Good Blogging

Durer 1508 vs Drake 2014
Courtesy of http://b4-16.tumblr.com

Personally, I don’t religiously follow any blogs, but I definitely appreciate them, and I had fun looking for one that I thought was worthy enough for our class to follow. The blog I decided to choose for our class to take a closer look at is called, beforesixteenThe blog highlights weird similarities between hip hop artists and art created before the 16th century- because who wouldn’t automatically associate Kanye West with Henry VIII? I think the reason this blog is so good is because it’s so shocking. The juxtaposition of two things one would normally think are opposites, hip hop and old art, are shown to be shockingly similar in the pictures chosen on the blog. Because it’s so shocking, it’s not only surprising, but it’s also really funny. When things that aren’t often associated are put in conversation with each other, it’s usually comical. This is evident in all forms of humor throughout film and television, with examples like a grandma who break dances or a dog that walks on its hind legs like a human.

The audience of this blog is definitely targeted towards a younger demographic, but one that is mature enough to understand both where the old art is coming from and who the modern hip hop artists are. That being said, the blog is probably most relevant for young adults educated enough to understand the art of the 16th century, even if they’re not all that familiar with it, but also young enough to be up-to-date on Drake’s latest album artwork. If I had to define the genre of the blog, it would fall under visual art. There aren’t really any words in the posts, but the pictures completely speak for themselves. The only thing needed to explain the similarities between the 16th century art and the hip hop artists’ cover work is the juxtaposition of the two photos. If there was text, it might even take away from the simplicity of the images that are already speaking volumes.

A Blog Inside of a Blog

A good blog is one that holds informative value, either personal or impersonal, in a very messy, or a very organized format.  It is one where the writing is transparent to the writers voice and personality.  It holds opinion and stands as a record of time stamped historical thoughts or reactions.

I urge the class to follow the blog Planetizen.  As an architecture student, I have a strong opinion on the idea that everyone should be concerned and educated in the topics of environment and urban planning.  As a member of American society, you are a part of a number of different community bases, all of which you should contribute your voice to when it comes to making planning decisions.  The more that the community is involved with its facilities plans, the less inconvenience a person and their neighbors will experience as they go about their activities in a given day.

Planetizen constitutes as a good blog because it gives its audience a professionally reviewed state or status update on the condition of urban planning situations throughout the world.  It is a form of virtual travel.  It makes its audience more aware of their surroundings and assists in urban education.  Some of the bloggers use more humor than others, but all are knowledgable and personable in their styles of writing.

Rhetorical Situation:

  • Audience: ALL people who exist
  • Exigence: serves as an account for urban planners and communal citizens, alike, to understand and learn from current international planning situations
  • Genre: informational nonfiction

Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 1.28.18 PM

LifeHacker

I won’t lie; I had to do some searching for a blog I felt fit to share with the cohort. But when I stumbled upon LifeHacker, I felt more than inclined to share. In its most basic sense, LifeHacker is a blog for the creative, clever, and inventive to share their tips and tricks on how to “hack’ everyday situations—make situations easier or cheaper than you ever expected. As I skimmed the posts this morning, I saw tips on everything from making a more professional Gmail signature to ending relationship bickering to converting old paper clips into a charging station. LifeHacker literally has tips for just about everything…

892e9cda00a999729471b2645ab5b71a

Eric Ravenscraft’s blog post titled “Practice Frugality to Boost Creativity, Not Just Save Money” is a great place to start reading if you haven’t read this blog before. While the post itself is very short in length, I feel the overriding idea of this post well characterizes the blog as a whole. In essence, the tips found in the blog may or may not be realistic/useful to everybody, but the ingenuity behind such ideas makes the blog interesting to read. I find it very entertaining to explore others atypical solutions to very typical problems.

The creativity and resourcefulness displayed by the bloggers reaches out to two audiences simultaneously. The first group is that comprised of practically-inclined and perhaps slightly type-A people who read with intentions of using the advice. The second, and perhaps larger audience is that comprised of people intrigued by the inventiveness and originality of the posts. While finding a use for your old peanut butter jars may be useful, the real value (and fun) arguably lies in the creativity of the idea. This blog displays simple yet innovative ideas that rekindle practicality and a do-it-your-self attitude. As Ravenscraft states, “when you actively try to avoid solving problems by throwing money at them, you are forced to look for more creative solutions.” Everyone can benefit from thinking outside of the box every once in a while. In that sense, the instructional genre that LifeHacker falls under may fall short of categorizing the true essence of the blog. LifeHacker is a creative exercise. If you give it a try, perhaps the ensuing creative boost will transpire into all activities throughout the day.

