Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

From today’s Daily Kabbalah Tune Up email:

Just as you are certain that your life will be filled with abundance in the future, appreciate what you have right now.
Focus on five things you are grateful for today.

During this hectic time in my life (a story for another day), I’m finding it tough to just stop and smell the flowers.  It’s a real pity seeing as we’re at the start of what promises to be a glorious spring.  Just today, the petals from the blossoms of the cherry blossom trees began drifting to the ground beneath them, ironically mimicking the snow falls of a few months prior.

So today’s reminder was timely indeed — and now I find myself blogging again after a long, dry hiatus — miracles truly never cease.

So then, what am I grateful for — right here in this precise minute?  In no particular order:

  1. My insatiable curiosity for knowledge and the intelligence to process and integrate it.
  2. For my current career, web creation.  Not only does it satisfy my technical brain needs, but it fuels and drives my creativity.  I get to work with colour!  And design!  A far cry from my first 10 years in IT where I programmed investment bank back office transactions in a dry, old mainframe language.  Don’t get me wrong, I am deeply grateful for my dry, old mainframe days; heck, it enabled me to move from South Africa to the UK and finally to the USA.  But the work I am doing now, speaks to my soul, in a way the early days never did.  What more could one ask for?
  3. A wonderfully understanding, supportive and loving husband!  Saturday we celebrate our 2 year wedding anniversary and words cannot describe how grateful I am to have him along with me on the strange journey we call life.
  4. Friends and family, old and new, near and far.  I am especially grateful to my longstanding friends who have seen me through 2 country moves, a divorce and numerous other stressful life events.  Thank you for sticking with me, even though you are so far away.  You’re always near in my heart.
  5. I am eternally thankful to have found my connection to spirit.  Many seek, few truly find the way.  I found it through Reiki.  I am not always connected every minute of every day, but I how how it feels and I know how to get there.  I just need a reminder and a nudge every now and then to go to where I need and want to be – my spirit home.

So there you have it, my “Grateful For” list.  What are YOU grateful for today?

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Airing Dirty Laundry

I’ve been thinking alot again about blogging and the anonymity of it or rather non-anonymity of it all.

It started with a conversation with my step-mom about why I am blogging and “airing my dirty laundry” in public. It seems that some family members don’t understand why I would want to do this 🙂 . And could I be sued by any parties that might be written about in my work.

All good questions.

It’s hard to explain why I am airing my “dirty laundry”. It goes against all I was taught by my parents as a child, and by society as a whole. So why do it?

It started off with a desire to share with family and friends and a blog format seemed easier to follow and keep track of than emails.

I could have made it a password protected blog, but that kind of seems pointless, because I doubt family and friends would want to actually log into a blog. I tried to make it as simple as I could.

I could also have tried the anonymity route, but really that’s pointless as well, as I already covered in this post. If anyone wants to find me, they will. It really is not hard at all. Please read….and you will see. Blog hopping, I found another example of why being who you really are actually provides a surprising level of protection.

So hear I am, blogging openly.

But you know….there is more…the illusive part.

I think it’s to do with the actual writing. I want to write. I want to express. I have developed enough skill at writing, that I think I’m ok at it. It does the job of expression pretty effectively. Some people talk, some people scream, some people dance, some people draw, some people paint….I write. I feel lighter and clearer once I’ve written. Once I’ve put words to almost nameless fleeting innermost feelings, it suddenly all makes sense. I get answers through the process.

So ok. I want to express. And writing is an effective medium for that. But why public? What is it about creativity that makes us want to show it? What is the reward? Why do we have galleries. Why do other people buy other people’s creativity?

Is it recognition? Yes, of course, it is. But again, it feels like more. I know I get tremendous satisfaction if and when my writing inspires someone else or better yet, helps someone else.

Is this it? The illusive key? The sense of satisfaction that I made a small difference?

This is a fantastic article about blogging and “keeping it real”. I guess I do that then 🙂 .

What do you think? Let me know if you blog about this topic and I will include your post in mine with a link.

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We Feel Fine

Today I had a click to my blog from an interesting source…..We Feel Fine.  What an interesting website!  And how fascinating that my blog was found this way by someone.

This is their mission statement:-

We Feel Fine is an exploration of human emotion on a global scale.

Since August 2005, We Feel Fine has been harvesting human feelings from a large number of weblogs. Every few minutes, the system searches the world’s newly posted blog entries for occurrences of the phrases “I feel” and “I am feeling”. When it finds such a phrase, it records the full sentence, up to the period, and identifies the “feeling” expressed in that sentence (e.g. sad, happy, depressed, etc.). Because blogs are structured in largely standard ways, the age, gender, and geographical location of the author can often be extracted and saved along with the sentence, as can the local weather conditions at the time the sentence was written. All of this information is saved.

The result is a database of several million human feelings, increasing by 15,000 – 20,000 new feelings per day. Using a series of playful interfaces, the feelings can be searched and sorted across a number of demographic slices, offering responses to specific questions…

At its core, We Feel Fine is an artwork authored by everyone. It will grow and change as we grow and change, reflecting what’s on our blogs, what’s in our hearts, what’s in our minds. We hope it makes the world seem a little smaller, and we hope it helps people see beauty in the everyday ups and downs of life.

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Are you Safe on the Web?

Today I had a nasty shock.

The illustrious Mr David W. Boles of Urban Semiotic fame, did, in 3 minutes flat, undercover my identity on the web.  I know he found out at a minimum, my email address, cell phone number, employer, work phone number, that I am selling my townhouse and the address of it.  But who knows what else he could have discovered had he put more time into his sleuthing.

And all as a result of my exploration of 2 of his older posts:-

Check them out.  They are fascinatingly educational.  See how vulnerable you might be.  Are you safe on the web at all?  Have you had similar experiences?

