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Posts Tagged ‘blogs’

Photo Credit: Miserteacher @Flickr

Photo Credit: Miserteacher @Flickr

There are lots and lots of lists profiling bloggers that would be cool to read or the best of 2009 or are considered the most underrated

Those lists utterly annoy me because time and time again, it’s like rating the best foods or the places to raise kids.

They can be totally irrelevant…to the reader, that is.  Not to mention, taken out of context.

And – stop – I know that they’re only suggestions. Or, voter’s choices. Or…whatever. I think in the blogosphere, it may not always be a good idea to have such rankings – because rankings are just opinions.

And, I think the blogosphere is too big  to separate – and rank – out a few from the million.

I much rather have someone tell me why they like something, why it would be relevant to me and – that’s it. None of this best, top, worst of the year crap.

Furthermore, these compilations lack purpose. And some bloggers forget to clarify whatever that purpose is in their lists. How is that?  For example, they tell me what the blog is about and why they read it. As a reader, I could care less about that – how do you think it will benefit me?

It sounds contradictory.

In fact, it is.

Yet, that’s the point. And, perhaps the blogs I list below have made lists elsewhere and I’m not saying anything differently about them. I’d like you to keep in mind that this list is made for people who want to gather bits of information from everywhere for everything.

I hope I add something a little bit new to that gathering.

I know I sound like a total hypocrite because I am writing a blog post on blogs that I read. Yet, I’m thinking if you follow my blog – you have the same kinds of interests (and peeves) that I do. You may like children’s literature, but you’re not only (and always) going to read stuff by Kate DiCamillo.

I like to peruse stuff that appeals to certain moods I’m in. And just like you, when I want to gain a certain perspective on the world or inflate a certain mood – I can’t just got to one place, I go to several:

My Human Rights Muses/NPO work/Social Change

Nicholas Kristoff/On the Ground

I think a lot of people are seriously out of tune with what goes on outside of the United States – well, in the world, period. And NO, you can’t get all your news from the Daily Show – even though I’ll be the first to try. Generally, there is a very weak grasp of the political machinations in our own country, therefore, understanding stuff beyond that can be overwhelming. We’re also at a disadvantage because we are distanced (or better yet, create the distance).

Nick writes about those various (dis)connections and bridges the gaps, specifically on human rights issues.

Allison Jones/Entry Level Living

I have not come across too many (good) blogs that detail the work of twenty somethings in the NPO world. Nor, I haven’t run across as many that are as insightfully opinionted and as well-informed as Ms. Jones. If you are a twenty something looking to understand social change (as a profession), please visit her blog.

It’s well worth the time.

Karyn/The Fabulous Giver

What can’t be more great than finding chic ways to do charity?  Karyn’s writing is sweetly engaging. The site fosters a lot of opportunities to learn new things about wonderful philanthropic social events and causes. If you are interested in seeing how advocacy turns into action, The Fab Giver should be one of your places to start.

Beth Kanter/Beth’s Blog

This is kind of the “grown up” version of a blog about NPO work and social media usage. Ms. Kanter is pretty straightforward and her advice is practical. I may not always know what she’s talking about – but her blog is like the individual contrast (perspective?) to K Street Cafe.

Career: Good, Bad & Funny

Marci Alboher/Hey Marci

I had just begun following Ms. Alboher’s blog, Shifting Careers, before she got booted from the NYT. Her blog focuses on the multiplicity of careers and jobs. You’ll enjoy it too if like to read about workplace trends and the redefinition of career life.

And, she’s a nice contrast from Ms. Trunk – I can only handle one career blog that details the sex life of the author.

FFN/Fired for Now

This is a fairly new blog. I hope it sticks around. FFN writes about the realities of getting canned from a rigidly honest and insightful view point. The definition of unemployment is changing and this blog seeks to challenge the assumptions of its “social meaning.”

In other words, this blog doesn’t make me feel so bad about getting fired – ever. I suggest this become a must-read for all people still griping about being canned, worried about getting a job or otherwise happy with their career (read: EVERYONE).

