There are millions of weblogs out there already. What could possibly justify my efforts to elbow my way among their ranks with EuroSavant?
I started this weblog in April, 2003, and wrote for it rather consistently for two years, until April, 2005. Then I took a break of over three years, to pursue another business interest that promised to produce actual money for me on a steady basis. But that didn’t work out in the end.
Nonetheless, there were still those two initial years that I spent elbowing my way into the public blogosphere, with some considerable success in terms of readership numbers, links from other websites, favorable public mentions, and other relevant metrics. They make me confident that I can successfully resume, if not exactly where I left off, then at least with good prospects for another satisfying upward audience trajectory.
For the value, and the distinctiveness, of this weblog remains what it has been from the beginning: alerting its readers to interesting on-line articles, blog entries and the like written in any of a number of European languages (both major and minor) which would therefore ordinarily render them inaccessible. Often these will address in some way important events happening in or involving Europe and/or the United States; sometimes, though, they will be selected for discussion here simply because they are of interest (often in an off-beat way) to this weblog’s single owner and writer. Always they will come accompanied by some sort of commentary or at least implied point-of-view. This is no mere translation blog; such commentary is its indispensable “special sauce,” you might say.
Remarkably, I still have not found anyone else out there doing the same thing, even as I kept an eye out for any such thing during that long period when I let EuroSavant lie fallow (yet continued to massively devour the on-line press on a daily basis). Perhaps the closest thing that is published on a continual basis is that feature of the New York Times’ Opinion page that they call The Opinionator, yet the on-line publications linked-to and discussed there are all inevitably English-language. (UPDATE: The Opinionator has now changed its function to that of providing a forum for guest-editorials from prominent figures.) For a while back in the past you could find a sort of European press-review appearing irregularly on the pages of Salon, in which the nature of the foreign-language expertise being applied was crystal-clear from the foreign articles they covered (namely French and Polish). Yet I haven’t seen any more of that for quite some time.
Why did such attempts disappear? Because they ultimately concluded that they could not consistently do such a thing well – or because they discovered that no one really wanted to read such stuff? Well, we’ll see. At least I always have my aunt and uncle in Texas to write this for – here’s hoping that at least they will make up the irreducible core of this weblog’s audience.