The blogging life

A sampling of Southwest bloggers

Blogs are taking over my life. It all started in 2003 when I discovered LiveJournal, a network of self-indulgent Internet diaries. The writing was personal and quirky, with multiple updates each day. It was like flipping through a newspaper dedicated to the private thoughts of regular people around the world. From there, I found MySpace, Facebook and BlogSpot. I set aside whole hours of my life to surfing the web, gobbling up the inane ramblings of programmers in Wisconsin, gossips in Seattle, and comedians in San Jose. My friends became virtual; information didn¹t seem important unless it was posted online by some newshound who tacked his 2 cents onto every story.

Now it’s 2007, and I am not alone. ‘Blog’ is a household term. Not only does almost everyone read them, but almost everyone has a personal website of his or her own. Southwest, in particular, has become a hotbed of online information. From politics and music to family and the arts, each blog has cultivated a distinct voice – a familiar invisible persona to whom thousands have connected through a twisting maze of Ethernet cords. They’re our neighbors and friends and, though we have never met, they’re always available from behind the computer screen. The following is a list of some of the best Southwest blogs making waves in our community, one post at a time.

POLITICAL GURU

Name: Eric Pusey

URL: mnblue.com

Start Date: Apr. 22, 2006

Day Job: Computer consultant

Neighborhood: Kingfield

Purpose: Pusey is a hardcore Democrat who happens to be married to Minneapolis Council Member Elizabeth Glidden (8th Ward). For this reason, he doesn¹t cover Minneapolis city politics on his blue-blooded blog. Instead, he focuses his efforts on St. Paul and monitoring Senator Norm Coleman with the site¹s ³weasel meter.² His blog is steadily growing, with more than a dozen contributing writers.

Excerpt: "Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) just got back from a solo trip to Iraq. He visited Minnesota National Guard troops stationed in Al Anbar province. Norm was very upbeat about how the occupation in Al Anbar was going and stated that U.S. troops would remain Œin Iraq for a long time¹ but also insisted, in typical Norm-speak that if progress isn¹t being made by August, alternative plans might be considered."

MUSIC JUNKIE

Name: Andrea Myers

URL: minneapolitanmusic.blogspot.com

Start Date: Oct. 24, 2005

Day Job: Writer

Neighborhood: Whittier

Purpose: Myers started MinneapolitanMusic as a blog about her life with a local music twist. Within a month, her audience grew from one regular visitor (her dad) to an entire network of show-goers and music snobs. She writes about everything from her newfound interest in vinyl to local rock star heroes.

Excerpt: "It’s getting to the point now where I occasionally have the opportunity to hear albums as they are being worked on, and it has gotten me thinking about the whole other side of the music circus that I try to keep an arm’s length from: production. It’s not that I don’t want to understand the intricate details involved in the making of a record, it’s … no wait, that’s pretty much it. I don’t really want to know."

QUEER CONCIERGE

Name: Dave Veeser

URL: queercities.blogspot.com

Start Date: Jan. 27, 2007

Day Job: Retail

Neighborhood: Lowry Hill East

Purpose: Veeser noticed a lack of local websites reporting exclusively on GLBT news, so he decided to sharpen his computer skills and fill the niche. Every morning, while drinking his coffee, Veeser combs the news for stories—some uplifting, some disheartening—and posts links on his blog. He keeps the commentary to a minimum and lets the articles speak for themselves.

Excerpt: "Hey fellow Minneapolites (is that a real word? It is now!) It’s time to combine firming and toning your buttocks and doing something profoundly altruistic. Dust off your sneakers and walk, volunteer or sponsor for the Minnesota Aids Walk."

GROUP EFFORT

Name: Jason, Erica, Sarah, Wendy, Greg, Jim, James, Hannah and Bill

URL: minneapolis.metblogs.com

Start Date: Oct. 10, 2004

Location: All over Minneapolis, with at least three in Uptown

Purpose: Metroblogging Minneapolis is a site for in-the-know urbanites to write about the latest events around town. It¹s part of a larger network of city blogs around the country updating readers about all things local, from concerts and parks to readings and drink specials. Writers are encouraged to put personal spins on their entries, detailing their experiences as Minneapolis residents.

Excerpt: "Minnesotans like to drink, and there¹s no shortage of watering holes in the Twin Cities. I frequent several of these on a regular basis. Some of my favorite bars in the cities are what I’d classify as hole-in-the-wall bars: of the variety that feature cozy atmospheres, cheaper drinks and a general sense that the place has been around for a while."

PHOTO GENIUS

Name: Bl@ck Coffee

URL: uptownmpls.blogspot.com

Start Date: Jan. 26, 2005

Day Job: Arts industry

Neighborhood: CARAG

Purpose: Bl@ck Coffee, who declines to reveal his real name, began Uptown Mpls. Blog after discovering that photos of the area were hard to find online. An amateur photographer, Coffee hit the streets and took pictures of his own. He uploads new photos of familiar landmarks and surprising vantage points almost everyday.