I have been cheerfully solo-blogging out here at Lake Monticello and have been completely oblivious to long-established efforts by blogger Waldo Jaquith, who has been doing a creditable job of building a blogging community in nearby Charlottesville, VA.
Waldo created cvillenews.com, a community news blog about Charlottesville, VA, USA, in April of 1999. The fact that I had never heard of his blog shows only that the blogosphere is connected by word of mouth, not by massive and annoying barrages of publicity and 10-second spots on radio and TV. Nobody I knew had passed the word. Waldo figured out how to harness the power of the blogosphere to connect people locally.
Waldo has been doing his thing, rather a lot of things, like graduating from Virginia Tech in May of 2005, running for City Council, and earning slurs like, "Further left than Karl Marx!"
A man of many parts, he rides a motorcycle, has hiked most of the Appalachian Trail and he has a cute fiancee — they’re to be married on September 4. According to his bio, Forbes calls him a "grizzled veteran of the Internet scene". What’s not to like about this blogger?
Waldo is an interesting young man on the way up and I intend to meet him personally and find out what he plans to do next. I think he is someone to watch. He is already making waves in the blogosphere.
I discovered Waldo because he established an online aggregator for Charlottesville blogs. It’s updated every 3 hours, and lists all of the latest blog entries from bloggers in and around Charlottesville. It turns out that there’s a surprising variety in what people are talking about.
Once Ripples was included in the aggregator, I started getting hits from local bloggers. This online aggregator is a great idea for building communities of local bloggers. it also presages the development of unofficial local newsgathering networks. For example, Waldo’s weblogs provide a refreshing extension to local news coverage. When the aggregator content is considered, you get a 360 degree view of local life and politics.
If you bookmark the C’ville aggregator site or add it to your news reader, you will see what people are talking about in the Charlottesville area.
Now that I have discovered some of my area bloggers, I have to start a series on them. Stay tuned!