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This Blogging Life



April 24, 2007.


By Ronke Adeyemi



Like it or not blogging is a social networking phenomenal and a powerful tool that big players such as global companies, the media and even MPs are beginning to acknowledge.


Blogging is a form of social networking where like minded people can share their lives, thoughts and ideas as well as promoting themselves online. Just as every thriving business has a website you will be hard pressed to find an artist, company or general Joes Bloggs who does not have a blog.


In a way we all have MySpace to blame for that, the Cinderella story of artists hitting the big time through blogging and social-networking are now common folklore.


Today blogging is so ingrained in society that it now has numerous awards contests. One of the largest is the Weblog Awards and there is also the Bloggers Choice Awards but the new kid on the block is Best of the Brit Blog Awards 07 (The BOBBs). This new award is organised by freebie paper, The Metro and cool lifestyle website, Askmen.com with the aim of finding Britain's Best Blog. Celebrities such as England cricketer, Alastair Cook and TV presenter, Jason Bradbury along with the public have selected from categories such as arts, entertainment, travel and fashion and the winner will be announced shortly.


Blogging is basically an online diary where people post their thoughts, rants and ideas but what is so exciting is that you can upload photos, audio (podcasting) and video (vlogs) The interactive elements allow people to leave comments on your page and create links to other sites.


It is amazing to think that the first blog was created in 1994 just after the internet was started and today a blog is created every second and there are over 60 million blogs worldwide. The launch of blog hosts such as Facebook, TypePad, LiveJournal, Yahoo 360 and the infamous MySpace make is very simple for users to create a blog.


So what is the fascination with blogging, why do people do it and where do they get their ideas from? We spoke to four prolific bloggers to find out what inspired them to blog.


Julie Ann Ryan is a Presenter and Producer based in London.


I started blogging last summer when I upgraded my Yahoo to the one with BT Communicator I started to look properly at all the features that Yahoo had to offer and came across Yahoo 360. I blog on a regular basis but not every day.   I find it a good release if you want to have a moan about something and find out if others share your opinion.


I chose Yahoo because it is very easy to understand which makes it fun to use.  Another reason I use it is because I have a number of friends in the USA on my Yahoo Messenger so it is a good way for them to keep up with what I am doing in London and for me to keep up with their lives. I have a blog page on MySpace which is a music site for artist and I use it for networking.  It is a good way for me to keep up with up and coming artist that I interview for my job as a Radio/TV Entertainment Presenter.


My ideas for blogging are found in every day life.  It could be something that caught my eye in the news or a gossip magazine.  I tend to blog about things that are relevant to me and people that I know, unless it is the networking site then it is usually about an artist or things that I will be covering on either of the shows that I work on.

You can listen to Julie Ann on www.colourfulradio.com/ecentral and watch her on show on Ben Sky 148 or www.bentelevision.com. You can check out her MySpace blog on www.myspace.comecentral.com.



Hulya Erdal, 36 is a Professional Chef/Writer based in London.


I started blogging last year soon after I set up my website following the start of my own business. I used to blog about two or three times a week but at the moment I'm so busy it's more like two or three times a month. I chose Yahoo 360 because it happened to be free and I am a Yahoo email user. I recently hooked up to a Typepad blog which is paid for but I am currently at the design stage so haven't released the address yet. I am actually really happy with Yahoo 360 and don't need anything more. My ideas for my blogs come from everywhere including newspapers, magazines, TV and radio as well as exhibitions.


You can find Hulya’s website at www.madebythechef.com


Kim Wareham, 34 is a Freelance Copywriter based in Bath, England.


I first started blogging on blogspot two years ago, I had a blog called Kitchen Stains and it was all about my life and how my day impacts on what I cook. Unfortunately I couldn't keep it up because there was too much pressure on writing it well and coming up with ideas and I was just too busy at work. I moved to Bath in July ahead of my husband and it was very lonely moving to a new country by myself and even though Bath is gorgeous it was very tough and I was going out of my mind without human contact. So I started on Yahoo 360.


I'd like to say I blog everyday but I really do it when I feel up to it. I don't like to keep a journal of my feelings and rants because I've got myself into trouble with friends and family doing that. So I like to have fun with my blog and write about the things that matter to me or delight me; I don’t want to ever feel bound to it and therefore stressed out by it. I had another blog, and they froze my account when I was away for a while which I thought was rather unkind.


I also have a Blogger account called the “blog about something” which is not active at the moment. I prefer Yahoo 360 because it's much more interactive and you seem to get more traffic through. The format of Yahoo is really very easy to build a fun and visual page, which can express a lot about oneself. It just seems more geared to interactivity and meeting people.


I get my ideas from conversations with people I meet, from advertising copy writing jobs I'm working on, music I’m playing and from books I’m reading.  Sometimes from allowing my own thoughts to ramble: I come up with ideas while I'm doing housework—that's why ironing takes me so long. I spend about 30 minute blogging and 20 minute ironing.


I have a busy mind, I hate doing nothing and being bored more than anything, I need to be stimulated constantly. So I read, play music, get out to new places and like to find out about different things all the time. It’s nice to be able to put things down that I would otherwise just forget. Being challenged is the best place to get inspiration.


Kim is a passionate advocate for children's rights and a firm supporter of UNICEF. Check out their website http://www.unicef.org/protection/index_childlabour.html


Eddie, the Birdman, aged 31 is an Administrator who lives in New York City. 


I started blogging in August of 2005, but I didn't start to take it seriously until December of that same year when many readers started taking notice and interest. Thereafter it snowballed into what you see today. I started because I wanted to chronicle my life in New York City. After what happened in 9/11, the city went through dramatic changes and I wanted to be so much a part of that change.


These are exciting times but by all means, I wanted to practise my writings. Blogging was also my way of letting out the creative energies I possessed. I was an art major in college and I no longer pursued that career. Blogging has allowed me to be an artist. At one point, I cranked out a blog every night or every morning. It became an obsession that needed real management. Now, I blog mostly during the weekdays. It's like a career, isn't it?


I chose Yahoo 360 because it was simply easy to compose and write unlike Live Journal which is more a publishing site. I have a LiveJournal in case 360 goes 'ka-blewey!' Nothing lasts forever, you know. I get most of my ideas from real experiences. I explore NYC as much as I can and I carry a camera phone which helps illustrate my findings.


People are naturally drawn to those blogs, but it’s my thoughts they really want to read. At least from what I see in the comments and hits I receive. I do draw much of my inspiration from other bloggers, magazines, pictures, news, and interests such as fashion, art, films, books, and music. Pop culture and celebrity writing is also a popular blog topic. I try to keep things original and funny.


To celebrate the phenomenal of blogging thenewblackmagazine.com are running a special promotion with Rough Guides and giving away FREE copies of the books ‘Rough Guide to Blogging’ and ‘Rough Guide to MySpace.’


All you have to do is name two blog hosts and email competitions@thenewblackmagazine.com please enter ‘Blogging’ in the subject line.



Five steps to a great blog


Blog regularly

Write about what you know

Leave comments on other blogs and the owners will return the favour

Interact with other bloggers

Don’t forget to use tags


Ronke Adeyemi is a freelance journalist and marketing consultant. She can be reached at ronkeadeyemi@yahoo.co.uk


Please e-mail comments to comments@thenewblackmagazine.com


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