Part OneFor the last several years, I've burned the midnight oil creating a collection of directories called Community Color. The goal of this project is to explore the way that local communities are reflected on the web. I am from the Mountain West. I was born in Denver and have lived in a variety of towns in the Mountain West. So the effort concentrates on communities Mountain West. In this project I've indexed a variety of towns that I consider to be cultural centers of the area.
The goal is to show the diversity of things that exist in a community. The directories are inclusive. I list any site I find from or about a community (well, except porn or hate sites). These community directory are my primary statement about the direction we should be taking on the web.
In 2003, I decided to start a blogspot blog. I had spent so much time on the local community (with absolutely no reward for the effort) that I decided to just do a mind fart blog on whatever.
As with most mind fart blogs, whatever often turns out to rants about national politics.
I had a progressive education. In my progressive education, I was taught a propaganda technique called "Critical Thinking." The idea behind critical thinking is to criticize American culture, the free market and people on the right. Being hypercritical of America is supposed to somehow lead to social justice and progress.
I finally realized that critical thinking and progressivism are both dead ends. But I have yet to learn a new writing style.
The reason I mention this is that my blog and community sites have completely different bents. The blog concentrates more on national issues and universal thought and is often negative. The community sites focus on the community and are of a more positive nature.
There actually is a message in this. It is my belief that the best way to affect change is to think locally and act locally.
Unfortunately, the message of the two efforts get in the way of each other. Most people who read my blog simply think I am a jerk.
Part TwoIMHO, the primary value of a blog is in the field of social networking.
For that matter, if I were to give a single message about blogging, i would say the best approach to the art form would be to concentrate one's effort on blogging about the local community. There is very little need for people to blog about national politics. Contrary to our education. Critical thinking posts generally just lead to partisanship.
I think there is a greater value in blogs about the good things in the local community.
IMHO a great blog would have links to all of the little hidden treasures in a community, and should have a blog role with other local sites. I am not doing that with this blog because I do so with the directories. Capiche?
Blog RoleAnyway, this "why" post is to explain why I am not doing this blog the way I think blogs should be done.
The reason, of course, is that the community directories are my community effort. I do not have a blog role on this site because the community directories list well over three hundred blogs. I really didn't want to waste time doubling up the effort and listing all the blogs twice.
I just created a blogs page which is a master index to the blogs to which I link. The total is currently 350. Yes, I've read a large number of posts in all of them.
Next: The answer as to why I don't have a blog role is that the community directories are my blog role.
Next: Why is this blog so icky? Well, it is just a mind fart blog.
Finally: Why did I just write this post: Well, I wrote this post so that I could link to it from my blog index.