opinion

“Monetize” a Blog

I think the best way, for me personally, to see any sort of profit would be to guest post for a corporate blog or income-generating website. Since my blog doesn’t have any sort of readership, putting ads up that are either PPI or PPC wouldn’t really be that effective. Also, in terms of my blog content, I wouldn’t foresee myself being able to make leeway in terms of a partnership or sponsorship unless it had to do with a certain brand of wine. Which would completely go against the point of my blog, which is to wine taste not only the different wines but also how different brands compare to that. I do know, however, that I have strong writing skills which can become marketable but perhaps not off of my own dalliances into blogging.

Therefore, guest posting seems like an accurate read of both my skills and blogging knowledge. If my blog were to gain any sort of regular readership, or even began to have a lot of hits per day then I would consider looking into advertisement or even donations–though honestly I do have certain sites that I follow and admire but very rarely is there ever a time that I am tempted to donate money. Really, unless its for a cause I’m not really looking to have anybody profit off of me. At least not from it directly coming out of my pocket if I can help it.

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Anonymous Blogs and Reading

When I read an anonymous blog, I usually get mixed feelings. Mix feelings because I do not know who is writing the things I am reading and because I may agree with what he or she is writing.  I don’t know what type of person is blogging about certain topics, thus creating a large distance. I like to be able to relate to the person who is writing the things that I am reading. It gives me a chance to understand the person and find a reference point. It makes it easier to understand the position being talked about. Meaning that when I know who is writing, implicitly I learn a lot about that person. I can read what he or she says and still get a feel for the personality of the blogger.

On the other hand, reading an anonymous blog gives the chance to get an opinion from someone without letting the actual blogger influence you. When people blog anonymously, they can give more of their point of view and opinions without fearing about the repercussions. While this could be a potential positive and negative, it is still something that I consider when dealing with blogs. These bloggers could find that pressures do not prevent them from stating what is on their minds. However, there is a possibility that they could take it too far. It is when that happens that I feel the most discomfort about reading an anonymous blog. There needs to be a good balance, that no toes get stepped on.

An example that I would like to use about anonymous blogging may not really be about blogging but more anonymous posting. Take the Craig’s List site. One section has to do with missed connections. There countless people talk about the people they see and the situations they saw them in. Some of them are romantic while others are platonic. Either way, they are able to go on a site that allows them to state what they felt about the meetings they had with each other anonymously, and sometimes reach out to the person who they are talking about. Being anonymous in this case is pretty cool.

On the other hand, anonymous blogging to spread hate and slander is not cool in my book at all. I don’t remember the name of the site, but there was one that allowed people to talk about their cheating lovers in whatever way they want, uncensored. More than that, they are allowed to say whatever and post whatever they want, including images. Things like this can affect the person they are talking about on the professional level.

To me anonymous blogging is fine as long as no one’s right to live a comfortable life is threatened. As soon as someone says something that can get a person fired from their job, personal things that have no business being aired out for every one to see, that is when I find anonymous blogging to be very discomforting and appalling to read.

Anonymous Blogging

I think that when it comes to anonymous blogging people can be divided with their opinions regarding it. For example, some people might not think that there is credibility behind anything that is being said because the person won’t put their name behind it. Sometimes it can also be an issue of security, or how safe people feel posting opinions that might not be all that popular. I know a large number of people who will say inflammatory things but then hide behind the guise of an anonymous commenter. I also recognize that not everybody lives in a situation where expressing certain opinions are even legally allowed. For example, someone who is blogging or writing about gay marriages or unions in a positive light could stand to be ostracized in their communities and in some countries even sentenced to death. While anonymity can give certain people safety, it can also create a distrust in the reader if whoever the writer is doesn’t instill trust in some other manner. Therefore, I think it can really be a complicated issue. As far as my readings go, I don’t worry too much about who is doing the writing. I like to focus much more on what is being said and whether I agree with that or not. At the end of the day whether the original writer is willing to fess up to what is being said or omitted, I think they can’t withdraw what has already been written and that a bigger focus should be on the work that is being created rather than a creator–unless both are absolutely necessary in order to understand what is being said.

