Why are the most obvious things always the last things to come to mind? In other words, why haven’t I written about the Charlottesville Blogs site yet?
Realizing that I hadn’t written about it yet for this column was like the time I was giving a stranger directions to the Rotunda that involved many lefts then rights and stoplights and such. When I had finished with my directions, the friend I was with just looked at the stranger and said “Go three stoplights down, make a left and drive straight.” “Oh, right,” I said, feeling like the idiot that I no doubt appeared to be. And that’s how I feel now: I’ve been sending you the roundabout way, but really, Charlottesville Blogs is the direct route to Charlottesville’s online community.
The site is the work of longtime Charlottesvillian and one of the city’s online pioneers, Waldo Jaquith (also the man behind Cvillenews.com). Updated every 15 minutes, the site features various posts from a bevy of local blogs on topics ranging from the Meadowcreek Parkway to high school football to thoughts on why one should go to the grocery store. In addition to aggregating local blogs into one, the site also provides links to each of the blogs it posts from. It’s all very democratic and, if you have a blog that you want Jaquith to include, all you gots to do is e-mail him your link.
As one might expect, a lot of the stuff on there is boring or pointless in and of itself. However, what’s really interesting about the site is the many voices that you hear when you read it. Scrolling through is like being in a crowded coffee shop and eavesdropping now on this conversation and now on that one and then on the one across the room. You’re suddenly surrounded by people and thoughts—a community if you will, a Charlottesville. And that, to me, is very, very cool.