Monday, September 27, 2004


A month ago the LA Times did a brief write up on Milblogs and an excerpt was taken from mine. I saw a small spike in numbers, a couple hundred people stopped by. Then Susan from the Associated Press submitted her story and two days later I have 60,000 new viewers! In numbers that I can relate to, that's everybody that lives in my hometown of Prescott Arizona peeking through my window. Hopefully I'm not standing there naked.

Many of the comments and emails that I've received are from people whom this is the first time ever visiting a blog. My blog is in the blogger subcategory called Milblogs; we take up a small little niche in a little corner of the blogsphere. If it can be imagined, someone has a blog about it.

A vast majority of blogs are basic online diaries that only have a small amount of viewers. Uncensored, unedited and raw, these folk pour out their souls, this is all the dirt that they don't talk about in their day to day life, they're totally anonymous and they put things there that they wouldn't tell their closest friends. People usually find their sites by A. either the author leaving a comment on someone else's blog or B. people coming by through a surf engine. Some of those surfers might have blogs and like what they see and add a link to the blog. And that's how blogging communities are built. The Blog ecosystem is made up of small communities of people of like interest, people that want to share whatever is going on in their heads right at that moment. I belong to several, most noticeably, Milblogs.

Often blogs are started by a blog reader or commenter that has a unique story that they want to share. So the next step is to set one up. One blog that I found though Kevin that I really enjoyed was built around a cameras flash memory card that this blogger had found in the backseat of a cab in New York. On this card there were pictures that went back over the entire year. So he started a blog about it. Each day he would post a picture on the internet and write a fictional story to match the picture, talking about the people in it, he developed entire lives and relationships that had nothing to do with reality. He left a contact email address in case the owner of the flash card showed up to reclaim it. The site had me in stitches until he had to shut it down because of bad comments from people that didn't have a sense of humor. I never say bad things about people that make me laugh. I would give you the link but alas he is gone. Sigh!

Blog sites pop up and disappear on a daily basis. Lack of attention, nasty commenters, too much attention or just the magic of blogs faded. I've had a few bad comments and unless they're attacking me or other commenters with threats, I usually leave them up. I welcome open discussion but prefer it to be civil. I do delete any comments that violate OPSEC or people spamming me. I'm not about to run away from commenters.

I like the circle of friends I've built up since I've started this. You couldn't get some of them in the same room together and no, I don't share all of their views. But we are still able to meet on a common ground. One of the biggest problems in this country right now is everyone is getting polarized to one extreme of the political spectrum or the other and most of the communications that flow across that divide are attacks. Once you close your eyes to what the other half is saying, you're half blind. How can you make a decision for the greater good when you're not willing to even see what's happening to the other side of the world? There are good points to each side and we need more unbiased people that are willing to look at them from all angles. No matter who you are there are going to be people that disagree with you. Believe me, you'll find a lot of them on my blogroll and even I gawk at some of the stuff they're writing.

My links are there for some reason, maybe they show a bit of what kind of person that I am. Personal friends, even ones I disagree with totally deserve a link, people that have been supportive of me, them too. There are some people that I love what they've written or crack me up with their antics, yes. People that make me think and dredge up dirt, add them. Milbloggers whom I frequent and medical people have to stick together. The Iraqi bloggers offer a unique insight on what's happening over there. I can vouch for the reality of most of the bloggers there except for Riverbend who I think is a fake half the time (I'll let people decide for themselves or wait till she actually meets one of the other bloggers). She's pretty anti-American. Salam can you verify her existence? The only reason I keep her up is because she offers a view of what the other side is like.

So I warn you, don't be shocked by what you might find and don't blame me for what they write, I'm just a portal, to the right, one mouse click away, lies the rest of the world.

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