Live blogging

The existence of live blogging could change the way I think about something that I am passionate about by the fact that I can experience the thing instantaneously second hand. Meaning, if I was too busy or unable to experience an event or pay attention to something, a live blog could help me catch up to what is going on.

A semi recent example I can think about is the Summer Olympics. Despite it being summer and I did not have any classes, I was still very busy and was unable to catch any of what was going on. The five hour time difference from New Jersey, USA and London, Britain, did not help matters in anyway. Therefore, while I was working at my summer job, I had an internet tab open that gave me live-updates about the events that were taking place. It gave me scores, ratings, and placings of the athletes who just performed. Moreover, it gave updated standings as to what country won which medals. Furthermore, even with live blogging, it gave a different perspective to the events that I was unable to see. Since these live blogs had to be under a certain amount of characters, or that they had to be quick in updates so they get the information across while it is still relevant, it gave a different picture than actual live television or radio coverage of the events may have given.

Live blogging possesses both positives and negatives, like much of anything in life. The positives I associate with live blogging can be turned to negatives depending on the way someone looks at it. Also depending on the extent someone may take live blogging and read live blogging to the extreme.

Positives associated with live blogging: get quick updates, get a different point of view of events, additional commentary on something that you are passionate about is present, have a clue as to what is going on in the topic that is being live blogged, etc.

Negatives associated with live blogging: not care to experience the thing being live blogged first hand, being to obsessed with finding out more and more about the thing being live blogged, becomes distracting if reading live blogging posts during school or work time, get misinformed about certain things because of inadequate amount of information, need to keep scrolling if there is a lot being talked about, get bored easily, etc.

An example of a negative consequence during the Summer Olympics was how the place where I was working had its internet down because everyone kept on checking what was going in the events taking place. The people at the business were more involved with wanting to know what was happening than helping the customers that wanted to buy fabric (I was working at a textile company in New York City that summer).

An example of a positive consequence during the Summer Olympics was how I was able to talk to other people who had actually seen the events on television about who won and participate in conversations that had to do with the important details because I had read live blogs about the events.

In conclusion, live blogging to me is a two-sided coin that has both negatives and positives associated with it. However, it can’t be denied that it brings some interest in what is being live blogged, at least in the beginning anyway.

Thoughts on Blogging Networks

As a personal decision, I think I would not mind being part of a blogging network. The positives that are associated with being part of a blogging network seem to really appealing, especially since I am such a new blogger in the blogosphere. I think that by being part of a blogging network, not only will I be able to get myself out there, but I would also be able to learn from the other blogs found on the same blogging network as me.

Since getting hits and being followed is the goal for any blog, being associated with such a blogging network platform makes it easier to get my name across. The only thing is, I would rather be part of a blogging network that would link to my own blog and even highlight some of my other personal posts. That way, if a person comes to read a blog on the blogging network, mine can be read too. I understand that there are other blogs that should also be highlighted, and that is totally fine. I would not mind have a rotational highlighting of different blogs. That way everyone gets chance. Having a blogging network that only highlights the same blogs over and over is not one that I would want to be a part of.

While the examples of blog networks we looked at seemed pretty comprehensive, I did not find that either of them would be able to support my own blog. I really like talking about books and movies, things in the entertainment. Or at least, those are some of the things that I really like talking about. Therefore, a type of blog network that I could see myself contributing to would be one that deals with literature and movies. Like I mentioned in the above paragraph, I would like the blog network that I am part of highlight my posts every now and then. By being highlighted by the blog network, I can get some validation to what I’m writing. That is because the sure fire way to get validation on anything is to know that people are reading and listening to what you are saying.

The way this type of blog network would be helpful is that other people can find a sense of community that they may not have in real life. The people that blog will be able to help others make their blogs better because these people will read other blogs. If they see something that they like in a blog and see that it was highlighted for the week, then that would make another blogger try to emulate it in some way to ensure that theirs will also be highlighted eventually. Not only that, but since there is usually some type of contact information associated with the bloggers on the blog network, bloggers can get in touch with each other and even promote each other on their own private blog posts that are not on the blog network.

Blogging Network

Would you consider joining a blogging network? If you could imagine a network of blogs where your blog/voice might fit in, what would it be like? And how would the bloggers within that network support one another?

