Escaping the Bubble With Bear Blogs
Not too long ago, Greg Morris asked, “I need some more RSS feeds in my life. Who’s in your feed that you can’t live without?” I didn’t have an answer for him at the time, but it prompted me to start to build out my own RSS feed list with more diverse voices than I was used to getting. One feed that made its way into my RSS reader (and I wish I could remember where I discovered it) was the one for the top trending posts using Bear Blog.
I don’t know much about Bear Blog, but I understand it to be a drop-dead simple blogging platform. With little room for CSS tweaks or much customization at all, instead, Bear Blog simply encourages folks to fill the blank page with words and publish to the web. Bear Blog posts can be upvoted, or “toasted” in their parlance, and the ones receiving the most toasts each day end up in this RSS feed.
It’s a pretty genius idea. It’s like bare-bones blogging meets upvote-only Reddit. And since I’m subscribed to this aggregation feed rather than ones for individual authors, I never know what’s going to end up in my lap. It could be an intimate account of one’s day. It could be a brain dump for one’s personal knowledge management system. It could be a lovely short essay about the nature of blogging itself and sharing things online.
One thing that I appreciate about this random assortment of letters from the web is that they don’t all come from internet nerds like myself. Many of these writers just wanted a text box to funnel thoughts into. They didn’t set out to fiddle with their pages, themes, feeds, and links. They don’t worry about where each particular post should live. They just needed an outlet for their thoughts. They write about things far outside the tech-related bubble I’ve formed around myself. It’s refreshing.
I often find myself tapping through to get to the author’s home page and getting lost in their archives. Rarely do I subscribe to a Bear Blog author’s feed — I’m trying to cut down on inputs — nor do I read every trending post. But I can tell you that it feels like I’m opening a delightful little mystery box every time I tap into a Bear Blog post in my feed reader. You just never know what you’re gonna get.