Blogging About Blogging: A Project

The Gist of Blogging About Blogging

So, if you have been following my blog for the past five weeks or so you have seen me analyze five different blogs, and even interview some of the authors!

But now it is time to discover what all of the past five week’s work has proven to mean.

My project proposal is here, but I will explain it all again anyways.

 

Here’s what I did: 

I followed 5 different blogs, which were:

1) Life Inspired 

2) Vintage Reflection

3) Small Food Business

4) Abby Has Issues

5) The Droid You’re Looking For 

My goal was to see what can be gained, learned and the like by following these 5 bloggers on a wordpress website.

I worked with each blog for an entire week, first posting on what the blog was about, linking heavily throughout. I gave background on each of the authors and ended each review with the following questions.

What am I learning? 

What needs to be shared?

What shouldn’t be shared?

How are the blogs performed in general?

How are they structured?

What kind of following do they have?

Are suggestions or ideas (recipes, etc.) from blogs do-able?

What is to be gained by blogging in general?

What is to be gained by following the bloggers?

What did I gain?

 

Here’s what happened:

I posted first on Life Inspired.

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The blog is run by Simone; a wife, mother, and entrepreneur.Simone blogs about being a parent to a lively little girl who doesn’t eat sugar, about what it is like to be the wife of a radio personality, and about the everyday struggles and life blessings that enhance her world. Simone has 20+ categories of post topics with everything from baby food to relationships.

I emailed Simone but didn’t get a response so in my second post I answered my own questions with answers I drew from following her blog. She did, however comment on one of my posts and followed me on twitter and tweeted at me!

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Posts:

Living Inspired

Delving Deeper with Life Inspired

 

I then worked with Vintage Reflection, run by Amy Purfield-Clark. Amy is a fashion blogger and lives with her boyfriend Dave, who is the photographer for her website. She showcases her own illustrations and styles weekly. Amy also followed me on twitter and tweeted at me! She was also the first blogger to respond to my email and answered all my questions I asked about her blog. In addition to all of her feedback, she commented on my blog as well.

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Posts:

Amy Meets London & A Vintage Reflection 

Mind Surfing with Vintage Reflection

Style Right, Blog Right

 

Next up I worked with Small Food Business. Jennifer Lewis is the author of the website and is an entrepreneur in the small food business world. She was on her way into creating her small food business when she realized how there was a large lack of information and resources regarding the world of artisan food owners and aspiring food entrepreneurs. Thus, the Small Food Business blog was born.

I also contacted Jennifer early on in the week for an interview and she responded right away!

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Posts:

Small Foodie Businesses: Seattle Style

Taking on the Small Food Business World: An Interview with Jennifer Lewis

It’s a Wrap — An Analysis and Summary 

 

By the fourth week, I was working with Abby Has Issues. Abby Heugel is a magazine writer and editor who started blogging as a way for some additional enjoyment, and not just employment. She was also awarded the 2012 “Blogger of the Year” and has five books that are available on Amazon. I also emailed Abby for an interview but she missed it. She did, however comment on my blog. Twice.

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Posts:

Who is Abby?

Deciphering the Issues 

The Gist of Abby Has Issues 

 

Finally,  I worked with The Droid You’re Looking For. Winner of the 2012 Lammys (The Large Association of Movie Blogs) for Funniest Writer (see above), John LaRue is a graphic designer/production editor/print purchaser/data visualization geek, or so he says. In his spare time he likes to watch a “boatload” of movies, and enjoys writing about them, which is what he does on his blog. I also contacted John for an interview, to which he complied.

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Posts:

Enjoying the Popcorn: Movie Blogging

Going Back for Seconds — An Extra Buttery Featurette 

Bergman, Hitchcock, Oh My!

A Procrastinated End

 

In addition to all of my postings, I noticed a large increase in the amount of followers and regular day-to-day traffic I was getting. Since starting my project I have gained a strong following on my blog and am up to 70+ followers on my blog. A majority of my posts also had a varied number of likes from unknown followers. Revert below to a series of my latest statistics.

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Here is what it all means:

Overall, I came to realize that I needed to answer some of my own questions if I want to figure out what all this means as a whole.

How are the blogs performed in general? 

