Elizabeth Nolan Brown // Blog

media. music. feminism. food. city-dwelling. story-telling. and other things.

My Culture 11 Eulogy

with 2 comments

There have been enough eulogies for Culture 11dismantled last Tuesday—in the circles of the blogosphere I frequent, yet I’m compelled to add at least a thought or two of my own.

I’m very glad to have gotten to be a small part of this short-lived endeavor. I feel for the staff—several of whom I consider friends—who are now without jobs. I’m disappointed at the loss of what seemed a very worthwhile project (intelligent, non-hackey conservative journalism! a place where conservatives and libertarians could play together—and, a lot of times, not even scare off the liberals!)

I’m annoyed by suggestions the real downfall of the site was not economic but the result of “allowing their self-referential hipness to get out of control,” or conservatives not knowing how to write about arts/culture. Whether or not these are valid criticisms (I think the first isn’t; the second may be), C11 was still in beta, and was not yet relying on advertising revenue, meaning any possible problems stemming from content/traffic were, still, essentially moot points. The investors pulled out. That’s that.

As many people have pointed out, almost all of the editors/ bloggers/ contributors from C11 can be found writing at other various outposts around the Internet—James Poulos, Peter Suderman and Alan Jacobs will be returning to The American Scene, and bringing Conor Friedersdorf and John Schwenkler along with them; almost all of the Ladyblog ladies have personal blogs—but it was just sort of nice to have all these writers in one place (not to mention, getting paid for their efforts). It was also nice to have a place where young and less-established writers (like myself) were encouraged to write.

Anyway, I wish luck to the C11 employees in their new-job searches; look forward to having more of a reason to check out The American Scene; hope the commenters and community that built up around C11 will continue to congregate at everyone’s individual/group blogs (or find new ways and places to engage each other elsewhere); and hope, like Andrew Sullivan said, the whole ethos/mission of C11 mission will perhaps inspire more interesting projects in times to come (or, as C11’s favorite troll, matoko chan, said in the comments here: ” Culture 11 wasn’t a zine or a website…not static or fixed in time……it is a process. And the process goes on.”).

Speaking of going on, Ladyblog is still up and running for the next week or so, and there is a possibility some of us will continue at some kind of group-blogging endeavor.

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Written by Elizabeth

January 31, 2009 at 2:46 pm

Posted in Culture, Media

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2 Responses

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  1. “it was just sort of nice to have all these writers in one place (not to mention, getting paid for their efforts). It was also nice to have a place where young and less-established writers (like myself) were encouraged to write.”

    I liked, and still do like, many of the writers to whom you refer. However, my point is that while bringing them all together influenced their writing for the worse.

    Joe Carter:
    “Sometimes we were too insular, referencing the same blogs and writers as if we were at a private party. Sometimes we were too wonky and self-indulgent.”

    Fear and loathing in Georgetown

    January 31, 2009 at 4:18 pm

  2. Elizabeth,

    You should certainly think about starting up another group-blog venture. Ladyblog was great!

    E.D. Kain

    February 3, 2009 at 1:36 pm


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