We work best, and certainly most effectively, as a community. A sense of community gives us strength, allows us to share ideas and solutions to problems, can work on the various tentacles of a problem at the same time, and there is often greater influence in numbers. The internet is certainly a great tool for joining far-flung individuals together, and web-sites and blogs are a critical element to the dissemination of information and ideas.
As Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” But I don't need to sell you on that idea.
There are a lot of web sites with specialized knowledge and good ideas, and one way to make it possible to share that info and those insights is to link to them on other sites. Most sites have links, but these web synapses are often poorly maintained and sometimes the lists are far too short.
I know what happened with my list, my "Blogroll", on DailyKos.com, and I suspect it's what happened to others sat other sites. When I registered on DK and wrote my first diary I was encouraged to make a blogroll. I made a quick list, and I haven't looked at it since.
My idea here is to stimulate a little housecleaning, with the goal of strengthening the community by suggesting that sites and blogs create "more and better" link lists.
I figure an easy way to start is to just use my own daily path through the web, and maybe giving you some sites that you're not familiar with.
I start at Huffingtonpost.combecause it's a general news site with an emphasis on things I'm interested in – primarily politics and the economy. They have an excellent set of links at the bottom of their main page, broken into news agencies and blogs. And each sub-category (Politics, Economy, Sports, Celebrity, etc.) has a page of its own and a set of links specific to that topic.
I use the main page's set to go to http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/ Paul Krugman's blog. He's the primo source for info on the economy, and politics that relates to the economy (and sometimes just politics). It's amazing that more sites don't link to him – this slight is what prompted me to write this diary entry and list sites that should be, but often aren't, in the link lists of various web pages.
If Krugman has a Times column up that day I go from his blog to the column, via the link on the right side.
There are no external links on Times sites so from there I type in the easy to remember www.DailyKos.com. The list of links at DK is at the bottom of the main page and it's sparse. But it's not a dead-ender (a site with no worthwhile links). The link I use is to Atrios.
Eschalon, by Atrios,http://www.eschatonblog.com/ is made up of very short entries, often with links embedded, and they're sometimes cryptic unless you're on top of everything. Duncan Black (Atrios) is brilliant. He has great and unique insights, and has a great knack for the telling phrase.
He also has a fairly long list of community links on the left margin of his blog, as well as headlines from four current stories from Media Matters. The MM stories are often well worth reading, especially Boehlert. MM is a dead-ender, so hit Back on your browser to Eschalon.
From Eschaton/Atrios I click on http://patriotboy.blogspot.com/ for General J.C.Christian. He's not linked in a lot of places so I take advantage of the link here. He also has a unique link list which carries the titles of the latest posts at various sites, many rarely listed elsewhere, and you can click on those or the complete blogs. I discovered some good sites this way.
I usually click on http://www.rightwingwatch.org/ the home of People for the American Way. Not many people link to them but they should, it's a very good site.
I Browser Back to the General and I click on Hullabaloo. the Digby link http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/. (I think it was Atrios who originated or popularized "What Digby said" as a popular shorthand web post, linking to a Digby blog entry.) Anyway, Digby/Hullabaloo is great. A nice list of links, too, though not updated (except to remove The Daily Howler link. The Howler is weird, his thing being chastising Liberal columnists and sites for what he regards as impurity. He sometimes makes good points and is worth an occasional read, but he frequently goes way the hell off base so I don't visit often.)
Digby's links include BartCop http://www.bartcop.com/ and few others do. They should. He only updates twice a week now but always with a sense of humor. BartCops links under "Link Roll" and "More Links" aren't updated (he still leads off with Altercation, a site that went dark in 2006) but contain a lot of good links not often found elsewhere, especially if you clock on More Links. I use the Links to go to:
Democratic Underground http://www.democraticunderground.com/ which has a nice set of links down the left hand side but in a light gray. But I go back to BartCop for the infrequently updated and rarely listed http://www.gregpalast.com/ and http://www.evilgopbastards.com/.... and the daily updated http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/
The Rude Pundit has a nice list of links, but in an even fainter gray than DU. Yuck. Near the top is the not often seen link to the Esquire Politics blog and Charles Pierce. Good stuff. I click the link. http://www.esquire.com/... They have a surprisingly good set of links.
Then I click on http://www.motherjones.com/.... Good stuff, and a series of links to the most popular current stories on Mother Jones site which is handy if you don't subscribe (you should). But it's a dead-ender as far as other links so Back to Esquire and Pierce and click on Matt Taibbi at http://www.rollingstone.com/... one more site not linked to often enough. At the right are a group of links to his Rolling Stone articles, too. A dead-ender for links, though.
And this diary entry is getting to be too long......
So what I think I'll do is list some blogs and web sites that I think should be included in the link lists at a lot of other blogs and sites in our community. They would help expand the community, inform the community, and enthuse the community.
Those I've already mentioned, in a nice neat list:
Others that should be in link lists:
http://americablog.blogspot.com/ (also one of the best lists of links - on their old site. They scaled back badly on their new site. Wrong move.)
And, you might take a look at your own Blogroll on DK if it's been a while since you created it. (Yeah, yeah, I'll update mine soon, too, I promise.)
Any other suggestions for links that should be listed on more sites in the community?
A Southerner in Yankeeland