The blogs are definitely utilized as performance spaces, as any blog may be considered. However, each of these blogs have continued to utilize their blogs as a way of getting their names out there in each of the fields they are pursuing. Every single blog I followed seemed to only better the professional life of the blogger in more ways than one. From gaining freelance work in fashion like Amy (Vintage Reflection) to altering his blog to meet his changing career like John (The Droid You’re Looking For), each blogger brought something different to the table, and continues to thrive in his or her own personal and work-related environments.

What is to be gained by following the bloggers?

From an outside perspective, a fellow follower of one or more of these blogs may gain just general or generic insight into ways to run a blog. Or perhaps, a follower may just be gaining the gist of the information from what the blogger is blogging about. Ask yourself why you follow the blogs you follow. 

What did I learn/gain? 

I learned so much! I learned generic things like how-to’s with Simone (Life Inspired), to how I could see my own blog being run in the future like Abby’s (Abby Has Issues). I also came to learn that I gained a lot more followers and likes on individual posts of my blog when I was analyzing others’ blogs than when I just was posting something I had thoughts. I had major traffic throughout the project, and who knows maybe I’ll continue it. The interviewing was by far my favorite part.

That being said, I had so much fun with it! I was surprised by how easy it was to get in contact with the authors of the blogs and found it interesting that I had contacted two of the other bloggers, whom both said to email them after I had, and then I never heard from them again. A fluke? Perhaps. Nonetheless, I had my favorites. I had a blast with Amy from Vintage Reflection and truly admired the work she put into creating her blog. I found myself relating to Simone from Life Inspired in the various content she posts, but I found myself wanting to be like Abby, from Abby Has Issues, whom I really felt inspired by with not only her personal achievements but with her great sense of humor. I also had a change of mind with John, from The Droid You’re Looking For, as he changes his blog to alter the type of work he is doing, while also settling in awe with Jennifer from Small Food Business, as she started her blog because she found her line of work lacking information for others out there.

I also took away some little things.

-The simplicity or complexity of some of the blogs.

-John LaRue was okay swearing in some of his posts, where you didn’t find that in all of them.

-Amy was trying to really get her name out there in a variety of different ways as a hope for some freelance work.

-Abby didn’t have any pictures of herself on her blog in comparison to Simone who shares pictures of her daughter weekly and Amy who has her photographer boyfriend Dave shoot her weekly as well.

Everyone brought something new to the table, and I really enjoyed the work.

Changes for next time? 

If anything I would have liked to spend more time on each post, as well as be able to interview with each blogger instead of just 3 of them. I would improve on my time management and make my posts longer. All changes I am hoping to make if I continue analyzing blogs!

Favorite quotes from the experience:

Movie blogger John said: “I fully plan on continuing to write something about movies and TV for as long as people are willing to read it.” 

Fashion blogger Amy said: “I think I stay very true to my style and wouldn’t change this for more followers.” 

Foodie biz blogger Jennifer said: “Blogging is a great way to find your own voice and share your passions – whatever they may be – with the world. You have to be prepared to put in the time though and, ultimately, to be successful I think you have to love doing it even if your mom is your only reader.” 

Ta da!

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A Procrastinated End

I’ll admit I have procrastinated this end quite a bit. I had a lot of fun with this project so I am really reluctant to it being over. Nonetheless, The Droid You’re Looking For deserves a proper analysis. If you missed my first posts on John LaRue’s site be sure to revert back to my first, Enjoying the Popcorn: Movie Blogging, my second post, Going Back for Seconds — An Extra Buttery Featurette, and my third post, Bergman, Hitchcock, OH MY!

And the analysis beckons.

1) How much time is spent daily and weekly blogging?

John already answered this for us in my second post, Going Back for Seconds — An Extra Buttery Featurette, where I had a mini interview with him about his blog. Read on about it there!

2) How is the blog performed in general?

John’s blog is used as a fairly loose performance space. He has gotten freelance work out of it he had said even though the blog isn’t very professional-looking to begin with. This must be a good thing! John’s blog is funny, opinionated, and light — everything a movie blog should be. It wasn’t anything used initially to obtain work in the first place, and even though John has gained some from it, he hasn’t a changed a thing. Dedication, kudos.

3) What kind of following does John have?

As far as I could tell John has a pretty strong following when it comes to his blog. There wasn’t a side bar or anything of the like (minus the 5, 471 followers blurb, but that could also be from sharing posts automatically via Twitter and Facebook) that told me how many followers he had or how many specific people liked which post like some of the other blogs I have worked with thus far, but he did have a substantial number of comments following each post he had written. In addition to that, the comments seemed to be from fans, who are real lovers of what John is writing about and even had some similar interests when it came to his opinion regarding directors, etc.

