I’ve switched to a new theme, which I think is a bit cleaner and easier to navigate. I’m still tweaking it a bit, so don’t be surprised to see things get added, subtracted, moved or (temporarily) broken. If you find something not working as you think it should, a poke in my direction would be appreciated.
Last year I handed out (metaphorically speaking) some Oklahoma netroots blogger awards and really intended them to become an annual thing to do on my blogiversary (Thanksgiving weekend) but not only have I been a bad blogger this year, I’ve been a pretty sporadic reader of Oklahoma-based blogs as well.
Considering my self-defined mission here (online and off), this is pretty inexcusable, but I’d rather be honest that just anoint some “award winners” out of you know where and call it some kind of validation of the best (IMO).
So, in lieu of that, I’m just going to note some of the positive impressions I have gleaned this past year about relatively unheralded Oklahoma bloggers who can in some sense be considered (or just call themselves) “progressive” or liberal or Left.
And yes, I DO have some negative impressions as well, but this is not the place to air those — as a product of my culture, I do tend to get a little sentimental as the end of a purely-symbolic time cycle draws to a close.
So let’s just say up front that, in the words of our former president, blogging is hard work. Really, if you haven’t tried to do it with any kind of regularity, you just don’t know. Or maybe it takes a very specific type of person who finds it doable without feeling, in no discernible pattern, insecurity, boredom, frustration, angst, despair and embarrassment.
Therefore I just want to tip my hat to some Oklahoma bloggers who have managed to penetrate my haze this year, for their persistence, their regularity, their seeming tirelessness and their apparent ability to be completely self-motivating.
So here’s my list of 2009 bloggers who have earned my respect, just because they blogged. (And this in no way is to dismiss their other qualities as astute observers and creative writers.)
- Oklahoma Lefty — I just can’t figure out what’s “Left” about him (maybe it’s all relative to Oklahoma’s unique slice of the spectrum), but damn, he blogs like a fiend! And if you are the least bit interested in alternative music, you seriously need to follow Dave’s reflections and insights on that subject — because he’s got a lot of knowledge and passion about it.
- Carless in OKC – This blog only started in September, but has been a faithful journal of living without a motorized vehicle in a city that does not acknowledge your existence. The blogger began by saying that he did not intend to be carless, but felt that it was a journey (no pun intended) that might be interesting and offer some insights. It has, for writer and readers both.
- Deb’s House Concerts – Another blogger with passion for music, as well as other creative expression. Thoughts about politics, culture, language, horticulture, nature and anything else that comes along.
Please join me in appreciating these Oklahoma bloggers, and wish them another year of prolific output. Feel free to add any others to the list by making a comment — be sure to include a link to their site.
A big part of the reason I haven’t been blogging much is that I just feel like I don’t have the ability or opportunity these days to do enough reading and research to post anything of value to the discussion. For example: The conservative conspiracy theory du jour, led by Oklahoma Republican Senator Jim Inhofe, regarding emails stolen from the computers of climate scientists. With the Google — even with the Bing, I bet — you can find plenty of worthwhile and relatively calm insights into the matter, if you know how to look, and weed out the bias and blather. The only things I would consider adding would be links I found from said Googling. But I tend to expect others to point and click on the Tubes just as well as I can.
But I clearly am being held back by an overwrought case of blogger ethics that does not afflict many others. I need to loosen up. They’re only words, for gawd’s sake!
Digby, a very ethical blogger, does see some need for the consideration that I’m prone to, so I’m still going to err on the side of expert consensus rather than accept the practice of legislating, or blogging, half-cocked.
From what I can gather, this climate change pseudo-scandal is going to be with us for a while so if you haven’t delved into it in any detail, it’s probably a good idea to do so. The number of Inhoffian cretins bellowing on TV about hoaxes is growing by the hour. This article by Brad Plumer seems to be a good place to start.
For ongoing understanding of the science in our lives (for our lives), follow DarkSyde.
Another Oklahoma blogger’s quick take on Inhofe. Bet he didn’t hear anything like that on radio!
And that, kids, is why I’ll always be a blogger.
Wow, this is amazing to me. First of all, not to sound like a cliche, but being nominated is so validating, especially since most of the time a I alternate between feeling that no one even reads my blog and feeling that my efforts are just too pathetic to matter, or it’s just a lot of time wasted in vain in a conservative state where I’m quite the fish out of water. I read many of the best (lefty) political bloggers in the country daily, and know I can never aspire to their level, but I make whatever effort I can. This recognition will certainly motivate me to continue despite all those countering aarguments.
