The last two blog posts were simply to point out that I see complex trends that have caused people and businesses to withdraw from traditional cultural centers. I see this as indicative of a trend of people to withdraw from participation in their community at large.
My experience in the technical field is that IT businesses are keen on defining their position in a global economy. People's initial investment in the Internet was aimed at accessing and defining a position in the global community. I know for a fact that many local artists built web sites to try and break into larger markets (as they had exhausted the demand for their work locally).
With so many businesses seeing the internet as a way to escape the tyranny of the local market, it seemed to me that the internet has been shaping up as yet another force that tears apart the community.
On the positive side of the ledger. I've noticed that personal home pages and blogs often have a reverse effect. Yes, there's a large number of blogs that simply pontificate about national politics. However, there are many more that talk about people's relations within the community. Some blogs like Weber County Forum are providing a great deal of insight into local politics. The suggess of the Utah Bloggers convention shows a very strong desire for even more community involvement from the blogging community.
It seems to me that the open forum of the Internet is creating a new and authentic balance between individuals, the local community and global community. Local blogs tend to have an interesting balance between one's concern with the world at large and the local community.
As local bloggers seek subjects for their posts, it is my hope that they focus more and more of their time examining they things that are immediately around them ... thus building a better understanding of the different things that build a successful community.