The SEMI Blog Explosion

If you know, then you know. But if you don’t know, Southeast Michigan is witnessing an explosion of thoughtful, radical, wonderful blogging.

They are personal without being insular, political without being didactic, and readable without being chatty. Each is everything a blog should be and their numbers are growing.

This post is my meager attempt to thank them for sharing and preserving their brilliant thoughts and inspiring experiences.

For starters, Jenny just launched Greater Detroit and Rachel recently started For Lack of Better Words. Their initial posts about staying and leaving are really poignant. (Very much set my mood for a post last week.)

Jenny and Rachel are both organizers of the 2007 Allied Media Conference, along with Mike, whose blog, omnicrisis, is going strong.

In addition, wsoft.heart has exploded out of the gate, posting every couple of days since starting a couple of months ago, offering great analysis of prop 2 and updates on the work of the DAY Project.

LucidAmbition, whose been online for a while, has reignited, making sense of his day-to-day on the blog.

Kate doesn’t blog about the local very much, but she can (and does) go toe-to-toe on Irish politics with anyone.

And, I have to say, blixx mixes his politics and cooking even better than Kat does, at least on the blog.

Invincible offers updates through her MySpace on her peripatetic life in music and organizing.

There are many more, like BlackatMichigan and The Upsidedown House, that I don’t know as well and probably even more that I don’t know at all.

With all this, Brownfemipower still takes the cake.

Many of these folks read early then-Michigan blogger Rob Goodspeed. And you shouldn’t underestimate the impact of the Michigan IMC experience on at least some (myself included) of these bloggers (just, as Chris Anderson argues – thank you, Chris – you shouldn’t underestimate the impact of Indymedia in general on blogging in general).

But I think you can trace the SEMI blog explosion directly to BFP and the community she has helped build up with the Women of Color blog ring. Without her analysis and advocacy, many of these folks would probably have remained convinced that blogging was a medium exclusively for white men with inflated egos (like yours truly). Thanks to her work and it’s constantly expanding ripples, that presumption seems to get less true every day.

The incredible and beautiful part of reading all of these blogs is how they are all so personal without a hint of the self-obsession that pervades the blogosphere. Everything is seen in context and the context is Detroit.

They are also in conversation with each other, linking and commenting, in such a way that a real sense of the city emerges. I hear there are plans for a PhillyFuture-style project, aggregating blogs from the region, hosted by Critical Moment.

I can’t wait.



  1. wsoftheart said

    Hey Josh, Thanks for this wonderful summary/dedication for the outburst of blogging that’s happened in these parts! Knowing that there was a supportive blogging community already in place (your’s included!) certainly helped me establish my own blog.

  2. :::blush::: you are really too kind, thank you so much for the love!!!

    And seriously, nothing has made me rock harder than seeing all these amazing SEMI bloggers pop into the world–but we *gots* to come with a cooler name than SEMI bloggers!!! I saw “SEMI” and I was all prepared to sit for a long time trying to understand the legal complications of digital expansion or something–


  3. Sorry about being so weak on my terminology, BFP. Too bad Jenny already claimed “Greater Detroit.” But glad to give you a pleasant surprise when you followed the link 😉

    wsoft.heart – What’s been great for me has been, even after I started blogging, finding supportive communities on particular topics or in other ways has allowed me to expand my writing. So thanks.

  4. […] and introspection Apparently, I’m part of a SEMI blog explosion! Well, the post doesn’t mention my blog but does mention several of the blogs which inspired […]

  5. […] 2:37 pm · Filed under Indymedia, Detroit, media, blogging Back in January, I described the blog explosion coming out of Southeast Michigan. Now the region’s social justice newspaper, Critical Moment, has launched a new group blog […]

  6. […] Check out Thanks to Josh for the shout-out(s). […]

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