June 28, 2006

bla bla blog

While proposing this column on the blogosphere to Indy, I carefully crafted my Hollywood 10-second elevator pitch.

It went like this: think of me as the Charles Kuralt of the Internet, only maybe a little prettier. It was a joke, but like many jokes there was an element of truth to it. What I admired about my journalistic hero was his ability to unearth everyday people with interesting stories. People who wouldn't usually find their way onto the media's radar screen. That's exactly what blogging is all about.

Lots of people you might never have discovered with some very interesting stories to tell, on an infinite number of topics.

So, where do you start finding blogs that might interest you? The best place to start is at a blog directory. Type "blog directory" into Google and it turns up 220,000 of them. It almost seems like there are as many blog directories as there are blogs. But there's a shortcut to your own personal blog nirvana: technorati.com. It's like a giant blog candy store, or an FAO Schwartz for blogs.

Technorati is where I discovered many of my favorites. And once you find a blog you like, it will lead you to others you are likely to enjoy. Just look for that blog's "Blogroll," a list of links to sites of interest to the blog's author. One of my very favorite sites, dooce.com does not have a blogroll, but author Heather Armstrong occasionally puts links in her posts to her favorites. It's there I found tremble.com and queserara.org, whose blogroll I have been happily mining for weeks, and which has yet to run dry.

I gravitate to personal diary-style blogs, in which people write about the tiny epiphanies of everyday events, weaving magic from the mundane. I love the hilariously self-humiliating, soul baring tales that with great stealth reveal the common thread of our terribly fragile existence.

Oh and did I mention cuteoverload.com? It is my guilty pleasure. Okay, so I am a total sucker for pictures of cute animals. But these are uber cute. Trust me and check it out. You won't be sorry. This site is my alternative to mood elevating drugs. It has categories for bunnies, kittens, birds and puppies. Yesterday, I was feeling blue, but a picture of a baby hamster munching on a Cheerio that was bigger than it was, fixed me right up, with no side effects, and no prescription necessary. But don't let my shallow tastes lead you to think that the blogosphere is full of nothing but trite and silly time suckers.

It will take decades for brilliant minds to parse the profound sea change the blogosphere has wrought on the media and politics. That's a whole story of its own for a future column. The technorati top 100 blogs are overwhelmingly about technology, politics and news. So, shoo, shoo! Get away from my bloglist! Go to technorati and get your own. There are several ways to do this. On the home page you can click EXPLORE, which takes you to a page that has a selection of scads of categories starting with Advertising and ending with Weird and Wine. In between are Erotica, Humor, News, Media, Music, Technology and Venture Capital. Something for everyone, and then some on this list.

Or, if you know what topics you'd

like to find blogs about, click on the button that says BLOG FINDER. Type in

your topic of interest. I typed in "chocolate," and got 201 blogs, including candyblog.com who beckoned with, "open your mouth, expand your mind."

A third way is the technorati top 100 blog list, which for some odd reason, has an almost hidden link way down at

the very bottom of the homepage.

Click on POPULAR. It will take you to a page where there is a link to the TOP 100.

Remember, when exploring the blogosphere, Charles Kuralt logged 50,000 miles a year in his motor home as he did his exploring. But, we can do ours from right here at home. And I still say I'm prettier than him.

This column will be back in two weeks.

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