Really good print journalism is ego-free... Blogging is an ego-intensive process. Even in straight news stories, the format always requires you to put yourself into narrative. You are expected to not only have a point of view and reveal it, but be confident that it is the correct point of view. There is nothing wrong with this. As much as a writer can fabricate a detachment, or a "view from nowhere," as Jay Rosen has put it, the writer can also also fabricate a view from somewhere. You can't really be a reporter without it. I don't care whether people know how I feel about particular political issues; it's no secret where I stand on gay marriage, or on the science of climate change, and I wouldn't have it any other way. What I hope I will find refreshing about the change of formats is that I will no longer be compelled to turn every piece of prose into a personal, conclusive argument, to try and fit it into a coherent framework that belongs to a web-based personality called "Marc Ambinder" that people read because it's "Marc Ambinder," rather than because it's good or interesting.Maybe some day I will wake up and feel that I want to be what I might conceive of as some sort exalted and pure beast that would properly bear the name "Law Professor." I'll realize I've had it with this crazy game – this weighty, daily task — of playing the part of the web-based personality called "Ann Althouse."
I loved the freedom to write about whatever I wished, but I missed the discipline of learning to write about what needed to be written. I loved the light editorial touch of blogging , but I missed the heavy hand of an editor who tells you when something sucks and tells you to go back and rewrite it.You wake up one day and think: Man, what I really want is some heavy-handed discipline. This freedom, this individuality... it's too much. I want some restraint. Some structure. I want somebody who isn't just another web-based personality to tell me I suck.