Blog Globally, Find Locally?

It’s easy to search blogs by topic but tough to find blogs in your own backyard as I discovered when I sought to assemble a list of San Francisco Bay Area blogs to seek help in promting a project I’m involved with.

Poynter’s Jonathan Dube has assembled a handy list of topic-or-author search tools. In a separate posting he pointed to some geographic search sites. But the geographic search is incomplete because bloggers must enroll in the service or somehow identify their location. This runs contrary to the ethos of cyberspace. So far at least, the electronic realm has been the province of ideas not of places. It may also seem vaguely threatening to disclose one’s location to potential kooks and stalkers.

But I think place is important — and not just because I happen to be trying to flog something at the moment. If you believe the saying that all politics are local, how can blogs be politically meaningful if people can’t get the attention of their neighbors?

So how does cyberspace get grounded? Microsoft blog evangelist Robert Scoble once pointed to a site called Feedmap that is beta-testing an approach called Blogmap. It requires active enrollment. (It’s on the list of long-overdue site upgrades I need to make here.)

So for now the way local sites seem to aggregate is by looking around for each other. I’ll complete this thought tomorrow with a useful site specific to my area, but for now I’ve got to get about the paying business of the day.

Tom Abate
‘Cause if you ain’t Mass Media, you’re Mini Media