"With salt piles like this, who needs the Grand Canyon? Early rays transform Eastern Minerals across the street into a natural wonder," we captioned this shot of the view from our front porch last winter, a visual parallel to blogging's ability to bring the world to your doorstep.
"If you are a blogger, do you have a post that either exemplifies blogging at its best (or worst) and/or do you have a post that helps explain blogging?" asks Dr. Steven Taylor of PoliBlog [via Ann Althouse], cyberfield researching for a forthcoming talk on his campus about blogging. But of course. Here's one we posted on June 15, 2004 in response to La Shawn Barber's similar question, "Why Do You Blog/Read Blogs?" (original post in beige type):
Scrolling through our "Blogging" category, we picked up the gist:
We blog because of the importance of being noticed.
We read blogs to gather others' posts as raw material for our own cogitations.
Egad. That's so "all about me." Yes, but individual voices are what make blogs interesting. Our own favorites come straight from the hearts and minds of "oners" who make us think and feel sad and laugh. Some are young, but all are young at heart. Each in her or his own endearing way wants to leave this world a better place. We mostly preach to the choir but now and then break through to someone on "the other side."
We broke out of the conservative echo chamber this week, carrying the torch for good design over second guessing the politics of the Flight 93 Memorial designers in our "Crescent of Embrace" series. Playing on the animated GIFF by Zombie at Michelle Malkin's where the memorial's curved grove of red maples and sugar maples becomes an Islamic crescent, we created our own animated GIFF wherein the curve becomes the edge of an All-American apple pie.
"Why are more and more people getting their news from amateur websites called blogs? Because they're fast, funny and totally biased," subheaded a Time Magazine piece on blogging this week. Not a bad article, albeit somewhat frozen in amber by blogging standards. Gushing at the notion that "Iraqis have blogs," the authors seem unaware of the dozen or so vibrant Iraqi bloggers currently posting daily from the front, linking only to the virtually defunct Where is Raed?, Salam Pax's blog that burned brightly for a couple of months as bombs were dropping over Baghdad last spring.
When the going gets tough, bloggers get blogging. That is the difference between Salam Pax and today's Iraqi bloggers. As we noted back in May, citing The Australian:
Pax survived the war, but his blog has succumbed -- not to the authorities but to the terrible weight of becoming the virtual personification of Iraq. "As the world starts looking at your website, you get more and more weighed down with the responsibility of it."
You can't herd cats, and you can't herd bloggers, as we admonished Senator McCain last March when he started making noises about limiting our First Amendment rights. More importantly, as Laurence Simon of TBIFOC has written, "Without cats, there is no catblogging. Without catblogging, blogging just isn't worth the effort." In photo above, backlit by the setting sun Down East, Baby Cakes does his part to raise flood aid for fellow felines displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Fundraising efforts of his sister, Sweet Tiny Pea, were featured last week on the most frequently cited hurricane-related blog, The Irish Trojan Blog.
Blogging is not for the faint of heart.