4) What is to be gained for John in general?

John has gained freelance work thanks to his blog and has been currently making the switch into adding new additions to his blog as he dips into the workings of a new field. He is adapting what he loves to the changings of his career and promise of his future. Hopefully only more good things are to come for John and his blog.

5) What is to be gained by following John’s blog?

Knowledge! And hilarity. When it comes to John’s blog, they seem to come hand in hand. Not only are you able to read about movies galore and the directors that put their blood, sweat, and tears into each feature, you can read John’s own personal opinions on all of the like. Lots of readers have seemed to have found solace in the fact that their own opinions seems to match John’s, aiding in a strong fan-base forming.

6) How is John’s blog structured?

John’s blog is structured fairly informally. Everything is simple and not overdone. He has a Recent Posts tab and a Blogroll tab to the right of the featured post, as the blog itself flows continually, bringing the readers back to older posts as they scroll further and further down.

7) What did I gain?

I gained insight into a how a more informal blog can be created but still used semi-professionally. I also gained insight into the different kind of blogs that can be created, the topic mill is never ending, and seriously a movie blog? So cool.

8) What did I learn?

I learned basically the same as what I gained. Duh. Those questions are basically the same but yet I have been fiddling around with them for five weeks.

Anywhoo, stick around for my final project analysis/write-up!

Bergman, Hitchcock, OH MY!

Moving on this week with The Droid You’re Looking For, author John LaRue shares with us his top 5 favorite directors. All information and comments were taken directly from John’s blog so read on.

First up is Ingmar Bergman.

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He was Doctor Doom- expounding heavily on weighty philosophical and theological matters that hadn’t been discussed too often in cinema prior to Bergman- but he was also an absolute master at his craft. He took the close-up and made it his own weapon, sapping every ounce of humanity possible out of his actors’ faces. His attention to detail was phenomenal. He and his long-time cinematographer, Sven Nykvist, were phenomenal with their use of shadow, light, and contrast in a grayscale medium. By just about any measure that you’d like to use to gauge a director, Ingmar Bergman was phenomenal. And the ruthless honesty with which he approached serious questions that plague mankind launch him into a different stratosphere.
See: The Seventh Seal; Winter Light; The Magician; Persona; Wild Strawberries

Numero two is Luis Bunuel.

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Buñuel was the king of absurdity, the Sultan of the Surreal. He grew up, intellectually, with Salvador Dali; the two met and befriended each other in Madrid when Buñuel was 17. The two launched a film career together with the iconic Un Chien Andalou and ultimately changed film forever. Buñuel was counter-culture to his very core, a rebel who greatly enjoyed whimsically poking fun at religion, sexuality, class structure, and just about every other social institution you can imagine. And for this, he is my #2.
See: The Phantom of Liberty; The Exterminating Angel; Los Olvidados; Un Chien Andalou; The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie

Louis Malle is John’s third pick.

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Time and time again, when you see lists of great directors, Louis Malle is either buried towards the bottom or excluded altogether. The only real reason I can come up with for this egregious mistake is that Malle had no specific genre. Most auteurs have a template that they employ while executing their craft. Louis Malle did not. He made film noir; French language drama; English language drama; gangster films; French and American documentaries; short films; etc… And each time he tackled a new genre, he was very successful at it. The one thing that he shares with Bergman is that he’s so deeply personal in his films. Many of his films are some shade of biographical. And his early film, The Fire Within, is quite frankly my favorite film of all-time.
See: The Fire Within; Elevator to the Gallows; Murmur of the Heart; God’s Country; Au Revoir les Enfants

Fourth on the list is Akira Kurosawa.

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John wrote about Akira Kurosawa in his very first blog post, check out what he said to say about him below.

At some point in the last year or so, I’ve come to view Kurosawa as the best director in the world. He’s not necessarily my favorite (hello, Ingmar Bergman) but in the pure terms of the artistic value of his films, combined with entertainment value, I don’t think you can top Kurosawa. Why do I say this?

1. He was a rebel

Themes of rebellion are all over the place in his movies. High and Low, The Lower Depths, Ikiru, and The Bad Sleep Well have very poignant, very sharp critiques of greed and monopoly capitalism. Protagonists in films like Yojimbo/Sanjuro and Seven Samurai are badass outsiders.

