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in blog news… March 9, 2008

Posted by KG in media, misc, news, politics.
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nytimes article about matt yglesias’s blogging “flophouse”:

This was an election night party and a blogger party at what residents and friends call the Flophouse, a creaky row house with sea-foam-color floors, where Mr. Yglesias lives with four other roommates, all young bloggers.

Group living in the nation’s capital is nothing new. In Washington, the work-life balance often seems less balance and more all-consuming overlap. After all, it is well known that even senators like Charles E. Schumer share housing with other politicians.

In that sense, the presence of a blogger house reflects the increasing number of online pundits in the capital. The Flophouse bloggers may not be part of the traditional mainstream news media, but they are certainly part of the mainstream blogosphere that is helping drive discourse in the city and the country. Mr. Yglesias said his site attracted about two million page views last month.

“Groups of similar-minded people congregating together and publishing their thoughts used to be called a magazine,” Andrew Sullivan, the former editor of The New Republic who now blogs for The Atlantic, wrote in an e-mail message. “This is just a 21st-century version of an 18th-century innovation.”

Sometimes, Mr. Capps will send an instant message to signal when dinner is ready. Or, as Becks explained, “We’ll all be in the same room having meta-conversations online about conversations going on in the room, a running commentary on the other conversations.”

This is not the only blogger house. Ezra Klein, a 23-year-old writer and blogger for The American Prospect, lives with three other journalists, many of whom also blog. And the house named Casa de Libertarios, where Julian Sanchez, 28, and David Weigel, 26, live, is just three blocks away from the Flophouse. Mr. Sanchez and Mr. Weigel, both bloggers and editors at Reason, a libertarian magazine, once lived with a third Reason colleague who has since moved out. When the magazine didn’t have a Washington office, they’d spend all day at home or in a nearby cafe, working.

Mr. Weigel said he remembers bumping into his roommate doing laundry and ending up in a 15-minute discussion about immigration policy, the sort of conversation that might later make it into one of his posts. The culture “is weirdly public,” Mr. Sanchez said. “In the back of your head, you know your night at the bar could end up as a small item read by several thousand readers.”

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