Blogspotting: Highlighting the blogs that talk the most on community development, local art scenes, and everything else essential to living on the South Side

Hyde Park Progress: When someone asks what Hyde Park Progress is all about, “chicago pop,” one of the blog’s three contributors, makes a plea for his community’s development. Hyde Park used to be pretty awesome when it was bustling with commerce and public transportation. Since World War II and the racial and social changes that followed, however, the Hyde Park Establishment (the blog’s collective term for organizations like the Hyde Park Herald and the Hyde Park Historical Society) has adopted a protectionist philosophy in order to protect its community from decline. In other words, this place is pretty boring. The blog’s proposed solution? Open the community’s arms to outside businesses and watch the magic happen. (Elise Biggers)

Hyde Park Urbanist: Written by James Withrow, a resident of Hyde Park since 2001, the HPU has a split purpose. It seeks to promote urbanism in Hyde Park while keeping up with fellow blog, Hyde Park Progress. A big issue that Withrow addresses concerns an improved transit system in the area, since the Establishment is so hesitant to bring in its own businesses. In this way, the HPU endorses an inverse of the Hyde Park Progress approach toward urbanization. It seeks to begin small by first increasing community accessibility and promoting its interaction with other neighborhoods, and from there, the commercialization should be able to make its way in. (Elise Biggers)

I Hate My Developer: This blog recounts the Woodlawn Wonder’s list of grievances within her condo association, previously left a mess by its developer. The blog is full of witty complaints that include post-snow sidewalk conditions where transport by dogsled or e-mailing the alderman seem to be equally plausible solutions. Despite the Wonder’s light-hearted humor, she writes as a homeowner who, since moving into her place in 2001, has had to struggle along with the rest of her association in order to keep her Woodlawn home from literally falling apart. Since documenting her frustrations and course of action, she has become a source of inspiration for others struggling in the same developmental situation. (Elise Biggers)

General Carlessness: Jennifer, a Chicago-bred University of Chicago Press employee, started General Carlessness in 2006 in order to promote bike transportation as a primary means of transportation. Throughout her entries, she presents herself as both a source of inspiration for bike enthusiasts looking for places to ride and a fellow victim of biking circumstances particular to the Chicagoland area. The most notable entries are her brushes with death. Although new destinations are good to pick up from her blog, the near-death escapades offer some serious insight about where to direct your attention while peddling around, especially for those in the Hyde Park area. (Elise Biggers)

Lumpen: The Lumpen blog surfaced this year as a way of expanding the political art collective’s already vast network of information in their magazine, website, message board, and MySpace. With concerns to get out information about culture, politics, and art, Lumpen’s blog promotes upcoming events like film screenings and exhibitions, makes calls for contributions to and participation in projects, and puts up some other mildly amusing miscellanea. Ridiculous pictures of people dressed up as smurfs or Princess Leia getting felt up by Chewbacca are dispersed in the midst of earnest calls to action for supporting significant political leaders. (Laura Harmon)

Bridgeport Seasoning: Charming Charlie, a 38-year-old and self-proclaimed “last of the all-night, do-right, sit-beneath-your-window-till-daylight hardcore troubadours,” offers up his contemplations about good food and drink, politics, culture, thought, his personal dalliances with opening a checking account, getting in near-bar fights, and dating. Alongside his daily entries, the blog lists the best places to eat, bike, listen, think, and discuss in Bridgeport. With comments from readers giving feedback about his recommendations or just wanting to know how his day went, Charming Charlie has quite a reputation in the Chicago blogging and review spheres, writing as a freelance critic and serving as the go-to man for opinions on the best spots. (Laura Harmon)

Spurious Bastard: Snezana Zabic offers scattered entries on poetry, shows around Chicago, and her reactions to TV, radio, and film. Born in Serbia, she currently lives in Humboldt Park as a PhD student in creative writing at UIC, but makes frequent trips to Pilsen. Her poetry, written in both Serbo-Croatian and English, sometimes makes its way into the blog, but mostly she offers stories or thoughts about her reactions to different cultural encounters around the city, such as a bike ride in Pilsen to see Czech landmarks or a depressing realization that the young audience at a Stooges show was only there to sport the “punk” clothes they had bought at the mall. (Laura Harmon)

CTA Tattler: Can’t get enough of the ridiculous, awkward, maybe even frightening encounters you have on the CTA? This blog, started up by a working dad, documents the stories of public transit riders, covers the politics surrounding the CTA and its funding, and even offers practical information about closed lines, accidents, and construction delays. You can post your own crazy stories, debate about the recent funding and property tax issues, figure out the best strategy for getting somewhere when your line lets you down, or share pictures that capture the essence of the CTA in all its glory. (Laura Harmon)

Chicago Carless: Contrary to what the title implies, Mike Doyle does not wander around Chicago encouraging people to drop their keys and jump on the CTA. Chicago Carless merely categorizes his current residence in the Capital of the Midwest as that of a New Yorker who refuses to learn how to drive. Throughout the blog, Doyle writes on behalf of social justice and offers opinions on the kinds of issues that have attracted the eyes of notable publications such as the RedEye and the Chicago Tribune. His love for Chicago combined with his insightful comments on current Chicago affairs provides his readership with a straight-forward approach into what we may have missed while going about town. (Elise Biggers)