Monday, December 13, 2004

The local snooze

Maybe we should all stop with this blogging thing. Well, no - because I've had too much fun with it. And I've pulled a couple of friends onto the wagon with me. But in today's Washington Post, Howard Kurtz writes about "open source journalism," which is so-called news written at the neighborhood level. People would write about really local news on these sites, such as animals that have been tearing through garbage bags, great lawn-care tips, or little Suzie on the corner now selling Girl Scout cookies.

This is starting in Reston, VA with a site called, but could soon be on its way to a neighborhood or community near you. Where did the idea come from? Blogs, my dear Watson.

My favorite quote from the article? The founder of, Mark Potts, licking his lips at the possibilities these sites could create. "What happens if two people go to the same council meeting and write two different accounts of it?" he said. "Fantastic. Controversy is great."

The great thing about blogs is that they can be anything the writer wants. We all think our own lives and thoughts are interesting enough to justify this forum. I just hope stuff like Backfence never finds its way into my life. I'm thinking about conversations I've had with my uncle's friend who thinks the drama among members of the management committees in her condominium community is so interesting. "I should jot down the conversations for you, Ian," she's said. "You could make a book out of them." Yes, I could write stories of that bitch Lois around the corner who made a face at Margie because she hung wind chimes on her patio. Or the whispers Gloria receives because her son might have ADD.

I'd rather plunge my head into a toilet after I've rid myself of stomach flu. It's bad enough I have to hear that shit over coffee at Tim Horton's because I chose the wrong time of day to visit my uncle.

What would John Cheever do?