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the magic school bus explores the blogosphere!

Glenn Reynolds links to this WaPo piece about the blogosphere and says:

THE BLOGOSPHERE IS, LIKE, TOTALLY INBRED: Er, except that I haven't ever heard of most of these blogs, which are nonetheless a big thing in their part of the sphere, I gather.

There are more things in the blogosphere, Jennifer Howard, than are dreamt of in your articles.

msb.jpgOf the blogs mentioned in the article, I know of two: Bookslut and Choire Shica. The article only highlights blogs from a certain portion of the blogosphere, but that in itself proves that the blogworld is more than a sum of its parts.

Perhaps it should be called the Blogogalaxy instead. There a separate worlds out there that are completely unaware of the existence of other worlds. There are planets and stars that you never heard of. There are meteors and comets and supernovas and yes, black holes.

I've been hanging around the blog world for three years now. I've visited quite a few of these other planets, lived on them, hung out with their inhabitants and moved on to other lands and other species of blogs. I've hung with the photoblogs and gay blogs and comic blogs and library blogs, to name a few. And what do you call those blogs that can't really be defined by one specific word - mainstream blogs? All Interest blogs?

It's not unusual for one segment of a blog planet (yes, I'm going to beat this metaphor into the ground today) to think, much like most earthlings, that they are the only sign of intelligent life in the galaxy. That's not because they don't think other intelligent life can exist; they just haven't looked outside of their own world.

Each planet has its own moon and stars and sun that the rest of the bloggers revolve around. There's Jason Kottke, Glenn Reynolds, Dave Winer, Cory Doctorow, Wil Wheaton, Dive Into Mark, Joi Ito, Lawrence Lessig, Little Yellow Different, The Shifted Librarian, Atrios and Scripty Goddess, just to name a few.

You've probably heard of most, if not all of them, because they are (keeping with the theme here) the suns of their planets. They represent various interests of the entire galaxy but, because you may not be interested in learning about other life, you don't set out to explore them. Or maybe you just think life elsewhere does not exist.

Go through links on some of those blogs and you will come upon entire worlds that you never knew existed. By following one link from one blog that you've never been to, you can be an explorer and discover that the depths of the blogosphere are much, much deeper than you ever imagined. You'll meet authors and artists, mothers and fathers, cops and lawyers, gamers and hackers, cooks and waitresses, humorists and essayists.

Why would you want to stick to your one tiny, little speck of a world when there is so much more around you? Yes, there are time constraints. But if each day you visit one link on one blog that you've never clicked on before, who knows where it may take you. You may learn something new or re-discover something old or just enjoy reading about a news story from another perspective.

There's Christian blogs, Jewish blogs and atheist blogs.

There's blogs from Iraq and Iran. British blogs. Australian blogs.

How about education weblogs or knitting blogs?

Do you see where I'm going with this? Sort of, right? Ok, I'll go back to the space metaphor. Go on an exploration, using my blogroll as the lifting off point. Click on a link that you've never visited before. Read an entry there. Then go to that person's blogroll and do the same thing. I guarantee that you will see parts of the blogging galaxy that you never knew about. And I bet that out of all the blogs you visit that way, you will find at least one that you would like to explore a little more, maybe make it a regular stop during your shuttle missions around the frontier of space of....well, you get it. I ran out of space metaphors.

What I do want you to do is leave your captain's log in my comments (Hah, I still had one left in me). Let me know where you've gone or if you discovered something new, or a blog that you will think about linking or at least reading once in a while. Stay away from those blogs already on your planet. Forge into the depths of space! Blast off! Be the Mrs. Frizzle of the blogosphere and tell your own readers about your new discoveries and adventures!

Yes, I'll stop now. What I'm trying to say is this: It's a big world out there. Discover it through blogs.

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Comments

I prefer to think of it as "Blog Valley High," with its cliques and its weirdo loners.

I prefer to think of it as "Blog Valley High,"

No, no: Blogosphere High School. To the tune of "Rock-n-Roll High School," of course. Why must Joey Ramone be dead just when I need him most?

As for this:

Why would you want to stick to your one tiny, little speck of a world when there is so much more around you?

I suspect that arises from the desire to feel like the big fish in a little pond in many cases. But you're right, people deprive themselves by doing that.

The Blogosphere is amazing.
I didn't even know it existed 'til this past summer.
I ran across a link to this lovely little(?) blog on foxnews.com.
Sorry, I HAVE to say it.. Michele... you were my first..

big grin

I'll take the time now to thank Michele for running this place. It's great.

you should warn that it's an addiction...I started reading two blogs and now I read more than 20 a day. All because I liked those two blogs so I checked their links and then just followed a linking path (I'm pretty sure that's how I found this blog).
It makes sense, that if you like one person's blog, you enjoy similar things, and therefore might like what THAT person reads.
It's all good.
go explore...it's good for ya. :-)

Perhaps we should start referring to the traditional (print) media as the "inkosphere." If there's anything that's inbred, it's this...

I clicked on Pickle Juice and saw Dame Edna on the sidebar. Woohoo! (By the way she's left blogspot and is now on a subdomain.)

Nice. Though some may be warped, I cling on to them, for the big bang they occasionally deliver. ;-)
From the truely cosmopolitan to those at the edge of the universe, the blog is simply another form for human creativity in relatively new media (cyberspace). In a well done blog, just as with the marble or oil or bronze or music or "ink" in which creative expression has traditionaly been cast, thinking people are naturally drawn to appreciate the fact that another human has the skill and drive to dedicate a portion of their time in this world to art for the enjoyment of others. Thus the "addictive" quality referenced above. At this point, the blog universe* is still at the "big-bang" stage of its existence (see http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/06/0619_030619_darkside.html for perspective). It will be fun to see where it all goes. Travel safely.

  • Galaxies are subsets of the universe, of course.

I stumbled across your blog doing just what you described. You forgot to mention how the deeper one ventures into the blogosphere, the more dross one encounters. I chuckled as I read this entry of yours, imagining you to be wearing an officer's type cap indicating your self appointed status of "Blog Tour Guide" along with a gold "Blog V.I.P" badge worn over your heart.

Allow me to make a slight addendum to your final sentence: It's a big world out there. Discover it through untethering yourself from your computer and getting the hell out of the house.

Personally, rather than "blog tour guide" I think Michele should be titled "Docent." I'm still waiting for the mp3 for the audio version of the guide, though.

But, my wife says, I'm not allowed to cross the street, so I've got to stay in the same neighborhood.

for UK Blogs I would suggest starting at www.bloggingbrits.co.uk
For European based blogs http://euroblogs.blogspot.com

Funny you should mention that... check your blogrolls.

All are like that. Looks like Blogrolling was hacked.

Linkmeister, don't you mean "d'oh-cent" ?

That's an awesome way of describing the internet, Michele my belle. Good on ya. Here's to voyages to unknown places.