Five or six things I hate about the Sactosphere

I coined the term “Sactosphere” a couple of years ago to describe the half-dozen blogs that were observing the local scene. (Note: The blogosphere is the sum of all blogs that exist, and Sactosphere is to blogosphere what Mayor Kevin Johnson is to President Barack Obama).

Since then, the Sactosphere has grown exponentially. It’s a chore to keep tabs on all the blogs that talk Sac, so I don’t even try anymore. According to Zach Melchiori, the editor at, the Reader’s Digest of Sacramento blogs, there are at least “50 locally written blogs, with locally relevant content,” and that number is growing. It is quite possible that the Sactosphere is in its heyday, and a less bitter man might take the opportunity to sing its praises.

Instead, I have a few gripes:

1. Almost nobody uses the term Sactosphere to describe Sacramento’s blogging community. How am I going to get credit for introducing a clever play on words into the lexicon if my term never goes viral?

2. Relatedly, the Sactosphere doesn’t quite behave like a blogosphere should. Wikipedia maintains that the term blogosphere “implies that blogs exist together as a connected community (or as a collection of connected communities).” As a rule, Sacramento blogs don’t link to each other. It is more correct to think of the Sactosphere as an archipelago of enclaves rather than a connected community.

3. Too much food. I don’t know about you, but I find all these photos of bloggers’ egg-salad sandwiches and lobster and spinach risotto a bit dull, not to mention a clear breech of the parental injunction to “stop playing with your food.”

4. Too much boosterism. I can understand the impulse to want to share what is unique, colorful and winning about your community, but the impression the Sactosphere leaves is that the River City is an urban leisure utopia, where there’s always a new “fest” or brewpub awaiting to soothe away your ennui. You’d never guess it was also an epicenter of the real-estate bust that brought the world economy to its knees.

5. The blogger Joe Sacramento. Joe’s definitely not a booster. He’s too cranky for that. He started blogging specifically to hound former Mayor Heather Fargo out of office. His indefatigable animus toward her was the canary in the coal mine that she had lost the suburbs (Joe was living in Natomas at the time), which lead to her eventual defeat.

It was amusing to watch Joe nailing his 95 theses to the church doors of Fargo supporters day in and day out. Though I didn’t agree with him politically, I was happy to see a blogger willing to muckrake about local politics—a laborious task few are willing to shoulder.

Unfortunately, in the end, neither was Joe. His post-Fargo-era blogging has amounted to little more than Jaycee Lee Dugard updates and a bit of Obama bashing. I was gobsmacked when I read on his blog the other day that he was “offended” that the president had called Kanye West a “jackass.” Yo, Joe, I’m happy for you, and I’m gonna let you finish (in the comment thread online), but that was just incredibly dumb.

6. 21Q, the Bee’s entertainment blog. Oh, come on, you don’t think I’m that cruel, do you?