Roll Out the Blogs

In Here's the Spin, News by Louise Norlie

Many online disability magazines, including Audacity and Ragged Edge, have added a listing of personal blogs. Many personal blogs also feature a listing of other related blogs. These are nicknamed “blogrolls.”

I have spent many hours drifting through these blogs and am overwhelmed with not only their increasing quantity, but the quality and relevancy of the writing contained therein.

The topics discussed on these blogs are diverse. Some blog entries treat very serious topics, including dealing with depression, living with chronic pain, family strife, and accessibility issues in the academic world.

Blogs are obviously great opportunities to connect with others around the globe and share experiences. Other entries discuss current events and analyze the treatment of disability in media news releases, and find those insidious indications of able-ism that are below the radar screen of many.

The wording in the many internet articles on Eloysa Vasquez, a woman with osteogenesis imperfecta who recently became a mother, has been a hot topic on these blogs.

There are many fine examples of blogs out there. Take a look at the blog of NotGillianMcKeith, which you can reach through the Audacity personal blog department. This blogger lives in London, so American readers can get a glimpse into accessibility issues across the Atlantic.

In her February 6, 2006 entry, she discusses commuting within the city and troubles with ‘priority disabled seats,’ as they are termed on buses in the U.K. Another fine blog is that of Lady Bracknell, who also resides in the U.K.

Her witty, amusing prose is always a treat. Her February 18, 2006 entry analyzed the often confused definitions of the social and medical models of disability.

One fascinating phenomena is the increasing intersection between personal disability blogs and what I will term ‘established websites.’ Contributors to disability magazines may have columns on the online magazine as well as a link to their blogs where you can read more of their writing.

The merge of the two is bringing an extraordinary vitality to the content of both, encouraging everyone to update more often.

If you are a disabled blogger, you can have a link to your blog added to the blog list on a disability magazine like Audacity and thereby gain additional visitors. The aforementioned Lady Bracknell writes for BBC Ouch!, which in turn provides a link to her blog on the website.

Now for a confession. I do not have a blog as such. I lack the necessary inspiration to record my daily affairs or comment on world events. To some people like me, a maintaining a proper blog appears daunting. Not every blog is fully successful.

Occasionally while going through a blogroll, I find a derelict blog, one that hasn’t been updated for several years. When a blog hasn’t been updated for a few months, it is already a sign of sickening, and when a blog hasn’t been updated for years, it is in many ways dead, abandoned to the Internet.

Unlike other abandoned possessions, no one else can pick it up, dust it off, and use it for his or her own. The original owner probably forgot the password, but as long as the server is undisturbed, the blog will linger.

As melancholy as a blog last updated in 2000 seems to us

in 2006, imagine what it will be like to find a blog in 2050 which was last updated in 2006. Yet at that time, there may be something extraordinary about an old blog. The thoughts and occurrences recorded there might be valuable as historic documents.

So try to blog if you can, and have a link to your blog added to Audacity’s list of personal blogs. You never know what may come of it.

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