Pulling back from the blog

SUBHEAD: After more than 7,000 articles posted on this website it may be the right time to lay down the "pen".

By Juan Wilson on 25 August 2017 for Island Breath -

Image above: Screen shot of front page of IslandBreath.org website.

[IB Piblisher's note: It's been a week without a post to this block. Note that below I didn't say there would never be another post, but that I needed to pull back. We talked about "pulling back". Putting up two or three articles a day meant spending most of every morning working the blog - and that is not counting research time finding or coming up with articles of interest. So we will be posting irregularly starting September 1st, 2017.]

We've been practicing  online activism since the early 1990's. Back in rural upstate New York as The Gobbler (first in print and then online) and in 2000-2001 on Maui as the Kihei Watchdog (in print and online).

Since 2004 we've been publishing Island Breath from Kauai. In 2009 we joined the blogging community with Ea O Ka Aina that shares its posts on IslandBreath. Yeah, I know, it sounds unwieldy. The Ea O Ka Aina  blog now has 6,808 postings. This may be the last.

Why end this effort? For two primary reasons.

One: I've been spending my mornings doing this for hours. I usually start after breakfast and go until around 10:30am but that sometimes means going until near noon. It's a lot of time that could be spent doing homesteading chores that keep piling up.

Two: Readership has been falling slowly for the last four years. The peak readership was mid 2012 with 613,700 page views. The last complete year (2016) had 187,761 page views. This year will be less than that.

Back in 2010 we had five editorial contributors: Juan Wilson, David Ward, Linda Pascatore, Brad Parsons and Jonathan Jay. That year we hit our most prolific level of output that averaged over three articles a day.

Probably the most impact we had on a controversial issue was pushback on the Hawaii Superferry, a scheme to test and operate a badly designed littoral combat ship for the Navy.

Our coverage began with an article by Judy Dalton in July of 2004 "There Are More Problems than Just the Added Traffic" (http://www.islandbreath.org/2004Year/02-growth/growth13SuperFerry.html). Our coverage of that issue produced hundreds of articles over the years until the ferry service was cancelled.

We have engaged on many controversial issues, most recently on the terrible Kauai General Plan Update that will lead us to suburban sprawl and greater dependence on mainland food and consumerism. We have dealt with the themes of dealing with Peak Oil and Climate Change.

But they has not been our first order of business. Since reading James Kunstler's "The Long Emergency" our personal focus has been acquiring the knowledge, skill and equipment to become more self reliant and less dependent on large scale systems.

Unfortunately not enough people have woken to deal the existential threats we face... at least not enough or fast enough.

The economic bubble is ripe for bursting. many observers we respect think that things are really about to unwind.  Before this year is over that deflation will take with it the current delivery system of vital services that provide energy, credit and food. We hope you have alternatives and are practicing using them now.

If there seems a valid need to address upcoming issues "I'll be bock", but in the meantime I'm going out to the garden.

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Ebbing the Blog  5/10/14
 I was reminded by a comment below by Familia Tober-Zambrano of a previous attempt to drop working on the blog every day. One forgets. I guess at some point "I'll be bock!"



Rita said...

You will be missed..... but this seems necessary.

Andy Parx said...

Blogs died years ago as a social media. Readership has fallen off the table. Facebook is what you make it- it's still alive but is a cesspool of misinformation. But, like a blog, you need to build readership. Next up- Podcasts.

Juan Wilson said...

Aloha Rita,

Thanks for your thoughts. I see by your profile that you may have escaped the Matrix. I'll try and follow.

It may be if your hands and your heart can't touch it it's not worth the effort.

Juan Wilson said...

Aloha Andy,

You're the old hand at this business and you're still going at it. I think that matters.

My agenda has been lengthened by trying to live more in a day than I can fit. Gotta choose sides.

Peace my friend.

Unknown said...

Much love and appreciation to you for all that you do. I think the main challenge is that FaceBook is so prolific, it is the easiest place to share the dialogue. We still want to hear from you. It may be there are easier platforms.

Juan Wilson said...

Aloha Felicia,

Yeah, Facebook is the place. I was posting links to all Island Breath articles to Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. It drove some traffic that way.

Obviously with Twitter, but also with the others the social media seems geared to "Look where I am!" and "Look who I'm with!" declarations and not so much getting into long or thoughtful essays.

The web does that and so does YouTube. Of course there are crackpots everywhere, but you can find a few pearls among the oysters.

And, by the way... thank you for what you do. I wish KKCR had more of a Westside-Southside slant on things.

I had hoped some years ago that Storybook Theatre could be an alternate studio locale.

C'est la vie! I've got permaculture to do.


David Ward said...

It was through reading "The Long Emergency" that I found you and Island Breath. I was so happy to find another soul right here on Kauai with the same concerns. I was honored to be asked to help. Waking up to the knowledge that everything we thought we knew is a lie is a hard pill to swallow. Not many people are willing to step out of there comfort zone to observe the big picture. You were braver than I was in exposing the dirty underbelly of our government. I started going deep into rabbit holes and found were we only exposing a limited amount of humanities problems. I agree permaculture is the best way to prepare for an uncertain future and this island is a good place to garden. Thanks for all your hard work.

Anonymous said...

First Andy Parx News then KauaiEclectic and now Island Breath. All three were 1,000X better than the rag waste of a newspaper TGI. Thanks for a decade of good reads. Best Wishes, God Bless, and take care.

Juan Wilson said...


You were a soulmate through those early collapse years. Nobody else seemed to realise the plight we were in.

They hardly do now... although more are smelling the smoke and dust.

Those not ready will now scramble for scraps. Thank you for growing staple for many. It will be needed.

Yes permaculture and what it entails.

Your friend.

Familia Tober-Zambrano said...

Your efforts have been much appreciated! All the best.....

Juan Wilson said...

Aloha Tober-Zambrano,

I was reminded of you guys making a supportive comment from a May 2014 piece I did "Ebbing the Blog". Same feelings now another 1,500 articles later.

I am missing the hunt for material and occasional compulsion to comment on the online scene. Then I remember how much I need to water the tend to some repairs and harvest then process fallen macadamia nuts.

We now have a melangeur (wet grinder) and have had a great success with our last batch of chocolate.

I'll probably quietly contribute some articles for "How TO", "NUTRITION" and 'SOLUTIONS". Some articles we've published are reference material we use ourselves - especially recipes.

Hope all is well in rural Ecuador. It's probably an excellent place to ride out the coming storm.

The aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Houston is a preview of what lesson Nature wants us to learn.

Juan WIlson

transfrontier said...

Aloha Juan

Thank you for the good work sir. I appreciate it, as do so many others. Yes, the "Long Emergency" - here we are. I hope you find ways to add flavor to taro.
Eph McDowell

Juan Wilson said...

Aloha Elf McDowell, (or Transfrontier)

I appreciate your kind words. We have four staples planted here for the long haul; taro, cassava, breadfruit and plantain.

AS for the taro... my wife likes it chunked and softened a bit, almost liquefied at the edges with pieces ahi tuna cooked in it. I like boiling it, slicing and frying it in oil with some sea salt. They can make chips or if shredded something like a hashbrown.

Cassava we use most often as a substitute for potatoes as in corn beef hash or as home fries.

Breadfruit we bake in the oven and then peal it, chunk it and fry it with garlic butter and herbs. A friend makes potato salad with breadfruit.

Plantain we use as most people do. Depends on if their sweet or green as to how we handle them.

We're settling down on our little patch and hope others join in the fun.

Best to you and yours.

Post a Comment