2. His films translate well in the west

In fact, his films translate so well in the west that critics in Japan broke his chops for not making traditional Japanese films. But consider- Kurosawa was making films in post-World War II Japan and had to mold whatever message he had in an acceptable way for American censors. And he still managed to get through critiques of greed and capitalism.

Seven Samurai became The Magnificent Seven. Yojimbo became A Fistful of Dollars. His brilliant conflicting-story epic, Rashomon, was re-made as the very underrated, unknown The Outrage. And let’s not forget that Star Wars owes a good deal to The Hidden Fortress.

3. His films were technical masterpieces

This is one of those fun little things I’ve learned from commentary (thank you, Criterion). Watch the way so many of his shots work. There’s a beautiful choreography that goes on between foreground and background. Or watch some of the breathtaking exterior scenes he captures, particularly the way shadow and light play with one another. Watch the astounding close-ups that he uses to milk every last drop of humanity out of the character. He was a master behind the camera.

4. Kurosawa had a proper appreciation for classical literature

Literature Kurosawa tackled at various times:

  • Macbeth
  • Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot
  • King Lear

5. Few directors, if any, capture humanity the way Kurosawa did

The two best examples that come to my mind are Dodes’ka-Den and Stray Dog. Both films give you powerful insight in to the slums, into the characters in the slums. Ikiru is another beautiful example. As much as that film is about one man’s character arc from cold bureaucrat to philanthropist, it’s also about the way people respond to him at various points along the arc. Or check out High and Low, which takes a very dramatic situation- a kidnapped child- and gives you deep insight into the reason/cold calculation of the police, the father’s debate over the various options to get the child back (and the vengeance that boils underneath the surface), the employee whose behavior led to the kidnapping, etc.

6. The dude simply didn’t make a bad movie

I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Lower Depths, at least the story in the film. Even then, the pure art of filmmaking is tighter than a frog’s asshole. And we’re not talking about, say, PT Anderson, who has made some fantastic films but only has 5 or so to his credit. Through Netflix alone, you can watch 20+ films by Kurosawa. I’ve banged out 16 and not one has been a dud. Not one has even been so much as average.

You get the point. Kurosawa was a master filmmaker.

 

And finally, number five is Alfred Hitchcock.

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I’m relatively limited, as I’ve seen about 1/3 of the full Hitchcock catalogue. But the insane quality of what I’ve already seen demands to be included on this brief list. No director was better at toeing the line between art and entertainment. Sure, you might think of Vertigo as a crazy little flick about Jimmy Stewart’s obsession with Kim Novak. But peel back a layer or two and there’s a really hilarious, and dirty, subtext about necrophilia (and to a lesser degree, celebrity worship). Psycho is tense and full of suspenseful goodness, but a thin layer below that, it may as well have been made by Sigmund Freud. In Rope, you the viewer find yourself sucked into a morbid fascination with the murder plot hatched by the protagonists. But there in the middle of it all is one of the protagonists re-telling a tale of how shaken he’d gotten by a farm episode in which he had to “choke chickens”. Like Bergman, Hitchcock was obsessed with details and it paid off in buckets when it came to overall quality.
See: Vertigo; Rear Window; North by Northwest; Psycho; Strangers on a Train

Going Back for Seconds – An Extra Buttery Featurette

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Please excuse my sad movie-related innuendos.

John LaRue, writer on The Droid You’re Looking For, my featured blog this week was nice enough to answer some questions for me, so feel free to read on. Also, if you missed my first post about his blog, you might want to revert back here first.

Me: When and how did you begin blogging?

John: I started in March 2010. I had (and still have) daily conversations via email with a friend of mine, frequently about film and TV. He had been pushing me to create a blog for some time so I could have an outlet for all of the things we discuss. It originally started as a repository for stick figure drawings of my favorite movie scenes and some occasional film theory, but it eventually evolved into a grab bag of whatever came into my head regarding movies and TV shows. 

Me: How much time do you spend daily or weekly blogging?

John: Admittedly, this has dwindled quite a bit recently because of other commitments in my daily life. At my peak, I’d say I was spending 6-7 hours a week depending on the types of articles I’d post. Now, it’s probably around 1-2 hours. Some of my most involved infographics can take up to 20 hours, but I write that off as professional development.

