rambling: blogs, news, everywhere

I have a more private site that I keep as my own private little portal to security news, virus information, resources, tools, links, papers, and on and on. Every now and then I add a few sites to my links and remove a few defunct sites.
But every now and then while browsing news, I read on some site that “so and so” has more information, or “from the site of such and such.” And I end up following 5 links deep to 5 different sites all reporting on the same news tidbit. Then I realize what has happened and I say to myself, “wow, there’s a ton of blogs and news sites for tech news and opinions” (as I type one out here myself!). I wonder how cut-throat some of these link-relationships get? I’ve seen blog wars where someone feels they didn’t get credited or where people of differing views post in their blogs their reactions and then wield their viewers and commentors like some botnet to swoop on the other and comment-spam them, escalating the all-out blogosphere war. Ugh.
It is sobering the effect of the web as a way to express oneself, to self-publish, to create, to share, and share with. Even the most stubborn hermit still has that need to share his or her thoughts with at least one other receptive person, and the web is such an easy outlet to masses. There are times when I feel like heading out to the mountains, just me, nature, spirituality…and an Internet connection. 🙂
I used to run online gaming league/tournament/community sites, and I know the amount of effort and dedication it takes to keep something popular on the web. It was tough 5 years ago when I finally “retired” from that, and I can’t imagine how much tougher it is now, especially when you’re not just offering up something unique and fun like digg.com. Then try to find all the digg copiers or slashdot wannabes or every other blog out there that tries to act very self-important and get fans and followers. People like me who add that blog to their short (but growing) list of weekly visits. I can’t imagine how tough it might be to always put up meaningful content, opinions, and original substance on a technical blog or tech site…especially for me, someone who does not yet have something unique or original to share (someday, I think so).
But then I look back and see why I post here or even on my personal site. It is much the same way I might keep a journal (girls call it a diary, journal is more manly) next to my nightstand or in my backpack. It is a way to document my thoughts, and also comment on and document news stories. When 9/11 occurred and every blog in existence posted comments, it was not all because they wanted to be part of the news megasphere or get readers or even self-publish. That was an important event in their lives, more than worthy of being in the journal…only today’s journals are more able to be public and commented on. I definitely need to lighten up on my lashback of the blog effect on the web.
At any rate, there are blogs and tech news sites all over. There are weekends where I grab something warm to drink, and spend the morning or evening following the blog links. It is much like roaming down an unknown state park path, taking in the sites. Click a link, check that person out, look at his or her link list, pick another that looks interesting, and just roam randomly. Sometimes I pick people from Iowa, sometimes security/hackers (I love wandering into the sites of people whose names I might recognize from the scene, but who have grown up or moved on and their site remains as it was 5 years prior…), sometimes just random people with cool site designs or ways of writing. Sometimes I am looking for new people to add to my bookmarks, sometimes just checking out site designs for inspiration, sometimes just bored.
I wish I could keep up with such a huge community, but there are not many jobs that pay for that kind of a hobby, and in all honesty, I wore out my “online life-living” back in high school and college with IRC, IM, forums, gaming, and other things not worth mentioning, and it really never got me all that far anyway. As it is, I am one of those people who just looks for useful and meaningful blogs and sites to bookmark on my private page, to visit again over the months and perhaps even pipe in and comment to the author, perhaps making a friend or colleague in the process. It is always a sad event when one of my links gets removed, either from lack of updates or lack of updates that are useful to me as either I or they have moved on to other topics or phases of life.
For those that know what it means, I’m feeling just a bit QQ today. 🙂