Earlier this week, Andrew Sullivan announced to his readers that he would soon be ending his blog. There was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth from the audience, and now Sullivan is reconsidering (or, to be more precise, is looking into the idea of having the blog continue without him at the helm, instead run by a team of people). One need look no further than RogerEbert.com to see how something like this might play out, what with the film critic's web site continuing to publish the reviews of others after he passed away almost two years ago.
In truth, I am uneasy about such things. It can be argued that Ebert's web site has been a success since his death. Admittedly, I periodically check its reviews, and sometimes happen across a reviewer who I likely never would have heard of otherwise. That's what Ebert was wanting, I think -- both to keep film criticism alive, and to nurture a new crop of reviewers, giving them the needed exposure. It's not the same, of course, going from a repository of one man's opinions to that of many but, yes, it might be working.
The situation with Andrew Sullivan is similar to that of Ebert's, though Sullivan is thankfully very much alive and with us. When a web site has been known for so long for the being the voice of one person -- his thoughts, opinions and feelings -- is it possible to shift it over (successfully) to being representative of many voices? Granted, he's had others contribute to the blog over the years, but predominantly when he was on vacation or otherwise indisposed. Readers knew that Sullivan would be coming back. How about now?