Blogging Insights — The Blogosphere

For this week’s edition of Blogging Insights, Dr. Tanya poses her second in a series of questions about what inspires us to blog. She wants to know…

Is the blogosphere a source of writing inspiration for you? How?

Hmm. The “blogosphere,” huh? What exactly is the blogosphere? Well, one definition defines the blogosphere as “the global community of individuals who write and maintain personal blogs on the internet.” Another suggests that it is “all of the blogs or bloggers on the Internet regarded collectively.”

Given those definitions, and especially the first one that refers to the global community of bloggers, the short answer to Dr. Tanya’s question is absolutely yes, the blogosphere is a source of writing inspiration for me.

The most obvious inspiration from the global community of bloggers comes from bloggers who host writing prompts. A writing prompt could be a single word, a short phrase, a question or series of questions, or a picture. The idea is to provide bloggers something to focus on as they compose their posts. The whole point of these writing prompts is to inspire bloggers to respond to them via the blogosphere.

And then there is the engagement a blogger receives by interacting with other bloggers — reading their posts, commenting on them, and responding to comments from other bloggers to their own posts.

Some bloggers claim to write primarily for themselves and don’t need interaction with other bloggers to inspire them to write. But if that’s the case, why don’t they just write using word processing software like Microsoft Word on their laptops or writing apps on their mobile devices instead of posting their writings on their blogs?

Speaking for myself, if it weren’t for my interactions with other blogger, I would probably have quit blogging a long time ago. I wouldn’t have quit writing, mind you. I could simply write whatever I wanted to write but not publish it on a blog. But it’s the feedback and comments and engagement from and with other individuals in that global community of bloggers that inspires me to continue to post my writing into the blogosphere.

Hmm, I seemed to have rambled on a bit in my answer to Dr. Tanya’s question. Maybe I should have just stopped after my short answer that “absolutely yes, the blogosphere is a source of writing inspiration for me.”

Blogging Insights — Electronic Versus Print Media

Blogging insightsFor this week’s edition of Blogging Insights, Dr. Tanya wants to know…

Have you written (or do you still write) for print media? How do you find that different from blogging or writing for electronic media? Which do you enjoy more, and why?

Back when I was working I used to write and submit articles to various trade journals and had about a dozen published in several such journals. Other than that, the only published items I wrote were angry letters to the editor.

One of the things I find different about print versus electronic media is that once you’ve posted something on a blog, it’s out there in cyberspace (or the blogosphere, if you prefer) pretty much forever. But I’ve no doubt that my letters to editor that were published and my trade journal articles, especially those published in trade journals that no longer exist, have faded into oblivion. In fact, I’m sure that the courtesy copies of those articles the publishers gave me are the only ones in existence anymore. And I know this because when I Googled my name, not even one of those old published printed media articles came up in the search.

As to which format I enjoy more, it’s blogging. Why? Because it’s 100% mine. I own it. I choose what to publish and when. And there’s no one telling me I have to submit a 1,500 word article on a particular topic by a certain date in order to get it published in the next issue.

Another Four Aces

In his Friday Four series, Rory, A Guy Called Bloke, has once again posed four rather provocative questions for us to ponder. This time he wants to know…

Do you find if you are feeling low that changing the color of your clothing that you are wearing at that time lifts your spirits at all?

No. My jeans are all blue and my shirts are mostly blue, gray, black, tan, or green. The color I’m wearing does not affect my mood.

What would you do with your life if you weren’t afraid to do it?

Nothing different. I’m fearless. Well, except for my wife. She scares the shit out of me.

How good is your long term and your short term memory?

I can’t remember.

Which is more important to you today — friendship or family?

In the real world, family. In the blogosphere, friendships.

Fandango’s Provocative Question #90

FPQWelcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

This week’s provocative question is about blog awards.You know the drill, right? Someone nominates you for an award and, as part of the “rules” to accept that nomination, you are asked to nominate, say, 10 other bloggers. Each of those 10 bloggers that you nominated must, themselves, nominate 10 more. So just twice removed from your blog being nominated, 100 other blogs (10 x 10) will have been nominated. If each of those 100 bloggers follows the rules and nominates another 10 blogs, just three degrees of separation from you having received a nomination, another 1,000 will have received one (100 x 10).

And then 10,000. And then 100,000. By the time you reach Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, one million blogs will have been nominated. Those million nominations will beget 10 million. And those 10 million will beget 100 million. ONE HUNDRED MILLION BLOG AWARD NOMINATIONS!

These 100 million nominations can potentially be generated in just eight iterations down an unbroken chain from the one blog award nomination you received if everyone pays it forward as instructed.

And that’s just one blog award. Think about how many different kinds of blog awards there are floating around the blogosphere!

So, now that we’ve gone through the mathematics of blog awards, my provocative question is simply this.

How do you feel of blog awards? Why do you feel that way?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.

Fandango’s Provocative Question #64

FPQWelcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

Before I ever started blogging, I was talking with a guy who was a blogger. I asked him why he enjoyed blogging. His answer surprised me. He said that on his blog, he could be the man he always wanted to be. He added that he liked who he was on his blog better than who he was in the real world.

That floored me. I couldn’t fathom how someone could be one person in real life and another person in a virtual life. But he explained that he could more freely express himself on his blog. That he was actually more forthright, honest, and open about his opinions, perspectives, and beliefs in the blogosphere than he could ever be in real life, where he felt constrained by the etiquette of polite society. His blogging self, he said, was more reflective of who he was than his “real” self. My mind was blown.

So my question this week is this.

Are you the same person on your blog as you are in real life? Do you like yourself more in the virtual world than you do in the real world?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.