Archive for Saw Online

Blogging: Everyone’s doing it

I was listening to the latest Bloggercon (IV)'s podcasts on ZDnet, and they had one called "The emotion (sic) life of bloggers", which featured, among many semi-famous bloggers in the US, Chris Pirillo of Lockergnome fame (who'd led another session called The User Complaint session, which turned out to be another mega-software corp bashing session and didn't make any real sense at all in the end, but that's another story).

And it got me to thinking about why people blog, and why it's just so popular.

Was journal-writing and diary-keeping ever this hot? Is putting your thoughts out there for friends and strangers the reason it's hot? If so, why?

Why do I blog?

Revisiting this topic, it's because I was a journalist, and I'd wanted to write about other things in my life, put stuff out there I otherwise would not have the opportunity to write about, use that creative side of my brain a little. Rant a little. Share info, links, opinions. I started blogs for my girls because I'd wanted them to have something to look back at when they grow up, an accessible, searchable archive of their lives as little babies and kids.

Looking back, blogging rounded out my 'public personality' a little. It used to be that I was this geeky writer who was neither here nor there, writing about games, technology, AND relationships (yea, I'm diverse like that). People, friends and strangers, got to know me as a woman who had relationship problems, who found the love of her life, got married and now living out the rest of her life as a muddled-up mom. It was my way of letting the world know that I existed.

You don't have to climb Mount Everest or swim the English Channel or pose naked for Playboy (well, maybe some still do) to become famous these days. All you need is a computer and a blog account, average writing skills, a nose for what people want to read, and you're in the race to be seen and heard. Even if you're not in it for the money (direct or otherwise) or fame, simply putting your life out there will get you enough attention to make friends out of strangers, and enemies of friends and family members.

After three years of partaking in this pleasure, I've observed three things about blogs and bloggers:

1. If you're just coming into this phenomenon, the best kind of blog to have is an anonymous one. This is odd coming from me because I hate anonymous commenters but I think if you want a blog that gives you the freedom to vent and rant and say what you want without getting fired or get any significant backlash from, you will need to stay anonymous. Assume an alter ego because when you can blog in the knowledge that nobody will ever find out who you really are (with the clever omission of certain personal details and the right software), you will be able to say whatever it is you want to say. The downside is, of course, you can't publicise it as much as you like and as twisted as it may sound, the reason TO blog is that other people, complete strangers, perverts, quite possibly your mom, will read it. Otherwise, you'll keep it offline.

2. There are bloggers and there are writers. That is why journalists and writing in the traditional sense is still necessary. Bloggers like Scoble, I find, are famous not for their ability to write, but for their knowledge of the industry they're in, the status they're in and the resources they have. Bloggers like my friend Karli and so many like her, may not blog about much, but man, can they write the hell out of their otherwise mundane lives. Ordinary people who write extraordinarily about what it is to be human. They may not get a lot of hits and hence, make a lot of money, but if the blogosphere ever wants to be considered seriously for its artistic, emotional and intellectual integrity, it is people like these that will carry the legacy of humanities through to the next generation, not the technology.

3. Podcasting and vlogging are quickly coming into their own as popular platforms to be seen and heard, which sends a very simple message: You don't have to know how to write to blog. You don't have to have a recording contract or movie deal to be a star. And as an audience, we don't have to pay to be entertained anymore (well, except your ISP bill). All you need is the right technology, genuine talent (for stupidity or otherwise), and you're set.

So what happens when most of the world put their lives online, in more ways than one? What happens when you have so many outlets to speak up and be heard? What happens when everyone lives so publicly?

I can hear my father's answer to this question.

"Then noone really is."

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If you ever really needed to LOL

…turn to Close Second.

Really picked me up this morning.

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To dream is to live

It never ceases to amaze me how some people are just meant to write.

Or in this case, blog.

Take Adeline Gong's latest entry, for example, on why we need to dream. Made me wonder if that is why I feel so empty inside sometimes, because I've always dreamt of becoming a writer. I've done that. Lived the dream for 11 years.

And now I'm here.

I spent five minutes thinking about what I want to do with my life now, beyond being a good mother to my kids. This thing, I need to do. What do I want to do? Write a book? Write a play? Write a song?

Honestly, I have no idea. Like what Adeline says, I'm just living my life now, one day at a time, a little dead inside.

I need to dream again.

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Quickly, make a movie

about this. I am getting a pretty strong Harrison Ford, Tim Robbins, Gene Hackman vibe from this.

Or is someone on it already?

Despite what may seem as a slow erosion of the US Constitution's First and Fourth Amendments judging from recent events, it is commendable that such gatherings can still be peacefully organised – and that such organisations are allowed to thrive.

Perhaps it's because they're only conspiracy theories after all?

But what happens when conspiracy meets with physics? What if a conspiracy theory is evidenced with scientific theory (versus wild suppositions and paranoid postulations based on politics and economics)?

Who do you believe? How can you NOT believe?

Like the Magic Bullet theory.

I saw a video that touched briefly on this possiblity (that the physics of how the towers fell do not add up) a few months back.

Let me dig it up.

Wonder if Oliver Stone's upcoming movie on the attacks will have this slant. Don't forget his controversial 'JFK'.

Can't wait.

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Sexy Canadian music

I'm not much of an explorative music listener. Lokes is more adventurous when it comes discovering new music and is always introducing me to new artistes and everything. We particularly enjoy jazz, and are old souls when it comes to that. Elle Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, a little Sinatra. Miles Davis. A little bossa nova and samba now and then.

And that is why I'm so surprised at myself for being drawn to the musical stylings of one Jackie Treehorn, or rather what I call Sexy Canadian music from some of Ms Treehorn's indie collections.

Definitely the kind of music to get all hot and sweaty over. Take a listen and see if you're not intrigued. 

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The I’mPerfect Mom, soon on podcast

Having been bribed with the latest games and hardware most of seven of the 11 years I was a journalist, there are times that I watch with smouldering envy my close friends and distant colleagues who are still on the take today.

It's been six months that I've been clean. Sometimes, I miss it. Other times, I'm too neck-deep in screaming kids to care.

However, having tucked said screaming kids to bed early today, I slipped and went for a little joyride back on the tech wagon, permitting myself around 1GB of downloads. From stupid little game trials to various little webwares, I piled them onto my already crowded PC. I actually cleaned out my unread feeds as well (boldtype stuff needling me whenever I check my mails, hate them), going through every little nugget of info I found interesting.

My latest addiction?

Podserve.

Even though it's not the friendliest of non-iTunes/iPod-users, I was quite close to leaving my two kids sleeping in their beds and hopping in the minivan to Fry's at 9pm to grab a super-duper DJ-mike+headphones thingie to start my very own podcast. Even signed up for an a/c and everything.

There have been moments in my life I've entertained the possibility of becoming a DJ or a talkshow host. Daydreams dashed by non-existent public speaking skills. I tend to stammer when I talk. Remnants of a very bad relationship that happened a million years ago.

And yet.

Maybe I should start a podcast for women. Who knows? Could end up the Oprah of podcasting.

I mean, if this guy can do it.

*guffaw*

Like real.

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Reasons to be grateful for what you’ve got

This

and

this.

Seeing is believing.

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