Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dead 'sphere

Jeff says the sactosphere is dead. With the departure of heckasac, it seems as if the patient might be in need of dialysis. Is it reflective of a larger trend, the maturation of blogs as content engines and advertising vehicles? Back in the day, blogging was an organic endeavor. By back in the day I mean pre-WYSIWYG blog content management systems--like when you had to code your own damn template. Not only that, but pre-myspace and Dooce and whatnot, you could blog in obscurity to your heart's content. Now I think you have to go on Second Life to do that. And when employers started googling their employees, well, everyone decided either to professionalize or to clam up. And then google took blogs out of their search and created a "blog search" function, which, depending on how you look at it, either legitimized blogs or demoted them as arbiters/purveyors of valid information.

As a natural-born socialist with artiste leanings, I tend to think that once you try to make money on something it gets ruined. Or when you try to get popular, because people see that as some kind of selling out. Perhaps that's just me.

In any case, I think the problem with the Sacto blog space is that people don't view themselves as part of a community. We don't do enough to support each other, by way of linking to each others posts. Still entrenched in the turf aspects of the space, we differentiate. I'm probably the most guilty of this. I think, for me, it was the element of competition introduced by all these "best of" contests. Sacramento is a small place, and the blogs just transfer social circles from real life to the web. Which feels clique-y to me, but then again, Sac is kinda clique-y.

And so, to end on a more positive, solutions-oriented note, I am going to make more of an effort to foster discussion across blogs, as best I can. Which isn't to say that I see myself as some sort of major force in this movement, but I am always eager to help.

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