Posts Tagged ‘Wikipedia’

Hearing about Moblogs a fair way back, I just assumed they were another small-time fad where super-techno-geeks sent text messages as blog posts to their blogs online. Moblogs or mobile blogs (some call them ‘mob blogs’) when I think it about it further and after reading about their newfound popularity, seem like a pretty cool adaptation of modern technologies.

Picture yourself: You’re walking down the street and you happen across a street performer playing some amazing music. Ok, now pull out your mobile phone/PDA (Personal Digital Assistant)/Palm Computer/Smart Phone. Within seconds you’re taking photos and sending them to be posted on your blog. Hmmm, why not take a short video ala ‘Vlog’? You can also record the sound and call it in as a podcasting file. Then you could record your own voice afterwards describing in spontaneous detail how the music affected you. Or, you could be ‘old-fashioned’ (like I would be) and write about the experience…on the phone’s mini-keyboard or handwriting detector (using those little plastic pens on the touch-screen.

Wow, I’m starting to sound like a super-techno-nerd. Still, I think moblogging will come in really handy, especially when it comes to travel on public transport. Instead of thinking and writing notes in your diary about what you want to blog about when you get back to your computer (or carry your heavy laptop everywhere), you can write it and post it on the move. We’re talking about maximising efficiency, as time is often limited in our busy lifestyles. Why read a low-grade newspaper on the train home when you can stay productive?

At the moment however, the main use for this technology is based around the photo-sharing capability of Moblogs. ‘Buzznet‘ is an example of a new site dedicated to phone photography. As soon as anything happens, photos are streamed onto the site by passers-by standing at the ready with their camera phones.

In this LA Times article entitled ‘Phoning it in‘ there was some concern about freedom of privacy, as essentially anyone can now become a sneaky little paparazzi. However, they also emphasise the fact that this is just another way in which people are coming together to form small communities via social software. What do you think about it?

Check out Wikipedia’s page for Moblogs and its links at the end if you want to know more about the Moblog phenomenon.

One day soon I hope to be hi-tech enough to write my blog and post to the Internet while on the move. This train seems to fit the futuristic picture, but it’s not science fiction. This is modern reality.

Jesse S. Somer is slowly becoming ‘nerdier’, and admiring ‘geeky’ types with all those innovative ideas. Just keep your phone out of my bedroom.

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A friend of mine forwarded me an article from ‘Web Pro News‘ entitled ‘The Politics of the Blogosphere’ written by a guy named Joe Lewis. Now, this is interesting because I grew up in Midwest America (Ohio), and when I travelled up to Michigan to watch Detroit Red Wings ice hockey, they played at Joe Louis Arena (I wonder if it’s still there? I’ll have to search the Net for it after I finish writing this post.) Now admittedly they do spell their last names differently, but there’s a connection here (possibly only tangible in my own mind) between this Lewis’s article content, and the profession of the famous Joe Louis who had a stadium named in his honour. Who was the famous Joe Louis? Well, some say he was the greatest heavyweight-boxing champion of all time (Check out Wikipedia’s entry on Joe Louis).

Ok, so here’s my connection. After reading the modern day Joe Lewis’s article about how bloggers are starting to openly criticise each other as if in some political arena vying for page-clicks and readership growth, we are now once again seeing the shadow side of humanity impinging itself on a great thing. With 57 million blogs now speaking their minds out in the blissful Blogosphere, we now have to contend (no pun intended) with that age-old tradition of the battle for power. Hey, you’re working hard to regularly write interesting and informative content for the worldwide Internet community…the only problem is how do they know you exist? Thus, the ‘battle’ and struggle for attention; the competition has begun!

If you’ve witnessed any contemporary democratic election you couldn’t have looked past the TV commercials (costing millions of dollars of course) where instead of telling the community what the candidate hopes to do for future posterity, they spend their time verbally bashing their opposition. It often reminds me of kids on the playground ‘chopping down the tall poppy’ so that one of us wouldn’t be overcome by an inflated ego (How nice children can be!). The only small difference is that now we’re dealing with adults; some people never grow up.

It’s becoming a boxing ring in our brand new world of the Blogosphere. People want to be known, want to be popular, powerful, and revered. The positive result is often hard working grass-roots effort hoping to achieve an identity through altruistic interaction, creation, and communication. Sadly and unfortunately, this type of enterprise takes a lot of effort and the paradoxical opposite also comes into existence, and that is aggressive, winner-take-all, dog-eat-dog competitiveness. There are many reasons that people are judging each other’s blogs harshly. The main one of course is simply a difference in opinion or beliefs…I mean how many wars are begun based around some ignorant perception of supposedly ‘different’ human beings’ so called ‘strange’ cultures?

