Posts Tagged ‘blogs’

Blogging 101: Fears and Subliminations

In Blog Culture on December 25, 2010 at 1:34 am

Blogging is fun, but also difficult. I access my blog (almost) every day in order to check my stats, layout and overall choice in content. Yes, even after I post I will sometimes regret having done so. It’s nerve-racking, but you get used to it.

Sometimes I slam my metaphorical head into my screen in an (oftentimes) fruitless attempt at coming up with a topic. I’ve spoken to several colleagues about my blogging (Andy and Heat, I’m lookin’ at you two) and have struck upon only a few truths: keep the posts short, frequent and interesting. It sounds like a metaphor for sex and can be just as tiresome.

My biggest bitch is “what exactly am I going to write about?” Sometimes I don’t post. Sometimes I just write and leave a post unfinished for several days. Sometimes such drafts get “left behind” (har har) in the proverbial “to do pile” only to be revisited and determined to be no longer timely or simply dull.

What I am often told is “keep blogging!” Well, that’s much easier said then done. A watchful blog reader will notice I don’t always post on a regular basis. Sometimes I post every day for a week, while other weeks receive barely a post. (I *intend* to rectify that, so just sit tight.) What I truly despise about my blogging is when I feel forced to do so. The posts I (literally) churn out due to a sense of obligation are oftentimes the ones I dislike and the ones my readers dislike.

What have I learned since I’ve started blogging? The best posts are the passionate ones. Even if it’s short, as long as you write with fervor (don’t forget to spellcheck!) and from a place of intelligence, you will go far. But, even then there are times where the posts I put little effort or research into are the ones EVERYBODY hits. So, who knows? Give your all most of the time and you should be alright. Sounds like a metaphor or life, doesn’t it?


Blogging REDUX and other pretentious comparisons

In Blog Culture on December 24, 2010 at 12:47 am

I may have just had an epiphany. Or an aneurysm. When it comes to sudden flashes on insight (or supposed insight) I can never be sure. What I think just happened was that I realized my blogging sucks.

I thought blogging was supposed to be “news with a personal touch.” (My definition for “blog” as far as I can tell). Like an editorial only with more cursing (and not the Casey Grove “Shit List” kind, even though I feel for the guy). No, blogging is supposed to be more editorial meets diary: Bridget Jones meets Fox News. (That encapsulation just made me shiver…a Fox News comparison? Really, man?)

Blogging is, I think, more of a Barclay’s Commentaries instead of The Bible. I didn’t write the book of life, I just highlight and make notes. So…consider this an upgrade from a Sharpie Permanent Marker to an ACCENT Highlighter. Oh yeah, I just went there.


Did you just hear that? That’s the sound of the ACCENT, baby, and here we go.


In Blog Culture on December 8, 2010 at 12:52 am

You may notice that the Bagheera Face has changed a bit since the last time you visited! There is no need to be alarmed. The only thing I’ve changed is the theme and a few category headings. It’s still all good. Snoop around the site and see for yourself. Let me know what you think!

Adventures in blogging: 27bslash6

In Blog Culture, Culture, Humor on December 2, 2010 at 1:36 am

Who: David Thorne is the seemingly annoyed Australian genius behind this website.

What: 27bslash6. It is most assuredly a site to be experienced rather then discussed, but what I will say is that it is one of the funniest things I’ve ever stumbled upon while on the web. When I say that I’m even thinking back to that whole Did you mean: french military defeats? meme from the middle 2000’s.

When: Thorne began his website in 2006 but gained a more global audience in 2008 after this article began to circulate.

Where: If you missed it the first time: 27bslash6. My all time favorite, however, has got to be either “I have read your website and it is obviously that your a foggot.” or Missing Missy.

Why: Because this is a fabulous humor site wherein your posterior will, most likely, be laughed off.

<a href="">this</a>

Adventures in blogging:

In Blog Culture, Fashion on December 1, 2010 at 1:01 am

I am a man. Therefore, it is imperative that I understand certain things about being a man.

What sort of things does this include?

  1. Change a roll of film.
  2. Defeat an internet virus.
  3. Drive on icy roads.
  4. Brew a good pot of coffee.
  5. Fold laundry.
  6. Tie a tie.

