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Posts Tagged ‘blogs’

About to start writing copy for my new blog, Grocery Chick, I figured what better way  to learn than from the masters, in this case the top fifteen women bloggers – according to Technorati authority rankings:

The Huffington Post, of course! Arianna Huffington is my heroin, and not a day goes by without me paying a visit. Now a huge media enterprise, the Post still feels very much like a woman’s work. Love how Arianna paired up with the best in social media and business, to create a top notch Internet news source.

Dooce, Heather Armstrong’s deliciously irreverent brainchild. The woman is gooood, as in awesome writing. Plus, she’s got no hang ups, and shares it all. From the most intricate details about her latest ultrasound visit for her not yet born baby girl, to the ups and downs of her relationship with dear husband Jon, to the careful documentation of her days with five year old daughter Lela. Dooce is a ‘reality’ blog with some flair. Of course, it does not hurt that the whole family is blessed with insanely good looks.

In the same genre as Dooce, Ree Drummond,  The Pioneer Woman engages with her generous sharing of adorable family pics, tempting food photos, marital tales, and dreams of the Far West way of life. Baring it all  clearly pays off. Never mind that the reality shared is too perfectly imperfect – or imperfectly perfect? . . .

Reluctantly, I had to include Michelle Malkin in this list. Michelle’s got a captive audience with all her friends from Fox News.

Moving on, time to meet Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer. Another really good writer, who oozes mommy goodness. Moms love to hear about other moms’ stories, and Shannon sure knows how to deliver.

If Martha Stewart had a blog, her name would be Gabrielle Blair, from Design Mom. Clean looks, design and motherhood have never gone so well together. She’s got her niche covered.

Over at Tip Junkie, Laurie Turk has created a place for all the ‘homemakers’, the still huge crowd of women into crafts and things.

Love the naked simplicity of Simple Mom, Tsh’s blog.

Bitch Ph.D‘s probably my favorite woman’s blog, along with Dooce – no offense Arianna, I put you in a separate category – A collection of anonymous feminist – in a good way – voices, Bitch Ph.D shines by its authenticity. These women are not in it for the fame. They are just sharing their whole utterly – not perfectly – imperfect selves. How refreshing! I can’t get enough. Plus, you’ve got to like the name of that blog . . .

Don’t Try This is an ordinary mom’s blog, with the added appeal of daily giveaways. Apparently moms line up for the stuff.

In the food department, come  Smitten Kitchen and Delicious Days. Great food shots, and recipe writing, with lots of personal references. And in each case, a woman, assisted by her man for all the plugins and other technical goodies that make a blog super nice. Men like these are priceless . . . Heidi Swanson, with 101 Cookbooks blog manages on her own. Very well.

A‘s got to be the shortest blog name ever. A’s for designer Ali Edwards, world’s scrapbooking expert. Scrapbooking is big!!!!

Yarn Harlot is for the knitting nuts. Women, young and old love to knit, it’s well known. Create the best knitting bog, like Canadian Stephanie Pearl-McPherson, and you are guaranteed blogging stardom.

Fifteen blogs, that taught me a few tricks.

  • Write about what you feel most passionate about. Cliche, but heck, very true.
  • If that’s about a topic lots of other women are into, even better.
  • Hot topics: cooking, home, kids, knitting, scrapbooking, crafts . . . not much has changed since my grandmother’s days.
  • Share your life freely. Shit and all. Chicks, your primary audience love drama.
  • Dreams sell. Show off your perfect body, perfect home, perfect family. If you’ve got them. If not, make up stuff.
  • At home moms love to read blogs – don’t you forget it.
  • Moms can’t get enough of cute kids pictures, and stories, and videos. Ad nauseum.
  • If you’re going to venture into serious business – like Arianna and Michelle, bring in your personality – assuming you’ve got one . . .

That’s  eight tricks altogether. I just caught myself thinking, come on you can come up with ten. Quickly, though, my better self stepped in. What’s up with ten? Be real, girl.