Right now, I feel kind of grateful to Mr Boles for taking the time to open up my eyes, but also a little shell-shocked.  Where to now?

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Following on from yesterday’s Scrabble Cheat post, Lorelle’s latest post,  Recovering from a Traffic Spike, really made me think about this whole topic.  She writes very humorously and cleverly about Traffic Spikes, liking them to drug highs.  She then writes about the coping strategies thereof.  One of which is to simply write for your readers and not care about attracting the new, hungry masses.

What do you think?  Why do you write an online blog?  For yourself?  For your readers that you hopefully have?  For someone(s) specific?  For commercial reasons?

For me, I think it’s always been about me and my life.  Not just a blow by blow account of my life though.  More like a creative expression of me.  The Silence of the Snow is typical of work I like to publish online.  A thing of beauty, portraying emotion, using the very clever and intriguing medium of technology.  But the question that’s haunting me is, “Why online?  Why not private?”  Well, therein folks, lies the great mystery.

It started out as a medium of communication to my friends and family spread across the globe.  I soon learned that was only effective for those of my friends and family members who were internet and blog savvy to begin with (and there are sadly very few of those).  I think they would prefer to receive phone calls and email from me.

It then progressed to meeting people of like minds and interests.  For a while this was great, but it soon paled in comparison to having those people in my actual real life.

So what is it now?

After some pondering I think it’s to do with the hope that my friends and family who love me will eventually show their love for me and acknowledge my talent.  Something that has rarely happened.  I find this realization tremendously sad.  For all I know they don’t think I have any talent.  But I continue to create in the hopes that one day they will care enough to look.

Then there is very definitely a soul’s need to express.  The energy has to go somewhere.  Not really sure why, but it has to.  Sometimes I feel like I will burst if I don’t get it out!  Paper is good, but I have too many awesome poems and pieces of expressive writing which have got lost in my many moves.  So the internet seems like as good a place as any for the storage of my soul’s expression.  And yes, I am aware that this is not always failsafe, but that is my next project.

So now I’m wondering, if I changed the fact that I write for myself and my own selfish reasons, and I start writing for my readers instead, how will that change things?  What would my readers like to read about?  And in what format?  Do I even know who my readers really are?

So there we have it…a challenge to you.  Who do you write for (if you write)?  Would you like me to write for you?  What would you like to read?

Thanks for reading 🙂

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What I learned Today

Today I learned that:

  • My blog is depressing (thanks Steph! ;-)).  Unfortunately I generally only want to write when I am feeling down.  I am also most expressive during that time.  During the good times, I am too busy living to write.  This is something I want to change though.
  • There is such a thing as content management open source software, the most popular being Joomal and Drupal.  Wow!  Now I wanna playeeeeee….
  • According to my boss I am a Web Programmer, not a Webmaster (Mistress?).  This is a long story, to do with conflict between the IT Department and the Marketing Department, so I won’t go into it now.  If I am truly a Web Programmer though, I am very underpaid.  But hey, like I said when I took this job, I didn’t want pressure, I wanted to work from home and I wanted to learn.  And I have all that.  So it’s kind of a great deal anyway!  I guess somewhere in my belief system I think that in order to be happy, I cannot be well paid.  That is a TOTAL misbelief!  I want to be happy, have a life and be well paid.  Now I just need to convince myself that these are all possible – AT THE SAME TIME!
  • Doing Reiki before sleep and having solitary sleep time is very rejuvenating for me.  This morning I woke up REFRESHED.  Unfortunately, this is a very rare experience for me. It never used to be though.  I used to wake up alert (ok, maybe with the shower thrown in as well), but my lifestyle has become so unhealthy, that it’s been a very long time since I woke up like that.  I miss it.  Got to make sure I get to bed at a reasonable time tonight.

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This week’s blog challenge from Lorelle on WordPress……

Intelligent Online Toys and Play Things.
Blog a listing of your favorite online toys and play things that aren’t “games”.

Well, that got me thinking…..I sink A LOT of time online. What the heck do I do? And how much of it is fun?

I would say that my main reason for spending so much time online (other than work and research) is NETWORKING. I love keeping in touch with old friends and meeting new people. And all of it is fun, but I think my actual favorite online ‘toys’ are blogging, playing around with graphics and Scrabulous. Oh and of course, until I was married, online dating and flirting.

Although it is a lot more for me now, at one point I considered blogging to be a toy. It was a fun way to be creative and …gasp… get your friends feedback (which was hopefully good). It was also an awesome way to keep in touch with people. I had just moved to a new state in the US after leaving my ex-husband, and knew no one. So it was a great way to meet people with similar interests (well, actually that was more the dating sites). When I met my current husband, one of the first things he did was to give me his blog url, “so that I could get to know him”. At first I thought it was weird and arrogant, but once I got into it, I realized how useful it was. It allowed me to get real insight into the inner workings of his brain. Needless to say, we are now married 🙂 Blogging is still a toy for me in many ways, exactly because of challenges like this 🙂 When my brain works, I have fun. And of course it is the perfect vessel for me to pour the anguish of my emotions into as well, instead of into the people around me.

Blogging led me into graphics, although I am just starting out with that. I can spend hours and even days, creating effects. The header on this blog is one of my creations. Although I am not yet happy with it as it is too blurry.

The last online toy on my list is Scrabulous. Lorelle says no “games”, but then she further qualifies…

word and writing games that help you write better, and more “intelligent” fun things to do on the web

Now, although Scrabulous is a game, I consider it a word game and something which helps me to write better, as it improves my vocabulary. So I’m hoping it qualifies 🙂

So there you have it….Lorelle’s weekly challenge met (I think anyway 😉 )

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