In fact…I think everyone should know these things, not just us guys. You know why? Because, lets face it, women look fantastic in ties. That being said, people should know how to tie a tie.

I first seriously contemplated my lack of tie tying knowledge when a photographer friend of mine (dressed-to-the-nines in a fashionable grey suit) helped put on a political debate between two senatorial candidates. Needless to say he looked great but was having serious tie trouble. In the end, a female friend of his fixed him up.

What: This event ultimately led me to discover the not-so-secret art of tying a tie. I did so here:

Who: Caspar Isemer.

When: The site was begun in 2003 and has been helping people know what they heck to do with a tie ever since.

Where: In case you missed it the first time:

Why: Because every fashionable person should know how to tie a tie. Ties look good which means they can help you look better. Besides, our state’s (Alaska) late great former senator Ted Stevens went to Congress in a Hulk tie.

Oh yeah, when he put the tie on you knew this guy meant business.   AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke.

If Stevens did it, it must be alright. 🙂

Adventures in blogging: Coilhouse

In Blog Culture, Culture on November 17, 2010 at 10:04 pm

I am loquacious. However, my tongue falls short in describing Coilhouse. As such, I can do so only by reinterpreting lines spoken in the film Kingdom of Heaven.

What is Coilhouse?
Nothing…and everything!


Who: Coilhouse was founded by Nadya Lev, Zoetica Ebb and Meredith Yayanos.

What: “COILHOUSE is a love letter to alternative culture, written in an era when alternative culture no longer exists. And because it no longer exists, we take from yesterday and tomorrow, from the mainstream and from the underground, to construct our own version. We cover art, fashion, technology, music and film to create an alternative culture that we would like to live in, as opposed to the one that’s being sold or handed down to us.” – From their Mission Statement.

When: October 2007.

Where: Coilhouse.

Why: Because you need a break from watching re-runs of The Daily Show and from scouring the Huffington Post‘s comment section. Yes, that is all well and good but sometimes you need something a little bit different. Which is to say: better.

Better? Yes. Here’s why: Go to their main page and scroll through their list of categories. What do you see?

If you’re going to be lazy about it I’ll give you my favorite five (which is an arbitrary number): Better than coffee, Crackpot visionary, Cthulhu, Grrrl and Testing your faith.

The number of topics they cover within those awesomely-worded categories are also impressive: documentaries on this death cult in Mexico, Islamic fashion, a food fight photo shoot (NSFW), William Shatner mouthing “KKaaahhn!” on an infinite loop and a list of the top ten most preternaturally beautiful men.

I’m not even chuckling wryly. You need to check the site out NOW.

Adventures in blogging: SCOTUS Blog

In Blog Culture, Justice on November 15, 2010 at 11:48 am

Who: Allow me to dork out for a moment on this: a blog dedicated to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). It’s name? SCOTUSblog.

What: It’s a blog that lets non-poli-sci majors like me keep track of Supreme Court decisions. It also provides a reference resource, a list of case histories and even has a detailed calendar of what the SCOTUS has planned for each day. For example, did you know that on Nov. 29, a petitioner’s brief is due in Ashcroft v. al-Kidd? Can you believe that? That’s amazing! At least I think it is…to be honest, I have no idea what Ashcroft v. al-Kidd is, but you know what? SCOTUSblog does. And they’ll tell you…FOR FREE.

When: It was founded in 2002 by Tom Goldstein and Amy Howe, a married couple who are also lawyers. Lyle Denniston, a journalist, joined them a few years later. As of 2010, more than twenty people either work on the blog or write for it.

Where: SCOTUSblog.

Why: Because it’s just cool and also bloody helpful. If you want to keep an eye on the Supreme Court this is the way to do it. What’s the coolest feature? “This Week at the Court.” It’s on the main page, next to the calendar. Because of SCOTUSblog, I now know that the court will not be hearing any oral arguments this week.

Cool? Cool.

