Tag Archives: blogging

Bookmarks for July 18th through August 16th

Blogging is Life-Changing

Anna of Goannatree tagged me for a meme (originally started at Seedlings in Stone) wondering how blogging has changed your life, for better or worse. Let’s see what I can come up with.

1. Blogging has helped me find who I am as a writer. I’m not wholly there yet, in the writer-finding process, but I’m definitely closer than I used to be. I’ve always written well (at least, judging by my grades), but writing for class always carries some amount of artificial restrictions. I was always a more personal writer than I probably should’ve been in academic contexts, but in grad school, writing for class and writing a blog at the same time really helped me to pick out which parts of my writing came from academic requirements and which ones were me, and how to use both to my advantage. And also figure out that I’m a much better fit as a blogger than as an academic writer.

2. Blogging has given me an online community. Blogging is very fluid and bloggers in general tend to be very open, and you can enter communities without too much difficulty, if you try. I’m still on the outskirts of the film blogging community, but that’s because I haven’t tried hard enough yet (and I don’t want to completely alienate the people who read because they know me personally – more on that in #5). But blogging is also an easy entrance into other social media options – I have a really enjoyable cadre of friends on FriendFeed right now that’s largely independent of this blog, but I wouldn’t be there if I hadn’t been a blogger first.

3. Blogging has helped me shape not only my identity as a writer but as a person. It’s a cliche that you can be whoever you want to be on the internet – I’m not sure it’s 100% true, because it’s very hard to be someone completely different than you consistently. On the other hand, it’s not difficult to shape and mold your identity a little bit online, and as you learn to do it in safe anonymity and distance online, you learn to become a little bit more like the person you want to be offline as well. I can definitely state that I’m a different, less shy (except with phones, that’s a different thing), less fearful person than I was before I started blogging/interacting with people online.

4. Blogging has given me a different perspective on online life. Sort of what Anna mentioned about learning to value internet surfing more since she started blogging. I’ve been a participant in message boards and journals for years, long before I started this blog, but after seeing the things that the tech sector and the political sector and the film sector and, well, everywhere really, is doing with blogs – using them in innovative ways from the very individual to the very journalistic to the very academic – I’ve learned again and again that to claim that bloggers are just a bunch of navel-gazers focused on minutiae is to miss the wide variety, interests, and quality of the blogging world. If you think that about bloggers in general, you’re reading the wrong ones.

5. Blogging has made me very aware of audience. Writing for school, the teacher is the audience, no matter how much they try to make the assignment call for a different audience (unless you have a fairly radical composition teacher, which I never had). In blogging, you have to constantly remember at least three audiences: the one you know you have (from people who comment or tell you in person they read your blog), the one you want to have, and the completely amorphous one made up of everyone anywhere who may stumble upon your blog from a link or a Google search. For me, the first one is a few people from my church, a few people from school, internet friends from previous boards, and people I know on FriendFeed or in the film blogosphere. That’s a wide range of people already I have to think about as I wonder how everything I say will come across. The one I want to have is the film and entertainment blogosphere (I would say film only, but I’m having increasing trouble keeping music out of the spotlight), so I think about trying to post things that would interest them. The amorphous one you can’t really plan for (though you can follow it somewhat through stats trackers), but you have to be aware that everything you say is public. Lately, potential employers have been greatly on my mind in this category, since my blog is my major writing sample when I apply to writing/editing/proofreading jobs.

That last thing has actually been on my mind for a while, as my blog has gone through some focus and identity changes in the past few months, so it’s good to get that out there. Thanks, Anna!

Let’s see, I’m horrible about tagging people, but saying “I tag everyone!” is a cop-out. So I’ll tag:
Abby – Pretty Funny for a Girl
Kat – So. There’s That.
Lori – She’s No Lady
Evan/Luke – MovieZeal
Ed – Only the Cinema

And anyone else, of course.

Here are the rules:

1. Write about 5 specific ways blogging has affected you, either positively or negatively.

2. Link back to the person who tagged you.

3. Link back to this parent post on Seedlings in Stone.

4. Tag a few friends or five, or none at all.

5. Post these rules— or just have fun breaking them.

Home Again

I’m safely back in Texas after a week at home and a week doing nothing (in the best possible way) in Minnesota; classes start back up tomorrow, and while I’m not really ready to start writing papers again, I realized yesterday that I won’t be in the newbie group anymore and I’ll get to meet some new people entering the program this year. So that should be fun. Trying to get the rest of my books at the bookstore tomorrow along with 10,000 other students probably won’t be, though. Ah, well.

