Passing the FBI Background Check… How the “FBI Blogs” Came About

James Madison, chief author of the Bill of Rights

James Madison, chief author of the Bill of Rights

The other night at dinner with the So Much More Hawaii bloggers from the mainland they all talked about different things that were going on in their lives and what they had seen so far here in Hawaii.

They didn’t really talk much about their own blogs that much, as we all pretty much know what each other does.

Christine Lu, the coordinator of this trip asked me how I select blogs to be chosen for the FBI Blogs site and how it came about.

The Big Islands Best Blogs - New Button designed by Macario

The Big Islands Best Blogs - New Button designed by Macario

I told her that I started the site was a way to showcase other bloggers and I really didn’t think that the Big Island residents were getting news in a very timely or effective manner, basically blasting our local papers The Hawaii Tribune Herald and The West Hawaii Today.

On March 12th I sent out the following message to about 20 bloggers on this island:

Aloha Big Island Bloggers

Would anyone be interested in starting our own little “FBI” Blogger “Buttons for the Blogs” for blogs just from the Big Island.

For those of you not familiar with the Button term… what I mean is we could create or own little site that the button links all of the Big Island Bloggers to one another…. like a blogroll but it would only be a button that links many Big Island Bloggers?

And we mandate that ANY BLOGGER CAN JOIN…. JUST AS LONG AS THEY ARE FROM THE BIG ISLAND.  (as long as it’s not some hate blog… you know what I mean… but I think content should not be critiqued so much as WHERE we are from)

There would be no fees or anything like that… just more exposure for all of us on the Big Island.

Of course… you might be mandated to come and party once a year or something…. lol.

Let me know if you might be interested, and if there is interest in at least 5 of you folks… I’ll work with someone on setting this up.

I can only think of one good phrase that we would have to use… The FBI Bloggers (as long as we had the From Big Island on there)

Was also thinking of an outline of the island as the tag with the FBI in the middle or something…. Always open to ideas.

And if you know of other Big Island Bloggers that might be interested… please forward this to them. Mahalo Damon

I was stoked that so many of them were immediately interested in something like this and I got to thinking what I wanted the site to be like. I wasn’t sure what type of template I was going to use and I was having troubles figuring out how I could showcase these blogs to the world.

I quickly grabbed an outline of the Big Island and typed in “FBI Bloggers” and then filled in the rest with some filler to come up with this button:

First Draft still is seen on blogs around the Big Island today

First Draft still is seen on blogs around the Big Island today

Well slowly but surely things started coming together to the point where it is now. I know it has a lot to grow and I wish I could figure out how to do a few things on it in particular. I have a programmer working on a possible solution for it, but he’s on Oahu this week.

Christine also asked how do I choose what blogs to feature on the site.

I let her know that I was VERY lucky here on the Big Island because I think that almost ALL of the Blogs that we have here on this island are great. We have an interesting island and lots to blog about and all of us have different ways of seeing things.

I often get leads to blogs by bloggers on this site, readers of this site and by the bloggers themselves. I will typically look at their blog to see if they are a fairly active blogger and that they aren’t some person that is going to cloud the world with hate or other strange stuff.

I’ll follow their blogs for a while checking out different analytical programs and if I like them enough, I’ll shoot them an email asking if they’d like to join the site.

Now the question that was the stumper… How do I feature the blogs on the top of the FBI Site?

I try and feature as many blogs as I can as they are updated. The people that post pictures get priority.

All blogs are rotated at least once in a day if they have blogged on a day… but rarely more then twice in a day unless there is a big need for it.

How do you make money off this? (Not asked by any of the bloggers)

Huh? That’s pretty funny. I don’t know any bloggers personally that make as much as they put in.

I don’t make a penny off the FBI Site as I would feel that is unfair to the other bloggers as we all contribute to it. I just simply maintain the site when I have time.

I’m still making twists with the site and trying different things with it. I’d like to try and keep it as bare boned as possible. This past week I’ve been running the Twitter feeds from the So Much More Hawaii tour on the site.

A few days before March 16th I rolled out the first trial of the site and just played with it for a while.

Then on March 15th I posted the following introduction to the FBI Blogs:

Here you will find a compilation of some of the best blogs on the Big Island.

From Kona to Kohala, Waimea to Hamakua, and Hilo to Puna… You will also be able to link to Big Island Video News as well as see Big Island headline news fed to the site provided by Hawaii 24/7

Take off your shoes and stay for awhile. Thanks for stopping by and make sure you take home a plate with you.

Who needs the local papers anyways?

March 16th was the official date that I launched it and coincidentally,

March 16 is Freedom of Information Day, to celebrate the birthday of James Madison, chief author of the Bill of Rights.

2 Responses

  1. If the FBI page started down that commercialism route it would lose what it has now. It’s a collection of blogs from the Big Island and hence a collection of island residents’ opinions.

    Think for a moment what advertising would do on that site. Say a number of bloggers wanted to vent about a company that had treated them badly only to find that same company advertising or being recommended on the FBI site. It’d be a conflict of interests for the bloggers and not least Damon. I’d be the first to ask for my blog to be removed from the site if that started to happen.

    Also, keeping track of good deals, however useful that might be, would just add to the workload the site already requires from Damon and would, frankly, be very unfair on him

    Apologies for speaking for you Damon, you may well have a completely different opinion, but the site is just fine as it is. My only complaint is about the tweets which I don’t feel contributes much to the site, but that’s just an opinion from someone who doesn’t like twitter! ;)


  2. You know what the FBI collection of blogs needs? A place where Big Island residents and visitors can find out about deals, discounts, and cheap events! THAT would be cool!

    Damon – It would be cool, but someone specifically said it was a business and the FBI site will remain “Business Free” as this is the terms that I made with some of the bloggers that are blogging there. But Leslie is free to do what she would like to do w/ her blog and Macario as well and if you friggin moved to the Big Island… so would you ;)

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