17 August 2018 Ideas Life

Long live the blogroll

Buy local, eat local, … read local?

In today’s digital media landscape, there are a few giant tech companies that control most of what we read.

Their algorithms are tailored to feed us the most sensational, cringeworthy, funny, viral stuff. They dredge up the popular posts from the slurry of so-called “content” out there, and track our attention down to the millisecond.

These platforms push us to interact with them on their terms, and they make it so damn easy. As I spend more and more time consuming this content, I’ve found a steady decline in my desire to create.

So! What can we do about this downward spiral?

As it turns out, there have been a bunch of folks happily blogging away at their own websites this whole time. People that still have an interest in writing, rather than “producing content” for their social media followers. I hope I can join their ranks again. I’d like to give my blog more love. I’d like to read more peoples’ blogs. I’d like to surround myself with writing that isn’t calculated to maximize clicks.

To that end, I put a call out on Twitter (ironic, I know) to see who’s still blogging in Waterloo Region. Where are the indie writers at?

The ensuing discussion brought 64 blogs and email newsletters to my attention. Sixty-four writers in Waterloo Region with topics spanning art, technology, urban homesteading… And we’re just scratching the surface.

I’ve created a simple website at wrblogs.samnabi.com which offers a combined RSS feed of all those blogs. You can also follow @WRBlogs on Twitter, which tweets out links from that same RSS feed.

I’m excited to try reading and writing more on my own terms. And I think I’ll build a deeper connection to my local community while I’m at it.

Sam Nabi

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