I don't really keep up with Jeffrey's stuff anymore. I sort of lost interest since he moved away from play-by-plays of hijinks at our local biblioteques. Those were hilarious. I will say, though, that I recently spoke with a woman on the street and she swore that Library Chronicles was the premier "must read" blog in New Orleans. I laughed— but she seemed serious, despite being a little tipsy. Then she violently thrust an empty Cisco wine bottle into what appeared to be a fat garbage can. So who knows?Who the hell knows what this blog is actually about? It's called "Library Chronicles" but it's hardly ever about libraries. I just happened to be in one on the day I created it. It's just as often referred to as Yellow Blog. I probably should have called it that. I started writing it at a time when blogs weren't expected to have dedicated subjects. I was reading some left-leaning national bloggers at the time (particularly Atrios and Tom Tomorrow and Josh Marshall) and so I'd say the general style and direction followed that model.. although the content did not always do that.
If it has subject areas worth mentioning beyond just the regular day to day news and socialism, they would be Saints football, Mardi Gras parades, and the occasional recipe.
For a while it was mostly about me (and Daisy) horsing around at work while learning how to do what would eventually come to be called "social media" long before it was actually called that. Then, thanks in large part to people like "Ricky Prado" and "Oyster" and Michael it became a way for me to have some company in "yelling back at the TV" a little regarding the perpetually sorry state of local and national public affairs.
And then there was Katrina and everything after. Suddenly a whole lot more New Orleanians had ample cause to yell back at the TV too. The NOLA blogosphere reached a critical mass of diverse voices such that it became a network (again, still before "social networking" was a thing) for New Orleanians to build a narrative of the city's recovery outside of the traditional media and political hierarchy.
Did that matter? I think it did. Different people will offer you different perspectives and examples as to where it mattered most. Fundamentally what it did was inject the rabble directly into the process of describing what was happening to them. People like to accuse New Orleanians of civic apathy. I think this is a gross mischaracterization. New Orleanians love to talk about New Orleans. They are fiercely opinionated about it. They are naturally irreverent and subversive and not at all afraid to act on those tendencies.
This is for the better and sometimes for the worse, of course. I'm no internet triumphalist and I've never been one to argue that post-Katrina New Orleans should be considered any sort of grand success story... or really a "success" at all. (The football team is better, I guess.) But I do think the interactive media dynamic causes things to happen differently than they otherwise would. Also, I think there's still time to do some good things.
Personally, I can say doing this has plugged me in to some of the things and people who make the city work in ways that nothing else could have. I've learned a great deal. Mostly what I've learned is how many more smart and talented people are out there than my grumpy post-adolescent self would have imagined ten years ago.
Many of these people happen to also be assholes, of course, but that's fine with me too. In fact, Things You Can Learn From An Asshole might be the most descriptive title for this blog. For now, though, we'll just have to make do with what we've done. And try not to be too ashamed.