In comparison to other blogs, the posts in LifeHacker are relatively short and concise. So any time you have a few minutes, I suggest checking out LifeHacker. The LifeHacker Twitter page isn’t bad either.

Cracked is like crack

All right, it’s been about two weeks since school has started. Classes have been going pretty well, and the temptation to binge watch Netflix is nonexistent (for now, anyway). Perhaps it will be possible to achieve something beneficial this semester, like living a healthier lifestyle, finding a new hobby, or creating world peace! Nothing will stop this newfound optimism!

Except, of course, the Internet.

Like a drug dealer in a shady alley, the Internet is always there to give us something different and addicting to try. This time, I explored the blog known as Cracked. And just like the drug crack, it was a one-hit hooked situation: I couldn’t resist once I had my first taste. What’s so captivating about this blog is the sporadic nature of the posts; ranging from “What I learned spamming a suggestion box with cat pictures” to “‘Entourage’ is so bad pirates don’t want to steal it,” the broad variety of topics piqued my interest. Portrayed as a slice of life type of genre (where everyday aspects of life are arbitrarily discussed) with a comedic twist added, this blog intentionally targets my age group; curious young adults in school who are fascinated with unique perspectives on different aspects of modern culture.

It’s easy to dismiss this as nothing more than catchy titles reeling in viewers, a practice that has been around for many years. However, the blog makes up for this in actual content by using hyperbolic statements to make situations and statements more absurd. For instance, when reflecting on an episode of “Celebrity Family Feud,” the blogger recalls that “Steve Harvey, having no idea or interest in what Mario’s actual answer was just now, instead screams “Chicken Nugget!” at the answer board because, I guess at a certain point during a disaster, you stop trying to save the day and start exploring what surprising new lows you can sink to.”

steve harvey

By juxtaposing the family television show with an exaggerated guess on why Steve Harvey acted in that way, this blog surprises its audience with a unique take on what happened. Extensively utilizing this type of language, Cracked allows the reader to enjoy a somewhat sadistic perspective on topics that would not normally be viewed in such a manner, mesmerizing the niche it is directed towards.

Ultimately, you should consider looking through this blog if you are having a bad day and want a good laugh. This blog will expand your paradigm on comedy if you keep an open mind about it. Just remember that, just like the drug, Cracked is addicting; so only look at it when you can afford to spend a few hours doing nothing.

The Oatmeal: Why you should follow it

The word exigency almost implies a serious connotation. It’s a fancy looking 4-syllable word that google defines as “an urgent need or demand.” Under the google definition is an example of exigency used in a sentence; it reads: “women worked long hours when the exigencies of the family economy demanded it.” Furthermore, according to google, the word stems from the Latin word for enforce, which is “exigere.” It might seem hard to believe that this word, with a serious sounding definition, example, and origin, could be applied to a blog that posts images like the following:

 

The above image is an illustration of the last Super Bowl between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks, posted on The Oatmeal. The Oatmeal is a blog that posts many single images like these, as well as full-blown comics like My Dog: The Paradox that often go viral on the internet. Many comics have an underlying theme that is meant to inspire, like this comic on how the blog’s author motivates himself to run regularly. Other comics, like Cat vs. Internet, cover more silly, light-hearted topics. Therefore, the exigence is some comics could be argued as more serious and meaningful than the exigence in others; this is evident when comparing the running comic to the cat comic. However, throughout all of the Oatmeal’s comics, pictures, and blog posts, there usually exists an element of humor that I also believe represents exigence. While getting people to laugh at silly jokes on the internet might seem like a frivolous pursuit, The Oatmeal truly helps me wind down from a stressful day. Little bits of non-nonsensical humor brighten up my day and help me keep a level head among the serious issues of day-to-day life. My dad might argue that looking at comics of cats on the internet is a 100% waste of time, but in my opinion sometimes stupid humor is just what I need to get through the day. I imagine this applies to other readers of The Oatmeal as well, and therefore represents a true source of exigence. The Oatmeal’s humor might not seem like “an urgent need or demand” when compared to a social justice or humanitarian blog, but in my opinion this humor still represents meaningful exigence. To many readers like myself, this humor is not only something I read to stay sane, but it also represents a part of my identity. The sarcastic, snarky humor of The Oatmeal reminds me of myself, and provides me with quick-to-digest entertainment to alleviate my often stressful college life. In this way, the exigence behind The Oatmeal is the need to provide entertainment to those who demand it, and I believe this shouldn’t be looked down upon when compared to more serious examples of exigence. If you think you could add a couple chuckles to your day by digesting The Oatmeal’s unique style of humor, then you should undoubtedly follow The Oatmeal’s Blog, if only to browse for a few minutes a day.

