Are you a grassroots green blogger? Would you be interested in being part of a biodiversity blog network?
WordPress offers a free way to set up a network of blogs on a single server, all of them interconnected. Check out freethoughtblogs.com as an example. The advantage of such a network to the individual blogger is the built-in community of fellow bloggers who can generate traffic and discussion for you, as you do for them.
I’m also imagining that I would cover the server costs up front (though members pitching in a few bucks would certainly be welcomed), with the intention of using (screened) ads to generate revenue to cover costs and (hopefully) kick back some cash to our bloggers, perhaps even to pay someone to handle emerging technical issues so that we don’t have to worry about it.
Bloggers who are interested, if they’re a good fit, would get a blog for free with some ability to customize it—but member blogs would all resemble one another in basic design so as to reinforce the visual sense of community. (In the absence of a better designer stepping up, I’d be overseeing overall design, so there will at least be basic standards in place that help your work look good.) You’d get a blog that had incoming sidebar links from every other blog in the network. You’d get a back-end to your blog running on WordPress, which is pretty easy to navigate. You’d be part of a new community of bloggers who will help promote your work as you help promote theirs. And all of this would help us advance the causes of the urban, rural and wild landscapes we love and the plants and animals that live in them.
I mentioned this idea on Facebook a couple months back and got a few responses, but it’s kind of fallen through the cracks, and I still want to explore the possibility. Setting this up would be a volunteer effort on my part (at least at first), and so in the first stages potential network members who have an interest in helping set up things like community Terms of Service would be very welcome. (Or, for that matter, people with more expertise in Wordpress than I have.)
If we get a handful of people interested in being charter members of such a network at launch we could presumably have something up and running in the first months of 2013. If you think you might be interested, comment here or get in touch with me via email.
(Photo by Nina)
Chris Clarke is a natural history and environmental writer, an editor and photographer.
Born in Upstate New York in the very early 1960s, Chris moved to the West Coast in 1982. He spent much of the 1980s pursuing an interest in botany and horticulture, working in nurseries and on landscaping crews in the San Francisco Bay Area and in the environs of Washington, DC.
Chris began writing professionally in 1989 for Terrain, a small non-profit monthly environmental publication in Berkeley, CA. He took over the editor’s post there in 1992. By the time he left in 1997 Terrain had acquired a reputation for incisive, intelligent, and iconoclastic writing. Chris has since worked for a number of environmental news publications in print, online and radio, most prominent among them the Earth Island Journal. He’s also been a nationally syndicated garden writer with the Knight Ridder chain, his column generally appearing under the heading “The Irascible Gardener.” His resume is here.
Chris’ writing has appeared in publications ranging from Camas and Orion to Bay Nature, California Wild, the New Internationalist, Berkeley Insider and the East Bay Monthly, and about thirty daily papers nationwide.
It was in the mid-1990s that Chris’ fondness for the desert southwest, nascent since he first visited as an adult in the early 80s, blossomed into an obsession. He’s traveled extensively in the Mojave, Great Basin and Sonoran deserts, as well as in the steppes and slickrock country of the Colorado Plateau. His aridland obsession notwithstanding, Chris also bears a great fondness for more well-watered landscapes, the mountains of coastal and northern California and the Sierra Nevada in particular.
In 2003 Chris launched his first blog, Creek Running North, which over the next five years won acclaim from a wide range of readers in the science, political, essayist, and pet-owner blogging communities. His writing there was frequently called the best on the Internet. In 2008 Chris left the Bay Area, closed Creek Running North after a five-year run, and moved to the Mojave Desert. His current blog, Coyote Crossing, was begun after a few months in the desert. He now lives in Joshua Tree, California.
Chris is currently working on a book on Joshua trees, which will be based on over a decade of research.
All I can say, without going into all the gory details — and the details are gory, trust me — is that today has, without a doubt, been the worst day of my life.