Tag Archives: blogs

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Hey guess what. I started another blog

I figured it was time to put all my blogging talk into action. This one even has ads. I’ve picked a niche (coffee) and I’m out there to see just how much free stuff running a coffee blog can score me (I heard Izaac’s Pixar blog scored him free DVDs).

Plus it’s fun having a purpose when you go to cafes. And it makes all that time spent reading about coffee seem worthwhile.

Here it is. It’s called thebeanstalker.com. Add it to your feed reader. Tell your friends. Tell them to tell their friends. There has been a little bit of original content over there already – but expect to see some of my coffee posts from here posted there, and good stuff from there occasionally posted here.

Calling all blogs

Are you in my blogroll (it’s down the bottom of the page). If you’re not, you should be. And now’s your chance. If you are, then this post is for you too.

I’d like to be more Web 2.0 (which means more “social”) with this little corner of the web. And I’d like to include a little one or two sentence bio/description of your site in my list of links. But I’d like you to write them for me and leave them in the comments on this post.

I’ll also do nice things for you if you’re in it – like posting links to you from time to time and visiting your site. I’ll even comment there.

Apparently (in an article I read today) the one sentence bio (or 140 character bio) was the foundation on which such Web 2.0 luminaries like Facebook and Twitter were built on. So it is an exercise in webness for all of you.

As an incentive – if you don’t participate I’ll probably relegate you to some impossible to find corner of the site (I won’t remove you, because if you’re there already I like what you have to contribute).

Ten famous blogs that make me laugh

Single themed blogs are so hot right now.

If you’re not aware of these already then maybe you should be…

  1. Passive Aggressive Notes
  2. There, I fixed it
  3. This is why you’re fat
  4. Failblog
  5. Surviving the World
  6. Stuff White People Like and the spin offs – Stuff Journalists Like, Stuff Christians Like, and Stuff Christian Culture Likes
  7. Fancy Fast Food
  8. Insanewiches
  9. Super Useless Super Powers
  10. Larknews.com

I’m not sure that “Just Google It” will ever make it to that list…

Just google it

I’ve started a second blog. Not because this one bores me. I’ve been messing around with Tumblr. It’s pretty cool. And I’ve noticed a lot of single issue tumblr blogs that I like.

I’ve also been thinking about how funny some of the google autofill results are.

So I’ve combined the two here.

Feel free to make any suggestions for inclusion…

Nine Christian blogs you should read

These are not necessarily my favourite blogs by Christians – but they are the ones that are most likely to cover interesting trends in evangelical Christianity (in the Australian sense of the word evangelical – which mostly means reformed)…

  1. John Piper’s blog at Desiring God, his son Abraham Piper’s 22 words is another one of my favourites… his current post is a cracker.
  2. Mark Driscoll’s blog at the Resurgence – lets face it, what Christian male under the age of 30 isn’t at least a little bit of a Mark Driscoll fanboy. He’s a Mac, and Piper is a PC.
  3. Tim Challies blog – great link posts and book reviews.
  4. Between Two Worlds – nice short summaries of the American Christian blogosphere.
  5. Craig’s blog – the Australian equivalent of Between Two Worlds – nice short sharp summaries of important discussions and developments around the Australian scene.
  6. The Internet Monk – trying to define him is difficult. Post reformed, post evangelical, partly Calvinist – usually interesting or thought provoking.
  7. Church Marketing Sucks – a nice little site dedicated to improving the way churches communicate Jesus.
  8. Communicate Jesus – an Australian equivalent to Church Marketing Sucks.
  9. Stuff Christians Like – the Stuff Christians Write writer has his finger right on the pulse of Christian culture – warts and all.

A list of nine barely does my subscription list justice, there are heaps of notable omissions both from gospel ministers in Australia to collective blogs like Pyromaniacs or the SolaPanel – and a bunch of quality blogs by bible college students.

It would be remiss of me not to mention Design4Church – a most excellent blog about graphic design for churches at this point…

Any good ones I’m missing?

Nine famous blogs you should read

I always link the little guy – but I also read the big guys… Here are some sites I subscribe to.

