Bravery in Blogging

https://thatsallbkwrote.wordpress.com

A blog that I find valuable is actually by a friend of mine. She started it when she was abroad in Australia, a common thing to do when college students study abroad, but a few aspects of this blog stand out to me. Firstly, I admire her forward honesty as a writer and a person. This is something I struggle with. I find my writing persona and everyday personality tend not to line up neatly so when I write, I am hesitant to share it with people I interact with everyday at risk of creating a sense of confusion in their view of me. The author of this blog whole-heartedly shares her experiences as a traveler, a student, a young adult and many other identities. This level of honesty is something I certainly admire and strive to have in my writing as I begin to bridge the gap in my identities as a writer and person.

Another thing this blog has done is surpass it’s expected purpose. While she created the blog to chronicle her abroad experience, she took it past this experience and continues to post about her experiences and growth in college. This is a concept I’d like to directly apply to this class. I would like to take experiences such as writing in this specific blog or a paper for this Gateway course or minor past just the stringent academic boundaries and truly create unique content. By exceeding norms and expectations, especially within writing, I can truly grow, learn and share, as this blog does.

The rhetorical situation of this blog is also a key factor in it’s value. The blog is aimed at her peers. Again, this is admirable because those reading her blog are the quickest to make judgments on her so to share these inner most revelations with this audience is brave in my opinion. In that bravery lies it’s exigence. The author’s directness and truthful recounts of her emotions and experiences inspires others, such as me, to dare to share their writing. It is essential for young people to trust and encourage each other with their inner most passions and writing. This blog is a perfect example of artistic prose courageously shared with the world and unapologetically showcasing the growth of a talented young writer.

 

Media sample:

https://thatsallbkwrote.wordpress.com/jamz/

This is a link to the music that the author of this blog listens to. I think music is another very personal aspect of somebody’s taste and to share it with an audience is an interesting, daring choice. It’s also an interesting example of a way to share using new multimedia platforms.

Listen to your Mother…

A blog that I encourage everyone to follow is very dear to my heart because it is written by my mom! She blogs primarily about all of the trials and tribulations of being a parent and the different types of parenting she has had to adopt for my three siblings and me. The title of the blog is “Unscripted Mom” because of how brutally honest my mother recounts both the struggles and rewards of motherhood. Her style reflects this honesty as it is very raw, straightforward, and engaging. I find her posts meaningful because they often revolve around our relationship and, specifically, how she handled my tough adolescent years, my rebellious high school years, and finally my departure to college.

 

She primarily directs her blog towards other mothers, yet, many of my friends also read it and enjoy the messages. I am called into her office at least once a week regarding her inability to move text or post a picture so she’s not extremely tech-savvy to say the least. For this reason, the blog could definitely be more creative on the web-technology end. However, the simple format is easy to follow and posts are easy to find. I find that this simplicity is appropriate for her mostly older audience who most likely cares less about the font she uses and the co

This is a photo of me and my mom, both looking happy, with our arms around each other in Hawaii.
My mom and I with our toes in the sand

 

http://unscriptedmom.com/

So DeLUSHious

I don’t read blogs much…ever really. So after many failed attempts at googling interesting blogs, I asked my most social-media-savvy roommate if she knew of any good ones. Maddie’s favorite celebrity, besides Beyonce, is model Chrissy Teigen. Chrissy’s blog is called “So Delushious“. As the name implies, her blog is a food blog, but it is also very personal. Each recipe is full of witty comments, photos of her family life and personal anecdotes. Since we have been talking about organization with our e-portfolios, I have to add that Chrissy’s blog is very well organized, eye-catching and easily navigated. Her home page is all delicious-looking photos and clicking on each photo takes you to a recipe. Accompanying the recipes are step-by-step pictures, often containing members of her family including her dog, her mother stretching in front of the TV and her husband, all of which add to the personal element of her blog. Her style of writing is very relaxed, conversational and humorous. She never takes herself too seriously, making the blog sound far more personal than professional. So if you’re looking for some yummy food and a little comic relief, “So Delushious” is the place to go.

As for the rhetorical situation of the blog, I would have to say that the audience consists of Chrissy’s fans, both people familiar with blogs and people, like my roommate Maddie, who love Chrissy and love food but don’t really read blogs. I think the blog’s exigence is both to reach Chrissy’s fans and show them pieces of her life, as well as to share her love of cooking and some delicious recipes with others so that they can enjoy them as well. The genre of the blog can be categorized in many different ways: personal, culinary, entertainment, self-advertising.

Homepage of "So Delushious"
Homepage of “So Delushious”

 

The Only Blog I (Kinda) Follow

I am not a blog enthusiast.

I would say it’s because after I’m finished reading the 4 billion books/articles/plays I need to get through for my classes the last thing I want to do is go online and read a blog, but that’s probably not true. Even if I didn’t have any mandatory reading to do, my leisure reading would not consist of blogs.

The one exception to this rule, however, is The Bloggess.

