“BLOGGING IS WEIRD,” ponders Tony Pierce over the phone, talking about www.tonypierce.com — equal parts diary, music magazine and “personal experiment,” as he puts it. “About a month ago, I lost my iPod. So I wrote on my blog that I needed the money to replace it. I said that if only 20 people sent in $20, I’d have enough. In less than 36 hours I had the money. The iPod I was replacing had been bought by them as well.”

Pierce’s fiercely personal blog has that kind of an impact on its growing legion of readers (around 2,000 a day at last count), which is especially rare considering that he’s “not a chick or someone just hitting you with pop culture and gossip.” Waxing eloquent on everything from the 10-year anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s suicide to his highly opinionated activities on a Coachella message board to a recent weekend spent in Toronto celebrating the birthday of his favorite blogger, Raymi (www.raymitheminx.com) ­— paid for via a reader’s travel-agency connection — Pierce has blazed his own trails. Other popular site features include quirky interviews (such as a famous conversation with a broken escalator) and photo essays of Los Angeles, which, in Pierce’s hyper-real way, amplify the beauty, chaos and general insanity of the world around him.

It’s been five years now, and Pierce has earned his place in the blog hierarchy the old-fashioned way.

“People would try to call me out in the comments section of the page, and I just took it to ’em,” he remembers. “We would go back and forth until I’d finally squash them. It was like being an opening band that’s determined to rock you no matter what. I basically demanded the respect, and I got it.”

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