Bubble Blog Forum (2/3-2/9)

By Dave Fratello | February 3rd, 2009
As we kick off a new "Open Forum," first, a word of recognition.

One of the previously more active regional housing blogs, South Bay Beaches Bubble, briefly fluttered back to life late last week, but the prognosis isn't good.

SB Bubble goes back to December 2005, a time when bubble blogs were beginning to flourish nationwide. It was one of the only local LA area blogs for some time.

The author, who calls herself "Bearmaster," is a data geek's data geek. She crunches volumes of data for charts about the pace of home sales, with a special focus on the Beach Cities.

The caption describing the blog in the header state's the author's goal: "I'm doing my best to capture the local real estate bubble and ensuing fizzle."

Bearmaster never asked readers for anything, as best we can recall. And then, at some point in October 2008, new posts simply ended. The national economy had just crashed hard, largely due to housing and housing finance, just as the author – a self-described "economic grizzly bear" – had been predicting for years.

So much for covering the "fizzle" after the pop, though. The newest post (last Thursday) begins, ominously, "I have no idea when I will get back to this blog."

Uh-oh. Blog posts about not posting often portend the end. If that's around the corner, here's our first note of sincere appreciation for the time, effort and inspiration to date.

If SBB goes, that'll be 3 bloggers we once read regularly.

Right after the Nov. 4 election, one of the archetypal national housing blogs, Housing Panic, officially closed shop. Cantankerous author "Keith," both inspired and disgusted by the Phoenix-area housing bubble, had started up in November 2005. The blog had an in-your-face, grandiose attitude that was a selling point as much as a turnoff.

As 2008 rolled on, Keith got deeply political, championing the cause of Ron Paul in frequent posts. In his exit message Nov. 5, the author welcomed the new president and said, "I end the blog on hope." Keith immediately started up a new politics blog. (We haven't visited.)

Finally, on a sadder note, Calculated Risk co-blogger Tanta passed away in late November last year. (As has been noted here previously.)

Tanta's manic energy and deep insider knowledge of the mortgage industry had added surprising color and detail to what was already one of the best housing/economics news blogs. Tanta's run as a co-author at CR spanned almost 2 years; more if you count her uncredited co-authorship during the year or so when she regularly wrote detailed, engaging and often hilarious treatises in the blog's comments section.

Somehow, CR has managed to maintain, maybe even expand, the level of news & analysis published by a single author since Tanta's departure.

Truly, the blog has evolved constantly since its January 2005 startup. That's a credit to CR's energy, expertise and national focus.

No blog is forever, of course. Neither are newspapers these days – or banks, for that matter.

We'll mourn the passage of some, and praise the evolution of others. We live in a time of change.


As always, please use this week's "Open Forum" thread for news clips, off-topic questions & discussions of (virtually) any nature. (You don't have to have an opinion on blogs.) And keep it clean.

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