Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard
Posted: 04/10/2011 02:40:31 AM PDT
The Humboldt Blogisphere, where increasingly more county residents go for information on natural disasters or local news, is part of a national movement of online citizen reporters.
Local bloggers can instantly pass on information that may not come from more traditional sources in times of emergency. A prime example of this is Kym Kemp's blog “Redheaded Blackbelt.”
Her online viewers are given up-to-the-moment information on area events. After the recent massive landslide on Highway 101 (Photo by Kim Sallaway posted on Kym’s blog), she provided emergency updates, links and photos, with help from her many resources. She's also a well-known marijuana activist whose articles have been published in national magazines like “High Times.”
I'm not saying we don't have great radio stations and print media. I am saying local blogs offer a wealth of information on all things Humboldt.
If you're a liberal, brace yourself for ridicule when you visit and make a comment at the Humboldt Mirror. This right-wing blog's “Bugs” like to slice and dice “Progs” (the slang for progressives). If you're a conservative, be ready for scorn if you stop by and make a comment at The Humboldt Herald blog whose motto is, “Provoking Humboldt Since 2006.”
Both popular blogs provide lively local news and political debate. The “Bugs” cutting-edge humor is one reason to read them. The author(s) of the Humboldt Mirror (Do Good, look good. Do Bad, look out.) are unknown, which is probably a good thing.
Equally mysterious is The Humboldt Herald's spokesperson, Heraldo, who seems to have a lot of resources when it comes to local government news. Check out The Humboldt Herald's blog list for links to the majority of other Humboldt County blogs.
Combining their radio expertise successfully with their own blogs are Tom Seaborn (shown here with Cynthia McKinney), program director for KGOE, the only progressive commercial news talk station in Humboldt County, and Eric Kirk, who covers Southern Humboldt and does a one-hour talk show on KMUD on the third Thursday of the month.
For local history I recommend a trio of blogs. “Lynett's NorCal History blog” has historical articles and old photos of Native Americans who lived on the North Coast. “Adventures of the Klamath Librarian” by blogger Adrienne R.S. Harling deals with the history of the Klamath River region. Adrienne is from Orleans.
The third one, “Ernie's Place,” features “Tales of the Eel River Valley and the wisdom of the people who live there.” Blogger Ernie Branscomb (shown on firetruck) finds time to talk about most anything, so the reader gets a blend of history and his wit and observations on daily life. Ernie is a businessman and a volunteer firefighter and very much involved in the Southern Humboldt community.
Another Southern Humboldt blog, out of Garberville, is called “Always a Vixen, Mostly a Vegan” by blogger Sundara. She features great vegan recipe, and her food photos will make you salivate. Some “down home” advice and insightful dishes make this a pleasant blog to visit.
And for just plain fun, there's “Planet Tapperass” by blogger Sal. He features a humorous quasi-competition for all Humboldt blogs each year. Basically, Sal introduces new, or lesser known, blogs to the Humboldt Blogisphere. This year it came down to Tom Seaborn's Blog and The Plazoid, featuring Tad, a local homeless activist. He also comments on local issues in Arcata. Tom Seaborn's Blog prevailed among some really tough competition.
According to Sal's website, he used the 2011 NCAA Men's College Basketball Division 1 Tournament to determine the winners of each match-up. He matched each blog up with a college team and then followed their progress. Tom Seaborn got the University of Connecticut Huskies, who won the championship this year.
I started my blog “As It Stands” nearly three years ago. I recall my early efforts at starting it up and how hard it was for me. I've always been technically challenged and nearly gave up the idea.
I'm glad I didn't, or I would have missed out on the online community that ties in so closely to our lives here. I got help from some local bloggers and endured. Setting up a blog these days is a more user-friendly experience. Even for people like me.
As It Stands, if you want a slice of true Americana, then check out a region's local blogs. You'll be glad you did.