To start with the question “What ARE blogs?,” they’re simply a type of website that’s updated frequently, with the newest articles at the top of the home page, and comments allowed. They’ve become ubiquitous because of their ease of use, and the more conversational and casual writing style that most bloggers use.
When blogs began in the mid-2000s many were personal diaries and political ranting from the proverbial basement, but now every field known to mankind has a lively blogosphere. So blogs about science, law, economics, and foreign affairs are typically where the best, most up-to-date conversations are going on, usually by recognized experts in the field. There’s that word again – conversation; that’s what blogs are especially good at creating.
So when News Review staffer Marat Moore asked me to update Greenbelters on the state of blogs in Greenbelt I jumped at the opportunity to discover the local blogs and help direct readers to them. Here’s what we have, so far…
Greenbelt 2012 is the photo and text blog by Erik Zhang. It was a one-year project documenting life in Greenbelt in its 75th anniversary year, and he did such a terrific job that Erik was voted Greenbelt Citizen of the Year in 2013! Though it’s no longer being updated, it remains on the web as a reference. It chronicles the activities of almost every organization and business in town, and lots more goings-on in 2012. Erik’s also been generous with his terrific photos, allowing groups he photographed and blogged about to use them for their own promotional purposes, and of course many of them link to the article he wrote about them on Greenbelt2012.
A blog I follow closely (to the surprise of my friends, who know I’m no Fashionista) is Wardrobe Oxygen, Alison Gary’s fashion advice blog that’s been online since 2005. The niche Alison fills, and the reason I love this blog, is appealing to “women who often find fashion frustrating, unattainable, or overwhelming.” She uses her experience dressing women of varying ages, shapes, and income levels to show that women over 35 and size 10 can love fashion.
Almost a decade old now, Wardrobe Oxygen is one of the top 25 followed fashion blogs in America and has been featured in The Washington Post, Redbook, U.S. News and World Report, and Lifehacker.
Read more about Alison and Wardrobe Oxygen in this article on Greenbelt Live.
The brand-new Greenbelt Girl is a wonderful, more personal blog by Heather Brooks about living here. Click here to find out why she started the blog and what it’s about. It promises to be really lively.
And then there’s this blog, Greenbelt Live, launched in the summer of 2012 not long after I moved here. I thought it would help me get to know Greenbelt and boy, has it ever. And an unexpected result has been discovering and then trying things here that I’d never have explored without the excuse of writing about it. One recent example is my tour of our awesome Fitness Center, which led to my hiring Little Dan Celdran as my personal trainer, and becoming part of the friendly community of people who use the weight room.
I call Greenbelt Live a community blog and a team blog, and in my experience with team blogging, the more the better. So contributors and columnists, contact me! It’s a great way to write occasionally, without the demands of keeping your own individual blog updated frequently.
Next Greenbelt Blogger?
Blogging can be absolutely free (see Blogger.com), super-easy technically, and potentially very rewarding – though usually not financially, but ya never know. In 2005 my first garden blog quickly turned into a second career as a garden writer. And through blogs I’ve become friends with garden writers/bloggers (the lines are blurred by now) all over the English-speaking world – and yes, I do mean friends who get together in person. For seven years now we’ve gotten together in a different city to see the best private and public gardens in the area, and just hang out and have fun.
I could go on; I’m such a big fan of blogging. But I’ll stop and simply invite other Greenbelters to give it a try, to ask for help any time, and to let me know when your blog goes online and I’ll add it to the “blogroll” in the right sidebar.