Thursday, April 26, 2007

A Thinking Blogger

Recently Christie of Cosmic Cat fame bestowed upon me the designation of Thinking Blogger. It's always nice to know that folks out there appreciate what you're doing, especially someone who runs a top-notch blog like Christie does. Not quite being sure what a Thinking Blogger is, though, I thought it appropriate to think about it for a few days...

Here is how Christie describes The Hill, since I've often wondered just what it is I do here:

One of my favorite things about this blog is that I never know what I'm going to find, but it is always something good. Current events and politics are frequent topics, with plenty of supporting links. Then there are the humorous posts, and lots of biographical entries. Great stuff!

The secret of my randomness is a simple one - I never know what I'm going to do myself until I sit down and start writing. One thing about focusing on current events/popular culture is that you have to dig deep if you want people to be interested. There's no point in blogging politics if you're going over the same old ground - most likely Kos and his stable of writers have already written about it ten times better for a million times more readers than you're ever going to get. So part of my approach lies in investigating the various nooks and crannies of the Internet that I've stumbled upon in years of surfing. So I spend a lot of my time poking around until I find something interesting to write about - which may sometimes take three or four days. Once I find something, my goal is to make it interesting for people who ordinarily might not give much thought to those issues, while keeping the attention of those who are regular readers of the more popular political and cultural blogs.

Then there are the days I see something interesting or unusual and just try to have fun with it.

Another way in which I've been fortunate is in making contacts with people who run blogs with a substantial readership. Thanks to the folks at Watching Those We Chose and Corrente for giving me a place to peddle my stuff if I think it deserves to be seen by more people than are likely to visit here.

So, what constitutes a Thinking Blogger? Some of my regular visitors have already earned designation as Thinking Bloggers. Congratulations to:

Christie (Cosmic Cat),
Beth (Perfect Neurotic),
Sonia (...and the pursuit of happiness),
and Gina (Just Another Day).

Ladies, be proud. Everybody else, go visit their blogs when you get a chance.

Or head over to the blogroll and pick out one at random. To paraphrase the Second Epistle to Timothy, all of these blogs are inspired and are useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living. You may not agree with all the writers, but they'll definitely make you think.

Before handing out props, the originator of this meme has laid down some ground rules:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme, and
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative gold version if silver doesn't fit your blog).

Here, then, are five fine folk who qualify as Thinking Bloggers. Recipients of this honor may do with it as they will:

Mixter's Mix. When considering Thinking Bloggers, Mixter came to mind right away. What I've been trying to do here - provide politics and culture with a personal touch and a sense of humor - Mixter has been doing for quite a while now. You could say that Mixter is a model for what I want to do. She's been a committed political activist for years, and once considered a run for the Wisconsin State Legislature. Mixter knows politics well, but some of her most poignant posts have been about her family and friends, and her own struggles with lupus.

Recently, Mixter has taken on a co-blogger named Yankee, Transferred. From what I've seen of her writing so far, she adds another quality voice to the Mix.

Welcome To The Revolution. Strannix is currently doing some remodeling at his place. When he gets everything put back together, check him out for some wicked analysis of Missouri and national politics, and sharp observations on popular culture. Strannix has the rare distinction of knowing more about rock'n'roll than I do. He's also the only rabbitblogger that I can think of. One of the Watching Those We Chose gang.

Blue Girl, Red State. Blue Girl is rapidly ascending the ranks of the big-time bloggers - her stuff has been noticed by Salon and Kevin Drum. While her political blogging skills get major-league recognition, some of her best stuff has been about her experiences as a military wife, medical researcher and teacher. The founder of Watching Those We Chose, this is my way of saying thanks for making me part of the team. When she makes the A-list, I can say that I knew her when.

The Mind of IrishWalsh. Walsh's blog seems to be in a permanent state of remodeling these days. He's not blogging so much at the moment, as he's spending most of his time pursuing entrepreneurial opportunities. If he doesn't start writing again soon, he's going to be best known as Sonia's brother-in-law. When he's on, he dishes up solid conservative observation with a healthy dose of humor. If you can't consider the viewpoints of those you don't often agree with, you're not really thinking.

Blue.Coffee. Naomi doesn't tickle your intellect, she hits you square between the eyes. Naomi has been deeply involved in electoral politics over the years, once mounting a challenge to Congressman Lincoln Davis of Tennessee in the Democratic primary. An uncompromising feminist and atheist, Naomi isn't for the faint of heart, but her posts are always worthwhile. She also blogs regularly at Martian Anthropologist and also on occasion at Corrente.