Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Desipundit bids farewell!

It is never any good dwelling on goodbyes. It is not the being together that it prolongs, it is the parting.

British writer, Elizabeth Bibescu

Without so much as a prior hint, Patrix announced to his incredulous readers that desipundit would quit this month end.

There have been almost a hundred pleas for him to reconsider the decision and undoubtedly the flood isn't weakening soon.

For most part, the readers have shown a very mature response. While they've hoped that the decision could be reversed, they also acknowledge that the host (and other contributors) have the right to determine how much effort they are willing to spare for desipundit.

All very nice. So Patrix has the right to shut it down because it is his blog after all? Here's my take on why it could be a case of bad judgement.

It is evident that desipundit has cultivated a loyal readership. This imposes a certain responsibility on those who have engaged the readers over a period of time.

Earning goodwill is different from earning money. If you have my money in exchange for something, the money is yours in an absolute sense. You may do with it exactly as you wish. But when you have my goodwill, it's different. So Patrix, you may use any money that desipundit has generated, there is no obligation to give it away to charity.

But I said goodwill is different from money in your bank account. It's different because when you spend, or even waste money, you destroy nothing. The money moves on and is available to someone else. When you waste away goodwill, it doesn't reappear in somebody else's pocket.

Some readers have suggested that you could hand it over to others and get new contributors who are willing to do their bit. It is understandable that you don't want that to happen. However, it's understandable only if you acknowledge an attachment to desipundit, even though you see no obligation to continue it any longer. To give up a child for adoption is very difficult, but it's a better option than to strangulate it.

You wrote a short matter-of-fact post that reminds me of the words of Swinburne:

I remember the way we parted,
The day and the way we met;
You hoped we were both broken-hearted,
And knew we should both forget.

But the readers don't want to forget and have freely expressed their opinions. I'm sure you have found their response at least heart-warming, if not overwhelming.

You say that other contributors agree with your decision. It would be better if they came out and spoke for themselves. They have a readership too and they owe at least an honest blog post on the subject right here.Let me admit that I haven't been introduced to desipundit for very long, just a few days. So I'm not motivated by a feeling of a great personal loss. And if desipundit leaves a void behind, in the fullness of time it would be filled in by someone else. It's just that I had this urge to explore the issues involved here.

One last conversation, Patrix?

 

Update:

Desipundit is back!

Congratulations to Patrix for a very good, mature decision. And best wishes to Saket, who has taken over the reins, and the new teams members (see Desipundit, Redux).


1 comment:

Patrix said...

Comparing shutting down a blog to a killing a child might be far-fetched but I understand your sentiments about goodwill. If I was in a different place in life, this may not have happened but maintaining DesiPundit was extracting a personal cost that I wasn't willing to pay at least now. The concept is simple; anyone is free to beg, borrow, and steal.

Thanks for sharing your opinion though.