I also feel that being a far left blog in a far right state makes it all the more amazing that Peace Arena got the readers and the votes to reach this level. So, Oklahoma is getting more of my rantings and offerings for another year, at least!
The winner in the category is Batesline. An excellent and popular conservative blog, which totally deserves the honor. If you haven’t blogged, you can’t fully appreciate the time and effort involved. Batesline has been around quite a while, and never seems to flag (something I do all the time). Don’t know how Michael Bates does it. His writing is great, and he does his homework. So kudos to him — not to mention all the other winners, and nominees (they are listed here. All are worth your time to read regularly, for information, for opinion, for laughs, for culture, for the odd take. The Oklahoma section of the blogosphere is vital and growing, please be sure to support OK bloggers all year long by reading, commenting, donating, sharing their links with your networks, etc. etc.
Thanks to all those who participated in the awards by blogging and/or voting this year, and especially to Mike at Okiedoke for doing the awards. He’s created a very open and fair way to recognize and honor Oklahoma Bloggers, and takes on this extra work of managing the nominations and voting every year now for four years.
Finally, I’ll repeat my ongoing offer to anyone who wants to start blogging: I will help with the tech side of things. You can use free services like Blogger or WordPress.com, or you can jump in and get your own domain and software install. But it never hurts for more voices/perspectives to be part of the discussion. Contact me and I’ll provide whatever tips or tutorials you may need. Who knows, maybe YOU will be up for an Okie Blog award for 2009.
If you are an Oklahoma Blogger, you can vote, and should. And now, because it’s the last day you can.
I happen to be nominated, for Best Political Blog, but even if you don’t vote for me, vote for your favorites in each category. It’s a great way to get better acquainted with the incredibly large and diverse world of Okie blogs, and it helps support those who work hard at their little corner of the blogosphere.
Wow, very cool. It really is an honor, just to be considered… of course I’d like to win it too!
Voting open to Okie bloggers. Please take time to visit and read all the nominees. It’s great that we have so many compelling voices, that the Internet allows us to share them with each other so readily, and that we live in a country where free speech is one of our highest ideals.
And if you would like to start a blog so you could be considered for the 2009 awards, let me know, I will help you with the tech part. The ideas you gotta bring yourself.
Update: I think that, technically, the voting should be based on the posts of 2008, rather than current ones (the awards are happening a little late this year for reasons Mike explained a while back). Anyway, you can peruse Peace Arena’s 2008 archive, or go month by month during the year.
Okie Bloggers, you have till midnight to make your selections, so hurry!
I’m ashamed to say I had to leave some categories blank, because I just didn’t read enough (or maybe any) blogs on that topic. I guess I have a good excuse on the “family blog” one since I don’t have young kids around. But otherwise my only excuse is the political nature of 2008 and my own obsession. Maybe with 2009 being a non-campaign year, I can broaden my horizons.
Hopefully you got around on the Tubes more.
I’m pretty bummed about the Oklahoma Netroots losing two bloggers in one week.
John Sutter of Concrete Buffalo (formerly of the Oklahoman and its Go Green blog — which apparently has been deleted) got a gig in Atlanta is already on his way. He also did some great work for The Gazette while he looked for steady work that ultimately took him away.
I don’t think John was from Oklahoma or whether he labels himself “progressive” but his reporting and blogging certainly were helpful to those of us interested in bringing Oklahoma kicking and screaming into a “greener” era. John’s offering to turn over Concrete Buffalo to an Oklahoman who wants to continue his investigations into the state’s environmental sins (many) and wins (a few) — if you are interested, leave a comment here.
Hopefully we can keep up with John through his personal Twitter account.
In a few days, Ethan of Sinister will leave Tulsa for Portland. This is a huge loss for Oklahoma’s profile in the national Netroots. Sinister is one of the few Oklahoma blogs with pretty significant national/international readership and influence. He’s out and proud as a Jew, as a gay man, as a progressive, and was not one to suffer fools. But he was also fair, and willing to listen to rational arguments on all sides.
Sinister the blog will continue (Ethan has turned his attention to Oregan politics already), and I’ll keep reading, but not having it originate in Oklahoma is such a loss for us. I hope other voices like his can fill the void soon.
I wish John and Ethan much success and happiness. I hope they can show their new communities that Oklahoma has a broader range of perspectives than is typically presented.
Woo hoo! My little blog is now on the blogroll of The Lost Ogle, the funniest blog in Oklahoma — of those actually trying to be funny.
I expect to see lots more incoming traffic now, because (it can be revealed, now that my evil plot has been realized) those boys are really radical pinko activists I smuggled in to turn Oklahoma blue.