Saturday, 23 May 2009

My Welsh Blogosphere - Michael Cridland

Living in the US for that last 20 years has taught me a lot of what Americans think about Wales and its culture. It has taught me that they (Americans) are not even aware of its existence. That will change with the arrival of the Wales Smithsonian Cymru exhibit in Washington DC’s National Mall. This will showcase Wales to the US. Yes! Great stuff! But will it inform the whole US about Wales. Nope, not really! This is large country, and most do not pay attention to what goes on at DC. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for it. But will it stimulate Americans to travel to Wales, or even invest?

No, I don’t think so.

I would suggest a traveling exhibit visiting mail US Cities like New York, Chicago, Dallas, Denver and LA. This would showcase Wales to a larger and ignorant US public. Wales sometimes to me seems like Kansas, place that most tourists do not go.

That has to change.

Wales has a first class culture with a first class history. With festivals that are now World famous, Like Hay and Llangollen. We have to educate Americans about their own history and part that Welsh people have played in it like Francis Lewis the only Welsh speaking signer of the declaration of independence.

Wales also suffers from a lack of a homegrown media. When lil' ol' Dodge City has its own locally owned daily newspaper even in this era of a declining print media, why cannot Wales?

I was introduced to the Welsh Blogosphere via Peter Black. Then progressed to Simon Dyda (formerly known as Sanddef Rhyferys), Glyn Davies, lovable old Miserable Old fart (Alwyn Ap Huw), and that lady of the Valleys Dear old Mam.I was never too much of a fan of "Blamerbell" I'm afraid. I think that Cynical Dragon is leaps and bounds ahead of him. mainly because Dave is just a regular guy and not a candidate journalist. When I started "Morgan Hen" what I really wanted to do but constrained by time keeping up a rambling Victorian edifice going. Was a blog more dedicated to Welsh culture and seeing how it fit in the World, as well as seeing it from the point of view of an expat.

I think the Welsh blogosphere showcases Wales to the world, and I think that we should be aware of that. I think we should spend more time blogging about local news that happens in our neighbourhood. I don’t think that the Blogosphere replaces the established media outlet. What it does is acts as a supplement to it.

(Written by Michael Cridland, Welsh blogger, ex-pat, Dodge City resident who blogs at the Morgan Hen blog)

This is the thirteenth in a series of posts giving a chance for Welsh bloggers to have their say on the state of the blogosphere and where it's going. If you're interested in contributing place feel free to contact me at

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