Link me up, link me in November 26, 2009Posted by dolorosa12 in blogging, internet.
Tags: internet, writing
Many of the posts on Geata Póeg na Déanainn are inspired by debates, stories and essays I’ve read elsewhere online. As you probably know, I’m an avid reader of blogs; you can see most of my favourites listed in the blogroll to the right of this post. My favourite thing about the internet is the way it’s made it much easier for like-minded people to come together and discuss the things that fascinate them. The internet, for me, has become like several overlapping circles of cafe chairs where people who think about the things I think about can gather together, sip their virtual coffees and share their collective wisdom, anecdotes and enthusiasm.
I thought I’d walk you through my favourite corners of the internet. It will be ‘a day in the virtual life of Ronni’, as it were.
My first port of call on the internet is always Livejournal. I started off using Livejournal as a way to stay in contact with high school friends who lived in different towns during university, but I soon spread my wings into Livejournal’s numerous communities. I follow everything from Fantasy With Bite, a community devoted to discussion of left-field fantasy novels, to What Was That Book, where people can post half-remembered details of books in the hopes that other members of the community will recognise and name the forgotten book.
Several of the authors’ blogs I read are on Livejournal: Kate Elliott and Jo Walton have particularly fine blogs there, full of details about the writing process, the publishing world and the science fiction/fantasy community.
But my favourite place on Livejournal is probably Metafandom, which, as the name suggests, is a community devoted to gathering links to all the interesting meta posts that are setting the fandom agenda on any given day. I appreciate Metafandom in particular because it links to off-Livejournal blogs that LJers otherwise may not stumble upon.
I like Livejournal’s friends-page feature. It’s one of the most useful elements of the site, in that it gathers all the new posts in blogs one reads in the one place. I suspect that I would read even more blogs more avidly if they were also on Livejournal.
However, I do step outside my LJ comfort zone for quite a few outstanding blogs.
Abigail Nussbaum’s blog ‘Asking the Wrong Questions’ is one of the best review and commentary blogs out there. I might not agree with all of her opinions, but I greatly appreciate the detail that goes into every post, and the depth of knowledge from which she is writing. I’ve always tried to model Geata Póeg na Déanainn on Nussbaum’s blog, and I hope that sometimes I come close!
Hal Duncan’s blog, Notes From The Geek Show is another fantastic one. Duncan’s posts are witty and knowledgeable. They’re often very long, but are well worth reading.
John Scalzi’s blog, Whatever, should be the first port of call for anyone wanting to know what’s going on in SF/F, publishing, or the places where writers meet online. Scalzi blogs on a wide range of topics, and can always be relied on (as can his commenters) to provide erudite entertainment.
After you’ve checked out Whatever, you’d do well to visit Boing Boing. If something is happening on the internet, it’s happening at Boing Boing. The site, a ‘directory of wonderful things’, is geek Mecca. Posts range from the quirky to the disturbing, from the nostalgic to the political. There’s a strong focus on reforming copyright law, which is the pet cause of all the Boing Boing bloggers.
I find it hard to explain why my two favourite authors’ blogs are those of Neil Gaiman and Justine Larbalestier. They couldn’t be more different. Larbalestier’s is much more the typical author blog, with a focus on the writing process and the broader concerns of young-adult and ‘genre’ literature. Gaiman’s is much more like a stream of consciousness, and posts tend to be on whatever the hell Gaiman wants. What they have in common is a genuineness and warmth, and a real sense of carrying out a conversation with their readers. I’m a reviewer, and I sometimes have real trouble navigating authors’ dysfunctional websites. If all were as wonderful as Gaiman’s and Larbalestier’s, the world would be a much better place.
The next two blogs focus on a particular interest of mine: feminism in pop culture. Tiger Beatdown is a fabulously intelligent look at that subject. The blogger, Sady Doyle, writes irregularly on a wide range of texts, looking at them in relation to feminism. I particularly enjoy her INTELLIGENT USE OF CAPSLOCK. The Hathor Legacy is also a blog focused on feminism in pop culture, but its concern is reviewing texts to see if they pass the Bechdel Test (that is, do they have two women who have a conversation about something other than a man). It’s been useful to me as a place to get recommendations for books, TV shows or films.
The final blog I will link to here is The Intern. It’s written by a woman who worked as an intern in a publishing house over the summer, and it’s a really good (if often depressing) look at the publishing world from the inside.
I could mention more places, but the blogs I’ve linked to above are my main ports of call (aside from friends’ blogs, which I also read at the same frequency, but aren’t really the subject of this post). They’re only a tiny fraction of the myriad fascinating conversations that are going on all over the internet, but they’re my fraction, and they’re quite enough to be going on with!