  1. Lifehacker – how to live cleverly
  2. Boing Boing – Weird stuff
  3. Kottke.org – The arts 2.0
  4. Smashing Magazine – Design
  5. The Simple Dollar – Frugality
  6. Book of Joe – Weird stuff
  7. Slashdot – Tech News
  8. Six Revisions – Design
  9. Gizmodo – Gadgets and fun stuff with technology (occasionally inappropriate)

Got any favourites that you think I’d like (bearing in mind that this is not an exhaustive list)… share them in the comments.

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Sharing the love

I’ve given up on the daily link post. Feed readers will no doubt have noticed and appreciated this already. The multiple posting glitch was so very annoying for everybody. And it just ended up cluttering the page and obscuring the Curiosities posts I’d actually put effort into tracking down and writing up. So they’re gone. You will find my latest five shared items in the right hand column. If you want real time updates send an email to my gmail (which is n m dot(.) campbell at gmail.com – without the spaces, brackets and the word dot – you’ll figure it out, but spammers won’t) and become my friend on google reader.

Anyway, in the absence of a daily post of links here’s a post full of goodness from around the blogosphere – starting with five people I know in real life, and ending with five I’ve never met but who write funny, interesting or insightful stuff that I enjoy reading…

Those I know

  1.  Izaac has finished his series on prophecy which is meaty, engaging and considerate of people with different learning styles (it has diagrams). He’s been blogging regularly for a couple of months now, and if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon now’s your chance. Do it. 
  2. Tim and Amy took on the blogging thing with gusto. And then slowed down. But they’re worth following because they’re pretty awesome.
  3. Geoff is another guy I’ve known for a long time – since we were kids taking the North Coast Christian camping scene by storm. He’s just started a blog. It looks promising thus far (he’s defined his scope pretty nicely). 
  4. Dr Joel blogs infrequently but in a rantingly engaging way – and often giving an insight into life in the Queensland Health system…  
  5.  Tim has updated his blog twice this week. That’s some sort of record.

Those I don’t

  1.  Jeff has thrown a couple of links my way – and you know that means he’s a purveyor of quality stuff…
  2. Guthers seems to be a man of great taste – beer and coffee. Awesome. He made a bit of a comeback this week after a two month break. Who knows if this return will be permanent – the fact that he writes about coffee regularly is enough for me. 
  3. Reuben went toe to toe with me as we took on one of team pyro’s angry Calvinists on the death penalty a while back.  
  4. Sam and Soph cover all the bases – coffee, Christianity, culture, journalism and they have a cracking white design. Like mine but without the clutter of columns. Rumour has it that Sam and Reuben were caught talking about this blog in a Moore College lecture the other day – I have spies everywhere people…
  5. Justin writes good stuff infrequently. He’s an Anglican minister in the heart of Sydney. He asks good questions. And provides good answers.

In the absence of my regular linkage I think I’ll turn this into a bit of a regular feature. If you’re out there, lurking, and you have a blog – let me know in the comments. I’d be particularly interested to know if you’re one of the five people I don’t know and you’re a reader.

I decided this week that I’m going to try to delurk on 10% of the blogs I read everyweek. Because I like the idea of blogs as conversations. Perhaps you’ll be next.

Also, kudos must go to Ben Bathgate for his excellent page on Mac software that’s worth checking out.

Post it post

I’ve been reading Daily Vowel Movements for a while. Since its Andrew became one of the many Andrews who comments here on occasion. It’s a blog with a nice regularity. You should check it out.

Friday is my favourite day, because on Fridays Andrew posts his pointless post it notes – which are every bit as amusing as the index card version they were inspired by. Here’s my favourite:

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One for the books

I’m a sucker for a good bit of other person promotion. And it’s probably time I mentioned Goannatree anyway.

It’s a good place to read intelligent scholarship from a Christian who is into literature, the arts and all sorts of culture.

This week Goannatree is running a book giveaway to encourage lurkers out of the woodworks – and probably to score a swag of new readers. So get along, check it out. You won’t be disappointed.

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All quiet…

Simone hasn’t posted since Monday. Stuss has posted just once this week, while Ben has posted just once today. Izaac has posted twice. Tim and Ben (Bathgates.net) once. The usually reliable Craig has posted only nine times this week. The man known around these parts as “The Moff” (I saw somewhere that someone called him that to some consternation) – has posted four times.

Amy and Tim are off to a promising start with six posts since Monday. Ali, who I missed out in the last little round up post, has posted three times this week…

Maybe the threat of traffic induced by this post and all the other bored desk jockeys out there will cause these people to update their blogs soon…

And the rest of you… what are we procrastinators to do?

