Welcome Taslima Nasrin (And The Addition Of New FTB Bloggers In General)

Check out my birthday present! This is the superhero “The Token Skeptic” – you can get your very own hero thanks to Len Peralta, over at http://www.the50vs50.com.

It’s the Saturday before the Global Atheist Convention, so I’m heading out to dye my hair a few different shades of red, so I don’t completely disappear into the black skirted-background of the stage. These. Are. The. Things. That. Occupy. Me. When. I. Should. Be. Editing. My. Assignment. Sheesh.

Firstly, yes, the rumours are true – Taslima Nasrin, whose appearance at the last Global Atheist Convention in 2010 was THE most popular and loved speech from all the accounts I’ve heard… she’s on FreeThought Blogs.

You can find her work over at http://freethoughtblogs.com/taslima

The addition of Taslima got me thinking somewhat, particularly about the buzz on this network about encouraging a range of bloggers… and why I’m at a loss. I think this is because I’m not much of a “blog-reader” by habit – at least, not of other atheist blogs.

Back when organising RSS feeds via methods like Google Reader first started (in fact, I used to use a New York Times RSS organiser  - they’ve since discontinued that feature), I filled every available space with as many news feeds, journal feeds and magazine feeds as I possibly could, and kept those at the forefront of any browsing I did. Therefore, I’m more likely to read a news or feature article than a blog-post when I have some downtime. I’ll check out the blogs of authors or general sites like the journal of Neil Gaiman, The Bloggess, Boing Boing, Wired, Feministing and the people I’ve interviewed for the TS podcast… or science and skepticism writers (Alice Bell, Alom Shaha, Ben Goldacre, the Guardian bloggers, the SciAm or Discovery News and various science bloggers I’ve worked with or chatted to in the past)…

…but atheist bloggers? Not so much.

This was why I’ve been supportive of Blogging Circles (remember those? Think 2007-9…) as they drew me to check out other bloggers’ work and that led to contributing to the Open Laboratory Best Science Blogging; which then led to helping create the Young Australian Skeptics Skeptical Blog Anthology. I do think bloggers need encouragement, but I’m probably more selective in my reading habits than most, which limits the exposure I have to other blogs.

So, it’s possible that my lack of experience in the blog-o-sphere in terms of reading a great range of blogs out there, has then led me to think that most atheist bloggers out there are primarily:

  • White
  • American
  • College-Educated (maybe in academia at the time of blogging)
  • More likely straight than LGBT?

Which then leads me to think “Who else exists out there that doesn’t fit within those categories?

I don’t know if I’m being terribly unfair by thinking that, but I’m after advice and I’ve previously asked friends to suggest names and sites that I should check out.

So, I’m putting this out there here as well – if you know of a diligently-writing blogger, particularly if they show the kind of variety that should be reflected on a blogging network like this one? Do let me know. Even if it’s for the fact that I should broaden my reading of atheist writers… and other readers may like to check them out too.

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About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.


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