Category: ORBlogs

ORBlogs 2.0: Where we stand

Save ORBlogs Now!The outpouring of emotion, passion, and volunteerism that erupted last week—upon the news that ORBlogs was shutting down—has been nothing short of amazing. And I’m honored to have been part of it.

Thank you very, very much to everyone who read about the situation, commented, blogged, spoke, and wrote about the effort to save ORBlogs. The response was incredible. And please, to paraphrase Betsy Richter, don’t take the lack of communications as any sign that things aren’t happening.

Rest assured, things are moving.

And in an effort keep everyone in the loop and to keep the momentum going, I thought it would be wise to provide an update.

In short, John Metta of Hood River has taken up the gauntlet and is moving forward—at an accelerated clip—on figuring out how to bring an Oregon blog aggregator back online. He’s got a great plan, he’s working on creating a project site, and he’s established a mailing list to discuss ORBlogs 2.0. You can also follow John on Twitter as Mettadore.

John is in touch with Paul Bausch, ORBlogs creator. So hopefully, we’ll hear more soon.

And as I’ve mentioned before, while John has graciously offered to take the lead on this project—and has already been exceedingly active in that regard—it will still be important to figure out two things:

  1. How do we thank Paul for five years of supporting ORBlogs, our blogging historical landmark?
  2. How do we, as a community, support John as he works to transition to ORBlogs 2.0?

Getting involved and staying involved is the first step. I’m really looking forward to see where this goes.

Can ORBlogs be saved? [Update] Yes, it can

[UPDATE September 5, 2008]: Paul Bausch, the creator of ORBlogs was kind enough to respond to my email. His feeling is that while we may love the work that ORBlogs does—and how it works on the front-end—that the back-end was more spaghetti code than anything else.

As such, he suggests:

I’d be happy to dump a list of the active blogs, my db schema, or answer questions about how this or that works to get someone else up and running. But I really believe the code would do more damage than help—someone should make a new Oregon blogging directory of their own.

Great news! And, now, some work for us to do.

Thanks to those who have commented below offering their support. I will definitely be in contact with you on this project.

And if you’re interested in discussing this in person? Why not swing by Beer and Blog this evening at the Green Dragon where we’ll be discussing ORBlogs 2.0.

And I just got a tweet from John Metta that expressed a concern that this might lead to it becoming “PDXBlogs.” A valid concern, to be sure. But not the intent. While the bulk of the blogs currently indexed by ORBlogs are from Portland, it is my charge to help keep this discussion focused on an Oregon blog resource, by Oregon, for Oregon.

In fact, John may be our ORBlogs knight in shining armor.

Original Post

One of my primary inspirations for starting Silicon Florist was ORBlogs, a blog aggregator for Oregon-based blogs run by Paul Bausch.

It taught me that “thinking global and blogging local” could be a very viable way to communicate. And it taught me that—despite the ability to access information around the world—people are actually still quite interested in what their neighbors are doing in their own backyard. And saying. And writing.

And ORBlogs was the premiere source of that neighborly information. The stream of content that was “blogging in Oregon.”

But now that stream of information will be running dry. Sadly, it was revealed today that ORBlogs has decided to close its doors.

Paul writes:

I’m shutting ORblogs down now because the site continues to grow and the job of maintaining the site at the level I feel is necessary to keep it valuable has grown with it, putting it out of the bounds of a hobby. I wasn’t able to make ORblogs self-sustaining financially (let alone turn it into a job), and I can no longer devote the time to the site that it needs to grow. Blogging has changed significantly in five years, and blogging is no longer a hobby for many—it’s a job. Commercial blogging isn’t as interesting to me as the personal web and that factored into my decision as well.

After reading Paul’s news, I was kind of sitting dumbstruck. At a loss for words.

It really took the wind out of my sails. It was a complete punch in the stomach. For a number of us.

And no discredit to Paul. He bootstrapped this thing for 5 years. Five years! That’s like a millennium in internet time. I totally get it.

It’s sad news, to be sure.

Whoa, tiger. Who says ORBlogs has to close?

But then I quit moping.

Does it have to be? I mean, I was always taught the whole “if you love something, let it go” thing. But, quite frankly, I’m not willing to let this one go.

Paul built a resource that rallied—and completely codified—the Oregon blogging community. And that, my friends, is far too valuable to let slide by the wayside.

Because it’s actually bigger than Paul now. Too large for him to manage single handedly, for sure, but something that needs to continue. For the community. And for Oregon.

And if Jeff Martens, Aaron Hockley, Steve Woodward, Ryan Williams, Betsy Richter, Jack”Bojack” Bogdanski, Josh Bancroft, Doug Coleman, Gary Walter, Greg Hughes, Jim Mock, Curt Hopkins, Lizzy Caston, Rich Claussen, and Banana Lee Fishbones are any indication, I have the feeling I’m not alone in this opinion.

I’m not willing to let ORBlogs go softly into that good night. And I’m hoping you’ll join me and the folks above in finding a way to prevent that from happening.

Let’s save ORBlogs!

Are you in? Please comment below. And let’s make this happen.

We need to take the burden off of Paul, and manage to save this resource at the same time. I’m hoping you’ll join in the good fight and lend a hand.

[Update] J-P Voilleque has established a FriendFeed room to support the “Save ORBlogs!” campaign. Please join in!

ORBlogs releases iPhone interface

Corvallis-based ORBlogs, the Oregon-focused blog aggregator, has announced the release of an iPhone interface. Interested users can access the simplified iPhone version via m.orblogs.com. (You can access that URL via a Web browser, as well, if you’re interested in a really big interface.)

ORBlogs’ new interface provides a stripped down view of its site content:

[Y]ou can browse all posts, Oregon-related posts, popular posts, and the top 15 topics from the last seven days. Clicking a post excerpt will take you directly to the post on the original blog.

iPhone users will also be happy to know that there is a custom icon for your iPhone desktop, if you choose to add it as a Web clip.

More is planned for the m.orblogs.com, including city-focused pages similar to those found on the ORBlogs site.

ORBlogs is run by Paul Bausch, one of the original developers on Blogger. An admitted side-project, ORBlogs provides a valuable resource to all Oregon-based bloggers by aggregating stories from across the state. For more information, visit ORBlogs.