Me: Dying to know what your top three movies are, will you share?

John: Oh boy… Only three? There are kind of two answers here. There’s the answer that’ll make me sound like a dreadful film snob. Those three would be Winter Light (1962), The Fire Within (1963), and The Phantom of Liberty (1974)… three foreign films full of sunshine and kitties and rainbows and lollipops. My more standard answer would be The Godfather, The Big Lebowski, and Hot Fuzz, three films I could watch 1,000 times over and never cease loving them for any reason.

Me: What kind of feedback do you generally receive from readers?

John: My feedback tends to be great. I love my readers because they come to my site, they engage with the content, and they love discussing movies and TV with me. It blows my mind sometimes that there are people around the country, around the world even, who visit tdylf.com and want to read the stuff that comes out of my head. I get such a kick out of that, and I love reading how people respond to what I’ve written. 

Me: What do you think can be gained for your readers as followers of your blog?

John: As much as anything, I hope it’s enthusiasm for movies and TV. It’s easy to say bad things about film, but nobody’s paying me for that, and I’d rather try to learn about what a film does right rather than what it does wrong. Movie history runs so deep and there’s something in it for everyone. Every single person can find a movie that speaks to them on some level, and I absolutely love that. I would hope that at least some of that inherently rubs off to the readers.

Me: What do you believe has been gained for yourself?

John: Having this blog has helped me discover other sites where I can learn more about movies- what works, what doesn’t work, what makes a classic a classic and a blockbuster a success. It’s like a miniature film school for free.

Me: Do you plan to continue your blog in the future?

While my focus has changed a bit in the last year or so, moving more towards data visualization and infographics, I fully plan on continuing to write something about movies and TV for as long as people are willing to read it. 

Me: Has your blogging aided in your writing being published? What kind of world has the blogging world opened for you?

John: Strangely enough, recently, my co-workers discovered a lot of the data visualization/infographics I’ve done for my site, and it opened some doors for me in my professional life. Having this blog has also allowed me to reach audiences so much larger than I ever expected when I started. I even have some freelance jobs now specifically for movie sites.

I’ve also been very fortunate because some of my articles have found their way in front of the people who make some of my favorite movies.

Me: Anything else you would like to share?

John: As for anything else, I’d say that blogging is a great way to hone your skills and your interests, whatever they may be. For me, having tdylf.com has gotten me published a few times, enabled me to work on my skills as a graphic designer, and given me an outlet to talk about something that I enjoy deeply.

Well said, John! Keep check back for more on John and The Droid You’re Looking For.

Enjoying the Popcorn: Movie Blogging

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Winner of the 2012 Lammys (The Large Association of Movie Blogs) for Funniest Writer (see above), John LaRue is a graphic designer/production editor/print purchaser/data visualization geek, or so he says. In his spare time he likes to watch a “boatload” of movies, and enjoys writing about them, which is what he does on his blog, The Droid You’re Looking For. He resides currently in St. Louis, Missouri where he posts frequently about the movies he watches. In addition to his movie-loving, John is a die-hard baseball fan. A previous job of his was an intern as a Media Relations Director, but he now settles for supporting the St. Louis Cardinals.

Some of John’s recent and past accomplishments have included; work featured on io9, Grantland, Movies.com, Wired, Slate.com, and the Toronto Star. John was also featured on the now-defunct IMDB Hit List 21 times and his work has been published in I Love Charts: The Book and The Best American Infographics 2013.

On the About page for John’s blog, I read about his preference in genre and his favorite filmmakers.

He wrote, “I enjoy French films (nearly every aspect of them), horror films and premium cable TV (Breaking Bad). Ingmar Bergman and Buster Keaton are my yin and yang.” John also listed the notable Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese (twice, even), and Edgar Wright as a few of his preferred directors, and noted that, “this list could continue on forever.”

John also provides a separate tab on his blog entitled, 5 Directors, where he has posted about his five favorite directors in order. To give a sneak peek into what my second post will about I will post his preferences, but will say the “whys” until later this week. John’s list as follows:

1. Ingmar Bergman

2. Luis Buñuel

3. Louis Malle

4. Akira Kurosawa

5. Alfred Hitchcock

Embarrassingly enough, and maybe I shouldn’t be admitting this, I haven’t heard of any of the 1-4 listed filmmakers. I’ve at least heard of Hitchcock, but haven’t seen any full-length movies by him, only interviews and clips, etc. I have a lot to learn this week.