Some of you may have gotten incoming links or trackbacks from jandysmeanderings.the-frame.com today; in case you did, don’t panic or change your links yet. I’m working on replacing the site that was at www.the-frame.com (which I hadn’t updated for like two years) with something a bit more up-to-date, but it may involve moving this blog–I was testing the exporting/importing function today. It may move to the jandysmeanderings subdomain, or I may just put it at the base www.the-frame.com URL. I’m still playing with my host and figuring out what’s going to work the best. Not to mention playing with WordPress themes to find something I can use as a CMS (as opposed to something that looks like a blog). I found one I like a lot, but trying to modify the code to let me center the whole layout–it’s left-justified now, which I think looks stupid–stymied me. Anyone conversant enough in CSS and PHP to help me fix it?

It’s always dangerous to advertise upcoming posts because I run the risk of not following through, but do expect June’s book and movie recap within the next day or two, and a rundown of what looks interesting on the fall TV schedule. Plus SYTYCD videos, and maybe some excerpts from the Australian Idol auditions. I’m not even kidding when I emphasize how different (and probably better) Australian Idol is going to be from American Idol this year–in the first audition episode, ALL of the contestants sent on to Sydney were singer-songwriter types; not a typical pop voice among them. I’ll get back into doing Music Mondays one of these weeks, but it may not be this week. I haven’t had time (or broadband access) to check out any new music lately; if I did Music Monday this week, it would probably be All Beatles All The Time, since I listened to them almost nonstop both on the way to St. Louis and on the way home.

More Blogging Coming Soon

I apologize for the lack of blogging going on around here, especially for the lack of the SYTYCD recaps-with-video. I’ve been home for a couple of weeks between school terms, which leads to less blogging anyway (due to the lack of need for procrastination tools), plus my computer was in the shop for a few days getting a cooling problem fixed and getting various upgrades (yay!). And this week, I’m in Minnesota getting my fill of cool weather and relaxation–with a dial-up connection. So, yeah. I’m going to be MIA for another week, but then I will try to get back into the groove once school starts.

My only SYTYCD note for tonight (though I am watching at least tonight’s, and hopefully the finale tomorrow): I STILL MISS SARA LIKE WHOA. Although, I’m okay with Lacey and Sabra in the final four; I just wish Sara had beaten Lauren. I will put up the video of the routines up when I have a broadband connection again.

Minor changes…

Some of you may already have noticed that I have put a “Shared Items” widget in my sidebar; basically what it does is show my “shared posts” from Google Reader, which I’m currently using as my RSS feed reader. These are articles or posts that I came across in my subscriptions that I thought were interesting. If I find something really interesting or that I have any comments about, I’ll still make a separate post in the shorts section (or the main blog if, you know, I have a LOT of comments), but I thought this might be a way to share a little bit of my feed-reading activities with the rest of y’all.

Also, I just added the ability to subscribe to comments via e-mail on every post. Now there’s a check box below the comment box on every post asking if you want to subscribe to the comments. If you check it (whether or not you leave a comment), you will get subsequent comments e-mailed to you. This can be helpful if you want to know whether I’ve replied to you without checking the post constantly (I try to reply promptly, but I’m not always as good about it as I should be), or if you’re interested to see if anyone else comments and what they say. You can also do this by using a comments tracker like co.mments (which you can easily do using the “track and bookmark” icon on each post), but more ways to do things is usually good.

Finally, I’m sorry I haven’t updated the music player in FOREVER. The plugin I use for it is a little unwieldy when it comes to updating the playlist…I’ve been looking for another option and haven’t been successful yet. I’m going to try to have a little more fun with music, though, by offering a few tracks each week that I’m either really into or have found recently on mp3blogs. I shall call this…Music Monday. Because alliteration is fun. I shall also try to post the Trailer Watch on Thursdays so I can call it….Trailer Thursday! I thought about doing Tech Tuesday, but if I held tech news over for up to a week, it would be old by the time I posted it–tech news ages reaaally quickly on the internets. And I want do so some sort of recurring Film Guide thing, showcasing specific directors or genres or movements and stuff, but to keep with the alliteration that would have to be Film Friday, and I’m not sure I can guarantee to get that done before the weekend; at least, not with the level of quality I’d hope to achieve. Anyway, it’s dangerous to say things about what I’m planning to do, because then I look like a doofus if I don’t do it. That’s part of why I’m doing it, though…maybe the fear of being a doofus will motivate me to actually follow through on these planned postings. So hold me to it, people.

Oh, and also, Abby and Jennifer tagged me for the “7 Things You Might Not Know About Me” meme…I’m working on it, I swear. I’ve just only thought of five things so far that people probably wouldn’t know about me. When I think of two more, I’ll post it.