I’ve been kind of isolated on my site so far. I want to open it up a bit and start interacting with the rest of the community. One example of opening up is interacting with my fellow bloggers. In case you didn’t know, there are a couple really good bloggers here in NC. Most of them are climbers, with Doris Sanchez’s climbingjourney.com, Rob Fogle’s climbsoutheast.com, and Erica Lineberry’s cragmama.com, but there are also Kevin MacAbee’s astrodoorways.com and Aimee Ahrons’ physioworksnc.com. Full disclosure: I’m helping Aimee build her website (it’s only mostly completed at this point), so I am a bit biased, but I her work is amazing.
A quick summary of why these guys are awesome, in case you’re unfamiliar.
Doris travels a lot with her job, which affords her the opportunity to climb nationwide. She writes about her travels, from up North at Rumney, to out West in Heuco or Clear Creek, all while maintaining her perpetual cheerful outlook. She reviews some gear and generally shows you why her life is awesome and you wish you were her :).
Rob is a stroooong dude. He’s the newest comer to the climbing blogging scene around here, but has written about his 5.13 FA attempts, thoughts on traditional ethics (always a fun topic..), and general updates on days at the crag. If you wish you were climbing outside this weekend or wish you could climb hard as crap, reading his stream-of-consciousness posts will put you in the shoes of someone who is probably doing both.
Erica is the veteran when it comes to climbing bloggers. She started writing years ago and has picked up a huge following. She garnered the attention of climbing mothers at first, as she focused on what it’s like to raise a child while still climbing hard as crap. The fact that she climbed 5.11 the entire time she was pregnant just shows how dedicated she is. Now, she’s gotten some sponsorship attention and has spread her writing focus to more general topics (reading about her attempts and conquests of various 5.12s in the area always makes my palms sweat!), but her down-to-earth-ness and bad-ass-ness still shines through.
Reading about Sharma sending his latest project in Spanish heaven is all fine and good, but if you want to hear real stories about weekend warriors, these are the guys to follow.
Now I love climbing, but the last two, non-climbing sites hit closer to the reason I am writing this post.
Aimee’s site is brand new, and the blog is just getting started, but she plans on writing a lot about practical information to help you stay healthy. She is a professional Physical Therapist, so she’d be writing about preventative care, increasing your knowledge of your body so you can be safer, and injury treatment techniques. As a climber, knowing someone who is formally trained in the physical works is super helpful. She’s been helping me recover from a finger tendon issue using a new-ish technique called trigger-point needling. It uses tiny needles kind of like acupuncture, but instead of working with “meridians” of the body, she places the needles where it hurts and the pain magically goes away! This is only one of many techniques she uses (I’m just a special case)–most of the time, massage or electrical stimulation is plenty to get you feeling right again.
Anyways, her site is a bit different because it is the formal online storefront for her company PhysioWorks, but she’s still blogging about something awesome and that’s freakin cool.
Finally, Kevin’s astrodoorways.com. It’s pretty amazing. In short, he is pulling images from the web that were taken from space missions and compiling them into full scale pictures/videos. The science behind it is some relatively complex web crawling/indexing, and he is writing it all from scratch. Wow. A lot of his posts are above my head (they’re apparently not above everyone’s head, as he’s been recognized by some pretty cool people for his work), but the images are awesome. Some of them are more low-fi black and white (because taking and transmitting images from space is hard maybe?), and remind me of the Twilight Zone, and others are just straight up full res and awesome.
The cool thing about his site is that he’s creating this image database for public use. There are so many mission images out there that one person couldn’t compile and clean-up all of them, so he’s creating a place where anyone can go in and grab what they want. This has never been done before. What have you done that’s never been done before?
Who Should Blog and Why?
That brings me to the initial question. It was actually given by my buddy J.D., when I asked people on Facebook what they’d like to read about. So, here’s the long answer to your question, J.D.!
Blogging provides an opportunity to explore and write about subjects that you wouldn’t get to in your daily life. You’d never have time to hear about every one of Doris’s travels or what it takes to compile a freakin awesome image like this one of the Venus Transit of 2012. So much of people’s lives is behind the scenes and really cool. Having a blog gives an outlet for this long-form type of content. Many of us have a couple hours to kill every night, so why not spend it reading about sweet stuff your friends are doing instead of watching that 4th season of Breaking Bad? A newer, cooler TV show is going to come out every year, but this stuff is happening right now.
I guess that’s why you should blog. Part of it anyways. As far as who should blog, I’d say it would be people that think they have something to share. To me, it doesn’t matter what the subject is–if you’re passionate about something, I want to hear about it. If you’re building something that has never been built before, I want to see it! We’ve only got about 3,000 Saturdays to make an impact, so why don’t you do something about it, and then write about it?
It really gets to the heart of a core belief of mine, which is that people should spend their time doing something awesome. There’s too many people out there content with mediocrity. Starting a blog may seem like a insignificant solution to that problem, but the blog is just where you keep track of the awesomeness. Maybe it will even inspire you to create some.