Lillit & Ashley/Save the Assistants

This blog appreciates admins from across the world. The Bossary should be the first stop for anyone visiting. Administrative work can be tough – and mind crushing (if you let it). This site can be your saving grace. If you feel you are wasting away your soul in a crappy administrative job, read this blog and become inspired.

Go ahead and be saved (no worshipping of another g-d required).

John Henion & Tania Khadder/Unemploymentality

Weird. Slightly offensive. Scathingly sarcastic. Those are the first three descriptions that come to mind about this site. And, it’s hilarious. It’s an extremely fun read – and the best thing?

You can actually laugh in the face  of joblessness (er…maybe).

Jodith Allen/Administrative Arts

Kind of cheating on this one because I already mention a blog that profiles admin work. Yet, I think this is a good blog to read for anyone no matter what stage of their career they’re in. Admin work is part of any job you do –  from being  the president of a company to the mail clerk. Paperwork is paperwork  – don’t fight it.

Ms. Allen’s blog talks about time management, technology and various facets of (admin) career development. You can try that or the Crabby Office Lady (bonus!).

Don’t Let the Bastards Get You Down – Inspiration Blogs!

Alexander Kjerulf/The Chief Happiness Officer

Being happy is important (especially at work) – ’nuff said.

Stephanie/Stephmodo

Besides having the same name as my little sister  – this blogger and I have another thing in common: an appreciation for all things beautiful and appetizingly sensual. Stephanie’s blog is absolutely gorgeous.

And, it’s not nearly as terrifying as GOOP.

Erinn/The Happy Living Design Blog

I’m a big fan of having peaceful spaces. I admit, I just go here to check out whatever photos might be up, but the writing is very interesting, as well. Go here to get ideas on (inexpensive) interior design for all types of abode living.

Not to mention, her blog’s layout has a “soothing” quality.

Cheryl Porro/ The Cupcake Blog

Ok, this blog has been “closed.”  But you can still view recipes, photos, etc. Furthermore, anything featuring a cupcake is bound to make you feel better.

No matter what.

Ev-Yan/Apricot Tea

Besides being ridiculously cute, Ev-Yan is a sensibly chic fashionista. If you like reading about fashion, Ev-Yan can be your muse. She also writes about married life, vegetarian and vegan eating habits and ripped shorts.

She posts photos quite a bit of the various outfits she wears, she pulls off the androgynous look quite well – better than most.

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Q. Hey Writerbabe, what’s up with the banner and the weird key thingies in it? And, how come you don’t have a real photo? What kind of blog is this?

Update: Obviously, if you are reading this post – you’ll notice I no longer have a typewriter key banner or silhouette avatar. Yet, just because those things have changed – the meaning behind my blogging hasn’t. In essence, I’ve only added a few more details that better visualize how I want my readers to see me. A girl with a laptop – waiting to have conversation… with you.

Hmm, interesting question, my friend. And, I’m so glad you asked. I like to think of myself as a somewhat creative person. And usually, we creative folk like to make little abstract pieces of je ne sais quoi to girltyping7illustrate certain points.

But, for the sake of not sounding like some hoity toity weirdo, I will explain a) the reason behind my typewriter key banner and b) why I use my funky little icon.

First things first, I like typewriters. I know, I know – in an uber cool world full of changing technologies, Mac books and iPhones, a typewriter just sounds…old. Clunky, noisy and ugly in more ways than one, a typewriter is not on the list of techno-must haves.

Also, at the risk of dating myself, I first learned to type on a typewriter. For me, typewriters are about origins and beginnings. You can see a message come “alive” when you use a typewriter.

Typewriters are imperfect. They are relics and predecessors at the same time. They are a lot more fallible because they are more dependant on the writer (you) to be right the first time. However, being right the first time is not always possible. The mistakes you make require that you go backwards, but you only realize the errors until you are done.

Typewriters are little metaphorical (to me) about life.

But, that’s why I like them. Each bang, clank and click of a typewriter is hearing written work transform into productive sound. You cannot get that on your ultra-quiet keyboard.

Oh, and the keys.