Politicians and Journalists: Never the two shall meet

In Blog Culture, Journalism, Political on November 14, 2010 at 6:42 pm

I was invited to join a group called the UAF Campus Democrats. As a liberal individual I heartily accepted. I was excited. For those of you who have been reading this blog for a while now, you know with what frequency I engaged this blog into the political fray. I wanted more. I wanted to do more. I wanted to both comment on politics and help influence them.

Except that I have a problem. Not with the clubs members, the club, or it’s principles. The problem is me.

As a journalist I feel being affiliated with any political organization is seen as a bias. As a matter of fact, I am an Undeclared voter. Just like 37 percent of all Alaskans.

And let me tell you something. It sucks. As one of my oldest friends used to say: “this sucks large unpleasant things.” Attempting to maintain objectivity is exhausting and impossible. I have my own opinions…I have my own bias. The real challenge is being aware of them and acknowledging them. However, acknowledging them and limiting them is not the same as indulging them. As a news writer there has to be some ethical line that cannot be crossed. This is that line. Stepping over it may only be seen as a breach of ethics to myself, but I am my toughest critic and I expect perfection.

So, to my friends in the club-that-I-cannot-participate-in-due-to-that-pesky-thing-called-“ethics”: I apologize. I wanted to join you so much that I almost compromised my ethics to accompany you. Take that as a compliment. My philosophical inclinations support you but my sense of journalistic neutrality stops me dead in my tracks. Go on with out me and know that I’m rooting you on from the sidelines.

Adventures in blogging: An introduction

In Blog Culture, Culture on November 10, 2010 at 6:59 pm

A new web series

I’m starting a new series were I look at blogs and personal websites that I feel deserve to have a wider audience.

I will discuss them and rate them.

If you have a website or blog you would like me to review just send me an email or post in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

As such, this will be a series about people doing fascinating and noteworthy things on the web. As I said before, if you have a recommendation please send it my way!

Don’t forget: Dittman is a GOP pollster

In Political on October 29, 2010 at 7:37 pm

A poll recently released by the Anchorage-based pollster David Dittman shows Lisa Murkowski with a sizable lead over both Joe Miller and Scott McAdams. This poll is misleading for two reasons:

  1. Dittman was quoted in Politico as saying that he has “asked respondents whether they were voting for any of the candidates on the ballot or a write-in candidate, ‘such as Lisa Murkowski or someone else.'” With her name no longer on the ballot, I ask the question “Is referring to someone not on the actual ballot ethical polling?” This issue goes hand-in-hand with whether or not placing a write-in list at polling stations is ethical. The DoE says “no” (in it’s own legal code), but the Courts say “yes, go ahead.”
  2. Dittman is a GOP pollster.

Now, a brief note on three recent polls:

  • The Dittman Poll is released and has Murkowski supporters all a-flutter and McAdams fans in a fury. The poll is backed by a well-known GOP pollster.

“Oh, ho!” You say?

Well, the Alaska Dispatch (in a blog written by Amanda Coyne) now releases this, which cites the Hays poll and the Hellenthal poll as being backed by either a campaign or an organization sympathetic to the campaign (“It bears repeating that both of those pollsters had a relationship with campaigns”). The Dispatch then goes on to cite David Dittman as “one of the most reliable pollsters in the state.”

However, it also bears mentioning that Dittman is equally invested in the campaign. This article refers to Dittman in the following sentence: “Halcro has reached out to other local Republicans to help fund the poll, which will be done by GOP pollster David Dittman starting this weekend.” (The article is dated August 27, 2010.) The article was also posted on Andrew Halcro’s website.

I will be the first to say that everyone has a political opinion on some level. More so if you are involved in politics…like a pollster. However, we need to be up front with our opinions, especially when thousands of people may potentially read our poll and make several fundamental assumptions about it. For instance: that it is non-biased.

I will go further: I support Scott McAdams. I also have a poll on the main page of this blog. I also intentionally named Lisa Murkowski in the poll. Why did I do so? Because it’s an unofficial poll on a blog and because I doubt anyone who visits this blog can name any other write-in candidate. That is an assumption I am making on my blog. I am not a newspaper (although I do write for one). My blog posts are (what I consider) “hypertext editorials.” That is my bias. Now, what’s yours?