I’m not entirely sure if I would join a blogging network. I imagine if I was very serious about wanting to run a blog that would get a fair amount of traffic I would be more inclined to join one and then hopefully use it as a leg-up to get to where I want to be in terms of viewership. I would imagine my network of blogs as definitely having to do with lifestyle or even books, and obviously wine. It would probably be a network composed of people in a similar age bracket blogging about the same types of things that interest me. I do imagine it as something similar to POPSUGAR Select because a lot of these different topics tend to intersect. Food and wine of course isn’t necessarily gender specific at all, so maybe it wouldn’t be as female oriented as POPSUGAR Select seems to be. However, the vibe of similar lifestyle seems to flow coherently in their network and I really appreciate that aspect of it.

In terms of support I think that just knowing that at the very least you have an audience of other aspiring writers or bloggers being able to follow up on your blog is more than enough incentive to keep going despite thinking that you aren’t reaching any people. Having a hand reaching out to help is never a bad thing, and even if you have one person reading or listening to what you have to say is still a great ego boost. I think we are all placated by knowing that someone somewhere might feel the same way we do about a certain topic. Theres a sense of security and accomplishment in having some camaraderie in whatever aspect of our lives we choose to pursue. I think that definitely carries over in the idea of these blogging networks.

What is Social Media?

To me social media is any form of content that gets information across to a large group of people. While that may seem to include a lot of different things, I feel that social media is more interactive in a way. Interactive meaning that people are able to get the information they can from a source and add to it themselves. Due to the different types of social media platforms there are in the world today, each way an individual can impact or change information transfer in a large variety of ways. Moreover, the fact that individuals can impact or change information transfer in so many different ways is crucial in understanding the importance of social media.

Additionally, that ends up making someone wonder if a blog could be considered as being social media. In my opinion, I feel as though blogging should count as being considered as social media. That is because blogs are visited and read by others, all of whom follow a type of blog for some particular reason. The information presented on these blogs must be important for that individual. At the same time, taking the blogger’s point of view, they are able to get information they want across to a large population of people. Something they would not have been able to do otherwise, or at least not as easily. The transfer of information works smoothly in this case, and the people who blog and the people who read blogs can interact with each other. And since my claim is that social media is any form of content that gets information across to a large group of people in an interactive way, blogging definitely falls under that umbrella.

Social Media

I think social media is a space in which people can interact via the internet in various ways. It is a way of interaction that doesn’t involve any sort of physicality and it can take place on a level of different mediums. I am not entirely sure if blogging is completely considered a form of social media. I could see why it would or wouldn’t be considered under those guidelines. For one, some bloggers don’t host to any sort of audience at all. Some are used more as personal journals or even blogs that are completely hidden from either families or friends in order to conserve privacy of thought. However, if you are putting something on the internet whether intended to reach an audience or not–the possibility is always there that you are reaching out in some form for someone’s eyes to happen upon it. You cannot truly control that. So in other cases, your blog might develop a viewership in which you may not even know or recognize any of the people reading the blog but you are still interacting–therefore I think it falls more towards the medium of social media. As soon as an interaction begins to take form or have shape, it becomes social as well. I think the parameters are so loose that as long as you are communicating on the internet, it becomes more and more grounds for social media.

RU Blog Critique: Kim, Nicole, Angie, Pat

After looking at the Rutgers Admissions Blog, it is an interesting blog that shows prospective students who are interested in applying to Rutgers what the school and campus have to truly offer. The blog is mostly from a student’s point of view; therefore there is no bias towards one side.  Students can talk about the positives and the negatives of the school. Many of the posts include really great advice and tips from a diverse group of students.  Students can be diverse in age, majors, ethnicity, etc.  One student’s experience at Rutgers can be the complete opposite of another student’s college experience because of their differences.  The blog allows prospective students to view both sides and help them make the ultimate decision.

The Rutgers Admission blog has a nice title banner.  The background color appropriate since the school color is scarlet red.  The tag cloud has its pros and cons. A pro is that you can see what the hot topics are.  For example, Rutgers has a very strong pharmacy program; therefore pharmacy is larger than some of the other words in the tag cloud. The bigger the word is, the more the word is used in the blog.  However, the group agrees that the tag cloud is distracting because it makes half the page seem like it’s cluttered with random words.