Huffington Post Blog

ALT = Huffington Post blog homepageLike many of my classmates, I struggled with this assignment because I don’t regularly follow blogs. The only time I read blogs is when I’m Googling a random topic and someone’s blog post happens to come up in my search results. In some ways I feel very behind the times in terms of technology and social media…

When trying to find a blog to discuss for today’s assignment, I searched “most popular blogs” and browsed various websites with different lists. One blog that kept coming up on top was The Huffington Post blog, which I realized I read every so often when links pop up on Google News or Facebook. The Huffington Post relies on several bloggers who provide commentary on various social and political issues. When doing more research it was hard to tell if the bloggers were all unpaid volunteers or if some were paid and others were unpaid. It seems like the blog is so popular because the opinions come from a fairly respected source. If these people’s opinions were not tied to a journalistic source then readers might not take them as seriously.

In terms of rhetorical style, the Huffington Post blog’s audience seems to be the general public, especially people who wish to become more informed on politics and current events. The genre would probably be classified as political commentary, and the exigence for writing each post is that the bloggers have an opinion about the world that they feel needs to be heard.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/the-blog/

Something for the UM sports fans.

Maize n Brew

I am relatively unfamiliar with the world of blogging, both writing my own and following others, but a blog that I have begun to follow regularly is Maize n Brew. MnB is a sports blog that primarily covers any and all news surrounding Michigan football, but other sports do manage to get occasional coverage. While the blog covers all recent and breaking news surrounding the team, there are a few specific weekly posts that I pay particular attention to. How to watch Michigan vs. is posted hours before the game every week, and includes things like what channel the game is on, 3 players to keep an eye on, and a recommendation on what to do after the game, win or lose. My favorite post is the weekly Recruiting Roundups that are posted every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. They give updates on how the current recruits are doing for their high school teams, previews and predictions for potential future commits to the program, and any other rumors surrounding football recruiting.

University of Michigan football recruiting news.
[Image credit to Maize n Brew]

MnB is certainly worthy of a follow for any Michigan sports fan. Even though the state of Michigan football is in decline, and many of the recent posts make that abundantly clear, there is a lot of breaking news and interesting information posted to satisfy the die hard fans.

We Go Down Together – mgoblog

It was about 5:00 P.M on Saturday. Sitting in the Big House at half time, extremely disgruntled and slightly intoxicated (I’m 21 now so I can say that right…?), I pondered what has become of our football program. Still the winningest team in college football history, we have become the laughing-stock of the Big Ten. I and all of my friends proceeded to return home, unwilling to witness in person Minnesota, yes – the Minnesota Golden Gophers, storm across the field to take back the Little Brown Jug. I walked home to watch the rest of the game on television, screaming at the television as Brady Joke kept in sophomore quarterback Shane Morris who didn’t appear to know what planet he was on after getting crushed by a Minnesota lineman. To say the least – I was not happy. So, what was the first thing I did? I went to the blogosphere. I went to mgoblog.com to find out what other loyal wolverine fans had to say about the catastrophe occurring on the field. It made me feel better to an extent to know that so many others were feeling the same things I was. Most posts were about how it was time for Brady Joke and AD Dave Brandon to be fired; others were already making lists of potential replacements; and a fiercely loyal few were saying the coaching staff needs more time. After reading all the posts about essentially how much we suck, and just exactly why we suck, I finally arrived to the conclusion that, well, we suck.

