- In December 2008, The Burgh Report, a mostly local-political blog, shut down. In this posting, the author says "Maintaining my anonymity was too much stress to deal with".
- In November 2008, TheBurghBlog (Pittgirl) shut down. In this P-G article, she says "I don't know if I would be fired or forced out or what, and I'd like not to find out... I was anonymous for a good reason and when that was threatened, we pulled the trigger so to speak."
- October 2008, Pittsblog shut down due to time constraints.
- Sept 2008, The Conversation shut down due to time demands.
- August 2008, Teacher. Wordsmith. Madman. shut down.
If bloggers are supposed to be part of the new media, and bloggers shut down when they develop a beat/ niche/ groove, what does that mean for public discourse? What does it mean for democracy?
I've ruefully said before that Pittsburgh is a Used To Be town. Used to be steel mills, used to be jobs, used to be a mill-hunky work ethic, used to be an airport, used to be a baseball team. How will Pittsburgh become a "City 2.0" if even our blogs are all succumbing to used to be?
The pattern in the blog closings is (1) threat of identification and (2) time constraints. I get the time issue. But there's never been allegations of falsehood, inaccuracy, or slander. Why is good blogging risky? Is this a Burgh thing? Why are Burgh Bloggers in the closet?