Saturday, April 23, 2011

Round the New England blogging traps 23 - five blogs

It is a bit over two months since my last formal blog round up, although I have written several posts since then that link to New England blogs.

I now have sixty blogs on my list. Even though not all are active, it's still a bit of a task following them up. A plethora of riches, if you like. I could use feeds more than I do, but that many feeds are actually difficult to manage.

The blogs that I follow are not all New England based, this one is not. The rule of thumb for inclusion is that the blog is written by someone from New England regardless of where they now live. In reviewing, my key aim is just to give you a taste of the richness of New England life.

Take this morning's post on my personal blog, George Negus, watermelons & the meaning of words. Here you have the first Bellingen Writers' Festival, then something of a dispute between one of Australia's leading TV personalities and a senior lecturer at UNE that goes to the heart of the meaning or perceived meaning of words.

I write this blog not just for those living in New England nor for the now huge New England diaspora, but also to interest others in New England life. To that end, I am going to focus today on just five very different blogs. Normally in these round-ups I refer to specific posts. Today, I am going to focus on the blogs themselves, putting them into their context.

I want to start with a blog that I often disagree with and that largely ignores me, especially since we had a dispute a while ago.

North Coast Voices is a political blog written from a left of centre perspective. This is a group blog that focuses on the Northern Rivers and especially the Clarence Valley. To my knowledge, it's one of the very few regional blogs with a consciously political focus. The content is an eclectic mix of broader stories with specifically local content. The political bias may put some readers off, but the blog also contains local content that you won't find elsewhere.

Bronwyn Parry is a romantic suspense writer. She is married to another New England blogger Gordon Smith whose main blogs - lookANDsee (photo blog) and Old news from Armidale and New England - get frequent references here. Bronwyn's blog, Bronwyn Parry, is part personal, part about her writing, part about other writers working in the same broad genre.

New England has and has had a remarkable number of writers. I really only found out how many when I started actively writing on New England issues. If I didn't know, I doubt that anybody else does with the possible exception of John Ryan!

Some writers are concentrated in particular spots like Armidale, a university city of 22,000 people that per head of population has arguably more published authors than anywhere else in Australia. Others live remote.

New England is pretty big. When Bronwyn visited fellow author Nicole Alexander who lives north west of Moree, it was a five hour drive. You can read Nicole's interview with Bronwyn here.

Lismore born James O'Brien now lives in Sydney and works in radio. His James O'Brien blog provides ample opportunity for James to pursue things Swedish (to say that James is in love with Sweden would be an understatement!) as well as local commentary and posts on his New England past.

In a Woodsrunner's Diary, Keith Burgess (Le Loup) focuses on the frontier, North American and Australian. Want to know how to load a flintlock gun safely? Keith will tell you. Keith's blog is part historical enactment, part bushcraft.

It may seem eccentric, and in some ways it is. That's part of its attraction. However, the work of Keith and others like him also provide insights into history because they actually try things. Want to understand traditional Australian Aboriginal life? You actually have to put your boots on the grounds to do so.

Craig Wilson's Media Hunter provides digital, social and traditional media news, as well as marketing comments. Craig is located in Newcastle, New England's big city. His firm services local clients, but also has a broader focus.

Like the other blogs that I have named, you don't need to be from New England to enjoy the discussion. Of course, it all depends on your interests.

I read Craig Wilson for professional reasons, as well as the New England connection. I read Keith Burgess because of my historical interests, as well as just plain curiosity. I read North Coast Voices because it helps me keep in touch with one area of New England.

Five blogs, five very different approaches.              


Nicole Alexander said...

Hi Jim,
have just found your blog. Thank you for mentioning me. I'll promote it via facebook and hopefully round up a few more followers for you. Best Nicole Alexander

Jim Belshaw said...

Hi Nicole and thanks. Jim