Author Archives: juned

Working for a Blog Network

This is my second stint at a Blog Network. My last one ended due to the recession. It was a reminder of the gossamer thread nature of work we live in. It was well illuminating and today I would like to share a few things I have learned.

First, Once you begin working for a blog network the first post you have to do is for that blog network. It is a commitment you do after signing on. So plan your posts ahead of everything else. Even during holidays and vacations.

Second, After writing and fullfilling your commitment to the blog network write your post for your blog. There is saying that there is no such thing as an everlasting Banquet in the Sun. And one day your stint at a blog network might reach its end and you will be left with nothing but your blog. So do not give it up.

For me these two things are probably the most important things to remember when working for a blog network. Of course there are things that one should also consider – the contract and terms of agreements to name one. Always keep your back covered.

Anyway, Once you begin working for a blog network enjoy your stint but do not forget to keep on blogging on a personal level and keep your roots intact. If you know what I mean.

There is no such thing as an Everlasting Banquet Under the Sun.

Markers and Useful Tools

No, we will not be talking about the physical marker here that has been used to highlight a page or docment one is reading or has read. We are talking about markers punctuations, words, phrases and other useful things to make your post/article reader friendly. Please note this is not part of a style manual just some random notes and points picked up through the years.

Words/Phrases

The Bible begins with In the Beginning. Some Fairy Tale begin with Once Upon a Time and ends with And They Lived Happily Ever After. There are words and phrases in any language that can be used to: (i) Point out things; (ii) To compare; (iii) Begin and end; (iv) and a a number of other things

Punctuation

A period or a full stop tells the reader when a sentence stop. A punctuation can also tell the reader when a set of words pauses and then continues. It can also tell the reader when things get exciting or quiet.

Bullets/lists

When you enumerate or list things.Bullets if all items on the list are of equal importance. And numbered if there is a sort of ranking. Then again its a matter of style and what is important is that a list focuses the readers attention to a set of fact, information or knowledge.

It can also be used to signal that should be taken when one wants to achieve something. In this instance a numbered list is more effective because it means that it is a step-by-step process.

Quotes

Sometimes things are best said from the source. A quote is a powerful tool. It adds credibility to the story. A quote can build up your story: A quote from President Barak Obama carries more weight than a Chef at a five star restaurant, unless of course the topic is about restaurants.

Bold/Italics/Underline

The format of the word or phrases in an essay, article and even post can if one wants to bring out the word or phrase within the essay. Standing out has its advantages. A term that needs to be defined can be formated to stand out. It could be the name of an author, title of the book, name of a place, and many other things you would want to get notice.

Figures/Images/Vidoes/Audio

Content is king but presentation is Queen. An article or post has to have some value added feature that will help further explain or make interestomg. And sound, image and moving images can do that.

A Day Job is Not bad

Do you live soley by blogging or writing material for the Internet? Or are you like mo who still has a day job? Or if not maybe you own a business?

Well if you are … well its not too bad. Whatever happens you still have a way to bring home the bacon so to speak. Often a day job is a blessing for writers. And if one is really luck the job will allow the writer to write the post or article in piece.

The creator of Dilbert Scott Adams was an engineer and worked for Bell Telephone. He actually worked there for years even when he began drawing Dilbert. And left only when he was sort of laid off.

I have known a number of full time bloggers who earn their income from blogging. But I have also known a lot of full time bloggers who earn their money from other things. Some are resellers of Internet Service Providers and Hosting services. Some are also reporters or writers for magazines.

Not all of us can be Stephen King. Who incidentally started out as a High School teacher. But we can write and still afford to live.

What is Your Weapon of Choice?

What is your most constant set of companions when you write? Would it all be things connected to the digital world? Or do you still have roots to the offline world.

Notebooks – Aside from the desktop computer at home. I keep two notebooks. The first one is a computer laptop. Actually, one of the first netbooks or ultralight computers that came out. The Asus Eee 701. Yes. It is still working and with a set of thumb drives and SD cards this is my mobile communication, mobile blogging device and my ‘typewriter’ when I am far away from home.

Having an ultralight it has its advantages. You can almost carry it anywhere.

Another set of notebook I still carry is a notebook. Quite handy when going from place to place or event to event. A pocket notebook is handy. Start up time is fast and it does not crash.

It is also good for brainstorming, mind webbing, doodling and playing tic-tac-toe.

Dongle, thumb drives and SD cards – The dongle is quite handy when connecting to the Internet where there is diffiultu getting wifi. Believe me there are such places. While thumb drives and SD cards are quite useful in storing data and running applications while at the same time not compromising the performance of the computer notebook.

A digital media player and a set of good headphones – Quite useful if you want to retreat into the coccoon of writing. Partially isolates you from the world and enables you to write under the musical environment of your choice. I prefer a different media player than the one in the notebook.

A camera – For capturing those moments in raw or jpeg or any other format. Most cameras come with video recording features. And this can also come in useful when capturing those precious moments and news worthy events.

A USB Microphone – This is good for podcasting on the road or when outside the house. A USB microphone can isolate sound and deliver quality podcast n terms of sound. But the content is still dependent on you.

A Dictionary – No matter how fast the Internet is. I still find it useful when writing and you need to check a specific detail. One of my favorite books.

A book – Of course something to reade during the free hours and when writer’s block descend.

Pens and pencils – These things are quite useful when scribbling things down and when doodling. I always carry a clutch pencil with me that its own sharpener.

Food and beverages – Most important for a scribbler and writer on the move.

Cash

Of course as in all things a sense of humor – a self-effacing one is of great also.

What weapons of choice do you have?

Have you read Charles Dodgson or Eric Blair?

Samuel Langhorn Clemmens would have been a dead giveaway. But here we are back to pseudonyms and here are examples of writers who have used pseudonyms or pen names when they wrote their work.

American humorist Samuel Clemmens is more known as Mark Twain. His literary creations like Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and the time traveller in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court have been part of a number of literary experience through out the world – crossing mediums from the written word to moving images.

The former Colonial Police Eric Blair also known as George Orwell wrote a number of essays and stories that have also become a part of our present culture. From his novel 1984 and his fable Animal Farm, Orwell or Blair has been able to transform political commentary into an interesting form of storytelling. So much so that blurns/phrases from his books have entered or crossed over and become a roundabout way of saying things: Big Brother is Watching and All Animals are Equal but some Animals are more equal than others are part of our culture today.

Mathemathician Charles Dodgson wrote fantasy novels under the pen name Lewis Carroll. His most famous work was of course Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. It is believed that his pen name or nome de plum was a word play on his name: (i) Lewis from Ludovicus the Latin name for his middle name Lutwidge and (ii) Carroll from the Latin word Carolus or Charles.

And then there is Ellery Queen a pseudonym of Daniel Nathan and Manford Lepofsky. Both respectively using the alias Frederic Dannay and Manfred Bennington. Ellery Queen was the name of their character. And both four novels about the detective Drury Lane again using the pseudonym Barnaby Ross. Both received a number of recognition and awards under their various pseudonyms.