Another reason these fights come about stems from two parties that have similar interests but who both want to be recognised as the main authority on a given subject. How different are Republicans and Democrats once elected? How different are Protestants and Catholics for that matter? Surely, they are much more similar when compared with Neo-Pagans or Theravada Buddhists. Still, they can hate each other’s perceived differences with a vengeance.

A funny yet very common reason in consumer capitalist society that these word-slinging literary pugilists are taking to the ring has to do with marketing. So many of today’s most popular products, websites, services, and even blogs, became so because of simple publicity. This means that if you do something that stands out as original, passionate, inspired, or even ridiculous, you will have separated yourself from the crowd, from the flock if you will. Now throwing punches isn’t nice, but any successful marketer will tell you that even if your publicity is ‘bad publicity’, it’s better than ‘no publicity’ at all!

So put on your body armour, don your gloves, and step into the field of battle. You may just have to utilise those mental and strategic martial arts once you’ve entered the Blogosphere. Fighting may keep you alive, and strangely enough, it could even put you on the map.

However, Jesse S. Somer doesn’t condone any form of violence in the Blogosphere or anywhere else for that matter. If you can’t make it to the top peacefully, you probably aren’t going to stay up there for very long. Nobody likes a bully.

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If you’re writing a blog, you probably know what ‘writer’s block’ is all about. Whether writing is your profession or you just blog for fun, you’ll know about that feeling that arrives when you sit down at your desk with so much to ‘say’, but just don’t know where to begin. Our minds are so powerful; you can have tens of stories, narratives, and article ideas flowing at once. Come to think of it, sometimes you have so much information packed up there, when you finally sit down, your mind decides to shut down completely becoming a placid scene where the ocean and sky meet in the horizon melding into one huge blue blanket of emptiness.

As usual I decided to search the Blogosphere for ideas on different ways to write that might help you get that reluctant first word on the page/screen. After sailing through a few massive white cumulus clouds of Blogospheric literature, I came to shore at this blog post at Problogger: ‘20 Types of Blog Posts – Battling Bloggers Block‘. This is a blog written by a self-professed professional blogger who claims to make much of his daily bread by blogging. There seem to be a lot of these ‘get rich quick’ blogging schemers out there, and I don’t know if he’s just in it for cash, but I found this post to be quite enlightening. No matter what his intentions, he has helped his fellow species.

The ‘Problogger’ says that there are at least 20 types of formats in which you can write a blog post. He also intimates that using a mixture of these structures and styles will also keep readers more interested, as well as giving you numerous ways to ‘spark’ your fingers on the keyboard. By the way (on a quick tangent), after watching my girlfriend touch-type; I really think that it could be a worthwhile venture for any aspiring writers, more on that later. Here are a few of Problogger’s ‘types’ of posts that inspired me most with their creative and fun possibilities.

• ‘Lists – One of the easiest ways to write a post is to make a list. Posts with content like ‘The Top Ten ways to….’, ‘7 Reasons why….’ ‘ 5 Favorite…’, ‘53 mistakes that bloggers make when….’ are not only easy to write but are usually very popular with readers and with getting links from other bloggers.’

Geez, how easy is it to make a list about something? Let’s see, what’s the first topic that comes to mind? How about, ’15 ways to relax when your Word program suddenly and unexpectedly quits before saving.’ 1. Drink 4 liters of water so fast that your brain no longer recognizes the concept of ‘I’. 2. Run around in circles in the backyard 50 times while smiling at the Sun. And so on…

• ‘Hypothetical Posts – A ‘what if’ or hypothetical post can be quite fun. Pick a something that ‘could’ happen down the track in your industry and begin to unpack what the implications of it would be. ‘What if….Google and Yahoo merged?’ ‘What if …’’

What if by the year 3,000 A.D. human society dictates that every person on Earth (and other interstellar habitations) has to keep a blog about their own life? Is this a form of Orwellian ‘Big Brotherism’, or is it the ultimate means for all people to get an equal say?

• ‘Inspirational – Tell a story of success or paint a picture of ‘what could be’. People like to hear good news stories in their niche as it motivates them to persist with what they are doing. Find examples of success in your own experience or that of others and spread the word.’

There are several people whose blogs have become so popular that they’ve crossed over into other media. Check out Wikipedia’s ‘Blog’ entry, and maybe you’ll one day join their illustrious club.

Here are the other 17 types of posts listed: Instructional, Informational, Reviews, Interviews, Case Studies, Profiles, Link Posts, ‘Problem’ Posts, Contrasting Two Options, Rants, Research, Collation Posts, Critiques, Hypothetical Posts, Memes and Projects.

Read about these at the link and give a swift kung fu chop to your frustrating ‘Writer’s’ Block’ of hardwood doubt and suffering!

Jesse S. Somer loves it when he comes across a new blog that has some new and individual style or identity. Keep writing humanity, and don’t be afraid of breaking out of the mould of your previous self-styled structures.

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