Commenting would be a start. Lets talk.

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A place for everything

Lifehack.org had this great chart for communicating with people – and the best way to do it.

Sadly, it didn’t deal with social networks and what the appropriate vehicle is for meeting your communications goals.

One of the common themes pursued by parents in this whole debate is that they feel the need to vent, the need to celebrate their experiences and a forum for support.

Someone needs to do up a similar flow chart for how, when, and where, you should communicate this sort of stuff and meet these important needs.

So, in order to extracate myself from a sticky situation where I offended mothers and questioned their self worth, I will give you my following solutions to this problem that will hopefully offer a middle ground…

Here are my professional (possibly not expert) opinions of the appropriate contexts for discussions – and I’ll use parenting as an example because it’s timely. And if I don’t you’ll suspect I’m talking about it anyway.

Twitter

Twitter is a microblogging service and has evolved as a source of "as it happens" information about major events. You may have heard of it. The mainstream media is flogging it hoping it’ll become a dead horse – because they’re worried about its potential to take the place of newspapers.

It’s strength is that it’s real time – and you can follow just about anybody. It’s much less private than Facebook. It’s also designed to be updated much more frequently than Facebook statuses appear to be. I suggest that parents wanting quick feedback on decisions, or wanting to brag about their offspring’s achievements should do so via Twitter.

Flickr/Picasa

If you want to share photos – and you want to control exactly who gets to them – the best way to do that is using a dedicated photography site. You’ve got more control and better default privacy settings. You can then invite specific people to have a look at your family photos rather than sharing them with your colleagues, school friends and the rest of the world who you might have "friended" elsewhere.

A lot of parents I know are protective of their childrens privacy – and I think this is a good thing. Heaven forbid your child grow up having some parental musing as their top search result on google.

YouTube

YouTube has the same benefits as the photo sharing services – you can share your videos with close friends or the world – and spare acquaintences from the pain and suffering that comes from curious voyeurism. That’s what most people use Facebook for. To spy. I’ll watch your videos and look at your photos just because I want to know more than I should about you, advertisers will do it so they can figure out what best to sell you, other people will do it for more nefarious purposes.

Bookmarks

There are heaps of bookmarking sites out there that let you share bookmarks with relevant keywords – you can also look up what other people have tagged using those words. And save interesting articles to share with your friends.

I’m sure there are plenty of great parenting resources out there and if you want to share tips and tricks, and expert opinions this is a good way to do it. That way I (a non parent) don’t have to be notified by you every time you find an article you’d like to share with half of your friends.

Blogging

Communication works best when it’s "opt in" or permission driven. If you want people to listen to what you have to say, don’t do it to a captive audience, build an audience by being useful and informative.

I may be your friend on Facebook because I want to occasionally invite you to social functions – and lets face it, parents complain about being out of the social loop, I may be your friend because we are part of the same organisation… generally your Facebook friends aren’t only your closest friends. So don’t treat them like they are.

I might be biased – but I think the best forum for sharing your opinion in an opt in manner is on a blog. People have to make a decision to visit it, to come back, or to subscribe. It’s easier not to go back to an annoying blog than it is to unfriend someone you know but don’t want to hear from. And much less socially perilous.

Forums and user groups

If you’re looking for support with specific problems related to parenting why not join a forum. Forums are great. They’re the best way to get assistance from the "hive mind". They’re completely opt in. They’re a community. And there are forums for just about everything – and if you can’t find one they’re pretty easy to start.

You can also share all your milestones with people who will share your joy.

Email

Most of the reasons people give for sharing stuff on Facebook (relatively public) could be done via a targeted group email (relatively private). If you’re friends with someone on Facebook you have their email address. Be polite. Email the people you want to share your information with.

Facebook

I’ve left Facebook to last (and MySpace off the list entirely) because I think it dabbles too much in the areas better covered by tools specifically designed for specific purposes. Unless you want to set up privacy settings and sharing settings you’re broadcasting everything to either your entire friends list (or the world) and relying on them to filter it.

Facebook is widely abused. Some people should have lisences revoked for anti-social behaviour.

Having said that, Every one of these previously mentioned tools can be achieved using Facebook – it’s powerful. It’s a great platform for sharing photos, video, bookmarks, and opinions, and for conducting forums, advertising events and soliciting feedback and advice. It’s also a pretty functional email platform.