As I sifted and snooped through John’s comments on his pages, I learned that I am definitely not the first person to do a little write-up about his blog or to feature him on my own. All feedback I read was completely positive and seems to exert the feeling that he has a strong fan-base forming. John has since archived his work all the way back to March of 2010.

Now that I hopefully have all the movie-lover’s attention, I will bid adieu.

Stay tuned for more!

Touring the Studios, Or Something

So, this week instead of me answering questions about what I did well, not well, etc., I am to search and snoop around three of my classmates’ work and chat to cyberspace about it.

Here I go.

First up is Amber. A link to her project can be found here, but I will explain it anyways.

Amber set out to construct an Alternative Fashion Wiki, where she primarily provides information on the Steampunk, Mori, Gothic Victorian, and Lolita aesthetics. A link to her page can be found here. Amber was able to personalize her wiki in a way that is similar to a blog. It becomes much more personable to her style and personality.

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She has listed several photos and videos that can correlate directly with the kinds of alternative fashion styles she has chosen to provide information about. Her interactive way of wiki-ing has created a solid format for Amber to share her information.

Gothic Victorian fashion puts a dark twist on Victorian-Era styles,” she writes.

Lolita fashion focuses on modesty and good quality materials.”

“The primary features in Steampunk are steam powered machinery, retro-futuristic weaponry, and clockwork parts, such as cogs and gears.”

Go to her site to read more.

Next up is Anna. Once again you can read about her project here, but I’ll give you the gist of it also.

Anna focused on Teaching Writing with Wikis: Resources and Implications for Use, where she formed a collection of materials that relate to the theory and pedagogy of using wikis in the writing classroom. She set out to collect and curate resources that are readily available online for writing instructors either thinking about or currently using wikis in their writing courses. A link to her work can be found here.

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More specifically though, I’ve been observing on what she has been up to lately with her project. She helps you get started with Wiki Basics, utilizing videos to aid with any confusion. She shares examples of wikis that have been/currently are being utilized for courses in Examples of Course Wikis with links to guide the newbie. She shares the Benefits, explains How Tags Work, and honestly wrote about some Possible Pitfalls.

The biggest thing about Anna’s wiki that remains helpfully constant is her use of links. She surely reached her goal as she shared the resources that would be the most helpful, while also sharing her own thoughts regarding her topic of using wikis in the classroom. She also is able to share her own experiences and observations as a result of being a student in classes that utilize wikis, as well as being a teacher that utilizes them herself.

Finally, last but not least is Ashley, whom we are all jealous of because she was trekking around the other side of the world during this project.

Ashley worked on sharing her EuroSpring Experience, as she wrote on her blog about her time in Oxford and London, England, as well as in Dublin, Ireland. So jealous. A link to her blog can be found here. But be sure to read up on her project here first.

On Ashley’s blog, Surviving Free Time, My way, I read about Ashley’s five weeks abroad where she posted about the first couple days without sleep, in All I want to do is Eat, Sleep, and Brush my Teeth and fighting a cold among learning about Jane Austen in Tuesday’s Adventure. Towards the end of March Ashley made it to Dublin and posted about her time at the zoo in What a day! By the first week of April Ashley was posting about Westminster Abbey, The Sherlock Holmes Museum and the London Bridge in Quickly Watson, to Westminster Abbey! By her last posts of the trip Ashley shared her expectations for the tests to come and how packing up after a trip is like a game of tetris. You can catch pictures of her with two of her professors in The second to last page.

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Overall, and to be completely honest, Ashley’s blog was one of my favorites to read about. She had very exciting, lengthy posts that took us right through every single day with her. She even shared what she had for breakfast every single day, which was perfect for me because who doesn’t like to read about food?

She included so many great pictures and had little captions for each or had created a mini collage that played while you read through her post. Between being sick, going to class, studying, and trekking through England and Ireland I don’t know how she was able to post so much and so often. Kudos Ashley, and glad to have you back!

Andddd, just in case you missed it, for your reading pleasure not my own, here were my posts on Abby Has Issues this week. And a sneak peek into next week, where I will be deciphering The Droid You’re Looking For.

16 April – Who is Abby?

16 April – Deciphering the Issues

17 April – The Gist of Abby Has Issues

P.S. Abby even commented, so check it out.

 

Next week:

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The Gist of Abby Has Issues

 

It’s that time of the week.

