Mar 11, 2010

Rurality blogging

A Google search for "rural" and "blogs" yields over fifteen million results. Of course, the vast majority of these links are dead ends when looking specifically for blogs focused on rural life, but spending just a few minutes weeding through the first two pages presented several relevant sites. Following links from within those blogs presented even more results. All in all, there are a plethora of blogs dedicated to discussing personal experiences as well as political, social, and economic issues in rural areas.
The presence of these blogs demonstrates that there is a substantial niche for those interested in the issues of rurality. Not only does this niche exist, but the Internet has provided a place where individuals and groups from all over the country, and even the world, can gather to expose these issues to a large audience. Blogs in particular ensure that rural issues are not relegated only to those concerned individuals living in rural areas or those studying sociology at academic institutions because of their generally accessible writing style and personal feel.
Granted, unless one is specifically looking for these blogs, the chances of stumbling upon them are somewhat limited. However, it is more likely that someone will find out about rural issues by bumbling around the Internet than he or she would by perusing scholarly literature, simply because most individuals do not casually browse scholarly articles.
Increased exposure to rurality issues could lead to increased concern and ultimately increased focus on solving these issues. In terms of the Symbolic Interactionism paradigm, rural issues have moved from small, local theatres to the big stage of blogging on the Internet. The authors of these blogs play a particular role when creating new entries, trying to convey a specific rural issue in a way that will engage their audience. Their primary audience is their avid readers, those dedicated to rural issues. But then they also reach that secondary audience, those that stumble upon the blogs by chance. It is that growth in numbers of concerned individuals that can make a difference in problems facing rural areas.

Various blogs about rurality:
Sustain Rural Alaska,
Anchorage Daily News, The Village (A Rural Blog),
Blog for Rural America,
Rural Matters,
The Rural Blog,
Rurality Bytes,
Legal Ruralism,
The Rural Populist,

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