Posts Tagged ‘Website writing’

If you haven’t heard of Mena Trott, although she’s quite young (28-years-old), she is one of the most influential and innovative people to have taken part in the Blogosphere. As founder of leading blog software company Six Apart (Creators of Typepad, Movable Type, LiveJournal and Vox) there probably isn’t that much that she doesn’t know about blogging. That’s why it came as quite a surprise to me that when she did a TED Talk presentation she chose to focus on the magic of personalised blogs, as opposed to blogs relating to specific topics or communities. I mean, what’s so great about hearing some stranger’s everyday life stories?

In her talk Trott does touch on the positive power of some blogs in the community, referring to the incredibly fast updates people received from big media as well as independents concerning the hurricane situation in New Orleans. She also mentions Interplast, a group of blogging plastic surgeons who work to help disfigured people in developing nations. However, strangely enough she starts out her speech talking about the ‘scary’ power of blogs-using the Kryptonite bicycle lock story (bloggers discovered that a ballpoint pen could open locks, therefore the company was forced to recall their stock), as well as the infamous ‘Rathergate’ scandal where intense political bloggers discovered that falsified documents were used in the coverage of a mainstream media story. Trott seems to think that this invasive power some bloggers now have mightn’t be the best scenario for humankind. What do you think?

Trott takes a more ‘micro’ approach to the world of blogging (at least in this talk). She likes ‘people that just tell stories.’ She looks at personal blogs as a new form of human archive, a place to store our life stories for future generations. ‘Blogs are basically an evolution. They are a record of who you are; your persona.’ She tells stories about a day-to-day diary written by a man whose child was born prematurely, describing the emotional connection she felt to people she’d never really met. When the child was ill she could sympathise with the parents’ pain, and when it ended up being a healthy normal kid, she vicariously experienced the relief and joy that they felt.

As well as writing so that our great-grandchildren can know who we were, Mena emphasises about how blogs can be helpful for ourselves. She takes a photo of herself everyday and posts it on her personal blog which only a few people have access to. (She tells a story about how sometimes you don’t want too many people reading your ‘real’ personal stories. After cheekily complaining that her boyfriend wouldn’t ‘let’ her buy a banjo, she received all kinds of comments that took her words way out of context-some people saying that she should leave the ‘selfish bastard’.) She says the photo as well as the text can let you know exactly what you were doing in a day of your life. Capturing a moment in time, reflecting upon these visual cues, she feels that all kinds of revelations, memories, and new ideas can be born to help us in what we do today.

It’s interesting because at some points she almost seems to contradict herself, saying that blogs don’t have to be attacking and scary, that they can help people to open new dialogues and inspire helpful attitudes. Whereas at other points she says that she doesn’t want too many people reading her stories, preferring to only have close friends and family access her life online. A few questions for you: What do you think about this seemingly paradoxical situation? Do you think there are other reasons personal blogging is good or bad? Do you think topical blogs are more relevant to society’s needs? How many people do you want reading your personal life stories? Are we able to become more ‘open’ and helpful with others if we aren’t willing to let anyone and everyone read and comment on our blog posts? What kind of blogger are you?

If you write a personal blog, how many people would you like to have reading your life story?

Jesse S. Somer thinks when writing about a specific topic, you can integrate aspects of yourself in the story. Maybe there is a middle ground here…

Copyright MiContent.com.au


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How many of you want to change the world for the better? Stupid question…Well, besides reading blogs, I also love to read books (I’m sure most other bloggers are the same). Although my blog’s main focus is on the Blogosphere, we have to remember that the Blogosphere can encompass just about any subject. People write about just about everything. Or, they soon will be. One topic I’m sure you’ll all be interested in, is on how we can make the world a better place, one small step at a time. We are each only one person, but every action in our day leaves a ‘footprint’-both ecological and social, and so we can make a lot of difference when together our efforts have a cumulative effect. I bought a paper book recently (not very ecologically friendly I admit, but I love them) called ‘365 Ways to Change the World’ by Michael Norton. You have got to check it out.

I really think every human being should have a copy of this book. The basic concept is that there’s a page and an idea for every day of the year. Themes are Community and Neighbourhood, Culture and Creativity, Democracy and Human Rights, Discrimination, Employment and Enterprise, Environment, Globalisation and Consumerism, Health, International Development, Peace, Volunteering and Citizenship, and Young People.

For example, today’s (December 13) subject is ‘Hunger Banquet’. It starts out with the proclamation, ‘Our planet produces enough food to feed every woman, man, and child-and with some left over. There’s some topical information, a short story about a woman in Mozambique, some number facts (always effective for creating understanding), and most importantly-related links on the Internet (On this page: Act Fast: Oxfam America‘ and ‘Oxfam America.org‘.) This is a very interactive book; reading it while on the Internet brings about a whole new learning experience.

At the start of the book there’s a 20-question checklist for you to measure where you fall on a scale ranging from ‘eco-sinner’ to ‘socially-minded saint’. Here’s some sample questions: Do you regularly fill up your kettle with only as much water as you need? Do you regularly turn off the lights when you leave the room? Do you buy local and support local small businesses? Do you do things for others or for the community-volunteering at least 2 hours per week?

