I didn't find out until this week that Squawk Radio uttered its last peep as a daily blog back in June. I stopped reading it after I had a minor dustup with one of the more sensitive chickies over The Sex Thang, and angry reviewers started coming over and snotting in my comments. Ah, the good old days, when I was bitter and jealous.
It did surprise me, though, to discover that they'd closed up shop; that was one flock I thought would surely cackle on ad infinitum (although it seems they're returning to let the fans know whenever they have a new release, evidently the definition of "randomly and sporadically and possibly occasionally" blogging.)
The success of gang blogging, or a blog written by a group of writers, has waxed and waned since the publishing blogosphere took off. Most seem to wow for a time and then wane. Some fail almost immediately, like the anonymously-shrouded Latest Dark Cabal, which closed its doors after its members real names were outed by miffed LJ'ers. Even the ones with very talented writers often barely last a year.
I had hopes for some of the romance gang blogs with very promising participants, but after a while reading them was like reading RT: lots of fluff, little substance. PR jobs disguised as blogs are great for the fans, but don't hold much attraction for the working writer. Offering truth instead of beauty is dangerous, however, and I don't blame any writer for going the way of the fluff.
Other gang blogs endure, maybe because they're so obviously not fan fluff. Storytellers Unplugged, which passed the two-year blog anniversary mark back in June, is that type of gang blog. I think it owes its longevity to its very large group of authors -- one for every day of the month -- and the quality of the personal essays they post. They're also interested in what their visitors have to say; Storytellers' Chief Kahuna Joe Nasisse recently tossed out some questions about content, and I jumped right on that.
I don't know what the formula for success with gang blogging is, but going into it with the idea that it's going to be easier than blogging solo seems to be a huge mistake. Blogging of any variety is hard work, especially when you're serious about the quality of your content. You have to be realistic about how well you'd fit in with the group, too. I've turned down various offers to join group blogs (not counting the occasional RTB guest post) because I know I'd rather run with scissors than play well with others. I also like having total control over my content; something you have to share when you gang blog.
What are some good examples of enduring, successful or interesting gang blogs out there? If you've got them, post links in comments.