A cartoon of Andrew Sullivan blogging

Andrew Sullivan's Dish finally empties

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Disconcerting news this evening. Andrew Sullivan is quitting blogging:

The second is that I am saturated in digital life and I want to return to the actual world again. I’m a human being before I am a writer; and a writer before I am a blogger, and although it’s been a joy and a privilege to have helped pioneer a genuinely new form of writing, I yearn for other, older forms. I want to read again, slowly, carefully. I want to absorb a difficult book and walk around in my own thoughts with it for a while. I want to have an idea and let it slowly take shape, rather than be instantly blogged. I want to write long essays that can answer more deeply and subtly the many questions that the Dish years have presented to me. I want to write a book.

Sullivan has blogged at an almost frenzied level for a decade and a half. I suspect that he’s not capable of blogging at a more relaxed pace, even with a team around him. If it’s all or nothing, it sounds like it needs to be nothing – and that’s good for him and his family, even if it’s a loss for us.

Sullivan was blogging years before I started, and has been a profound influence on me from very early on. I always kinda assumed that he’d be there long after I hung up the keyboard – but that doesn’t seem to be the case now. A world without Sullivan blogging seems like an odd one.

I hope The Dish will outlive his blogging life. His recent holidays have proved that his team are capable of keeping it going while he was away. I suspect that there’s a viable business there even without Sullivan at the helm, leading from the front. But we’ll see if that’s something he wants.

So, thanks for the last 15 years, Andrew, and the best of luck with all the rest of the things you want to do.

Death of blogging?

The one thing that this isn’t is any sign of the “death of blogging”. You only have to glance a Tumblr and the growth in fashion blogging and the explosion of Medium and all the rest of it to see that, as Kevin Marks wrote in 2008, blogging is like air.

Or, to put it another way, blogging won. Everything from your Facebook newsfeed to a Pinterest board has something of the characteristics of the medium. Blogging is so deeply entwined with the web itself that we don’t even really need the word any more.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.