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November 1st: Torsten Jacobi, CEO of Creative Weblogging, joins host Anita Campbell. Sponsored by Six Disciplines. Show details.
Sunday, April 11, 2004
PowerBlog Review: Red Wheelbarrow

Editor's note: This is the tenth in our popular weekly series of PowerBlog Reviews of other weblogs...

The tagline of Red Wheelbarrow says "So much depends on the details." And that's a pretty good description of Red Wheelbarrow's approach to blogging. This weblog is all about small details that make all the difference on an issue.

The blog is published by Jerry Ritcey, originally from Nova Scotia, Canada and now from Cleveland, USA. Jerry describes himself as a "Canadian-expat-trombonist-turned-tech transplanted to Northern Ohio."

Jerry says he is a bit of a news junkie, and likes to find out the motivations and deeper thoughts behind news stories. He started to blog because he found himself going to blogs to get most of his news from them. He believes that looking in depth at issues has moved from the realm of big media, to amateurs on the Internet.

Red Wheelbarrow covers a wide variety of subjects, including politics, art and, oh yes, business. On business topics in particular Jerry brings a common-sense approach that I find especially refreshing and insightful. For instance, I know he thinks overly-broad U.S. patents are a bad thing (shakedowns he calls them). And I know that as a customer he feels frustrated with outsourcing ("can I get someone to live my life via an outsourcing contract?" he wonders). Yet he avoids sounding politically polarized on any issue.

As a fellow blogger says about Jerry: "He's almost single-handedly threatening to subvert our lazy generalizations about geeks not being literate and well-rounded."

One of the things I like best about Red Wheelbarrow is that while it does not shy away from covering politics, it manages to do so without reverting to being 100% left or right. There's a balance that's refreshing in this day of polarized media.

Here's an example of Jerry's well-rounded, thoughtful approach, where he says in one post:

"After I moved here I still thought I might move back to Canada eventually. Then came September 11th. I think I'll stay here, to show support for the individuality, liberty, and freedom that many Americans don't even realise that their nation embodies for many of us.
Red Wheelbarrow has been on the web since August 2003.

The Power: The Power of the Red Wheelbarrow weblog is in its insightful, balanced freshness. Jerry Ritcey takes a topic reported on elsewhere and manages to pick out one thing unusual or especially notable and expands upon it. Or he digs around and finds even more to add to the backstory. Readers leave Red Wheelbarrow feeling as if they have found something new or little covered elsewhere.
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