Saturday, February 13, 2010

Soundpolitic Upgrades the Blogroll

A quick update today before retiring to write the Sunday post and an inaugural trial submission to the Altamont Enterprise.  I'm pleased to introduce the Soundpolitic Blogroll, over there to your right.

These are my personal favorites.  And some are worth a brief description.  No links are provided here because I'm frankly a little worn out from HTML editing.  But their rather closeby and I'm loving this Post Editor's ability to bold, italicize, and underline...

The Home Pages are straightforward.  I start off just about everything with a Google search these days, and often have lots of fun Googling myself.  Head over there, type in "Colin Abele" and see what you find!  Try it on'll be amazed, I promise.

The other two links are to the first blogs I ever created.  My first creation was on DailyKos, which I joined in December 2005 as the 71,892nd user.  They've got hundreds of thousands now, but I don't go there as much precisely because it's so huge (and because some posters there put way too much emphasis on how low your userID is).  Even then, I didn't get much attention there, and my old stuff is rather laughable.

I started getting some diaries rescued there in 2008 when I started to blog on The Albany Project as user number 691.  My first post there is dated February 5, 2008 and began covering the Congressional and State Senate primary elections in NY-21 and SD-46 during that wild election year.  The good folks at TAP decided my stuff was good enough to promote to the front-page and most of my diaries were recommended.  I'm rather proud of the blogs themselves; some of my comments, not so much.  It's one thing to use a blog to round-up the weekly news and report on debates in greater depth than the papers and conduct 5,000 word interviews with Congressional candidates.  It's another to yell and scream and cuss at commenters.  I hereby swear that practice off.

Continuing below, I've compiled what I consider to be The Best of the Capital Region Blogosphere.  These are all either New York State or Albany area blogs relating mostly to progressive politics.  My favorite would have to be Andrew C. White's The 10,000 ThingsAndrew is a fellow TAPer and his work tends to focus on Buddhism just like mine.  He's quite the role model.  If you like Soundpolitic, you'll like his work even more.  Below, we have The Albany Weblog, published by the Dean of the Albany blogosphere, Dan Van Riper.  He's still at it and I hope he keeps going, especially with his Save The Pinebush material.

Also of note are some blogs that could use some love.  Democracy In Albany was kind of an Albany Project for just the City of Albany.  But it appears it went kaput just after the 2009 elections.  This is a damn shame and I hope DIA can find the time to revive this forum.  Going even more local, Eclectic Populous is a tiny Ning that a group of my friends from the Hilltowns started up a couple years back.  We never really utilized it to its full potential, so I'm spear-heading its revival every chance I get.  This will be a great way to keep in touch with childhood, teenage, and college years friends as well as work on some visionary activism projects like Forever Rural.

A quick word on Upstream is an order.  This blog is not of the same progressive persuasion as the rest of those linked to.  The writer is definitely of the conservative Republican variety, so don't go there if all you want to get is one side of the story.  That said, I consider him a good writer and we've always been courteous to each other.  Listening to the other side never hurt anybody except the emotionally fragile.  Give it a whirl if you're in the mood for a disseting opinion.

Finally, I include my Zen & the Art of Blogging section.  At the top is my biggest influence, Brad Warner's Hardcore Zen blog.  His books have titles like "Hardcore Zen" and "Sit Down and Shut Up!" that served as my true introduction to the practice of Zen and zazen meditation.  The practice pretty much translate to "just sitting" which is all it really is and all you really need to know.  He just puts things in such a way as to make the practice very accessible (and downright hilarious!) so I'd recommend them to anybody with an open-mind and a funny bone.

Or a love of music.  While Warner is obviously punk rock based, Phillip Toshio Sudo's Zen Guitar is all-encompassing and was my first "Zen" book.  I recommend it to any musician, from a casual dabbler to an accomplished virtuouso.  Both guys are very, very non-preachy, by the way.  So was Mindful Politics, which isn't really a blog, just a way to order this influencial book.  If politicians and voters took a page from this, words like "gridlock" and "fillibuster" would vanish into memory.  In the same vein, Ethan Nichtern's One City was another book I read that focused on culture, politics, and the interconnectedness of it all that was thoroughly enjoyable.  I haven't checked out the blog quite yet, so feel free to beat me to it.  The book was good, so I'll be the blog is.

Thanks for reading this little run-down.  Hopefully I haven't reduced traffic by summarizing them!  And remember:

We're all connected!

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