Jenny Lawson (AKA “The Bloggess”) is weird and quirky in the best of ways. Her blog is successful primarily because she’s so relatable: she isn’t afraid to hide the fact that her anxiety or depression is ruining her day, she posts pictures of herself and her family without it being annoying, and she asks the audience to help her solve debates between her and her husband Victor about if eating powdered sugar makes your mouth feel cold.

Jenny Lawson's book cover
The taxidermy mouse on the cover of her book? Yeah, she owns that. I mean, come on.
[Image from Flikr user stacie tamaki]
Because of this, Jenny has an incredible relationship with her audience, who could either be young or old, male or female, but are certainly just as lovably quirky as she. Jenny responds to audience comments, she asks them silly questions in polls, and many of her posts seem intentionally written so that, just in case someone in the audience needs it, there’s something to make them smile on a bad day.

For me, that makes her blog worth reading.

 

“Published Blogs”

I am not too familiar with published blogs. However, when I was thinking about the things i enjoy reading/viewing on the internet, I came across a sort of blog of it. TED talks are awesome. The wide variety of ideas that these cover to the speakers to the different lengths of these talks amaze me. How inspirational and mind blowing these talks are. Therefore, when I was trying to think of published blogs I was searching for things that would interest me and interest the class. The TedBlogs are written by different authors about the Ted Talks. Some elaborate more on the topic, others publish their own thoughts. I am not too sure if this counts as a published blow because it is by different blogs posted on one site, but it sure fascinates me. This is meaningful because it allows viewers to continue to be inspired (in other ways) about the topic that the Ted talker talked about.

I’m going to give it a shot to break down the TedBlogs in rhetorical situations: These TedBlogs are definitely for a more sophisticated audience. I would label this as a sophisticated group because most Tedtalks are very intellectual. Those who seek these talks want to gain knowledge or be inspired on the topic. Therefore, those who would go the extra step to read the blogs to understand the talks, takes some dedicated and sophisticated group of people. As far as the exigence or the occasion of writing, plays into all three of the topics because there is a sense of getting the knowledge out to the audience through the way that is written by the composer about their specific topic. I do think that the occasion of writing is affected by the need to get a topic informed. I have many favorite Tedtalks, however, the link below is one of the first Tedtalks that I viewed and was just astonished by this.  TedBlogs do a good job of promoting each speaker and breaking it down for the viewers.

http://www.ted.com/playlists/129/ted_under_20 (View this.. you could not tell me that its like holy crap how does this 16 year old think of this ….?!)

Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 1.08.20 AM

momofukufor2

momofukufor2's mouthwatering crack pie recipe post

My obsession with momufukofor2 began this summer, when, I saw an Instagram post of a magical delicacy called “crack pie” and had to find out more. After a little researching, I found out that the “crack” in crack pie is a ooey-gooey, buttery filling, and that the geniuses behind this dessert had also thought one of my all-time favorites, birthday cake truffles.

…think about it. Slightly undercooked cake dough formed into delicious, rich truffle balls. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that.

After more research about Momofuku Milk Bar, the dessert spot behind all of these crazy creations, I stumbled upon momofukufor2, the genius brainchild of Maria. I wish I would have thought of the premise of her blog first: in a year’s time, she cooked and ate every recipe in the Momofuku cookbook (Momofuku Milk Bar is just one of the restaurant concepts in the NYC based Momufuku group.

I admire so much about her creativity and ideas, and use much of it as inspiration for my own food blog. Like Maria, I have a small target audience for my food blog (college students), so I look to her for tips on how to maintain a consistent voice/style that engages a target population. Her photos are beautifully composed and shot, her stories are clever and well-told, and she really makes you crave everything she writes about. Plus, she’s realistic. When a recipe doesn’t work out exactly as planned, she’s no bullshit. She takes full advantage of the creative freedoms afforded by this new media format for writing about food. She’s absolutely one of the primary creative inspirations I attempt to emulate in my own writing for fun.

I Am a Food Blog

A variety of delicious home cooking recipes with pictures. [Image by screen capture]
“I am a food blog” front page. A variety of delicious home cooking recipes with pictures. [Image by screen capture]
Food blogging has never been so popular as today. In April, the crash of Instagram caused a “global food crisis” that people were starving by not being able to post food pictures. The increase attention on life style draws people to go back to the originality of life that they begin to care more about fitness, dietary, and details of life that we used to neglect. Thus, food blogs come into place and remain popular. I love food blogs not because they satisfied my sweet tooth, but they have the magic to calm me down and to appreciate the moment of life. Food blog become a way to express positive attitudes towards people and the world instead of merely sending out recipes. Food blogs are also more personal and always give out insight about different cuisine and restaurants, which makes them more practical and useful because of its unlimited availability. I want to share “I am a food blog” today to spread the positive energy that it has brought to me. Please follow me to take a tour to this lovely blog.

