Heralded during last year's election cycle as the new age of journalism, local blogs seem instead to be going the way of hula hoops and pet rocks. Over the past several weeks, two of the most popular local political blogs have pulled their plugs and, in doing so, have exposed the weakness of that medium—namely, that these often single-person media operations are particularly vulnerable to fatigue and burnout.
One of the most frequented hangouts for news junkies in town was Portland Communique (www.communique.portland.or.us). Hosted for nearly three years by b!X, the site reported on bureaucratic doings with a signature grumpiness and detailed note taking. Then, suddenly, in late September b!X simply left: "At some point, there will be a more comprehensive postmortem, but the same vanished interest which ultimately has led to this post leads as well to not doing one now," b!X wrote.
Then, in the middle of October, with the local cyberworld still mourning Communique's gap in quality news reporting, another popular blog also went under. In closing, PDX Media Insider (www.pdxmediawatch.blogspot.com) also intoned that burnout was the cause. "As of this morning, I am no longer..." the brief posting read, "a decision that was long in coming."
Meanwhile, bets are now being taken on how long the Mercury can maintain its own tiresome blog. Lodge your wager at Blog Town, USA (www.portlandmercury.com). PHIL BUSSE
SAT OCT 29—Portland cyclists are invited to what is known in bike-messenger-speak as an "alley cat." The Zombie Holocaust 2005 will channel riders through a series of gruesome checkpoints manned by legions of the undead. The lucky souls who finish unscathed—and manage to not have their brains eaten by patrolling zombies—will be rewarded with prizes, vodka, and an after party. TRAVIS GREENWOOD Starting point at Alberta Park, NE Killingsworth & 22nd, 6:30 pm, $5 entry
WED NOV 2—It is gut wrenching to consider that only a year has passed since Bush was re-elected. Choose your reason (dead GIs, environmental destruction, the fate of the Supreme Court), then get out and protest! PB Pioneer Square, noon