I discovered the megabloggist community that does 30 in 30 by freak chance, as I explained in an earlier 30 in 30 post. Since then I've grown to become friends with a number of people from that group, spread out across the other side of the United States (& Israel). Only recently did it occur to me that just as this community of people with similar blogging styles was out there in the blogosphere and only found by chance, there surely must be other isolated communities of bloggists similar to these waiting to be found! To find and them and unite the groups would be a great event in the history of the blogosphere! And so I commenced BlogSETI.
And so E.M.O._.S.N.A.L. personnel set about erecting huge satellite dishes and dispatching probe droids to the distant reaches of the blogosphere!
(actually I did this a bit ago, so some of the results my no longer be active)
The obvious start was to do searches by interest. Searches for specific things like "the blogosphere," or "technique and craft" yielded only schoolofblog, our own central command, so I had to go with more generic interests such as "blogging." Unfortunately these generated a ridiculous number of results so the best I could do for a point of reference was look for aptly named communities. It turns out there are several communities dedicated to rating or recommending livejournals, but even those approved by these rarely were worth my time, and led me to the realization that livejournals worth finding aren't going to be in such a community. I did find the real trophy of these search in this way though, but I'm saving it for the end of this entry for suspense purposes.
And so I moved on to Phase II -- findings weren't going to emerge from any kind of rating or recommendation community, I was going to have to find a way to narrow down the field of individuals. This was done through use of more specific interests such as "rapier-like wit."
In all cases livejournals that clearly did not have potential were weeded out through harnassing that blogological data and taking a quick glance at their stats. And you all said I was mad! Having analyzed the statistics from my previous study I determined that the most consistent indicator of livejournals in the target group was a comments recieved to made ratio of parity or above (reception of more comments than made), so I quickly moved on from livejournals with low ratios, but generally took a look at the journal itself if there was parity or better and no other obvious indicators of lameitude.
Now our target group isn't all megabloggers, but megabloggers who take an interest in the blogs of others. Thus amazing megabloggers such a hipstomp (omgwtf 1285 friends-of), whom I discovered during the search, wouldn't count because he barely comments even in response to comments in his own lj. What we're looking for is a community (in the unofficial sense of the word) of megabloggers.
So I'd find someone that looked like they had potential. At this point I was becoming delirious so I couldn't really read and evaluate the quality of writing of these livejournals anymore, so aside from a healthy level of commenting, I looked for livejournals that took the time to integrate links and pictures into their entries. Then I looked at the comments and looked for people that commented frequently and engaged in multiple comment strings with the author -- thus potentially implying that they might be the kind of friends our target community is made of. Then I'd investigate their livejournal to determine megablogness.
So I was delirious at this point so its up to you guys to evaluate these livejournals but these are the leads I had generated by the time I was tired of it all. Potential Group 1: nowaitbutlisten (she finds some interesting stuff to post like this and this), and michaelpop (almost exclusively writes about music, but makes good use of links and pictures, and hey you all like music right?), Potential Group 2: newboro, i_and_i (despite the white on white font), and fisticuffs. Potential Group 3: pavel_lishin is the first one I found in this group, and the only one I think the casual observer is likely to find above average, but several of his friends, such as efriesen and xed_geek, look like they could be roped in to something like 30 in 30, maybe for next year.. (=
Also surrealcereal looks like she has the target blogging mentality but I never got around to finding more members of a group around her (incidently I found her using the old method of seeing who falls in the connection between me and someone else, based on the idea that people closer to my friends lsit are more likely to be interesting to me, it tells me which of someone's friends is most likely to be interesting to me. In this case she was part of the hipstomp > surrealcereal > incomple > emosnail chain).
But the most interesting result of all, as I said I found in Phase I. It was a community of bloggists, that, get this, decided to blog every day for a month!! Those loons!! And they did it in April. The community: ljblogathon. Its more oriented toward writing than toward entertaining (as our 30 in 30 is), with several of their participants apparently writing fiction for many of the entries.
So what now? Is blogSETI to be dismantled and abandoned? Certainly not. As I mentioned, after looking at dozens and dozens of livejournals I became rather blarney, so (A) I could use the help of the rest of you in looking at the relative results and telling me what you think has potential. (B) there are a number of communities that rate journals, but too many to process them all and no clear indication of which ones are better places to look than others -- obviously these communities need to be rated. The communities I speak of are: _awesome_ljs, _journalreviews, acquaint, youcantwrite, journalreviews, journaltypes, journal_ratingz, journalrating, ljratings, ljreview, rankyourlj, ratemyjournal, review_you, _ljratings, cool_ljs, kickassjournals, rateit. See, way too many. We need to pare that down to those with reliable results. If you think you can assist in taking a gander at one or more of these communities and giving me any thoughts at all on them it will greatly assist the Cause. And perhaps you'll even find an lj or two you like in the process? This task is being consolidated here.
(C) General SETI should continue. It remains an important objective to find other bloglife out there in the blogosphere. In particular, brave new ways to carry out the blogSETI task must be developed. As such if you have any advices on carrying out this task I'd be pleased to hear them. I remember there was a downloadable little program I'd found awhile ago that would show you visually the interconnectedness of livejournallers.. that would be very useful in identifying groups. Or there was kind of a meme going around I think which would show what "cliques" a user was in -- that is groups where all members have all other members friended. I no longer have either of these at my disposal but if someone could point me to them that would be awesome. As such, I remain dedicated to blogSETI and so should you!