When you enter the main page, you will see a high definition picture of food through left to right, and the picture will scroll every few seconds. It’s like a digital gallery that offers you calmness and attracts you to read more. Just as simple as the blog name, the title is put on top of the page with a moderate size, and there is a subtitle “celebrating the awesomeness of food”.  It is worth noticing that the title is not capitalized, which makes the blog less formal and adds aliveness to it. The background is white, so everything on top becomes distinct, and automatically draws readers’ attention. As you scroll down, you will see a photo album with little paragraphs under each of the photos. Those paragraphs begin with “My mom, I wish, when I am at home…” all of which close the distance between you and the blogger in a second. The recipes and food stories are like talking to an old friend, naturally and freely.  Everyone eats and everyone makes food, so she has a wide array of audiences: from full-time mothers to busy students, from office ladies to diligent grandmas, or any other people who like cooking. In terms of its exigency, the blog should have the attempt to share personal experience about food making and especially to provide readers recipes and a heartwarming lifestyle.

People say the keys to create a successful food blog are gorgeous photography, wonderful writing, and rock solid recipes. I believe “I am a food blog” have all of them, and in addition, as it noted at the bottom of the page, it is “made with love”. When there is anything that love has involved, it will always sound better, or taste better. I want to end this post with a popular saying: eat the gourmet food, do the right things, make yourself pleased and nobody can ever hurt you.

HONY- Why It Works

If you haven’t seen the intermittent posts littered throughout your Facebook newsfeed by now, I encourage you- drop everything you’re doing, NOW- and check out Humans of New York (HONY ). As I mentioned, HONY has become one of the most popular viral blogs to explode in recent years, and practically everyone has heard of it. But I think it is really important as writers, and bloggers to take a look at what it is about HONY that works as a blog. For those who may not have heard of the blog: HONY started as a project by photographer, Brandon Stanton, to map out all of the people of New York. As he photographed people, he began to ask them questions and collect their stories. It is these stories of everyday people that make HONY so remarkable. He posts a photo of a random person and a small comment or snippet of their interaction with him. Viewers of HONY connect and respond to these stories on a personal and human level- which is the ultimate key to the success of HONY. There are no gizmos or flashy gimmicks to this blog, it is simply people and their real stories; blogs have to connect with the audience, well I guess all writing has to connect with the audience to be successful. That’s where the exigence comes in, I suppose. People have always had stories to tell, Brandon just finally felt like it was important to tell these stories and the audience felt it was important to read them. There is a universality about HONY, a sense that when you flip through the posts, you can find at least one person who feels the same way you do about something, or has a story that will resonate with you completely. The “composer” of HONY at face-value is Mr. Stanton, and he certainly does a phenomenal job of capturing subjects on camera and coaxing them into sharing their lives, but on a deeper level, all of these subjects, all of these people make HONY what it is, everyone can be the composer of HONY. I think a lot of blogs fail because the exigence is there for the composer, but it fails to reach relevance or importance for the viewer. The best part of HONY is that it will always be relevant, touching, funny, and universal.

Profile of a girl sitting in the grass in a park, facing right. She has a sleeve tattoo and is wearing sunglasses
“So much of who I am is because of Dr. Seuss.” Photo By: Brandon Stanton, HONY

A Material World Seen Through A Financial Frame

American flag depicted as a dollar bill
American flag depicted as a dollar bill

I have a lot of materialistic interests. I think that most people do. People like cars. They like fashion. Technology. Cosmetics. Shopping. Celebrities. Brand names. There are negative implications surrounding these materialistic interests. There are especially negative implications surrounding people too involved in their materialistic interests. Cue my brother calling me self-absorbed for crying after not liking the results of my impromptu “well Kylie Jenner did it so I should too” haircut. This brings me to my point. Everyone should read the Financial Times blog: Material World

Material World is a blog devoted to indulging our materialistic interests within a financial frame. The bloggers behind Material World write about topics that seem purely materialistic, transforming these topics into intellectual and stimulating ones. Do I read Material World because I’m interested in Burberry’s new perfume? Or do I read it because I’m interested in Burberry’s unique marketing for their new perfume? The world will never know! So go ahead, treat yourself to some judgment free reading on the new Tory Burch FitBit competition within the wearable technology sector.

Tour de Zing: Our quest to find the ultimate Zingermans sandwich

When it comes to my hobbies, two things come to mind: food and sports. I mostly use newspapers and other non-blog websites for sports news, but for food, blogs are the way to do it. In my time reading food blogs, one blog has always stood above the rest: Tour de Zing. Though the blog is no longer in existence, it was a fantastic blog that had virtually no flaws. It was easy to navigate, had a nice look and the content was great.

Here is a look at the front page:

Zingerman's photo
Look at how ascetically pleasing the background of this blog is!

It’s a nice homepage that’s very user friendly. I particularly loved this blog because I am a Zingerman’s junkie myself. I love nothing more than a deli sandwich and delicious sides. However, this blog appeals to all ethos, pathos and logos. The blogs interface is very logical. The blog has an appeal to ethos because throughout the blog the authors never make it seem like they are food blogs. Rather, if they didn’t like something because of personal taste blogs, they’d write that. It’s also clear that these authors are invested in the blog with their constant posts and emotional love for deli food.

The one gripe I have with this blog is that it doesn’t have individual links to each sandwich they’ve tried, but instead it makes you scroll through every post. However, I never had a problem scrolling through because it’s addicting.

So next time you go to Zingerman’s, be sure to read this blog before hand!