The titles of the posts are creative, but do not give a good description of what the post will be about.  In addition, many of the post do not have tags.  When a post doesn’t have any tags it is hard to locate key words.  The tags help the readers get a sense of what topics the post will cover.

Another negative about the site is that is has a long loading time.  The site easily crashes as seen during class.  It seems like if 20 users visits the site at once, the site will shut down.  When the site crashes, it will be less likely for a reader to revisit the page due to inconvenience.  In addition, some browsers were unable to view the comments to the posts.

We also notice that the tag cloud goes all the way down the page, and the post list ends half way down the page.  It would be better if the post list goes down the entire page and the tag cloud should be shorter.

Lastly, we suggest that the blog has more pictures on the home page.  This will make the blog more attention grabbing and attractive.  Usually in magazines or newspaper, there is a large picture on the front page to capture the reader’s attention.

Rewriting Rules of Copyright…?

Image from Creative Commons website

Image from Creative Commons website

So what I find really great about this article is that its talking about all the new possibilities made accessible to people who wanted to innovate certain types of art. The article starts off by mentioning, of course, that music is such a prevalent area in which mixing occurs–which makes sense with the amount of remixes we have circulating the internet. However, like with anything else, the problem boils itself down to making sure everyone’s intellectual and creative property is protected. But how could we do this and still continue to create mixed versions of art? How can we give credit where credit is due but also acknowledge our own contributions?

The answer to this came in the genius form of Creative Commons, which we obviously observed in our class the previous Monday. What I find so interesting however, is that no one really had a way to do this prior to Creative Commons in a way that was both comprehensive and easy to manage. Directly from the article Ariana Cha writes, “[Lawrence] Lessig argues that the current system of copyright laws provides little flexibility — either you give up all permissions for use of your work or you withhold everything. He proposed a solution: a set of copyright licenses that would allow artists to choose to keep ‘some rights reserved’ rather than ‘all rights reserved.'” This is such a brilliant method of encouraging collaboration, especially in an age where everyone is concerned about the exact amount of rights they have once they release something into the beast that is the internet.

As a writer, who also follows other aspiring writers, I’ve sat down to read works that have presently been taken down because the original author has been made aware of plagiarizing of that material on another site. Sometimes its harmless, in which another person wants to genuinely share the work because they love it so much and are a fan–or want to spread the word about the work. But other times its very malicious in which another person will masquerade as a different author claiming that it is her/his original work. Then there are sometimes translated version which also forget to give attribution to the proper author. For this reason, many great novels-in-progress have been taken away or deleted or discontinued because of these writers’ fears that their work will be forever plagiarized. This leads to a decrease in postings as well as many disappointed followers. Its definitely a huge impediment in getting your work out there.

A great thing about these networks is that they’re a good way to not only have your work edited for free, more or less, but also a chance to see if your work is in the right place for a specific audience. This can be so important in relation to projects you are just trying to test out versus serious endeavors that you’re trying to make succeed. The article stresses the importance of the ability to keep creating, and not being afraid to share that creation in the space where the most amount of people can see it. You can get exposure in a way that would be just so much harder to do in real life. A hit on your page or a recommendation could lead to as many as 500-1000 different set of eyes looking at your work and helping to either make it substantial or better. These collaborations are so important on so many levels for people who are aspiring to share their work or make themselves a presence. In the case of the writers I follow, some of their blogs or stories have been so successful that they have led to publications and accolades.

Creative Common will give other writers and artists or collaborators the opportunity to further extend that community in a way that will make the owner feel safe or protected. I think its absolutely amazing to have access to art from places like Nevada or California that I could possibly never come into contact with living just inside of a suburb within New Jersey. The ability to become a part of a different cultural movement, be involved in the development of a novel, piece of music, or photography is incredible. We shouldn’t take those opportunities for granted, but at the same time we need to be aware and conscientious of our roles in crediting where its due. The article ends with this great description of a start-up online record company just to underscore the amazing abilities that things like Creative Commons gives us the opportunity to do–in a way that benefits those who use it and those who created it. If Creative Commons could seriously become the common language that we use in the crazy world that is the internet, I believe we’d be creating a much more tight-knit online community.