But with great power comes great responsibility. If you’re going to use it for all of these purposes – Be a good citizen of the online world. Use it appropriately.

  1. Protect your photos.
  2. Set up groups for discussions about parenting where you can overshare to your heart’s content.
  3. Set up events and invite only the people you’d like to attend.
  4. Don’t spam people with needless applications.
  5. Don’t have private conversations on people’s walls.
  6. Use the "email" capacity of Facebook to keep things private.
  7. Don’t send unsolicited promotional stuff to people about your courses and stuff.
  8. By all means use your status to invite people to peruse your blog, your business website, your business Facebook page, etc, but do so sparingly. Once every ten minutes is too much.

If you’re aiming to be a functional participant in the web 2.0 world you need to remember the golden rule of opt in. Don’t make everybody suffer through every piece of information you feel like sharing – if they like you enough they’ll do that. Give them the option – don’t force feed them. It’s just basic manners.

Still life

This print pretty much sums up two of my favourite things (not my only favourite things – just things I like). You can buy it as a print. Here.

Five types of bloggers

I’ve been thinking a bit about the nature of blogging. I love blogging, and I love reading blogs. It seems to me that in most of the spheres in which I read blogs there are just five types of blogger.

These spheres – if you’re interested – are (on the basis of the names of categories in my Google Reader subscriptions) – People, Christianity, Coffee, How To, Humour, Gadget, Bargains, Web, and News.

The five types of blogger are “The Creator”, “The Curator”, “The Aggregator”, “The Commentator”, and “The Journaller.” There are probably more – and some blogs are mixes of both – I think I’m probably a mixture of all three.

The Creator

The Creator is perhaps the most exciting kind of blogger – they put up new material, their own thoughts, pictures, products, designs and concepts. They are read for their brilliance and because they supply ideas that keep the blogosphere afloat through generating spin off discussions and things that people want to link to.

The Curator

The Appreciator is a blogger who collects the best bits of thoughts and things from around the blogosphere and collates them – different to “The Aggregator” in that their topics can be wide and varied “The Appreciator” tends to provide a picture of themselves based on what it is they curate.

The Aggregator

Like the Appreciator but with a much more defined scope – Aggregators focus on a particular topic and go looking around the interwebs for material along a theme – in many cases they’ll be creators/aggregators providing their own content but more often featuring things from elsewhere.

The Commentator

Commentators are a bit like Journallers but they’re more opinionated – and more likely to make comment on current events than on their own circumstances. Some provide entertaining observations on life around them (rather than their own lives).

The Journaller

Journallers use their blogs as a journal – they don’t tend to care if people are reading or not and their content is usually of a reflective, personal or ranty nature and based on day to day life.

Journallers are also the most likely to be guilty of oversharing – generally because they’re not necessarily expecting readers, and if they are they don’t really care about maintaining readership.

What type of blogger do you think you are? Have I missed any types?

Listmania

I feel like writing lists today. Here are my five reasons for writing lists. 

  1. Lists are good blog fodder.
  2. I have a number of multifaceted topics to write about.
  3. Lists encourage brevity while dealing with multiple ideas on a theme.
  4. They’re structurally easier to read than lengthy monologues.
  5. They’re more likely to be shared by other people.
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Mum’s the word

I found out yesterday that my mum has a blog. My wife told me. Why had I not been informed?

It’s a bit of a Campbell family recipe book. You should check it out.

The icecream was delicious…

“Ingredients:
4 eggs
3/4 cup icing sugar – sifted
300mls cream

Method:
Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl until well blended.
In another larger bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff then whisk in the icing sugar a spoon at a time.
In a third bowl whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks, then fold into meringue mixture with egg yolks.
Turn into a 1500ml container, cover and freeze.

Flavours:
Vanilla – add 1 tsp vanilla essence to cream
Coffee – add 2 Tsp strong coffee and 1 Tsp rum or brandy to mixture before freezing
Chocolate – mix 2 Tsp cocoa with 4 Tsp cold milk, warm until blended then combine with 60gm melted chocolate and fold into mix before freezing
Dried Fig and Ginger – Chop one cup of dried figs – cover with strong black chai tea til soft combine with 1/2 cup diced ginger and 1/2 tsp cardammon then blend into ice cream mix and freeze”

If you go there and comment – be nice or you’re in big trouble.