their loyalty to Malkin alone actually the opposite of fickleness? Is that the kind of crap they taught those pansies at Holy Spirit?) As Weigel puts it: "Notice that my traffic relative to Sullivan is higher than Malkin's guest bloggers, but I am the symbol of guest blog failure."
Watch Dave burn up the blog every day, right here at Reason.