A reporter called today about the Best NWT Blogs contest. By the way, if you haven’t voted yet, get over there right now. I mean it.
I told him that I’m surprised there is almost no media coverage of Web 2.0 in our territory. The media’s favourite stories always involve themselves, so most of the mainstream media in the rest of Canada is falling all over itself to either 1) clasp blogs to their breasts in hopes that some of the coolness will rub off or 2) insist repeatedly that blogs are not worth a second of their time.
So perhaps the silence is newsworthy.
You see, Web 2.0 is a huge part of life here. The Internet is the easiest way to keep in touch across great distances, and there’s no place with greater distances than the Canadian Arctic.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t fit into the little box we’ve set for ourselves. That box tells you a few things about the Internet in northern Canada:
- It doesn’t exist in some communities. We are completely cut off from the rest of the world! Best not to mention it at all.
- It’s not relevant to our lives. Unlike city dwellers, we prefer to commune with nature. We don’t relate to other people through our computer screens.
- We’re not comfortable with technology. We definitely wouldn’t use it to communicate with strangers.
As you can see, there’s no way anyone could be blogging in northern Canada. No need for anyone from the media to pay us any attention!
I told the reporter that I did not jump headfirst into the blogging community; in fact, I was very hesitant to be public about it for the first year. I started just as Name of Paper Withheld printed a hatchet job about a friend of mine. She has a blog, too, and I remember my white-hot fury at the paper’s implication that she was involved in something very shameful because she was “posting information about herself on the Internet”. (The nerve!)
That moment kept me from telling anyone but my friends and family about my blog for many months. Goodness knows what Name of Paper Withheld might think of me. (Blogger Calls Self a “Writer; Thinks We Cant Use Punctuation. Or Blogger Claims David Hasselhoff Is Hot; Poses Shirtless.)
I eventually decided I wanted to be a part of whatever community we have up here. I struggle with the idea of being a “northern blogger”. I’m not sure that I really am one: I’ve been here too long to pull off the wide-eyed newcomer shtick, and I’m pretty sure that this blog is not particularly northern. In fact, I think it’s the same blog it would be if I lived anywhere else – only a few of the details would change.
Seriously, go over there and vote.