Archive for October, 2009

Aunty Beans Sofa

October 12, 2009

Good morning my little spriglets of glory. You have stumbled upon Aunty Bean’s sofa, a sagging vessel of comfort and lost remotes, cups of tea and biscuit crumbs. Your Aunty Bean is here with endless exquisite streams of info, some useless and much not, to talk with purple hair rinse aplomb of matters modern and contemporary here on the edge of the vast terrain of the Wide Web. So push the dog off and settle in, hot beverage in hand and preferably a Tim Tam or four. Here we are to discuss bits and pieces of sensations, areas of interest and how to get that damn stubborn stain out of that white linen shirt.  But our first topic of discussion reigns high and mighty on the waves of communication swimming around on the internet, of utmost importance and relevance. One may sail all of the world darling ones and never be free of the treasure trove of blogging, a crashing swirling phenomena that is an absolute reef of abundance. So put on those togs sweet peas and lets surf the wonderful and exciting notion of blogs.

Blogging!  The revolution of the middle man, where anyone can express a thought, opinion or emotion and have it read by countless others. The sounding board of modern society, a contemporary media practice that for some lucky few, leads to fame and fortune, your name in lights and a book and film deal. Blogging refers to a personalised online tool, enabling frequent updates in a journal fashion. Intended for public consumption, blogs generally reflect the author’s ideas and opinions, representing themselves, such as you and I, or larger websites such as the Sydney Morning Herald.  The utterly charming thing about Blogging is there are no hard and fast rules, no authority dictating the method and content or reasons for blogging. Blogs may be a personal diary to which one can upload daily personal info for family and friends, a sort of on-line confessional that serves as both a therapeutic organisation of thoughts or the expressing of ones-self. Blogs may also be topical, intended as cachets of information, some expert and some not so much so as to inform the on-line public. An example of a topical blog can be seen at http://www.bloggingbusiness.com/2005/06/topical_blog_po.html, which demonstrates a blog on how to use blogs to market your business, ironically also reviewing the asset of a topical blog. Blog types may also be critical evaluations on anything from fashion to fruit, cuisine to crockery, as seen by the ‘Fug Girls’ at http://gofugyourself.celebuzz.com/. This is a brilliant satirical critique on celebrities fashion follies, and an excellent example of an opinionated site of evaluation. Then there are the blogs on blogs, who critique blogs and create lists of the top web-logs of the moment. The Sydney Morning Herald blog wrote a handy and well researched insight into various fabulous blogs, to suit all needs and interests. This blog, seen at http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/09/26/1064083180276.html is similar to one over at http://blogpond.com.au/top-100-australian-blogs-index/, whose author rates their top 100 blogs and relays plenty of sites to get you started in your trawling of the blog world. This is an excellent way to research in order to start your own blog Poppet’s, as you can see the demand for what’s hot and what’s not, and the types of blogs which are most popular. It is important to contemplate the audience whom once is writing for, and establish a niche that is perhaps less saturated as others. It’s all about standing out and presenting perhaps a controversial stance or a new point of view in order to grab attention. The blog http://www.blogherald.com/2005/11/24/starting-a-blog-part-1-what-to-blog-about/ is an excellent source of step-by-step instructions on setting up your own web log, providing hints and suggestions on creating the next big thing.

Blogging for amateur journalists and media hungry fame predators is an excellent opportunity to get opinions and thoughts out to a vast public en masse. Many blogs can attest to the fairytale dream of rags to riches, including Perez Hiltons self-named blog that reports on Hollywood happenings, propelling the author to great renown amongst the very people he bitches about. The recently released film ‘Julie & Julia’, starring Meryl Streep, tells the tale of the opportunities facing dedicated bloggers, in particular the very real Julie Powell whose cooking antics were posted in a blog she pursued for fun, ending in a book and movie deal. Blogging as a form of journalism allows creative freedom otherwise not enjoyed by those in the tangible world of newspapers, with a great strength revealed in the ‘instanteity’ of publication, allowing writer’s great interaction with their readers. The power of blogging comes from its ability to create social cohesion, to band together the community and support opinions and public figures through mass communication that is easily accessible and interchangeable. There are many opportunities for those who wish to be known without venturing from behind their computer screen, writers who wish to take advantage of the fortune rich mass communication method.

But be warned my Pumpkin Pies, there are many challenges facing bloggers who wish to create a mark on the vast and often treacherous terrain of internet communication. Remembering you are just a tadpole in an ocean may help to minimize expectation and disappointment when your site doesn’t gain much traffic. Simply put, the sheer number of blogs is astonishing, and it is a very real challenge to get your voice heard. Jeremiah Owyang from the Web Strategy blog at http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2008/05/29/the-many-challenges-of-corporate-blogging/ regales on the challenges facing those who wish to use blogs on a corporate level. He states the amount of time needed to maintain a blog can pose as a great challenge both monetarily and effort to the time constricted blogger, requiring dedication and will. There is also the challenge of unsourced and unvalidated information been displayed as the truth in blogs, damaging on-line journalist’s reliability and legitimacy.  I also believe it is tricky to be controversial. Not everyone has a beastly thing to say, or a differing opinion. However, one should always remember that well behaved men and women rarely make history, and if one only has well behaved things to say perhaps blogging isn’t for you.

Blogging is a phenomenon, an unusual tool of utmost advantage for the future of writing and journalism. It also speaks uneasily for the approaching fate of the newspaper and the respected status of a tangible reporter, in comparison to a faceless anonymous blogger. One should take everything one reads with a pinch of salt, however there are wonders out their on the internet with rich informative and fascinating pickings, all for the taking. Blog on!

XOXO Aunty Bean