July 17, 2006 in Business

Blogspotter: The whole world wide in 101 blogs

Frank Sennett The Spokesman-Review
 

Remember the ad for broadband service where a guy surfed the Web so quickly he came to a screen proclaiming, “Congratulations: You have reached the end of the Internet”?

The blogging explosion has put the dream of fully exploring cyberspace even further out of reach. But if we’ll never discover the mythical end of the blogosphere, we can at least take some interesting journeys through it.

Tired of browsing through the usual Favorites folder suspects? Visit Blogger.com and click on the “next blog” button under the “random blogs” header. Most sites hosted by the free service post the same button on their main pages, so you can use the function to take a Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride through blogworld.

My Friday getaway included 100 Blogger sites. When I came to one without the “random blogs” button, I accessed the next page from Blogger.com. Here’s what I discovered:

“Many bloggers view spelling and usage rules more as suggestions. Some even seem to do so purposely, such as the proprietor of my tour kickoff site, Native Resistance! “I am first and foremost a humane-being,” he wrote on a blog dedicated to resisting “the Evils of the Amerikan Corporate Empire.”

“The random search function might have a wry sense of humor. The second site was Annales Hiezecihelium, in which a Southern law student explores “faith, politics, Vanderbilt sports, and life in general.” I’d love to see him and the Native Resistance! guy start a dialogue about American (or Amerikan) values.

“It’s a big, big world. Want to read an ode to “Battlestar Gallactica” in Portuguese? Get yourself over to No Passeio (one of seven Portuguese-language blogs on my tour).

“If celebrating last-place bicycle racers is more your speed, visit Tour de France Lanterne Rouge. We know blogworld features every topic and language imaginable, but actually seeing that play out click by click is impressive—and a bit overwhelming.

“No matter how high-tech the mode of expression, some basic human experiences never change. “I found out today that someone very close to me has a girlfriend now,” reads a post on Is It Love. “I never expected to feel the way I did about it. My heart actually hurt, and my jaw dropped to the floor.” Takes you back, doesn’t it?

“There’s a voyeuristic thrill in stumbling upon other people’s photo collections. Jodi Lee of Columbus, Ohio, the pictures of you and your friends lounging on that concrete couch sculpture are fun. Thanks for creating the Snapshots blog.

“These random explorations will turn up a few gems. A Teacher’s Day, the diary of veteran Chicago educator Michael H. Brownstein, is engrossing and inspiring. From a recent post: “A great pick up basketball game by the hoops. A fantastic game of tag by the slides. Some of the best double Dutch jump roping you ever saw. There was even a contingent of seventh graders discussing trigonometry and their class essay assignments. Wow.” (In the guilty-pleasure category, Bored at Work was a minor hoot.)

Although I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon only one spam blog and no porn, there were about 30 sites I’d never visit again for every worthwhile discovery.

So start your own random journey. But I bet you’ll come back to curated blog lists, search sites and (hopefully) columns like this one when you’re done.

Drilling down

LiveJournal.com has a random blog option under its search header. It took me to Behind My Smile… Are the Things You Will Never Understand. It was my favorite blog title of the journey (although Artsy Fartsy Shopaholic Goes to Law School ran a close second).

For a list of all 101 sites, visit the Blogspotter blog at the address below.

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