On Monday, Ben Narodick officially announced that “CalStuff isn’t dead” but that Monday’s post would be his last post.With no writers to keep CalStuff going, the great UC Berkeley blog is no more. But it’s not dead.

“CalStuff is alive – just alive in the Terri Schiavo sense of the word,” Narodick wrote.

So … it’s brain dead?

OK, all joking aside, it really is quite unfortunate what’s happened to CalStuff. It paved the way for the rest of us and made Berkeley blogging a more serious endeavor for all us: the Daily Cal, the Clog, bloggers and students alike.

We’re pouring this one out for our homie over at CalStuff.

So far, it’s hard to say what’s going to happen to the Berkeley blogosphere. The Cal Patriot Blog noted Narodick’s goodbye, but will it have any great effect?

CalStuff, besides its characteristic commenters, was inactive for a while—more than four months to be precise.

But in its heyday, CalStuff was a recognized news source, respected citizen/student journalism and the foundation for the Berkeley blogosphere today. It was both a rival and complement to the Daily Cal. Even UC Berkeley’s NewsCenter featured the team of bloggers in a “best of” story:

bq. The four students who run the blog “CalStuff,” for example, see themselves as a filter for Berkeley-related news and happenings — and view their blog as a supplement to the Daily Cal, not a replacement for it. “We all recognize that the Daily Cal is the No. 1 source for students and we’ll never have the manpower to come close,” says Andy Ratto, a third-year political science major and one of four regular bloggers for CalStuff (profiled below). “That’s not what we’re trying to do. There are certain things that a blog can do differently and better than a print newspaper …”

Where would we be without CalStuff?

We think CalStuff has reached its end, but blogging in general is thriving in our society. More and more people create their own blogs and more and more newspapers add blogs to their websites.

Still, finding bloggers to take on the enterprise is a difficult situation. And, like CalStuff, we’re still looking for writers too.

Image Source: CalStuff.com
Take It Out Back, Tie It To A Tree [CalStuff]
We need blogs [Cal Patriot Blog]



Comments:
Nathan said:
Jun 20, 2007 at 9:49 pm

I loved Calstuff. It inspired me to start my own berkeley blog, but the same thing happened. It’s just to hard as a student to get updating all the time. You really need to tag team it to write a good blog.



Avinash said:
Jun 21, 2007 at 8:08 am

It’s not as difficult as it sounds. The way a blog like CalStuff was structured, there wasn’t much output you had to produce to keep viewers in. All you needed was an hour or two when you’re usually, let’s say, procrastinating and poking on Facebook. You need to really strategize and outline long-term goals to keep up with the pace and not lose focus.

Then again, I might be just like them in a few months, so I’d better not speak too soon.



Nathan said:
Jun 21, 2007 at 1:26 pm

I agree long term planning is great. But alot of the time the plan starts to change as you mature as a blogger. Somone should start a Berkeley Bloggers Student Group, to offer moral support and time away from the screen. Too bad I’m outie here in Sept.



Beetle said:
Jun 21, 2007 at 2:52 pm

There actually was some talk about that. We used to have Berkeley blogger parties, too.

Long-term planning is terrible. I doubt any of the major blogs to come from Berkeley would’ve been started or maintained if their users had made long-range plans.

You also don’t need a tag team. Again, none of the great Berkeley blogs were tag team efforts.

If you’re “trying” to blog, it just isn’t going to work. There’s a certain kind of person who likes to whine, and that person is now a blogger, because technology is available to broadcast those whines. It’s not “for everyone” any more than model trains are.

When I encourage folks to start blogs, I don’t tell them to come up with a plan or idea about what their blog will be. In fact, I tell them to do the exact opposite: Just start a blog, and later, whenever you feel like it, write something there. The important thing is having that outlet up and ready to go. If you don’t use it much, it’s because blogging isn’t your thing, and self-selection occurs.



Avinash said:
Jun 22, 2007 at 7:51 am

It all depends what your goals are. What do you want out of the blogging experience? A place to get things off your chest? Sharing things with your current friends? Building new relationships? Making a passion/career out of it?

It all depends what you feel is right for you. It’s corny, but there it is. I’m guessing CalStuff writers lost that drive somewhere, or just moved on to other pursuits, and they couldn’t gain enough traffic/readers to last. But I know very little about all of that—maybe a Calstuff writer can inform me on why things stagnated.