Thursday, August 19, 2010

Humboldt HumBugs

For someone that's retired, there are foggy old cold days, like today in Eureka, that just don't inspire getting outside and working in the yard. So, for someone that loves computers and the Internet, computer and Internet consulting was the perfect hobby. Heck, I could develop and produce cutting-edge websites and web pages with the best of them. Evolving through that process I was introduced to Bulletin Boards, News Groups, Blogging, Twitter, Facebook and other social media. In the process I began to follow people that interested me. It's surprising what you can learn about people from what they post or write on the Internet. Personal and business websites, web pages and blogs are like Internet homes, personal offices or rooms. Ever notice there are some homes where you walk in and feel right at home the moment you go through the door? Others places are just the opposite. You go in, but you don't know if you should take off your shoes and leave them at the door or if you should even sit down.

Understanding how the Internet works and what is required to get your website noticed and recognized I needed to link to other bloggers. Since I was writing for mostly a local audience I was looking for people mostly in the Humboldt County area. After getting the Joe Blow Report up and running I began to visit local blog websites as I could find them. Occasionally, I would leave a comment if the subject interested me. What helped me a lot were the bloggers that listed other people's websites and blogs on their sites. As I remember, one of the local blogs that I connected with that had a featured list of other blog websites was the North Coast Journal Blog. They called it the Humboldt Blogwatch. They offered a really nice feature I later incorporated into the Report that updates featured blogs as new material is posted. I even include them in my Blogger Feature List of sites I follow, which is also included in Google Reader.

I've been waiting for the folks at N.C. Journal to include the Joe Blow Report in their Blogwatch now for two years. I keep checking, but no luck. I see other new blogs listed though. What's the problem guys?

The N.C. Journal aren't the only local blogs that don't feature everyone either. The blogs they DO feature says something quite revealing about them and relationships in this community. My goal was to try to be all inclusive. So, I looked for blogs that were all inclusive too. The first person I spotted was Kym at Redheaded Blackbelt. (Psssst! I copied her list, then I check back to see her latest updates.) Through her I found Eric at SoHum Parlance II and Ernie's Place and we were on our way. Even though Ernie isn't really considered “all inclusive.” Within the growing list I was primarily looking for websites or blogs that were current and relevant. As an old logger listing a “Tree-Sitters” blog didn't come easy. Too, when you go to someone's blog and ask them a direct question and they ignore you, other bloggers can see that. Doesn't take people long to see who is on the crap list. A couple of times and I began pulling them from my blog, but I got over that. When people come to my home and I invite them in, I figure their presence is a gift, so I treat them kindly and decently. If they go beyond simple decency I simply ask them to leave. Like some bloggers I've encountered, I don't invite people into my home then use their presence as an excuse to beat the hell out of them then kick them out into the street all bloody and bruised. My choice in listing had nothing to do with the number of people commenting either. That was irrelevant. Keeping track of the comments and commentators provided some good insight on occasion.

In the four blogs listed you see two diametrically opposed examples. Realizing lists are subjective to the likes and the dislikes of the blogger, they are extremely revealing. On the one side is a rather all-inclusive list. And on the other a rather good example of the good-ol' boy club snob list.

I've noticed that the first one's to rail against those running this city and county, the generations old entrenched good-ol'-boy club, are usually from this “snob list.” Some people might think getting listed on these blogs is a step-up in this blogger world we all live in. It means you've been recognized and accepted by the status quo. Which takes me to why I use a pseudonym. Joe Blow of the Joe Blow Report is not an “anonymous” blogger or writer. You want to know who Joe Blow is? Go to the Joe Blow Report or to The Joe Blow Report 2 and read what he or they say. He is exactly who he is and purports nothing else. Joe Blow's credibility is determined by what he or she writes. NOT by who he or she might be. You read Joe Blow's written observations for the value they present, and NOT because of the writer.

One of the writers that caught my interest was Glenn Greenwald who writes for and occasionally appears on TV news shows. I read most of what he writes because it's worth reading, at least to me anyway. I DON'T read his stuff because of his lifestyle or celebrity status or that he's a Constitutional lawyer living in Brazil.

My next project is to go through the list and if I find new and interesting blog sites to add them to my blogrolls. Local bloggers have different and interesting takes on issues and subjects. The plan is to start highlighting some of these blogs, bloggers, writers and their subject material. For instance, I came across and interesting article through Twitter the other day by a guy called the Vagabond Journalist. The title: “The Pentagon Vs. Free Expression.” -- “Wikileaks scandal exposes anti-American agenda of the police state.” He concludes:
On this Freedom of Information Day, I urge you to support your alternative media locally and globally and to support Access Humboldt in its mission of empowering this community with the means to create its own authentic and local culture of honesty and free expression.
He's got his work cutout, when I think about how it's been my experience in over 55 years, that “talk is cheap” and most people are “stone deaf.” You can also read what he says here.

I think this is a good start.


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