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During our Dreamfish Lab meeting last week, Peter (Kaminski) suggested several cool titles for me and Paul (Loper) to read about complementary economy. Fascinating subject. I want to learn all there is to know about these very old, and also very new ways to capture transactions. There is only one problem. Books scare me now. They really do.

Ever since I discovered blogs, and Facebook, and Twitter, I have slowly, but surely moved away from books. My excuse: I have no time. There is always a new post to write, or read, or comment on, and stuff to tweet about. And when I need an answer, I go on Twitter or Linkedin, or to the  Google Search box. 

The thought of reading a book fills me with angst. I am not sure I am up to the task, anymore. The last time, was Obama‘s Dreams From my Father. But that was easy reading. My mind has become accustomed to quick scanning, quite a different gymnastic from sustained attention. 

I did a bit of research on “Internet culture”, “reading”, brain”, on Google . . . And came up with links to several blog articles. I am not alone apparently. The Internet generation is at risk of turning stupid, according to some researchers. Maryanne Wolf, from Tufts University,  devotes a whole chapter on the topic, in her book, Proust and the Squid: the Story and the Science of the Reading Brain.  Of course, I did not read the book. Instead, I read an article about the book, to get the main idea. 

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Online social capital is becoming a highly sought out asset, particularly for those seeking to market themselves and/or their services using social media. Based on my limited experience on the receiver’s end, here is a list of do’s and don’ts of social media:

10 Do’s of Social Media:

  1. Do comment on others’ blogs
  2. Do respond to comments on your own posts
  3. Do reciprocate comments with comments on commenter’s blog
  4. Do link generously to others’ posts
  5. Do answer emails/DM from your readers – I don’t care how important or how busy you are
  6. Do share parts about yourself that resonate with others
  7. Do make others feel better about themselves after they read you
  8. Do gift others with valuable information, offers of support, spontaneous acts of random kindness
  9. Do facilitate relevant connections amongst your readers
  10. Do answer others’ requests for help – signing of petitions, joining of causes, small donations

10 Don’ts of  Social Media:

  1. Not responding to comments on your posts
  2. Not responding to others’ online communications to you 
  3. Engaging in excessive self-promotion
  4. Making others feel bad, or even worse non existent
  5. Boasting about your 5,000 friends – frankly, I don’t give a dam
  6. Being a fake
  7. Pushing a product or a service
  8. Using others, for your personal gain only
  9. Sending automatically generated messages – this is supposed to be social
  10. Harassing others with too many asks 

Easier said than done. Particularly when dealing with multiple channels and significant numbers of ‘friends’. I have found the time required to be a good ‘friend’ an ongoing challenge. Consistent with HP’s Twitter Research quoted in Jeremiah Wang‘s blog, my coping strategy on Twitter, has been to relate with ‘friends’, in concentric circles, starting with a core of people I have an ongoing relationship with, then going into circles of decreasing interaction frequency.  In the blogging department, I have had phases of intense dedication, when I followed my own medicine to the letter, followed by periods of neglect, as happened recently before I relaunched this blog. 

I wonder, what else would you add to those two lists, either from a user or a producer’s perspective?

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Completing my survey of the green blogosphere, here is the list of my top all around green blogs. Lots of heavy weights here. Although, it is easy to get lost in some of the bigger sites, the richness and diversity of the articles, as well as the comments, usually more than make up for the inconvenience. I have also gotten quite a bit of traffic from commenting and trackbacking on these sites. The list:

From looking at the links for all the names, Blogspot appears to be the hosting site of choice for many green bloggers. Followed by WordPress and TypePad. I am happy with WordPress . . .

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My Top 15 Green Guys Blogs

Because it’s nice to get some of that manly green energy once in a while. Guys are a lot more serious on the whole. And they like to talk about big things, like cars, wind turbines, oil politics, mega solar installs, . . . stuff that’s often foreign to me, frankly. But once in a while, I like to pretend that I understand, and I venture in these guys’ blogs, and even make comments. Here is the list:

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Here it is, the list of my absolute favorite Green Chicks Blogs. Compiled after much searching and deliberating. There was some methodology to my madness. To start with, I relied on Technorati and the blogrolls from established green blogs. Next, I kept only blogs with recent and regular activity. Many bloggers don’t bother to update their blogroll, by the way . . . Last, and most importantly, these are all blogs that I enjoy visiting and commenting on.

