[Hpn] *OT*: Vermont Guardian Article by Yours Truly: Discove ring Vermont’s homegrown bl ogosphere; Week of 9/23/2005

Morgan W. Brown Morgan W. Brown" <morganbrown@gmail.com
Fri, 23 Sep 2005 14:11:44 -0400


*Off-Topic*
Below is a forward of my very first article published within theVermont Guardian, a weekly statewide newspaper, which is now a yearold. -- mwb
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Friday, September 23, 2005Vermont Guardian: http://www.vermontguardian.com/[weekly statewide newspaper]
http://www.vermontguardian.com/local/0105/Blogs.shtml
Discovering Vermont's homegrown blogosphere
By Morgan W. Brown | Special to the Vermont Guardian
posted September 23, 2005
Anyone who has climbed a hill and, once there, called out to hear theecho of their own voice bounce back and forth, and then patientlywaited for someone to answer back just might have a little blogger inthem.
More than three years ago, I came across information about blogs andblogging. At the time, I thought it would consume too much of mylimited time, energy, and resources in learning to set up and maintaina blog.
Back then, my online activities, including the activism I engaged inthrough the Internet, were chiefly dedicated to sending out andprocessing incoming mass quantities of e-mail, an avalanche of whichoften buried others as well as myself.
This changed in the autumn of 2002 after reading an article in USAToday about Kevin Barbieux of Nashville, TN, who, while homeless,launched and maintained a blog called The Homeless Guy (thehomelessguy.blogspot.com) — a personal blog that also focused onhomelessness and related matters.
After reading the article, I visited Kevin's blog and found myselfinspired and encouraged.
Like many people for whom blogs and blogging was something relativelynew, or otherwise totally arcane, I thought Kevin knew much more thanme about the Internet and computers. This turned out not to be true,and after rereading the article, I figured that if some other personliving homeless could do it, then I could surely spare a little timeto sit down at a public access online computer and, at the very least,sign up for a free web-based blog account and give it a try.
Much to my amazement, the blog tool was simple and easy to use, evenfor someone inexperienced like myself.
Soon after my introduction to blogging, I discovered it had thepotential of being a major time and energy saver. For example, aftermaking people on my various e-mail networks aware of my blog(s), itwas now possible to just quickly blog a post and, if they visited myblog, they could read about it there. It saved me from sending outvast amounts of e-mails to various lists.
In addition, I also came to learn and value how blogs readily draw abigger, wider, broader, and engaged readership, including peopleliving in Vermont. From this, I've been able to connect with peoplefrom around Vermont on a variety of issues and topics, and able toshare my own activist efforts with a completely new group of similarlyinterested Vermonters.

On a blogroll
When my interest in blogs first began, Vermont-based blogs seemed tobe few and far between; or, at least those that did exist were eithernot so well known, or as easy to find as is the case now.
In fact, the list of blogs in Vermont is growing all the time,evidenced by the ever expanding blogroll hosted on Cathy Resmer'shighly engaging and informative blog, 802 Online (7d.blogs.com/802online) — a blog about "Vermont, its media, and itsinternets."
>From what I have observed of most blogs, nearly each and every one ofthem is, in one way or another, truly unique and homegrown, whether intheir design, character, or — most importantly — content.
Vermont's blogosphere includes well-known bloggers likeactivist/librarian Jessamyn West (Abada Abada:www.jessamyn.com/journal), and the news and views of "gay gun nut"Jeff Soyer (Alphecca: alphecca.com), as well as the team blog bloggedby Bill Simmons and gang (Candleblog: candleboy.com/candleblog ).Thereis also the astronomy-minded Tom Dumont (Tom's Astronomy Blog:astroblog.captcrash.com), the worldview of blogger and podcaster RamaSchneider (Vermont News Happenings: www.vthappenings.com), and thejournal of Burlington resident Rael One Cloud (Rael Raves:www.livejournal.com/users/claudiamercy/), as well as the politicalblog of 79-year-old grandmother and two-time gubernatorial candidatePatricia Henjy (Pat Political: patpolitical.typepad.com).
Each of these blogs have a flavor and are in a class all their ownand, in my opinion, are worth a regular read.
When it comes to exploring as well as utilizing the Internet ingeneral, however, there is nothing like the satisfaction and rewardthat comes from creating a blog, from one's very first post to themoment when across the virtual void of time and space comes a voiceechoing off in the distance in reply.
blog terms & their usuages
In general terms, a web log (or, blog for short), is a type of websitewhich in one form or another tends to be more personal or casual instyle as well as interactive in nature than more traditional websites,especially since they typically employ commenting features and thelike. Blogs can be authored by one or more individuals.
blog and blogs: used as both noun and verb (e.g., That is a nice blogyou have, and I will blog a post about it.).
blog tool: the program used to create and maintain a blog; they caneither be web-based or downloaded to a computer and are user-friendly,self-publishing programs that do not require you to know anythingabout coding or web page design. They are either relatively low cost,or in many cases, free.
blogosphere or blogsphere: denotes either the entire blog community ora specific community of blogs.
blogroll: a list of links to other blogs and sites of particularinterest to the blog owner or done as a mutual link swap. Blogrollsare maintained usually within a side-column of a blog, or sometimes ona separate page or site.
blogging: either working on one's blog or the publishing of a blog post.
blogged: the act of having published a blog post.
blogger: someone who maintains and/or posts to a blog.
j-blogger: denotes a journalist who blogs.
team blog: a blog blogged by two or more bloggers.
Morgan W. Brown is an activist, blogger, and freelance writercurrently residing homeless in the Montpelier area. He gains onlineaccess via public sites, computers of friends and allies, as well as arecently donated laptop with wireless Internet capability. Morganblogs Norsehorse's Home Turf ( norsehorses-turf.blogspot.com) and theBeyond Vermont State Hospital (VSH) blog ( beyond-vsh.blogspot.com).

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**In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material isdistributed without charge or profit to those who have expressed a priorinterest in receiving this type of information for non-profit research andeducational purposes only.**
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Morgan   morganbrown@gmail.comMorgan W. BrownMontpelier Vermont USANorsehorse's Home Turf:http://norsehorses-turf.blogspot.com
Beyond Vermont State Hospital (VSH) bloghttp://beyond-vsh.blogspot.com/Mental Health Matters in Vermont
Chat Live & Privately (i.e., one on one) with Morgan:http://norsehorse.chatango.com(whenever I am online and logged into Chatango anyway)