We go down from the usual ten questions to eight, as Abby doesn’t have any recipes, etc. Read on.

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1) How much time is spent daily and weekly blogging?

I’m pretty much riding the guess-timation train on this but Abby seems to blog around two times a week, at least. I can imagine this is how she maintains her following. More specifically by keeping her posts short, sweet, and sassy, which seems to be a pretty common theme throughout.

2) What am I learning?

I am learning how to be funny.

Just kidding, a little. Abby is funny though, she has the perfect personality for blogging. Or for my type of blogging. I am also learning that with a career like I wish to have she still is able to write creatively, which is a big deal to me, and I love to see how it is working for her. She is also able to use her blog as a performance space and promote her books, which whether or not it is making a difference in the sales is fun to do, and surely caught my attention.

Also, my mom texted me about it.

Mom: That Abby blog is hilarious.

P.S. Thanks for reading my blog, mom.

3) How is Abby’s blog performed in general?

Abby uses her blog as, originally I feel just a place to write creatively, but now in addition to that, she uses it as a space to promote her books as well. Thus, now I feel Abby has reached a happy medium between the two, her blog not focusing primarily on one or the other.

4) How is Abby’s blog structured?

Abby’s blog is structured quite simply, but it works. It really works. Her hilarity shines through and there is no need for an excess of blogular details. It is easily the most simple blog I have “researched” thus far,  but like I said before, it works. Her blog is more specifically used as a thought release, and therefore the simplicity is appreciated.

5) What kind of following does Abby have?

Abby has a really strong following, with lots of comments and likes littering each of her posts. She is quite obviously writing the gist of what people want to read about, including me. I am curious as to how that following has expanded over time, and will in the future.

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6) What is to be gained for Abby by blogging in general?

Lots can be gained for Abby! She has been promoting her five (!) books left and right, as well as sharing her impossibly hilarious humor, which has already gained a strong following, like I stated above. I am interested in what her long term blog goals may be, but for now I can only conclude that she will continue to use it as an informal performance space, like she has been continuously doing. Not to say that it hasn’t been working!

7) What is to be gained by me, as a reader?

Lately I have been “researching” bloggers that have been using their blogs as more formal professional work spaces, as a way to get their names out there. Abby seemingly has been doing that but in a much more informal way. This though, may appeal to her followers more and has aided in building up the type of following she has now.

8) What will I share?

Everything. Abby is hilarious. ‘Nuff said.

Over and out.

Deciphering the Issues

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Abby Heugel is Abby Has Issues if you missed my first post. And if you did, be sure to revert back here to get caught up.

I definitely centered my focus mainly upon Abby’s books in my first post, so in this one we are going to bring it on back a tad and check out what is actually on her blog.

To be fair, Abby’s blog is pretty basic. She has her list of books along the right side, and the list of topics she has posted about along the left. The middle column is reserved for whatever Abby is talking about that day, or week, or whichever. Several of her posts have quite a few comments so you can scroll forever to read what others have said. While already have covered the About Abby tab and the Buy the Books tab on Abby’s blog, we haven’t yet covered the Professional Issues tab. I’m dying to know what that one is about.

With a blog tagline of “I have issues. So do you.” this has got to be good. It is here where Abby explains what she does for a living, has done prior, and what she hopes to accomplish in the future (sarcastically of course, at least I think).

Abby graduated with a degree in professional writing (which is what I am also working towards, twinsies), where she then went on to experience everything from freelance sports writing non-profit communications to being an editorial assistant for a professional sports team.

Go, sports.

However, for the past six years she has been a writer and editor for national trade publications. She contributes more than 100 nationally published features a year, and is also responsible for all additional editorial content of the magazines, newsletters, and enewsletters. Thus, while her days are spent writing seriously, she resorts to Abby Has Issues to write creatively and quite frequently humorously.

Finally, Abby shares that her ultimate goal is to become independently wealthy so she can live on an island, where she will work on her exotic container gardens while tirelessly devoting herself to perfecting the slow motion “Baywatch” jog.

There it is.

In addition, Abby has an abundance of hilarious posts, so be sure to hang around on her site for a while. My favorites thus far have been, A Motivational Speech for my Vacuum, Stars! They’re Just Like Us!, and Saying “I Do” to Equality.

Feel free to indulge and happy reading!

Who is Abby?

I’ll tell you.

