Greensboro’s Ten Best hometown blogs…
Known as ‘The Blogfather’ by the Greensboro pajamas-and-slippers set, Cone has been working as a journalist for more than 20 years (see cover story p. 13). He started his personal weblog after interviewing blogging guru Dave Winer for Wired in 2001. Under the slug ‘Word Up,’ Cone’s blog covers local and national news, personal reminiscences and cultural notes as well as plenty of links to other outposts in the blogosphere, and as far as Greensboro bloggers go, Cone is at the top of the charts, consistently pulling in page views from all over the country. He also pens a weekly opinion column that runs in the Sunday News & Record and makes frequent appearances on MSNB, ‘“the Brad and Britt Morning Show’” on 101.1 FM and National Public Radio.
The Editor’s Log (John Robinson)
Robinson, editor of the News & Record, rose through the journalistic ranks as a reporter and in his blog he still asks the tough questions, bringing up issues of integrity, attribution and ethics in between posts concerning N & R staff notes and content announcements. Robinson has also been getting national press for his ‘public square’ initiative that seeks to integrate new media with long-standing traditions of the daily newspaper (have you checked out the cover story on p. 13 yet?). If you’re interested in the current debate about blogging as journalism, JR’s blog is required reading.
Gate City (anonymous)
Billed as ‘“A Blog for Greensboro, For Better or Worse,’” the blogger who bills himself as ‘Gate’ offers personal commentary about local and national politics and policy, while occasionally delving into critique and diatribe. He also writes frequently about women he’d like to boink. He blogs anonymously, though he doesn’t guard his secret identity as vigorously as, say, Spiderman, and he diligently posts several times a day. And while we don’t always agree with Gate (especially when he’s talking smack about our magazine and its editor), he’s pretty funny and often astute in his observations, which earns him a place on our blogroll.
Hogg’s Blog (David Hoggard)
David Hoggard is one of a handful of Greensboro public figures active in the local blogosphere ‘— he recently ran for City Council and has served on a number of local commissions and boards. His content is largely local, generally well thought out, and oftentimes comes to us late at night after he’s lubricated his typing fingers with a little bourbon. Hogg’s Blog broke new ground when he and his wife Jinni went public with their ongoing battle against Jinni’s breast cancer and rallied the entire Greensboro blogosphere to the cause (see Hoggfest ad pg. 30).
Chewie World Order (anonymous)
While we’re not so sure what this blog has to do with Chewbacca, we are big fans of Greensboro’s sole representative from Kashyyyk (that’s the tree-filled planet of the Wookies, for the less nerdly among us). Chewie’s page is everything a blog should be: witty social and political commentary interspersed with personal anecdotes (including vacation photos) and opinion pieces that show eloquence and consistency of thought. And word on the street is that Chewie does her own reporting, which our inner journalism nerds (as opposed to our inner Star Wars nerds) think is very cool.
Mr. Sun (anonymous)
Mr. Sun is funny. His page begins: ‘“Mr. Sun is a mysterious figure, a blinding light. Do not look directly at Mr. Sun. Bask in him. Although 93 million miles away, Mr. Sun uses this Blog to share his warmth with others.’” His posts are full of such self-aggrandizement tempered with a healthy dose of effacement, like at mrsun.us/2005/05/what-is-it-like-to-hang-out-with-mr.html, where he details some of his personal traits, saying: ‘“Perhaps you think it would be fun to have Mr. Sun as a friend. It would not.’” Mr. Sun is proof that your mama was wrong: everybody likes a wise guy.
Viewfinder Blues (Lenslinger, aka Stewart Pittman)
There are hundreds of bloggers in Greensboro, but this guy’s site is in a class by itself. Lenslinger’s been a camera jockey for television news since 1989 and currently shoots for FOX 8, but he’s a writer at heart and he uses this blog to feed that particular jones. He posts media critiques, reflections on entering middle age (with pictures) and inside tales from his very specialized gig (find out about hurricane detail at lenslinger.blogspot.com/2005/04/hurricane-stewthe-video.html).
All we know about Patrick Eakes is that he’s 38, lives in Greensboro, loves the ACC and owns his own business. These vital statistics make him the perfect everyman for our city ‘— a member of the predominant demographic. I envision him as something of a yardsmith, with a nice wife, a couple of kids and a very personal stake in the goings-on in this town. His posts are relevant (lots of local issues), timely (he has contact with a soldier currently serving in Iraq who also blogs at ussoldier.blogspot.com) and he’s a veritable linking machine, culling items from blogs both local and national.
Backwards City (Gerry Canavan, Jaimee Hills, DonEzraCruz, Pclem and Tom)
Billed as ‘“The semi-official blog of Backwards City Review,’” a biannual Greensboro-based literary journal, the group that posts here offers literary blurbs on recent books and magazine articles, strong opinion delivered with exasperated wit and gads of brilliant internet time-wasters like this link (backwardscity.blogspot.com/2005/05/disco-nation.html) to a Danish band singing the song ‘“Apache,’” which I must have watched six (make that seven) times.
Billy the Blogging Poet (Billy Jones)
Billy fills his blog with occasional political commentary, outright satire and bizarre poetry (generally of the rhyming variety). But what we like the most about the Blogging Poet is his parody of our Page Three using animals both wild and domesticated for models, which he frequently touts as ‘“all nude.’”
The Shu (greensboroistalking.com, blogging news and personal commentary), Jay Ovittore (jovittore.blogspot.com, former rocker turned blogger), The Lex Files (blog.news-record.com/lexblog, the point man for the N&R’s community journalism movement) and the Inside Scoop (blog.news-record.com/scoopblog, a print journalist adding another dimension to the news). We know there are many more dedicated bloggers out there but this is the ten best and we apologize for their exclusion.