photo credit to deadspin.com
How I was feeling Saturday…

Mgoblog.com is a safe haven for angry wolverine fans. It’s where I go to make some sense of my temptations to tear up all my remaining season tickets. It’s a place of despair after an embarrassing loss; it’s a place of hope after an uplifting win; it’s a place to almost pathetically follow which 17-year old teenagers will decide to attend Michigan; but, most of all, it’s simply a place to be a fan. So, if you ever find yourself tossing and turning at night about the coaching failures or offensive line struggles of the Michigan football team, or if you ever just want to feel a little more knowledgeable, give mgoblog a try. I can’t promise that you’ll feel better or more optimistic, but you’ll definitely be more informed about it.

All things Michigan Football (one of the many blogs I follow)

 John U. Bacon
Professor and Author John U. Bacon from Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/JohnUBaconAuthor?fref=ts

This is professor, author, and Michigan football historian John U. Bacon. I am currently taking his class “the history of college athletics” and without a doubt it is the most enjoyable class I have taken in college. I’m not only happy to be taking this class because it focuses on college sports, but also because I have followed his blog since my freshman year of college.

http://www.johnubacon.com/blog-3/

Professor Bacon’s blog is a sports blog that mainly covers Michigan football and the Big Ten in general. However, since he knows so much about the history of the sport, Mr. Bacon is able to provide some perspective to a lot of the topics. The other reason I like this blog is because of it’s style. Mr. Bacon knows his audience, which is mainly University of Michigan football fans. He also knows that more than likely people will not be willing to read a very long article, so he keeps it simple. His sentences are not long; his nuance is not too extravagant.  Each article actually has a link to listen to the story instead of read it, and this never takes longer than 5 minutes. This is also very different than they style he uses to write his books and longer more in-depth articles. As an example of good, concise blogging, it does not get much better than professor Bacon’s blog.

A Witty WordPress

I’ve never been one to follow blogs before.

Ever.

Whenever I have stumbled upon blogs in the past it has always been people who show craft ideas, talk about their family, or talk about food.  Not my sort of read.

So, when asked to find a favorite blog to recommend to my class you can imagine my dismay.  Should I find something funny or serious?  What if something I find humorous/interesting is just a giant flop?

My first attempt: “Hmmm let’s Google search ‘blog’ and see what I can find…”

If you are looking for 518 million search results then much respect to you.  Not ideal for me, though.  I then tried looking up celebrity blogs but, still, nothing resonated with me.  I felt so frustrated.

In my last attempt, I decided to find other people, like me, who are writing blogs via WordPress.  This is where I had my “aha” moment.

After perusing through different layouts, I discovered “Funny for Nothing”.  It is a blog with the caption ‘the world as I see it’ plainly written on a simple red, black, and white webpage.  Nothing too fancy….perfect for me.

I loved reading through the various posts because the author’s humor and storytelling was great.  Some of the material was over-the-top, but that’s what made it even better.  For example, in one of the author’s posts they were talking about the incident in the World Cup where Suarez bit another player and they said, “In the world of Twilight and similar wild, exciting vampire romances, a 27-year old Uruguayan footballer can hardly be expected to not indulge in a little experimentation.”  This made me laugh so hard.

It’s pretty clear that the audience for this blog is for a younger crowd and individuals looking for a good laugh.  The exigence is everyday mishaps for this individual.

They write about their difficulties in school and with physical exercise.

They write to tell you about something that interests them.

They write to be heard.

The comedic nature is what makes it unique; their voice shines through in a different and exciting way.  The author and I share a similar sense of humor which is why these posts had such an impact on me.

It was through looking at these posts that I discovered why they write.  But it was through reflecting on why I continued to read them that I discovered why I enjoyed them so much.

I read to laugh.

I read to learn.

And most importantly, I read to immerse myself into a story.

~~

Below is an image of the blog. If you are looking for a good laugh, I highly recommend the post “The trauma of packing is emotional baggage.”  You will not be disappointed!

To their page: http://funnyfornothingblog.wordpress.com/page/2/

Screenshot of the blog
Funny For Nothing Blog