Back From The Desert, Ctd


This week we have aired various opinions from readers on the fantastic month of guest-blogging. Or how one puts it:

Unbelievably awesome viewpoints and people, even when I don’t agree. So well written. I am reading all of their stuff! In years past, I maybe skipped when Andrew went on vacation. Stupid me.

Another reader:

I have vastly enjoyed this rotation of guest bloggers. From the feminist libertarians to socialist Freddie, I have thoroughly enjoyed the quality of writing, the coherent world views (as opposed to reactionary bluthering), and diversity of opinion. I love disagreeing with such well-articulated philosophies. This is a fabulous place for great ideas and conversations. Much appreciated.


Can Andrew stay in Ptown another month?  Between DeBoer and Shepp and whoever “Dish Staff” may be, I see more of an emphasis on hard thought-provoking news instead of beards, male body hair, and dogs.

Another differs:

Ive followed you for years, through various iterations of your online presence, initially driven by getting your reaction to whatever was going on in the world. I eventually made the Dish a daily stop and started to appreciate the non-topical posts. It was fun getting to know someone more personally who I had admired for years.  I liked the fact that there was no public comments area, but that reader responses were often posted and engaged.  Maybe we risked getting a little too insular at times with recurring jokes and the development of some jargon, but I think it was still a welcoming online environment.

I’ve been on board with the move to independence and hiring staff from the beginning, but the blog has developed into more of an e-zine than a personal blog. This is accentuated, of course, with you on vacation. I guess all of this is to say, I like it, but this is not what I came here for.

Maybe it’s inevitable, as your site evolves, your audience will too.  Some like me may become less engaged, but you may add more new readers in the process.  But while there’s a lot of interesting content to be found on the web, mostly for free, there’s only one Andrew.

More feedback:

I am so sad to see Sue Halpern and Bill McKibben’s guest stint come to an end. I enjoyed their humane, sane, engaging, and thoughtful posts.  In particular, I’m grateful for McKibben’s posts about the golden age of radio. I have since listened to several of the podcasts/shows at Radiotopia and will certainly listen to many more – what a trove! I probably would not have come across it without his Dish post, so thank you. I also appreciated the posts on climate change and wish I could be in NY to join the protest. The variety, range, and quality of all the guest bloggers’ posts has made it a particularly stimulating month at the Dish. I especially loved Matthew Sitman’s “Reading Your Way Through Life” thread, as well as his post on Reinhold Niebuhr; and I appreciated everything posted by Freddie deBoer.

In the past, I’ve found myself checking the Dish less often (though still regularly) during Andrew’s vacations. But the opposite has been true these past few weeks. The Dish has served up quite a feast in his absence. Thanks again!

And props to another young blogger:

I really enjoyed Jonah’s post on expatriates – it caught my attention like nothing else has today. I don’t really have anything to contribute, personally, but I wanted to compliment his writing and perspective. I look forward to follow-up posts on different people’s experiences on a fascinating subject.

Read those here. Another reader:

I just wanted to voice my happiness with the content Elizabeth and Phoebe have provided thus far. I’ve really enjoyed reading their perspective on family leave, affirmative consent, and female sexuality. The Dish has always covered gender issues more than many people are aware, but it’s nice to get some more in depth editorial comment on those topics.


The stories that were commonplace in my other online spaces (Facebook, feminist blogs, women writers groups) were suddenly appearing on The Dish (and it made me realize I hadn’t seen as many of them before). Now, one of the reasons I come to The Dish is for stories I don’t find elsewhere. So it’s not like I need to see these stories of interest to women in yet another place. But. Their inclusion made me feel more like I belong here. And more importantly, for the majority of your readers, who I know are men, I’m glad they are seeing stories that focus on issues important to women.

Another adds, “I love Andrew, but the feminine energy these two ladies brought to the Dish was a refreshing change of pace.” As another puts it:

Nice to have a heterosexual female perspective from Phoebe with some splash of fashion!  Certainly rounds out all the talk of back hair.

But another woman dissents:

I’d like to respectfully disagree with the reader who wrote that he/she would miss Elizabeth Nolan Brown and Phoebe Maltz Bovy. I will not. Their posts struck me as the kind of unfocused, rambling conversations that my friends and I have. Nice and all, but rarely leading to new information or thoughts; these are “sharing” kind of conversations about our own experiences. I read The Dish because there is a lot of detailed information and sharp analysis/perspectives. Yes, the Dish turned into a sort of Jezebel, but for that I can go to Jezebel.

Another reader:

I’ve put off subscribing for far too long. I always had some excuse, usually “the internet should be free” which is obviously a cop out. In any case, the tipping point came last week and this, when you’ve let others like Elizabeth Nolan Brown and my personal friend Freddie deBoer guest-post. How can I not endorse a blog like yours, that has regularly featured other voices that ardently dissent to your own opinion? How can I not support a website that has on five different occasions featured my emailed comments?

I very often disagree with you. For example your reactionary stance on circumcision makes me roll my eyes every time you bring it up. And honestly I don’t care whether your blog’s economic model will work for others online. But the bottom line for me is that I want you to keep doing what you are doing, and by subscribing I can help you with that.

Another has a different line of reasoning:

I am laughing at myself as I write this – but here’s why I just became a brand new subscriber to the Dish: your guest bloggers are annoying! Sometimes the content is annoying, and sometimes it’s just that they expend an absurd amount of verbiage to make very simplistic points: droning on about Buzzfeed, say, in a treatise whose length you would devote only to a very thoughtful meditation on an important world event. I now fully appreciate how rare your talent and keen insight is, because it’s been made painfully evident by its absence this month. If this was a clever marketing scheme, well played.

One more:

I’m sure these emails get vetted by staff, which is good because this isn’t directed to Andrew anyway. I just wanted y’all to know that I am very much looking forward to Andrew’s hiatus. Of course I am a big fan of his, or I wouldn’t be a subscriber. But last year when he was on vacation I enjoyed the fresh takes on the topics and the change in “voice”. For what it’s worth, I believe the regular introduction of guest bloggers – even when Andrew is around – will only improve the Dish. So keep up the good work.