Sunday, August 19, 2007

Unlocking the Santa Barbara Blogosphere

Not long ago, finally made one small change that, in my opinion, vastly improves its whole system: now users can search for blogs by city. Though Blogger had always asked users to enter in the city they live in into their general user info, that city name previously just sat as dead text on the user profile. Now, that city name is clickable and yields a list of all the Blogger users who claim to reside in the city clicked. For example, I can now see that there are about 1,200 Santa Barbara residents who have Blogger profiles. I honestly can't imagine why Blogger didn't implement this feature years ago. I'm sure I'm not alone in wanting to know who else in the neighborhood might have a blog.

Anyway, I waded through the first 400 or so results and looked into the blogs kept by people who seemed promising either on account of a good profile picture or by what they listed at their interests. Here are some of the blogs I found. (That is, I had to nix a lot of blogs that have never been updated, been updated once and then forgotten or not updated since 2005.) In any case, this only represents the ones that grabbed me of the one-third of listed blogs that I looked through.
  • "The Lucky Hippo" — that's both the blog's name and the author's pseudonym. Whoever keeps this lists their profession as "writer/editor/mook," so for all I know he could be someone I work with. Then again, he could just as easily work at the other paper…. The Lucky Hippo has been up since May of this year.
  • User Ronald Rutherford keeps several blogs, including one for movie reviews — on which he has most recently reviewed Factory Girl — and another for his conservative view on economics.
  • Writer Kyle Imberlin stocks his blog, Metaphor, with the usual blog-appropriate musings on life.
  • Aguayo Shed is where blogger Noelle Aguayo began blogging about her soon-to-be-born baby and now concentrates on family life.
  • Westmont employee Janice — a.k.a. Montecito Mama — also writes about family issues on her blog.
  • At A Blog in Time…, you can follow the progress of blogger Jen, who identifies herself as a happily married, Hapkido practicing ovarian cancer survivor. She seems to be training to be a bodybuilder of some sort.
  • Mary Stanley blogs regularly about fiber art — hers and others' — at Art Spirit.
  • I was surprised to find the blog AMCD in Santa Barbara. Started only this month and kept by someone identified only as Melinda, this blog showed up rather early in the results. It also is written in an Asian language that I can't identify. Call me ignorant, but I didn't expect to see locals blogging in languages besides Spanish and English. I'm happy to be proven wrong.
  • Not to be outdone, international student Tobias Grunick blogs in both German and English at Tobi's News Channel.
  • Rochelle, a Westmont student, records her experiences with Teach for America in Chicago at Where You Lead Me, I Will Follow.
  • You can read about the travels and subsequent meals of Kristin at Miss Adventure.
  • UCSB's philosophy department runs its own blog, I found. A neat idea that I don't remember any departments doing while I was at UCSB. This one dates back to September of 2005.
  • Ang is a Santa Barbara blogger who attends dive schools, works with marine animals and seems to have an affinity for all things oceanic. His or her blog is titled, appropriately, above | below.
  • Bruce Caron started his blog, Light Blue Blog, just to focus on the lightblueline project.
  • Photographer Ricky Mia posts his work at his personal blog. There's some nice work up here.
  • Art and doodlings by blogger Jarad go up at I Heart My Penis. He's been hearting his penis since 2005. Don't worry — the images there don't actually show him penis-hearting.
  • I'm maybe most impressed with Santa Barbara blogger eightyone81, whose blog Toilets Worldwide showcases photos of commodes he's come across during his travels. The same blogger keeps the similarly-themed Rock Balance Blog as well as a non-rock, non-toilet photo repository, Jonas Jungblut Photo.
  • School Board member Nancy Harter kept a blog for as long as it took to put up one entry. The entry, like the blog itself, was designed to help her win a spot on the school board back in 2004. According to profile, it's been checked out nine times since its inception.
  • Self-described "incorrigible nudist" Art Skyclad writes about his naked, dangly adventures at Skyclad Tales. As you might imagine, it's not at all safe for work.
  • Brett Austin blogs the Zaca Fire, iPhone photos and his status as a toxophilite over at his blog.
  • And late in the list, I stumbled across the profile of a blogger who should be very familiar to those in-the-know about Santa Barbara blogs: Sara de la Guerra. While I don't need to explain what BlogaBarbara is about, I think those who read postings there would be amused to see what appears to be Sara's aborted secondary blog, Library Etiquette.
That's what I found, anyway. I think the results are generated randomly, so anybody who searches Blogger for "Santa Barbara" might find another hundred different worthwhile blogs. Then, of course, there's Goleta, Isla Vista, Montecito and Carp. Personally, I'm just happy to see that people in the community are using any form of blogging to express themselves. I think it would be great if locals continue to share their contributions to the online world and even greater if we all have a means of keeping tabs on what they're writing.

1 comment:

  1. cookiesinheaven? cookies for you, dude! ;-)

    (slightly teasing of course)

    And, in skippy's world, it's "blogtopia" not blogosphere.

    I don't know why they didn't have that sooner, as well.