I did a bad bad thing

Starting in January 2006 I started blogging for SanDiegoBlog.com. It was a community blog run by my dear friend Joe Crawford (one of the smartest guys I know). I blogged off and on for almost 2 years. The ads he had running on the site pretty much paid for hosting– his hope was that if it ever started to make money he would construct some sort of profit sharing, but it hadn’t come to that yet. No forms were signed, just kind of a internet hand-shake.

Joe, being the smart guy that he is, sold the blog. It was the wise thing to do. He had moved to Simi Valley with his lovely Leah Peah (another dear friend) and wanted to focus his energies on his new life up north.

Unfortunately he sold it to a guy that (1) has cluttered up the site with ads; (2) never ever emailed me (or any of the other regular or occasional bloggers that I am aware of) to introduce himself or to ask me (or any of us) to continue writing -or not and (3) there’s no info about him or about the site on the site– a personal pet peeve of mine especially if this is a business, which clearly it is.

And so my words are making him money (keyword based ad revenue). It ticks me off every time I get a notification of a comment– usually a SPAM comment– on one of my old posts. (Note I have not contributed to the blog since October 2007).

SO, since I can’t delete even my own posts, I edited them all…. they are now blank. Nothing more than empty (keyword free) space under some pretty catchy titles (if I do say so myself). Note my personal favorite title was “Oooo eeee” (for you Justin Wilson Cajun’ Cook Fans) to announce a Cajun Music and Food Fest taking place in San Diego.

My most commented post ever (47, baby) was “Wake Up San Diego”

Your city planners are trying to enact an Oversize Vehicle Ordinance (OVO) that will affect ALL citizens of San Diego. ALL vehicles over 7 feet high and or over 22 feet long, ALL utility trailers, and ALL recreational vehicles would be prohibited from overnight parking on city streets. Recreational vehicles, as defined, could park overnight up to 72 times per year only with a valid permit issued by the city. The San Diego business community will be drastically affected as the OVO includes street parking in industrial areas.

Note to any potential commenters on this issue, it is dead, decided, and I no longer live in or near San Diego so it’s not my issue anymore.

My personal favorite post was “Is San Diego a Literary / Artistic Wasteland”

Maybe I’m just naive. Maybe I just like Rich Baiocco. And maybe, just maybe, San Diego does have an arts community… and maybe, just maybe you have to open your eyes and look around. It’s there. Like Winter in San Diego its subtle, but it’s there.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out the interview with UCSD’s Lit professor / poet Eileen Myles (she’s ready to move to LA because San Diego isn’t gritty hip enough for her):

Alone in San Diego: Gritty New York poet Eileen Myles struggles with life and work in a shiny, happy city by Emma Silvers

and local writer Rich Baiocco’s response via BlogSanDiego, I, Necrophiliac

So, SanDiegoBlog readers…. you know where I stand, so I put it to you. Is there art in San Diego? Can you be an on the edge, over the edge, standing on the ledge artist in San Diego?

That one didn’t draw as many comments –only 8– but it did get picked up by The Reader. And I got paid for it!

So all in all I don’t regret the time and words I spent at San Diego Blog, but it really would have been nice if the new owner had made some sort of effort to either keep the community going, or let us know what his plans were for the blog….

So, instead of taking Joe’s advice, “You might even offer up constructive criticism of the site to him, rather than go in with guns blazing,” I just deleted all my words, killed my darlings as it were…..
I am now free to be ABQ aging beauty bloggeras noted on the tags (see right column) of this very blog…. or participate more on Duke City Fix — a true community blog / social network site for people that dig life in Albuquerque… or, hey, do my homework! write my book! (grad school update coming up next)

or do another bad bad thing….

Community Blogging in San Diego

As you may or may not know, I used to contribute to SanDiego Blog. In fact, I almost bought the domain from Joe Crawford after he moved to Simi Valley, but I decided if I was going to pay $1500 or more for the website, to really make if pay off, I would have to treat the venture like a business. After some careful consideration– taking into account that I already had a job and I’m writing a book– I passed. Some other guy bought it, and in my opinion has run it into the ground. It is now cluttered with ads, and spam comments are allowed to pass through. The saddest part of all is that no one posts on the blog anymore.

There are other community blogs, like the KPBS Cititzen Voices project— but that is strictly political, and of course limited to the six authors selected. Blog San Diego is another community blog, but the focus there is arts and culture. Both have great content, but are hierarchically focused rather than being true Web 2.0 network / social media sites allowing the community itself to determine the content.

So, with the demise of SanDiegoBlog, I was kind of excited to see that the Union Tribune is finally embracing social media. They just launched SD Backyard which appears to be a media rich social networking site.

I admit, I ridiculed one of their early attempts at Web 2.0– “America’s Finest Blog” and still think it is too stiff and boring, but this new site looks promising. Users can participate in online discussions, write their own blogs, flog events, and even upload video.

It will be interesting to see what the community wants the site to be, to see how the Union Tribune handles this site, or whether the publishers will step in. (remember the L.A. Times Wikitorial?)

If I weren’t moving to The Duke City in July I might just jump in and start community blogging there….

Do you community blog? if so, where?