This is not a blog about anatomy. Onward, and upward (it seems that lately, the connections I’ve featured between Robert Downey Jr. and two-toned lobsters have been featured on page two of Google image search- oh, la!), I’m only beginning to compile data for my next selection (Trig formulas? State mottos?)…
Anyway, this is a blog about other blogs. Actually, it is a blog about other forms of blogging. I started off this year with the desire to delve into the different forms of web 2.0 platforms and I’ve finally started to get my feet wet, metaphorically speaking (I can’t quite seem to shake the deep sea analogies that keep scuttling around in my brain). So far, I’ve tried 2(.0) other types of blogging. They’re great!
So, here is my sweet and lowdown on my experiences Out There, so far.
About the same time I started this (rather neglected) blog, I also started using Twitter. I’ve always loathed the status update function on Facebook, where I’ve aimed to keep my page content minimalist, but I was intrigued by the concept of “micro-blogging.” i wondered- what can you really say in few words without getting all mundane about it? Since the earliest days of essay writing, I’ve been getting back “verbose” and “wordy” in red pen all over my papers, so figuring out how to say something in 140 characters or less is daunting enough. Making it worth the tweet is even more of a challenge. (I later learned that worthy tweets are considered “value adding content” in the social networks established by following other people and having them follow you. Thanks, Mr. Tweet.)
My first few posts were pretty awkward- not very many of my friends are as keen about the new forms of social networking and communications as I am, so I didn’t really have any network into which I could twitter. If a tweet falls in the virtual forest and no one is following you, does it make a sound?
Being as I didn’t have all that much to say or people to say it to yet, I started looking outwards. Pretty soon I discovered that there were all sorts of notable people sharing little snippets of their thoughts and lives on Twitter. A few I wasn’t surprised to find: the previously discussed John Mayer has done some keen things to represent himself online, and Ashton Kutcher always seemed like a techno-savvy man as well. Some of my favorite procrastination go tos are on there as well– Funny or Die has it’s own Twitter feed, and Cute Overload also keeps it cuddly, although not very often (its birdie aesthetic also fits well with the Twitter tweeters all over the site). I’ve also expectedly come across few people who’ve proved their pop culture capital in comedy: Tina Fey Twitters (about food), Rainn Wilson generally mixes the absurd and informative with the darling in tidbits ranging from Tilda Swinton to his Bahai’i faith to his son’s darndest sayings, and Michael Ian Black argues about flying unicorns, roombas and Indian food farts.
I was more surprised to find a few notable people who I never expected to be so open with their voices online. An incredibly heart-felt and fan-friendly person I am happy to have come across is Ashton’s other half, Demi Moore, who goes by the handle of mrskutcher. Her regular tweets and twitpics about what she’s reading, or eating, thinking or watching along with her cute responses with her husband have demonstrated an admirable earnestness and interest in this new form of connectivity that has given me far more respect for an actress I otherwise knew little about beyond a few of her roles and her connection to Ashton and Kabbalism. John Cleese, who states “yes, I’m still alive” in his description is also a tweet read, and its groovy to see someone in my parent’s generation hopping on board this shiny new digital voicebox with gusto.
In the past month, I’ve come across someone amusingly imitating a twittering manatee (right up my absurd alley) and a man who is currently hitchhiking halfway around the world on the generosity and connections made through Twitter, strictly tweeting to communicate, in order to show the capabilities of the form and raise money for a great charity (check out @twitchhiker and read his bloglink on his page).
I’m finding more real-world friends on the thing, the micro-blog thoughts are coming a little easier (I just tweeted about this, btw) and I’m discovering that the burgeoning community being established by these little blurbs into the ether is rather exciting. It’s an economical way to discover new things about others, share links, and in the case of some of those celebrities, stick it to the middle man who otherwise gets paid about reporting and photographing their biznazz. I’ve heard a lot of friends tell me that they’re “weirded out” by Twitter, and I get that the semblance to status updating at first glance seems unnecessessary, but this experience has so far been so rewarding as a Get to Know You and the Stuff You Like tool that my Facebook has been gathering dust. It’s active sharing that goes beyond the passive posting and creeping we all love and loathe about sites like Facebook or MySpace.
Now to move on to another form of blogging I’ve started using that is equally as economical as Twitter (and not this long entry) in terms of content, but even more visually pleasing. I’m talking tumblogs. I don’t know how I came across this form of blog– I may have StumbledUpon tumblr– but once I saw this easy, clean way of sharing pictures, quotes, videos, and links, the scavenger in me rejoiced. For someone who has been cultivating highly developed website bookmark and image folders, as well as a YouTube account with over 500 favourites, this format of sharing is my bag, baby.
To quote the explanation given at the top of many tumblr pages (the primary tumblog platform provider I found), a tumblog is:
This is a tumblog, kinda like a blog but with short-form, mixed-media posts with stuff I like. Scroll down a bit to start reading, or a bit more to read more about me.
The site is ideal for graphic or fine artists sharing their stuff, for people with niche collections of images or information, or general lovers of beauty and juxtapositioning interesting content in a simple, effective way. I’m just standing on the tip of this magical iceberg, and only began to fill my own tumblog with some of my treasures yesterday, but I’ve come across some awesome sites so far. The quintessential tumblog (born out of one of the very first notable ones, Anarchaia) is Trivium, an ultimate minimalist tumblog that consists of entirely text posts of links that range from amusing to Web-informative. In terms of pictchas, i will set the world on fire is a sixteen year old dude with amazing taste for images and quotes. And for those who long for the good old days when every portrait of you looked like it was from the future as imagined by a magestic pack of 1980s science-fiction designers, We Have Lasers!!!!!!!!!! should meet all your laser photo backdrop needs.
Tumblogs are my newest love, the god of my idleatry, and as an artist who likes to work primarily in collage, the a perfect electronic way to keep track of what is getting my going in a temporal way. Being able to post as much or as little as you want in such an efficient way is superb, and in terms of creating portfolios, this is the best do-it-yourself 2.0 way I’ve ever come across. I could gush more, but I have to stop and tell you you should keep trying things out, because
So, I’ve got this blog to be verbose, microblogging @Twitter to be a Chatty Cathy, and my tumblog at tumblr to work on my strong, silent, artist side. Too bad now I don’t have enough time to practice harder at being awesome. Ok, I’ve got to tweet about this again.