This happens to me all the time: I'm reading an item on a Web site that suggests that I read something at another site: ("Skippy over at Blogadelic gets it right. Read the whole thing here.") Hmmm. Sounds interesting, I think, so I click and read Skippy, and he suggests a link "over at Digeridoo's place," who then sends me to Roxanne, who links me back to where I started. Dang.
If you're a regular Web surfer, especially a blog-addict like me, I suspect this happens to you as well. (In my case, it's partly because I read a lot of self-referencing blogs, most of them about politics.) But despite the fact that blog-surfing can be a never-ending circle game at times, it's a growing addiction.
The mouse is the new remote. People follow postings at their favorite Web sites with the devotion of soap opera fanatics. I know folks who make daily rounds to blogs and Web sites like old-time wilderness hunters used to check their traps. In fact, I'm one of them. My route leads me through progressive politics (Daily Kos, TalkingPointsMemo, AmericaBlog, Wonkette), conservative politics (TownHall, FreeRepublic), news (Reuters, Drudge Report, The Raw Story, MSNBC), local folks (The Flypaper Theory, Half-Bakered, Smart City, and the Flyer, of course), and even personal stuff like my New Yorker son's band's site (myspace.com/themanagement, in case you're interested).
To name just a few.
So many sites, so little time. Nobody even knows how many blogs exist, but the most recent estimate is around 17 million. And yeah, that's a lot of traps -- more than you could check in several lifetimes, so I can't prove this. But I'd be willing to bet the 17th-million site would send you back to the first one.
Bruce VanWyngarden, Editor
In the 14 years I've been the Flyer editor, I've gotten lots of hate mail. It mostly used to come in envelopes filled with pages of scrawled handwriting. I read them and put them in the wastebasket, chalking it up as a natural by-product of writing for a liberal paper in the conservative South. Lately, the angry folks have switched to email, and it comes in waves ...
Exactly seven years ago this week, I wrote a column decrying a proposal by city engineers to turn the Overton Park Greensward into an 18-foot-deep "detention basin" designed to stop flooding in Midtown. The engineers claimed we'd hardly notice the football-field-sized bowl. "Except," I wrote then, "when it rains hard, at which time, users of Overton Park would probably notice a large, 18-foot-deep lake in the Greensward. Or afterward, a large, muddy, trash-filled depression."