By Ray Downs
By Lindsay Toler
By Danny Wicentowski
By Lindsay Toler
By RFT Staff
By Lindsay Toler
By Allison Babka
By Lindsay Toler
We are a nation of bloggers, a chattering class of more than 20 million, pecking away, yearning to be heard, craving a response. If journalists are the Fourth Estate, bloggers have become the Fifth.
We blog to reveal our hidden pundit. We blog to connect, to vent, to share, to argue, to arouse. St. Louis' blogland is fertile, and from its rich soil, we at Riverfront Times have picked thirteen who impress us with their ability to generate community energy, whether it's animated discussions of sex, politics and sports, or sagacious pontifications on science, music and historic preservation.
St. Louis Activist Hub by Adam Shriver, a doctoral student at Washington University, is the region's go-to source for political issues and events from a liberal perspective. In recent weeks, Shriver has broken news about the attempts by well-known Republican pranksters to sabotage a St. Louis rally for gay rights and has provoked the ire of conservative radio darling Dana Loesch by pointing out her inconsistencies during her on-air bluster. Shriver is also the creator of the Facebook group St. Louis Activist Hub, a clearinghouse of news and links for local progressives.
How long has your blog existed? Since April 2009.
Why did you start this blog? It started from my Facebook group, which I started in the summer of '08 and quickly grew to over 2,500 members. Eventually, the posts and comments were getting too long for Facebook. A blog allows me to go more in-depth on topics and issues.
How did you get so involved in St. Louis politics, given that you're from Iowa and here primarily for school? I've been in St. Louis for four years. That's pretty long. I was never all that political, but after my undergrad I did two years with AmeriCorps that had me organizing students. I learned then that all politics is local, and if you want change, you need to take it on at home.
When do you blog? I'm working on my dissertation, so I have free time throughout the day. I do it an hour here and an hour there. On average I'd say I'm working about two to three hours a day.
Where do you blog? Mostly at home. I don't do coffee shops so much. I'm a caffeine junkie but also a cheapskate.
Do you blog in your tighty-whities or PJs? I'm usually fully dressed for the day.
What was your most memorable comment? Oh man. There's a Twitter user who created an account just to attack me. I've been accused of beating up senior citizens, being caught with "condoms and kiddies," and labeled a "Zima drinker." That last one was pretty low.
Blogs he loves: Nationally: Open Left, Daily Kos, Talking Points Memo. Locally: Saint Louis Urban Workshop, Urban Review, Ecology of Absence.
Provel, yes or no? I used to like it. Now I'm a vegan.
— Chad Garrison
Punching Kitty is St. Louis' answer to Gawker, a kindred sprit in snarkiness, with a special affinity for media folly. Mike Flynn, a web developer for Announce Media, comes home from his day job to dish-up thrice-daily dispatches poking fun at local news — and the characters who set the agenda.
How long has your blog existed? Since January 2009.
Why did you start this blog? My last blog, Hell Yeah Bitch!, was about celebrities. I did it for about six years before I got bored. I heard the phrase "punching kitty" and thought it was funny. So I bought the domain name and then had to figure out what to do. I was working at ToastedRav at the time and there were a lot of funny stories we couldn't post. I realized there're a lot of St. Louis blogs, but 90 percent of them are about a person who lives here. So I decided to take my, let's say, unique brand of humor to St. Louis itself.
When he blogs: Between 9 p.m. and midnight, weeknights.
Where he blogs: A home office filled with toys, PEZ dispensers and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles poster.
His blogging uniform: T-shirt, jeans. Occasionally nude, though news stories don't usually excite him that much.
Ever think about putting the Kitty to sleep? Only when I posted a memo from my old company, which somebody sent me anonymously. It had to do with the company canceling the free Starbucks supply in the break room. They were less than pleased with me. They said you can [blog] anonymously and not talk about us, which is kind of hard to do when your site is about local media. So I shut it down. But I changed jobs a month later and brought it back.
What was your most memorable comment — that didn't come from your mother? Some local kid got a perfect ACT score recently, and I guess his mother probably didn't take kindly to my jokes about him.
Provel, yes or no? Yes!
— Kristen Hinman
One Hot Stove by Nupur Kittur, who just earned a master's degree in public health from Saint Louis University, chronicles the culinary delights the author creates in her home kitchen, with occasional asides about knitting projects and her dog, Dale.