"There's a scene well into Stephen Sondheim's Gypsy where the young Gypsy Rose Lee is offered timely advice from three seasoned strippers who cue her that she'll be much more than a mimic if she has a gimmick. With the plethora of blogs now available out on the blogosphere -- each somehow exposing if not shamelessly foisting the personality of their authors -- the parade of opinion can become nearly numbing; a real bump and grind. Good writing hopefully being a given, it still takes something extra to make a blog attract traffic."Brian and Girish's blogs are two from the list that Michael Guillén says have that extra something-something he calls a gimmick. I don't think it's anything like a gimmick that makes these two special; Personally, I find their content clear, well-written, trustworthy, entertaining, and informative. They're also pretty well-designed, easy on the eyes. They meet the same standards any good alternative newspaper, zine, or daily rag should nail. Critics and allies of the blogosphere tend to forget that the same principles apply to good print or web content. It should be factual, up-to-date, neatly-presented, fun, broadly informed, and with it's own unique style and focus. The only differences relative to paper periodicals are those of speed and scale. Blogging is sometimes delivered with more speed, and can be at fault for rapidly firing off too much, too soon. In that way, it suffers a typically masculine flaw, premature ejaculation. Luckily, Brian and Girish's blogs don't suffer in this way. They hold back just enough to satisfy.
"2. Hell on Frisco Bay
Racheting down just a notch to provide a working handle in the Bay Area, Brian Darr's blog juggles the Bay Area's many movie calendars, pampering the cinemaniac's dream of attending choice screenings at favored venues. More like a ringmaster than a traffic control cop, Brian highlights the latest acts in town; it's a timesaving service for the rest of us.
Girish Shambu's eponymous site is a testament to his skills as an educator and social facilitator. Writing an entry usually once a week, he's a teacher who's cognizant that ending a lesson with a question provokes discussion and promotes interaction. He's fair in his moderation of comments that frequently dip into the hundreds within the course of a week. His blog is the water cooler that hydrates on-line discourse. Everyone gathers at Girish's place to talk about film."