Communities of blogs?

Can anyone point me towards a community model for “bloggers of a feather” — an umbrella community that sits over a group of bloggers with the same special interest

Here’s the scenario. For the last 9 years I’ve been running a site for saltwater fly fishermen — Reel-Time: The Internet Journal of Saltwater Fly Fishing — which began as an experiment in niche publishing focused on community. The 7,500 + users have flocked around a straight-forward threaded forum system (vBulletin) , generating a hundred postings per day.

There seems to be a good opportunity to introduce a blogging model so each can maintain their own content.

Pointer appreciated.

Another reason why I left daily journalism …

Newspapers – especially local rags – occasionally display flashes of brilliance but can be counted on to do the wrong thing every time when given the chance.

Today’s controversy over the Boston Herald running a bloody front page color photo of a dying coed, shot in the eye by a “pepper ball” during a fan riot outside of Fenway Park has sparked the usual hand wringing and reader outrage over the tabloid stooping lower than usual. Pissing on the city’s Red Sox love-fest with front-page bummer art will call on the shrieking handwringers faster than dissing the archdiocese.

Reporting on death was, for me at least, the single worst thing about being a reporter. Knocking on the door of the home of some family man killed in a car crash with the single mission of getting a photo for the story was painful enough, but doubtlessly the most ugly moment in my career was waking up a woman who’s son had been clipped and killed by a hit-and-run driver while walking home from hockey practice in the dark the night before. No one had notified her. The cops messed up. So I found myself on her door step at 6 am delivering the news.

That’s when I decided to switch from dailies to the technology trades.

PCs don’t bleed.

The general idiocy and reputation erosion of the newspaper industry has grown ever more stark as they try to blunder through their online strategies. Prohibiting deep linking, forcing useless “free” registration, and then doing their best to annoy with pop-ups and pop-unders is evidence of their conviction that somehow, somewhere, the public should and will be screwed. I fought pop-ups at a former online provider who shall go unnamed, but lost due to a moron from circulation who heard it was a great way to build print subscription at a Magazine Publisher’s Association symposium. Same employer also bought into one of the most moronic technologies ever inflicted … but that’s another story for another time.

Hey, the first duty of a free press is to turn a profit, but annoying, aggravating, shocking and disgusting the public is no way to insure one.

Current Projects

I’m ghosting a book on outsourcing strategies for IT executives with a team of analysts and consultants at Gartner. Tight deadline, so this one is eating most of my time. Manuscript due at Harvard Business School Press in three weeks.

Then onto a long-delayed project I started at McKinsey on the history and strategic implications of technology standards (Beta vs. VHS, Windows vs. OS/2, railroad track gauges, etc.) while simultaneously beginning a book on self-surgery (people who trepan their own skulls, amputate their own limbs, and attempt their own sex changes). Then finishing a private history of a Boston rowing club (an exercise in procrastination.)

Developing a business plan for a service company serving the online newspaper publishing market.
Consulting to an environmental bio startup here on Cape Cod.

And the usual steady diet of freelance assignments, etc.