The League, Here and There and Back Again

Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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36 Responses

  1. Jonathan says:

    And thanks to you, too, Erik.Report

  2. Actually, this is probably a better history than I am planning to write for the main site’s upcoming 3,000,000th page view.  At the very least, it’s more coherent, less self-congratulatory, and less dull than what I’ve got in the works, though suddenly I have an idea for a better way of doing it than I was planning.  A few factual items/clarifications:

    1.  It was absolutely Scott’s proposal.  The title of the post proposing it was “A Blogosphere Built for Two (or Three or Four or Five….).” Alas, the Wayback Machine is only able to recover the above-the-fold portion of the post, which doesn’t really get into Scott’s original idea.  I expect if we could find it, we’d see that what this place has become is pretty much exactly what he described.

    2.  It seems worth recalling the accidental launch of the site thanks to one of the folks at Culture11 (probably either Friedersdorf or Poulos) noticing an incoming link from here the day we started beta testing and then putting up a post announcing the site’s creation and directing everyone here.  Surely it helped that every one of the originals except for the two co-bloggers I brought with me from my old site had by then written a feature piece for C11.  In retrospect, it’s a good thing the cat was let out of the bag early, since if we had waited to work out the kinks before officially launching, Culture11 may well have been gone.

    3.  Schwenkler’s role in this site cannot be underestimated.  Ever. His site not only brought you, Scott, and I together, it also introduced us to the two Wills and JL.


  3. Tod Kelly says:

    Thanks for the history, and really for everything, Erik.  Mostly for the opportunity you gave me to start writing here.  (Why you gave me that opportunity I have no idea, but thanks all the same.)

    I was actually going back last night through everything that had been posted that day: Jason’s bit on education, J.L.’s musings on both Penn State and Leonard Cohen, the Penn State posting by Ryan and Mark, and especially Patrick sharing a bit of his family history.

    It made me a little proud to be here.Report

    • You know what is preposterously, unbelievably, awesome to me about this place?  I go on hiatus for, what, 3 or 4 months, pondering the possibility of having to formally retire from front page blogging? I come back for a few comments and we’ve got a largely new roster of front-pagers, but because of my hiatus, I’ve had no involvement whatsoever in that roster development.  And yet within hours, I felt just as much a part of the community as I did when we first created it.  Yesterday felt like it could have been a day in March 2009, just with different names on the bylines and higher comment counts.Report

      • Patrick Cahalan in reply to Mark Thompson says:

        And yet within hours, I felt just as much a part of the community as I did when we first created it.

        That’s part of our Evil Plot.  We’re going to gut you and serve you to the commentariat later, when all of your final doubts have washed away.Report

      • Well after we planned the sub blogs, it struck me that most of the new writers really ought to come from the commentariat, especially as some commenters joined up on the sub blogs. I have a couple more sub blogs to get started also. And we really do need some female bloggers damnit.Report

    • E.D. Kain in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      Thanks for the history, and really for everything, Erik.  Mostly for the opportunity you gave me to start writing here.  (Why you gave me that opportunity I have no idea, but thanks all the same.)

      Well you kept sending me guest posts and I got tired of doing all the work…

      And there was that whole part about how all those posts were really interesting and engaging that played a part as well.Report

  4. Maxwell James says:

    As someone who’s been lurking here for a few years now, but doesn’t pipe up much – it’s interesting to read how this all got started. You’ve got a great blog, with terrific ensemble of writers. Keep up the good work!Report

  5. Honor to be a part of this, pleasure to learn more about how it all started.

    And I think the League gets better every day.Report

  6. North says:

    Ah memories, good times.Report

  7. Jaybird says:

    This place is a little piece of heaven. I am delighted to be here. I’m delighted to have all y’all here with me.Report

  8. MFarmer says:

    Although I’m mostly ignored now, I’ve enjoyed the participants and the posts here. Y’all have done a good job.Report

  9. This is probably my favorite blog.



  10. Participating in the community here is one of the greatest pleasures of my day, and I am incredibly grateful for the privilege.Report

  11. Will says:

    I confess I don’t read blogs like I used to, but I try to check in on The League every few months. The sub-blogs really seem to be humming – kudos to Erik and the rest of the gang for all their work.



  12. Roger says:

    Thanks to Eric and all others involved in developing and enlarging one of my favorite daily stops on the internet. Oddly, I would have trouble describing why it is among my favorites.  It just is.Report

  13. Rufus F. says:

    Just a quick update on the Journal project before my monitoring software logs me out:

    1. I’ve emailed some local printers and am gradually compiling quotes, including the online print-on-demand sites, to try to figure out the cheapest way to publish a League collection. I’ll let everyone know the options.

    2. I’ve gone through about six months of 2010 and found a ton of posts I liked. In general, I’ve gotten each month down to about 7 or 10 posts that I really enjoyed. My idea here is to offer people selections to pick from for 2010, but I have to say I’m stunned at how solid the writing has been here. Picking out ten per month meant a lot of guilt about twenty or so other posts that were first rate. Culling this down to 7 or 8 for the year will be a monster, trust me. For that, however, everyone will get a chance to vote.Report

    • Tod Kelly in reply to Rufus F. says:

      I was going to email you this week, but don’t have your address.  Have you seen what Grantland is doing with their posts-turned-publication?  It looks cool.  (Though maybe expensive.)Report

      • Rufus F. in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        No, I haven’t. I’m still trying to figure out if a book could be as cheap as a newsprint edition. It seems like a book is more aesthetically pleasing, but maybe a newsprint version would be better if we wanted to do it again. Trust me, when you start going through the posts, you’ll see what I mean about us likely wanting to do it again. It’s why I think we should think of this as “selections” instead of a “best of”- there’s a lot of stuff that won’t fit, but is just as good.Report

        • Rufus F. in reply to Rufus F. says:

          Okay, the gist is that the local publisher that prints all of the newspapers in this area can print what I’m looking to do for about 65 cents a copy. The problem is they require a minimum of 1,000 copies first. So, if I can find a small independent publisher, it’s possible that the cost can be relatively low without the minimum number of copies being as high.Report