On my banner, they appear as a disassembled array. But, you know they belong to something much larger. Each key has a purpose, a letter or some function when fused together create a message.

That’s what my banner means for me and my blog. It represents how the tiny parts work together to spell out a story – my message. On their own, they may appear to be a jumbly mess with no other purpose than to just be, but it’s all so much bigger than that.

My icon. You think I should have my mug shot on my blog don’t you? Go on, say it. All the teasing blogophiles will say,”Blogs are about conversation, Writerbabe – why do you have a silly little icon of a girl typing on a computer in silhouette?”

Easy. I think it’s perfectly fine to have a picture of yourself on your blog – after all, it’s your space to do whatever you want.

Nevertheless, I take bad pictures and I don’t want to subject my poor readers to blurry, self-taken photos. Besides, the silhouette girl shows me just as I am. And, although the blogosphere can feel like a totally devoid space full of voices chattering, talking and blabbing points across all boards – it can also feel like no one is really listening, absorbing and tuning in to what’s being spoken (…written, actually).

Well, maybe with the exception of the silent lurkers.

But, all that aside, I’m tuned in to you because I’m sitting at my computer. I’m sharing my thoughts (while getting yours) on life’s infinite conundrums. You are connected to me because you are reading this post.  Right now. I am connected to you because I’m writing for you, to you and about you. This very minute.

We are communicating via the mysterious vastness of cyberspace. We’re all girls and boys typing at a computer initiating dialogue with the world. We send our messages wanting to be heard and (hoping to) learn in the process, too.

That’s what we are doing. Period. When bloggers create real, live communities outside of the blogosphere – it’s an amazing experience. The realness of what happens inside the blogosphere is the same realness that happens outside of it.

I am a person who has issues to worry about, bills to pay and a life to figure out – but I am also a writer looking to connect with others about the same things as well.

My girl icon is mysterious. Blogging is a little mysterious. If it were totally transparent, I don’t think many people would do it. If the answers about everything were so readily available, then no one would need to blog.

If there was no desire to ask anything – nothing would be questionable. The mysteriousness comes from the need to scrape at the surface – to get to the transparency.

That’s me, my icon – my girl in silhouette – someone looking to scratch the mysterious surface.

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swingJon Fine, author of Businessweek’s weekly column, “Media Centric” brought up the interesting topic of blogs/alternative journalism and their influcence on politics.

Essentially, Fine surmised that blogs and the new wave journalism won’t have much of an affect on voting trends and election campaigns.

Political bloggers and readers alike have already made up their mind early on (thus named “high information voters”) . The electoral campaign is currently focusing on the slow pokes just now catching up to the bubbly political brew that is McCain and Obama (this group is imaginitively dubbed “low information voters).

I believe Fine makes a valid (and obvious) point. With the information overload that plagues the radio, broadcast television and now, the internet – I can imagine there will be only so many people who can pretend they have enough time to read the endless maze of blogs available.

According to Fine,

“Congrats if you can spit out the results of the last three Ohio polls right down to the margin of error, but the campaigns care more about the harried parents of three kids in exurban Colorado who’ve only started to pay attention.

As always, those voters will be pounded with messages as simplistic as an old Miller Lite ad.”

Yikes.

Anyway, it’s obvious with every election year (and turbulent presidential incumbant years) people hungry for change are most likely to investigate their options early, hence, pegging themselves into the “high information” voter category. As Fine puts it, over extended parents in places like Colorado probably haven’t had the time or energy to pay attention to the campaign. 

Even with enough YouTube, political blogs, Democrat demonizing and Republican griping at their (internet) fingertips- swing voters want to be wooed the old-fashioned way.

They are most likely worried about crippling gas prices, dwindling 401(k) values resulting from the reeling of Wall Street and the uncertainty of their home’s equity (not to mention job security and healthcare costs).

This is not to imply that high information voters are not in the same boat as their Colorado-esque counterparts, I only want to suggest that the latter demographic presents – cha-ching- swing voters. 

Virtually, the voting equivalent of an NFL free agent – up for grabs from the highest (or, in this case, most politically beneficial) bidder.

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