I’m sure there’s something you see others do that you don’t approve of. Tell me about something that you do to help the world. Better yet, tell me something that you’d like to improve on in your own life. There’s supposed to be a website related to the book at ‘365 Act‘, but when I checked it was down. Hmmm. Could it be a sign of the times? Man that sounds pessimistic…

Here are a couple of more positive quotes from the beginning of the book:

‘You must be the change you wish to see in the world.’ – Mahatma Gandhi

‘Citizens of the global village unite…You have nothing to lose but your universe.’ – Perminder Singh

‘There is certain liberation in understanding that we can’t do everything. This enables us to do something and to do it very well. – Archbishop Oscar Romero

Jesse S. Somer has a lot to do before he’s considered a ‘socially-minded saint’, but he’s on the road…A turtle with a flat tyre, but he’s on the road baby.

This is a part of the world that I would like my great-grandchildren to know well.

Copyright MiContent.com.au

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Look, this is definitely a serious blog about blogging-there’s no denying this fact. I have and intend to keep writing as much as I can to help novice bloggers, share new technologies with the professionals, and review every kind of blog out there. I am yet to write about political blogs which of course play a huge role in the International community, but let me tell you, if it’s about blogs I’ll be studying it in my research. On that note, I think the reason that I’ve shied away from political and current affairs types of blogs so far has something to do with the seriousness of the content. The world can be oh-so-serious, and I just haven’t yet had the urge to step into those often turbulent waters as of yet.

What am I getting at here? As I’ve mentioned in previous posts like ‘What can you write about on your blog?’, you can blog about any topic in the Universe. As well as the crucial and vital content-based weblogs there are a lot of people out there who are producing online journals for the opposite effect. They want to help people relax, or even better, cause you to laugh and smile. The obvious area to now pursue would be comedy or humour but on this occasion I’ve come across a genre of blogging that is closer to our hearts: little creatures. You know what I mean, children, and animals, in particular pets (those little buddies who can often be as reliable as any best friend or family member).

The best place I’ve found for the latter is ‘Cute Overload‘. This blog goes a little against my usual foray, the written word, but ‘pictures speak a thousand words’ and these photos and movies of little critters can take a load off the widest and most masculine of shoulders. There’s a soft spot in every person, and I think there has to be at least one animal category that’ll make you smile. They’ve got a section on Hedgehogs for God’s sake! The most recent photo posted on November 1, 2006 (I can’t find the link!?) is of a little dog wearing a life vest out on a boat. This is a much more relaxing picture to contemplate compared with seeing a smiling George W. Bush trying to pick up Republican votes in the current U.S House of Representation state elections, don’t you think?

The other site I stumbled across today is at ‘Lil’ Duck Duck‘. They announce that their content is ‘Birth announcements, party invitations, and holiday cards’, not my usual type of blogging preference. However, if you’ve got kiddies at home, there’s actual written content here with heaps of ideas relating to bringing up children, and photos of ‘cute’ young ones doing there thing. Again, I will have to say after reading one of the posts entitled, ‘Tricks to get toddlers to eat’, please remember that blogs are often written from the perspectives of individuals or groups of people who have specific and often individual approaches, opinions, and beliefs about life. Therefore, never assume that the text you read is absolute fact. Do your own research. Critically analyse what is written. Use your own experience to help create your views. I was especially displeased after being told about this particular supposed method of getting toddlers to eat their food expressed in the above post, ‘Bribery!! You can have a candy if you eat all of your ______.’ Sounds like a case of future child obesity to me!

I’ll get back to the serious and technological information soon. As for now, please remember that blogs can lighten up people’s lives just as well as informing them on how to deal with serious illnesses and who to vote for in the next election.

Jesse S. Somer reckons if we vote for the cute little hairy people of the world we might do a bit better than we have with the tall, good-looking, always-smiling, fast-talking, never-say-no, social ‘rulers’ of today.

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Believe me, there’s a lot going on.

I was surfing around trying to find out how many different categories of blog topics there are out in the Blogosphere when I found this unusual little blogging community at ‘Blog Ratingz’ where readers rate their blogs. Now there’s not that many blogs connected to this site, but they had quite a comprehensive list of topics to choose from when I was considering checking out the writing quality of its adherents. These were the ‘types’ of blogs that one could choose to read from:

Art and Photography

Books and literature




Diary and Personal




Financial and investment

Food and Drink

Health and Fitness

Hobby and Craft

Home and Family






Movie and TV

Music and MP3




Real Estate

Religious and faith










Ok, so there you have it: One small blogging site and look how many different topics you can write about, while being able to read others’ blogs who are also interested in the same general subject. What grabs your interest? Do you still think that it’s hard to write about something regularly? Think about your favourite passions in life…Do they fall into one of these categories? Do you have more than one strong interest? Maybe you should have several blogs…that’ll keep you busy. I don’t want to scare you. I’m interested in writing, blogging, playing musical instruments, training in martial arts, human cultures, travel, languages, magic and mysticism, philosophy, nature and the environment, gardening and growing organic vegetables, reading, watching films…and I’m only one person.

Pick up a pen or tap into your keyboard and make a list of the things that you feel most passionate about. Write about them. Share your thoughts with the world. Meet other people who think similarly to you, it’s time to join in and add your voice to the global community. We need you…all of us…together we will share our ideas until we evolve into ‘super duper planetary beings’. Trust me, there’s no shortage of ‘stuff’ out there in life to inspire. Blog the blue skies my brothers.

Jesse S. Somer just fell into a reverie of Blogospheric evangelism. This here is the written word where we can all be creators.

Copyright MiContent.com.au

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