I’m starting to realize how incestuous my tumblr and twitter feeds are. This makes sense, up to a point, since I follow people and organizations that are relevant to my interests, and at some point those interests will overlap. It would be more weird if nobody on my list followed anybody else on my list.
Still, I find that I see the same post multiple times. First good posts something, then Mother Jones reblogs it, then one of my friends picks it up. What makes it more weird is when the same link shows up in my Facebook feed or on Twitter before I see it on Tumblr or the original website.
And speaking of Twitter-cest, I sign on sometimes and sign right back off because all I see is a bunch of people I follow chatting with each other. Not that it’s not cool. That’s why I follow Rucka, Bendis, Brubaker, Fraction and Kelly Sue. Those five are like a bunch of 14 year old girls. It helps that four of the five of them work together, and that two of them are married to each other (it’s totally Bendis and Fraction, BTW.) I follow cool people with cool things to say, and if Twitter isn’t for obsessively following and commenting on the latest semi-celebrity keyboard effluvia (I’m looking at you, Warren Ellis) then what is it for? But sometimes it gets a little old to see the same small group of people commenting on the same events using the same words.
The exact same words, too. It’s not even a case of quote-unquote anymore. It’s “reblog” and “retweet.” Can’t think of anything to add? That’s okay. You can simply present the information with no context and let other people make of it what they will. I’m guilty of copious reblogging and retweeting myself on occasion. Sometimes I just want to share a picture of a cat doing something cute. Nothing more needs to be said. The world will not be richer for my having added an “AWWWWW ♥” to the link. Twitter is a little tricky, because of the character limitation, so rather than slapping “IAWTP” in front I’ll just catch and release the link with no modification.
While my beloved Mother Jones and a few others are bright lights of exception, there’s not a lot of original content out there on the internet. There are a lot of opinions, which is fine. But it’s not excellent, it’s not great. Opinions are not facts or information. Opinion is the frosting of the cupcake. It’s what people see, it’s how people judge the cupcake (or in this case the internet). But really it’s just butter and sugar and food coloring. It’s good but it’s a cupcake. Not a cup of frosting.
So where am I to go for the cake of my metaphorical cupcake? I’m not really sure, but I’m sure enjoying reading a select few blogs. The blogs I like are the ones that have something to say. The authors do things; they cook or create or act or dress really really well. They inspire me to get up off my ass and DO something, even if that something is living a little more interestingly.
And yet the blogs I love will languish unread for weeks or months at a time. Why? After Anna the Red publishes a new bento nothing else will do but I must attempt it. I have to limit my reading of Stephen Fry’s blog because if I don’t I gleefully quote him all day until my friends are ready to kill me, fearing that I’ve been possessed by the disembodied spirit of large Englishman.
The reason is ease of access. I’m spoiled. If I can’t access my favorite website in one click, or on one page, I probably will visit it less and less. Do you know how many clicks it takes me to pull up the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books website? Three. Three clicks. Do you know what the address is? The title of the webpage. It’s not hard to remember. And I STILL go maybe once a month.
It’s sad that genuine content is lost in the echo chamber of the internet. I’m not sure what the solution could be, since people are constantly developing tools to shorten the distance between point A and point B, which makes us expect it. If only I could have a dozen homepages…
If I could, it would be these (in no particular order):
(ETA: shit, this is a long post. Thanks for reading.)
What are your favorite blogs and websites? What MUST be added to my list of daily links?
Off Our Chests — Making the world happier, one lady at a time. Oh wow, that makes it sound like some sort of p0rn palace. But seriously, it’s what they do. (Not the p0rn, the happy.) Great discussions happen there and it’s a growing community so it’s only going to get better.
Apocalypstick — I have a total blogger crush on Almie. SO BAD. She’s clever and sassy and but not obnoxious and if you’re not reading her blog you’re missing out. She’s legit, too. She writes for Ms. and College Crush and the forthcoming Hello Giggles and was featured by Bitch Magazine. And on that topic…
Bitch Media/Bitch Magazine — Omgbraingasm. I love this magazine so much. My dream job is writing for them FOREVER. It’s a feminist look at pop culture of all kinds and I’m kind of in love. Here’s how in love I am: I ACTUALLY BUY THE MAGAZINE.
Bust Magazine — This is the other magazine I buy, which also has a decent online presence. It’s totally a demographic magazine (20-something, politically liberal, college-educated, aspiring/currently professional, environmentally conscious, DIYer women) but that doesn’t make it less enjoyable. (Also they have short erotic stories in of the magazine. AW YISS)
Mother Jones — The one. The only. Love your mother. My mom read Mother Jones in the 70s when it first came out. If you’re interested in politics you have to read Mother Jones. It’s kind of mandatory. Also they do good snark. (MoJo also has a tumblr.)
Good — Like Mother Jones’ little brother with more fun and random.
The New Republic — I’ve just scratched the surface of this lovely website (lovely as in content) so I’m not sure yet what to make of it but I love their book reviews like a fat kid loves cake. Actually, I’ll just link to their books and arts page because lord knows I hardly ever read anything else there.
Smart Bitches Trashy Books — Okay, I lied, I love this website like a fat kid loves cake. Fun, maybe not the best thing for me, but I CAN’T STOP MYSELF, colorful and spicy? Perfect analogy! SBTB reviews romance novels with their brains turned on. Also they hate Twilight and plagiarism so I’m down. (SB Candy lives in P-town! BEST COAST) These bitches are like my dealer. “Hey, Brooke, I’ve got the good stuff here. A new book by SB Sarah. Yeah, you heard right. This shit is legit.” (Or whatever it is drug dealers say.)
Anna the Red’s Bento Factory — The queen of bentos! She makes beautiful kyara-ben (character bentos) and has simple recipes and instructions for how to make your own. I can’t tell you how useful her site has been in teaching me how to feed myself.