Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Reading Incentive

What’s the difference between blogs and published writing? There is a difference, and many people don’t seem to realize it. Besides the fact that blogging is new to the writing world, blogs offer a new style of writing, compared to published articles, columns and books. Blogs particularly seem to have their own style of writing and attitude. It’s a style of writing that people seem to enjoy reading, but why do they enjoy it?

What makes blogging so popular is the freedom of writing. Freedom meaning writing in any kind of format one enjoys to write in, along with attitude, arguments, or even writing from a mood someone may be in. Most anything will get someone’s attention, but keeping it is what is hard to do when it comes to blogs. Some readers seem to like blogs short and to the point, and some would even argue that 1000 words would be to long. Therefore a blogger must ask themselves the following question: what can I do to keep a reader reading? Along with it being a freedom of writing, blogging is a form that keeps readers’ interest, the most when using humor, irony, and personal experience that people can relate to. Readers enjoy this and it makes blogging unique to other forms of writing.

Every writer has their own attitude or tone they enjoy to write in. Some range from a more serious attitude with a professional tone, others may write for fun and not care about how it sounds. These styles are either liked or disliked by someone. Because of the independence with blogs, people tend to find a favored style they enjoy reading. Once the people are drawn to a blog; the hard part is to keep them hooked to the reading. The reader may lose interest faster when reading a blog, so the writer must put in something to keep their attention, to keep their minds entertained. Examples would be: a change of topic, tone, emotion, and style. What kind is up to them, but some work better then others. Out of all of them, emotion is the strongest of them all; it is the most personal and descriptive. This is what writers tend to incorporate into their blogs.

Like all writers, bloggers use multiple writing techniques, which reflect to their topic. In comparison, writer’s blogs, tend to have a greater sense of humor than published writers. In fact there are bloggers who only write in a humorous style, like Uncle Bob’s post, “Never Threaten to Eat Your Co-Workers.” Uncle Bob takes us through an eventful day at work when everything goes wrong for him. His style of writing is a personal narrative, which he writes as if he were telling it in person. He writes as if we begged him to tell us what happened. Looking back at his blog online, he has many different posts with this similar style. He also uses attention grabbing titles like: “There Oughtta’ Be a Law against Bran Muffins” and “Global Warming Can Kiss My Sweaty Behind.” This is a unique form of writing which attract readers. He tends to go off topic on small tangents, explaining his surroundings, to give the readers a total understanding on what is going on. At the end of the post, there is a hidden point to why he wrote this, but it can be hard to recognize because sometimes his titles don’t relate to his text. In all, his posts can be very funny. There is no meaning, nor lesson, so he wrote this blog for his pleasure and for the reader’s pleasure. Why people may read this would be to just laugh, to have a fun read. People go to blogs like this because it is rare to find a read similar to it outside of the blogging community. Bloggers write like this because readers want a fun read, they like to see humor in writing every once in a while.

Some bloggers are dedicated to write with humor, but there are others who do in different ways. These writers, they write for a known topic, but they may incorporate different styles in their writing. How this differs from writing outside of blogs is the use of narration in blogs, to tell a story. It is still very common to see most bloggers write as if they are telling a story in person. It seems though if they want to have a serious attitude in their writing, they have to be wiling to have a joking attitude as well. To write about a topic and staying on track, but throwing in the fact that they have a joking side as well. In “What the Hell Is a Weblog and Why Won’t They Leave Me Alone,” by Derek M. Powazek, he explains his journey into blogging. He stays on track, explaining how he got into blogging and how it has affected him. Throughout his post he doesn’t hesitate to throw in some of his personality, some over exaggerated statements like: “So I did something dreadful. Something despicable. Something so horrible and evil I couldn’t stand the sight of myself in the mirror in the morning. I started weblogging.” A statement like this makes the read easy, enjoyable, and fun. The use of irony and humor in this context makes readers want to read more.
Personality is key when it come down to writing. Writing has to have its own life to give to readers. I learned that by blogging myself. I try to put a piece of my personality into my writing. I try to give the reader an idea of who I am like as an individual, even if they don’t know who I am. Though I try to do this in all of my writing, but it just seems to be more appropriate for a weblog. Why is this? I feel that blogging is a type of an informal writing style without any limitations. Because it has no limitations, blogs can be written in any way. Now why people choose to write with humor or about a personal story is because people enjoy reading it. People enjoy relaxing reads, along with entertainment, put those two together and you get weblogs.

Graham, Alan, and Bonnie Burton. Never Threaten To Eat Your Co-Workers. New
York, New York: Springer-Verlag New York, Inc., 2004.

Rodzilla, John. We’ve Got Blog. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing, 2002.

“Uncle Bob’s Diary O’ Chuckles.” Uncle Bob Fat and Bloated In Alabama. 27 May
2007. 31 May 2007 http://unclebob.diaryland.com/index.html.

Friday, June 1, 2007

A Rowers Guide to College

Everything has a start and an end. In almost all cases the start is the hardest part to overcome. The start is the most stressful part, and it takes time to get past it. Starting out as a freshman in college, there is a lot to get used to; many things to change and to be aware of all at once. Being aware at the start is the most important. You must be aware of everything so you don’t miss your stroke, the most important stroke, the one that starts you off.

Once you’re off you can do anything but stop, you can’t stop, if you stop you fall behind and catching up is a hard battle to win. Remember though not to run yourself thin. Learn to pace your battle and conserve your energy. There are plenty of things in life, and we need to enjoy them while we still can. Stay focused at all times though, catch water and pull, don’t stop until the finish.

You can’t see your finish, but you see all that is going past you, pay attention to the white buoys, when they turn orange your stretch is about to begin. The coxswain yells “300, this is what we worked for gentlemen, take it up.” Now it’s here to the finish line, every bit of energy comes out on these last 30 strokes, quitting is not an option. The people on the shore are chanting your hometown and boat name, you want to look but you can’t. “Power 10 guys,” 100 meters to go, our hardest gets even harder. It starts to hurt more and more, stroke after stroke. 10 strokes seem like 10 years, then you finish.

Everything has a finish, but you decide how.

“You notice one thing at the finish line, the boats that lose look tired, but the one that worked harder, looks like they can row back and do it again.”

Head Coach of The Westerville Crew Rowing Team.