That’s fifteen altogether.

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It’s Getting to Me

‘It’ is the information overload, from scouring the blogosphere for other green blogs to comment on. After a while, they are all starting to look the same. Very busy, for the most part. And all trying to lure readers with tips, and various tricks. I don’t know where to rest my eyes. I need to take a break from all that capharnaum. When I am done, I will share my list of the winners. Skelliewag is starting to rub off on me . . .

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Green, green, green is everywhere. In the paper, the blogs, the social networks, in the venture capitalists’ mouths, on the buses, at Walmart. It seems that everywhere I turn, I hear, see green. That not much has changed, and that we are still headed for disaster if we don’t act, gives me a case of greenitis. Green overload, with no satisfaction.

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The ‘Monster’ problem

Global warming feels like a monster without a head. A monster with a life of its own. A monster so big that it can never be grasped in its totality. My Cartesian mind does not like it. It wants a clearly defined problem with some definite answers. Instead, it finds opinions, arguments, and a myriad of answers to even the simplest questions. There are literally hundreds of environmental organizations, each with their own version of the “Inconvenient Truth”. In the blogosphere, I found more than four thousand blogs under the environmental blogs category. There are the heroes like No Impact Man, the business bloggers looking to clean tech as the next gold rush, the scientists spilling out their truths, the green mommies exchanging their latest green tips, the political activists lobbying for their favorite candidate, . . . the list is endless. And then there are all the folks in the middle, the Green Wannabes like me, trying to make sense of that cacophony.

I need a reassuring parent

My heart is equally disconcerted. Mention the word ‘global warming’, and all these feelings bubble up. First, there is fear. Whenever I try to pin down the fear, it resists all my attempts. My fear is as big as the monster, and as elusive. Like jello, it slips away, and the more I try to get a hold of it, the messier it gets. Never far away from fear, is the feeling of being overwhelmed, and powerless. I feel so little. And the word global feels so big, and so not something that a single person can wrestle with. I am brought back to the times when my parents looked like giants and I could not say much. I also don’t like chaos, and unpredictability. Someone’s got to come, Al maybe, who can take charge, take care of the monster problem. I want a leader I can trust, who can reassure me that things will be ok. I want an action plan. I want to be told, this is what is going to be done, and this is what you need to do. And it is all going to work out. No ifs, no buts. Clear laws. Like speed limits, or the no smoking law. Right now, I do not feel anybody is in charge. Nobody is.

Shrinking the monster down to small steps

I hold all these thoughts, and these feelings, and I remember what I learned to say as a therapist, to patients in recovery. “When you are feeling overwhelmed, do not try to do everything at once. You can’t. Instead think small steps. Think about the one thing you can do today, and do it”. What is the one thing I can do today? Besides writing this post. I need to think hard, as there are so many options. The temptation to think large is a trap I need to avoid. The monster is big, I feel I want to grasp as much as possible at once. When that fails, I end up doing nothing. I have been meaning to get involved in the local ‘Vote for Al Gore’ campaign. Maybe now is the time to be more aggressive about it, and to email Chris, the local leader, one more time.

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On our way out to the grocery store, I mentioned No Impact Man to Green Guru. “Can you believe this guy in New York, he has decided to go 100% carbon neutral for a whole year, and his blog is now ranked #1,400 something on Technorati!” I knew to expect some kind of cynical response from Green Guru. “The people in Africa and all the poor countries have been doing the same thing for hundred of years, and nobody is talking about them. All it takes, is going back to the way our grandparents lived. What’s the big deal?” Green Guru had a point of course, although I could argue, if it was that easy, we would not be in the predicament we are in. I agree with Green Guru, the solution to the climate crisis problem is simple. Getting humans to cooperate, that’s the problem. We are like children, who have been given all these great toys, and now we don’t want to give them up.

“How about taking the green bags sitting on the door knob?” If if had not been for Green Guru reminding me, I was about to leave for Whole Foods, without the precious bags. Case in point.

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