Abby Heugel is a magazine writer and editor who started blogging as a way for some additional enjoyment, and not just employment. Or at least that’s what it says on her About Abby page.

She was also awarded the 2012 “Blogger of the Year”, was one of SkinnyScoop’s Top 25 Humor Bloggers, was “Top Female Blogger” by Studio30 Plus, and was the 2nd place winner listed on Humorpress.com.

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Ku-dos.

However, in addition to the above she also has five books out that are all available on Amazon. Thus, Abby Has Issues, Abby Still Has Issues: I still have issues. We all do, I Just Want to Be Alone, “You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth” and Other Things You’ll Only Hear from Your Friends In The Powder Room, and Moms are Nuts all need to be seen/read/bought by you. And me. Or, go to her Buy the Books tab on Abby Has Issues and check them out for a second.

Or read about them here.

In Abby’s first book, Abby Has Issues, Abby has formulated a series of essays that she had written on AbbyHasIssues.com. “I run mental marathons in yoga pants, eat green things from the ground and document my brilliant insights, I make you feel normal,” it says on the front cover. The entire thing was self-published, and is 150 pages of easy reading. Or easy listening, if someone is reading it to you. The cool thing is though that Abby didn’t write this book to make money. All the profits that are made from this book will go directly into an “Animals Have Issues” fund for the Humane Society. And, like Abby says, in case you need things spelled out for you, just follow these simple steps.

1. Buy the book.

2. Tell a friend, or ten.

3. Write a review on Amazon to help Abby get the word out.

4. Save a kitten and/or a puppy.

5. Enter the pantheon of awesomeness.

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Then, Abby wrote another book. And as she says, “people actually buy snuggies, so I figured it was worth giving it a go again.” In a similar sequel, Abby compiles more of her neurotic essays into another book, Abby Still Has Issues.

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This is what she had to say about it,

“Actually, I did it because writing is the one thing I really take pride in, the thing that keeps me afloat when I feel like I can barely keep my head above water (ahem, every day). So while this book is far from perfect or fancy — much like me, it has some issues — if I can share a little humor with even a dozen people that I am or am not related to, that are either sober or half in the bag, then it’s been worth it to me.”

Well said.

Abby’s next installment was I Just Want to Be Alone, a collection of humorous essays from Abby and 36 other hilarious female writers you may find on the web. See? (below)

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Then, “You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth” and Other Things You’ll Only Hear From Your Friends in the Powder Room came out. This book holds 39 (mostly) true tales by women, for women, and about being women.

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Sidenote Spectacular: It was an Amazon best-seller in only the first week. You can also read about the co-authors of this book here.

The last book Abby has been featured in lately is Moms are Nuts. Emmy winners, magazine editors, comedians, TV personalities, bestselling authors and social media superstars teamed up on this book to bring you a laugh-out-loud installment of stories about having a mom, grandmom, or mom-figure. The book has 26 stories all together and features Abby along with several other hilarious writers, whom of which you can read about here. Or you can simply glide by the site here.

In other news, Abby has also managed to keep her fake tree alive for five+ years and can still do the splits all three ways.

She can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. And I’m not going to lie, I just followed her.

After finding out all that about Abby, and just on her About page alone, she has 84 likes and 46 comments. This chick is the real deal.

Stay tuned for more.

 

Reflecting with Food & More

It’s the end of week three and the start of week four! Woohoo, time is flying magnificently!

I do have to admit this week did get the best of me though. I had a hard time starting out and missed valuable time on Jennifer Lewis’s Small Food Business blog. However, I did contact her early in the week and she answered all the questions I had about her blog and more. Thus, towards the end of the week I decided to make her blog a weekend feature, and I proceeded to bust out all of my thoughts in a series of posts.

Late Friday I sent out my first post, Small Foodie Businesses: Seattle Style. Early in the day Saturday, I sent out my second post, Taking on the Food Business World: An Interview with Jennifer Lewis. Later in the day on Saturday I sent out my final post, It’s a Wrap — An Analysis and Summary.

Overall, my only trouble was my time frame. As school gets closer and closer to its end, I become ironically, a horrible procrastinator. In addition to that, Jennifer’s blog is set up differently than the others I have covered thus far, making it more difficult for me to come at it in the angles I have been approaching the others.

Next, however, I will be moving into week four at warp speed and will be taking on Abby Has Issues. Stay tuned!

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