If the history of the Bloggernacle is ever written, I doubt the so-called “snark sites” – especially since they appear to all have been defunct for years now – will likely merit more than foot note or brief paragraph. But perhaps not.
However, since many newbies to the ‘Nacle may be unaware of these sites, and knowledge of history is important, I give a brief overview of these sites, plus a few thoughts on why they went defunct:
(If anyone is aware of a snark – note: not humor or even parody, but actual snark – site I overlooked, please note it in the comments)
- Snarknacle: the ur-snark site, I believe. There is currently a Twitter feed under this name, I assume it’s the same person/people, but I have no idea. Apparently started by an early denizen of the ‘Nacle (Kurt something?) who dropped out long before I joined, it consisted of lots of snarking and lots of anonymous comments (one of the permablogger pseudonyms there said it was because people didn’t want to lose social capital by revealing their true thoughts). Late in life it briefly merged with “Bloggernacle Correlation” (see 4 below) but in-fighting among the pseudonymous permas ended with all the Mister Correlation posts being deleted (some of those posts were saved at a mirror site and through Google cache at the BC blog). This odd and brief period resulted in people who hated Snarkernacle when it first started suddenly lamenting the good old days of good-natured snark that everyone took in good humor (which was not true, at all, really). It’s last post was in early 2010. Snarkernacle also created a parody blog of itself here.
- Trash Calls: This seems to either be deleted or an invitation only blog now. It tried to be a kinder, softer, gentler snark site, even deleting posts when told they were too cruel (though TC tended to do this only with the more liberal crowd, since apparently conservatives deserved the snark, but liberals could only get it if they weren’t offended). Brief bit of rivalry when Mister Correlation called TC on this and they/he/she/it not so politely asked MC to leave and never come back. I have no idea when it ended, but it ceased being public before Snarkernacle stopped posting. A BCC perma was accused of being the person behind this outfit due to some internet sleuthing, but I don’t believe this was ever confirmed.
- Bloggernacle Back Burner: This one was dedicated to mocking conservative blogs using LOLcats grammar. There’s not much more to it. It stopped posting back in 2014, so it had more longevity than most.
- Bloggernacle Correlation: Mostly devoted to mocking the liberal blogs, though occasionally attacking conservative ones as well. Briefly merged with Snarkernacle (see above), that did not go well. Uses a picture of the previous Pope as its avatar (the “it” is due the running joke that “Mister Correlation” is not a person but the disembodied personification of all the rage and idiocy of the ‘Nacle). There was some speculation about the identity of the author, but as interest in snark sites waned, so did interest in caring at all. It’s last post was in 2015, but that was the only 2015 post, and the output for the years before that was fairly anemic.
I was personally “snarked” at least once by all of these (several times by two of them – thankfully, none of them were Boojums).
Why did they die off? I can think of two reasons:
1. While snark is addicting, it wears on you. I found the sites addictive, but eventually I couldn’t handle it anymore. They fed the parts of my soul I don’t want to feed, so I gave up on them. I’m guessing even the writers of these sites couldn’t maintain a high level of snark for very long.
2. The main blogs took over the snark. Backburner used lolcats grammar to mock conservatives. I’ve seen that become standard issue on the more liberal blogs, especially in comments sections. Also, look at BC’s last post: “Meanwhile, the exiles from T&S over at the Lovecraftian blog jy ganymede, sum the whole thing up in way that makes me slightly jealous.” Another blog was doing work the snark sites used to do. I’ve seen plenty of posts and comments at all the blogs that are snarky in ways only the snark sites were in the early days. In the early days of the ‘Nacle, there was at least token commitment to respectful dialogue, so the harshest snark was relegated to pseudonymous bloggers and their anonymous commentators. Now, there’s really no need for that – everyone does it out in the open.
I’m not sure that says anything good about where the “Bloggernacle” has gone (hence the ‘scare quotes’; I’m not sure such a unifying name is appropriate anymore).