I received a rather interesting e-mail from Cowboy Kahlil of ReachM High Cowboy Network Noose tonight. It wasn’t marked not for publication, and appeared to be sent to a BCC’ed distribution list. Since much of it was directly related to The Truth Laid Bear and my various projects, I think I’m within my rights & general blogging standards of courtesy to post it here, with my reactions.
I’m not trolling for hits, so please don’t regard this as spam. If I haven’t communicated with you before, please scroll to the bottom for an intro. This is lengthy, so you may want to read it when you have a few minutes.
If you review this and want off my address book, please say so (I only do a mass emailing once every 4 to 6 weeks, so I’m not too pesty…. and usually keep it brief.)
There’s several purposes in my writing you.
First, I’m trying to determine if email is a viable method of organizing left leaning folks. For anyone who hasn’t heard of the pending FCC decision Monday, today’s the last chance to phone your reps to try and block it. (A good source of info on this – among many – is Lisa at Ruminate This: http://www.ruminatethis.com/)
Another place I wonder if we can affect is within the blogosphere itself. After I started blogging late last year and became aware of the blogging ecosystem that rates blogs based on number of links-to, I was disheartened to find a redominance of conservative blogs online, and rated highly, though many were rather vicious (some make Rush look saintly) and/or poorly written.
The numbers have changed considerably, as my sidebar links of Lefties (Concerns of Likeminded Folks) demonstrate. Yet we still seem to be outnumbered by the Right in the rankings here: http://www.truthlaidbear.com/ecosystem.php
I’ve blogged about this a little, particularly about the absence of women bloggers in the top 50. Right now, I think the only ones are the conservative ‘A Small Victory’ (#16), Jeralyn Merritt’s excellent “Talk Left” (#19), Jeanne’s great “Body and Soul” (#24), and the conservative Rachel Lucas (#46). There are only 4 or 5 others in the top 100, all conservatives. It’s hardly an unwarranted affirmative action plan to push some more high-quality blogging gals into this realm, or to push Jeralyn and Jeanne higher. Link away !
Here’s where we get to the good part:
I know the TTLB system has flaws in its counting, while other systems are closer to the mark, putting techwomen like Meg Hourihan, Megan McArdle, Rebecca Blood and The Shifted Librarian in league with A Small Victory (all grouped from #49 to #63) and Scripty Goddess, Talkleft and Rachel Lucas (#79, #91, #95). But this isn’t the Olympics, folks…. 8 women in the first
127 isn’t because guys are more informative, amusing or prettier blog decorators. There’s so many women cranking out quality stuff that I can only think so many folks are missing because they haven’t read them yet.
I’ve tried to figure out that first sentence a few times (“…the TTLB system has flaws in its counting…”), and I guess I have to figure that Cowboy Kahlil has some divine knowledge of Truth against which he’s comparing my Ecosystem, and the others. In his crystal-clear vision, it would appear, Lefties (female Lefties, to be precise) are significantly more represented than my Ecosystem shows. (Other ranking tools are, apparently, “closer to the mark”). This is very cool stuff, this divine knowledge, and something I should have thought of long ago as a basis for the Ecosystem. I just took the wacky approach of actually, you know, counting links. Silly me.
Check your blogrolls….. of those discussing sociopolitical topics or tech topics, there’s Late Night Thoughts, Ruminate This, mousemusings, Burningbird, The Watch, MadKane, Totalitarianism Today, Mac-a-ro-nies, Moveable Beast, little red cookbook, Subterranean Homepage News, Free Pie, Sassafras, she sells sanctuary, Wampum, The Sideshow, Strangechord, by sand and sea, Space Waitress Gate A, Lisa Rein, Notes from the Atrocities, Pen-Elayne on the Web, Mighty Girl, Open Brackets, Burnt Toast, Omni-Curious, Sasha Undercover, Nurse Ratched’s Notebook, o2bee, different strings, Peevish, Magpie, But how’s the coffee?, Mirele’s Spiritual Outpost, Pissed Off Wiccan For Peace, brief intelligence, Plucky Punk’s Happy Land, Random Thoughts, Annatopia, Rayne Today, karmalised, Riba Rambles, Blaugustine, Ginger Mayerson, Civil Liberties Watch, Suburban Guerrilla, Beyond Corporate, Oops, did I say that?, Suddenly Routine, Trish Wilson and others too numerous to list here.
(I hope I didn’t mislabel any; my memory’s not perfect…. and I’m sure there’s centrists in the group, too.)
Centrists? Horrors. I thought I banned their kind. Damned fence-sitting weenies.
Many folks take The Truth Laid Bear (TTLB) ecosystem as gospel;
It’s not? Why am I wearing this damned uncomfortable cassock then?
but dangitall, there’s too few perfectly respectable women preachers that just ain’t gettin’ proper pulpit time.
To his credit, TTLB is trying to give lesser-knowns a temporary high ranking with his New Blog Showcase Contest underway. A woman’s in the lead, but a rather harsh conservative one.
And we know those harsh conservative women aren’t real women. Lesbians, all of ’em. Or, er, housewives, all of ’em. Or something. Anyway, not real women, definitely not the right kind of women. Or, um, left kind…
The Lefties trail with the last count due tomorrow morning. Though there’s no Lefty women in it, there are some great ones, which I gave examples of here:
Cattle call: Link to the Left:
Missing one, I added one at the bottom of this post:
Blogger Roundup #8 for May ’03:
Can we organize to give the women a higher place? Many have earned it. Can we organize on behalf of some Lefty newbies? I say we can. Even if you’re fussy with a short blogroll, I’m certain you’ll find some fine surprises you’ll be happy to add.
I thought I’d seen it all, but this is some pretty impressive stuff. Somewhere in here, I think, Kahlil sweeps right past advocating for folks to seek out new and interesting voices, and blasts right through into championing frickin’ affirmitive action for weblogs.
Am I overreacting here, or is this crazy-talk?
As for anti-liberal bias in the Ecosystem, we’ve been through this before, and I thought we put this issue to rest. Beyond dumping that huge number of liberal weblogs into the Ecosystem, what, exactly, could I do that would prove that there is no anti-liberal bias?
Help me out here, folks…