Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Never Assume...

In coming up with the description for my blog ("Your source for 'word fails'") I assumed that people would know what the blog entailed. I assumed the they were familar with the common lingo term "fail" and would know what a word fail was. But I had a lot of people ask me what my description meant and didn't think it was a clear what my blog was about. I was shocked by how many people had never heard the term and weren't familar with sites like FML or FailBlog. I guess I shouldn't assume, just because my circle of friends is familar with something, that it is common knowledge. "Fail" is a word that is used daily among my friends and we've all spent endless hours on FML and FailBlog. But the truth is, that's not everyone.
I fixed this problem on my blog by adding a definition of the term "word fail" on the sidebar on the top just below the title and description. I didn't want to change my description because I liked how it was a quick, catchy, one-liner. I hope the definition suffices to clear things up.

Discovering One Thing in the Process of Another

In the process of producing this blog, I've discovered something that I like to do. Writing the blogs is enjoyable, but I already knew that I like to write. But what i didn't know is that I like to design layouts. I didn't like the idea of keeping a premade layout because it just didn't feel like the blog was my own. So I found a layout generator online, fiddled around with it and designed my own layout. I learned a little about HTML in the process. It took me a while to design a layout that I was satisfied with, but even though it was time consuming, I still really enjoyed it. I'm thinking about taking some web design and programming classes. Who would of thought that I would discover a love for web design in a writing class?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Scavenger Hunts and Adopted Personas

I've realized that this blog is harder than I thought. My subject is to post failures within written word and that requires actually finding original material. It's stuff that I have to look for and wait till it comes to me. It's become somewhat of a scavenger hunt. I find that I'm always on the lookout for word fails, any and every where. I even have friends and family on the lookout, asking them to take pictures if they come across anything. It's caused me to really examine the world around me; notice things that I normally wouldn't. I find myself actually becoming the persona that I've created for myself on my blog as "editor of the world". I've become rather critical of written word, both in things other people have written and things I have written. I'll probably go back and read this later and find various mistakes that I couldn't believe that I had missed. I'm not entirely sure if this is a good thing...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Why Follow My Blog?

Generally, people like to be amused. So many people I know follow sites like FML or FailBlog, which essentially capture humor in unintentionally funny situations. My blog is along the same lines, except finding humor in mistakes made in written language.

I don't think people are going to question my credibility because it's not really something that requires it. But if, by chance, they were to question "How can I trust that you're picking out true errors?", I do have it in my About Me that I'm attending URI for a Writing & Rhetoric degree. This can maybe coax the reader into excepting my role as an "editor" in the blog since I am being educated on the subject of written language.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Enthusiast Blog Idea

I wanted to do something along the lines of finding humor in and focusing on the small things in life, with the saying "small things amuse small minds" as inspiration. I then narrowed it down to only the humor found in things that aren't meant to be humorous. I further narrowed it by focusing on humorous mistakes found in written language. This could be anything from typos in books, bad word choices in advertisement, really stupid facebook statuses, or even a light bulb going out on a store sign causing it to look like it spells out something that it doesn't.

My audience is really anyone with a sense of humor. People who take life too seriously are not going to be my target. I'm not planning on worrying about offending people with my posts. I think mistakes are funny; a lot of people think mistakes are funny. I find that when I laugh at my own mistakes, its easier to get past them.

Since it is aimed to be a humorous blog, I plan to make the layout pretty light. I may have a little bit of graphics but since I'll be having photos in my posts, it'll be kept pretty simple mostly so it won't be overwhelming to look at. It's going to be mostly pictures and commentary.

Some title ideas: WordSearch, Typo-ology, The Red Pen...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Idea's for Enthusiast Blog

Just some ideas...

1. Finding beauty in the seemingly ugly
2. Living at home (trust me, its more interesting than you'd think)
3. "What it means to be human" - observations about human nature
4. "Small things amuse small minds" - a focus on the little things that make up life
5. "You learn something new everyday" -facts and lessons acquired form everyday life

Response to Stefanac

I found Stefanac's chapter on "Blogs as Clubhouses" to be very helpful. His introduction about the origins of words that were used to insult blogs was a little of a stretch, but his advise and insight about what it means to be an enthusiast blogger and how to do it well to be very helpful seeing as I'll be writing an enthusiast blog of my own soon.

Reading some of "Mr. Jalopy's" posts was helpful, too. Though I don't have much interest in his topic of automobiles, I still enjoyed his posts for the simple fact that its just good writing. He gave a good tip about building fans and getting your blog out there:
"If I were to sell a Nikon D70 camera, I would never get a search hit because there are many sites that mention (and sell) the D70. Now, If I were to sell something more obscure, I would get a fair share of search traffic and Hooptyrides would appear on the front page."
That's a brilliant point. I'll keep that in mind when I'm setting up and writing my blog.

I also found it interesting how people blog about pretty much anything and can gain popularity. I can't believe that theirs a well-know blog devoted to secular Jewish music. I'd be interested in finding out how the author managed to pick up fans.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Response to Rebecca Blood

In response to Rebecca Blood's blog post about the history of weblogs, I would first like to point out that I learned the origin of the term "blog" and find it interesting that it stemmed from blogger's coined term "wee-blog" and was then shortened to "blog", probably due to the "telephone"effect where words evolve as they are pasted from one person to the next.

I can't say that I'm very surprised by how quickly the concept and use of blogs spread. Editorials have existed , whether verbal or in print, since the idea of local, national, or global news was intoduced and people always have opinions. The internet and use of blogs allow people to write editorials, express their opinions, or just express their individuality to a wider audience in such a creative and convient way.

Its interesting how the definition of what a blog is has changed recently, mainly because of its increase in popularity and evolution. Blood said, "the influx of blogs has changed the definition of weblog from 'a list of links with commentary and personal asides' to 'a website that is updated frequently, with new material posted at the top of the page'." I was not even aware of the first definition. By the time blogs reached my awareness, they had already taken on the reputation of the second definition. Though I have seen blogs that list links with commentary, I do not consider that to be the only kind of blog. In fact, when I think of blogs, I think of people's online journals where they tell stories and express their thoughts and opinions about pretty much anything.

I personally, don't have all too much experience with blogging, though I do have a little. When I was in 9th grade, I started a creative writing blog where I posted poetry or short stories, but only made a couple posts and wasn't able to aquire an audience. On facebook, before the outburst of survey's through the use of the "note" application, I posted a few in-depth editorial about certain issues and did recieve a lot of responses from different people which trailed to in-personal discussions. That was pretty awesome. After reading Rebecca's blog, and reading about her experience and what shes learned and the skills shes obtained, I feel inspired to start a blog of my own. I even feel compelled to read other people's blogs for further inspiration and to expand my knowledge about people.

Friday, September 11, 2009

What is Writing?

What is Writing?

Writing, in the most general sense, is language in the form of letters that make up words that make up sentences, etc... It's verbal communication in a visual form.
Writing can come in many ways and serve many purposes. It can be a book, or a journal, or a letter, or article. Its can be personal or impersonal; formal or informal. It can be informative or persuasive. Artistic and abstract or scientific and realistic. It can be fact or fiction; broad or specific. Writing, in every sense of the word, is expressive. It's a way in which mankind communicates the way they individualistically choose to.

What's great about writing is that it can be done anywhere at anytime. For me, its usually in my room, cozied up on my bed with a laptop, or outside on the deck under a canopy if its a nice enough day...(to be continued?)