The death of former President Donald Trump's blog was announced Wednesday, less than a month into its life. It "will not be returning," a Trump aide confirmed, claiming the blog was "just auxiliary to the broader efforts we have and are working on."
If you say so, bud.
Look, blogs are not difficult to create and maintain. I've done it. Probably most people under 40 in this country have made some attempt at blogging, using a simple, readymade platform like Wordpress, Tumblr (RIP), Xanga, Blogger, whatever. It's not that complicated.
But, apparently, it's too complicated for Trump and his entire team. As The Week's Jeva Lange noted when the site debuted last month, parts of the blog's very basic functionality were broken from the beginning, and Trump's content, unbound by the character limits of Twitter, was not compelling. It was whiny, deceptive, and rather pathetic.
The strangest thing to my mind, however, was the blog's total lack of means for reader engagement. There was no comments section. There was no way for visitors to reply or interact at all, undoubtedly one reason the site's traffic was quite low by hyper-polarizing ex-president standards. (Trump reportedly "didn't like that [the site] was being mocked" for its unpopularity, per an unnamed Washington Post source.) Trump's team at least could have hitched commenting access to $5 recurring monthly donations to his campaign, which would have weeded out trolls and given it an air of exclusivity.
Evidently, no one among Trump's advisers — let alone the man himself — hit upon any of this. They launched a sad, one-way "communications platform," and now they've killed it. This is the sort of thing that gives me real pause about the prospect of Trump running for president again in 2024, especially successfully.
The blog failure is a small thing on its own, I suppose, but in the context of the last five years, it's further confirmation of the former president's incompetence, bad character, and poor hiring and management choices. He is an excellent salesman for a certain audience, but there's no discipline or substance behind the rhetoric.
I don't doubt Trump wants to win the presidency again, but if you can't run a blog, can you really run a campaign? Or a country?