One arrival and one departure to note in the blog world. Both formidable.
Say goodnight, at least for the foreseeable future, to the Command Post, the news collective that rose at the start of the Iraq War and has since enlisted correspondents from around the world to chronicle elections, natural disasters and terrorism.
And say hello again to A Citizen's Blog, Chester County-reared lawyer Michael Berquist's painstaking analysis of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Command Post's Alan Nelson says he is standing down because other sites like Technorati, PubSub and Digg have emerged to do the work that CP pioneered.
A Citizen's Blog called it off in mid-baseball season - blogging took too much time to do well, said Berquist, a prosecutor in Allegheny County, but the respite has refreshed him. And other parts of his life have calmed down.
Command Post began in March 2003. Nelson, a management consultant from Main Line, says its value was in triangulating one story from myriad angles -- "our having folks posting what was just reported on Haaretz radio (in Israel), for example, Or having citizens posting election news in all 50 states. As good as Google and CNN are, they just can't do that and be nimble enough at the same time."
He says that if another Katrina-scale disaster occurs, or if he senses interest in citizen-generated election coverage, the Command Post could spring back into action.
Meanwhile, Nelson and blog partner Michele Catalano of Long Island, will keep the site up as an archive -- "a small historical landmark along the hyperlink highway," they wrote in a farewell message. "'Oh, look, honey,' Web travelers might say, 'here's where average people around the world first collaboratively reported and documented history for themselves on a global scale.' "
Meanwhile, A Citizen's Blog expects to be back in full swing by March 6. Berquist was warming up Wednesday when he wrote his first post since August 18. It was a short sweet piece on Jimmy Rollins's pursuit of Joe DiMaggio's record for hitting safely in 56 consecutive games.
Curiously it is a story that seems to be flying underneath the collective radar of the baseball establishment, despite the fact that J.Roll's assault is one of the best in recent memory.
Hypothetically if Jimmy does it and hits safely in his first 21 games this season, does that mean he's broken DiMaggio's record? Or does the record have to be broken within a single season?
I think that if Jimmy does it, hitting in the 57 games would be more impressive than DiMaggio's streak. DiMaggio got into a groove and never got out of it. Jimmy is going to have to pick up where he left off six months ago and get back to it. DiMaggio had tremendous media attention on his feat in 1941, but he had to deal with nothing like the 24/7 media maelstrom players have to deal with now.
Who knows? Maybe the Tattered Coat will return to action soon.