I am Blogger Hear Me Roar
By June Perkins
In the cyberhighway of blogging there are many incredible blogging communities that each one of us might connect with, but for each blogger the journey will be different. Before I blogged I was a poet, sometimes a storyteller, a parent, a wife, a second generation migrant and had newly gained a doctor of philosophy.
Whilst the history of blogging begins in the mid 1990s with one of the earliest bloggers Justin Hall maintaining a web diary, my journey begins in 2004.
I first discovered the art of blogging in a workshop run by an artist who had learned to make money with her blog. She was hosted by QCAN (Queensland Community Arts Network). In our workshop we touched upon ways to make money from blogs and the needs of artists to ‘sell their artistry- it’s okay to make money out of your art,’ however, I was more inspired by the possibilities of enhancing my communication with family and friends and developing a unique voice than the possibilities of income.
Initially I composed my blog to stay connected to extended family and writer friends. Our lives felt like an enormous adventure as we were heading to Queensland and they all lived down South. We had moved so far away from family and friends that blogging was easier than writing to everyone individually and yet it was writing to all of them personally.
A Visual Representation of my Blogging Themes.
Since then my blog Pearlz Dreaming, which was originally on Blogger, has mostly shifted to WordPress. It has become an eclectic scrapbook of: thoughts about life and events, lesson plans, poems, reflections, micro stories, novel drafts, Smile Boxes (digital scrap booking facility) and reviews of other blogs and websites. I document arts projects, share photos, interviews, and file messages from friends sent during significant events like Cyclone Larry. My readers are not just my family but other cyberhighway readers who connect to any of my interests, some are fellow bloggers, facebookers, and others are religious education teachers looking for lesson plans or information. From time to time others are invited to publish on my blogs.
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A Smile Box By June Perkins- On Art.
Part of my journey on the cyberhighway has been learning which voices I want to listen to? Future posts will feature some of the inspiring writers and artists I have come across in my journey.
There is a massive world of blogs out there. Entering the blogosphere is like walking into the most enormous book store, like Goulds – a haphazard second-hand bookstore in New Town Sydney, but magnified, you are literally swamped with so much thought on- cookery, parenting, culture, religion, education, poetry, spoken word, technology, art, politics, photography, music, gossip about films and actors, news, how to write and blogging itself. My first major blogging quest was to search for daily writing prompts blogs. After all I wanted to be a writer so anyone seeking to remove writer’s block on their blog was going to be on my ‘To Read List.’
I became a selective reader and found myself entranced by a world of blogs and Yahoo groups (Yahoo groups are discussion groups that exist around topics of interest to the participants). moderated by Heather Blakey of the Soul Food constellation. It was in this dreamlike and mythic world of Lemuria I became a daily writer (although not always a daily blogger.)
The Soul Food constellation of blogs consists of other daily practitioners of writing and art – amongst them Lori, Gail, Monika, Vi, Anita, Soul Sister, Almurta and Jill. They are a wonderful crew to be aboard with. Last year we even went for a virtual cruise adventure on the SS Vulcania. I spend a lot of time at the Pythian Games, where I am known as Pearlz and Gumbootspearlz.
An Illustration I created for one of my poems
Lemuria feels safe because it is so well moderated although there has been extensive discussion of copyright issues .1 I did join other virtual communities, but I left many again, because the people there were pushy or scary or obsessed with their pet topics and or they never made comments on anything I posted. I have since found you can belong to ethical bloggers who follow three top rules ‘1. They cite sources, 2. They ask permission and 3. Play nice and treat others with respect. 2
Although we write with fictional as well as our real voices, Soul Fooders, are protective of our copy right , respectful of others, like many other on-line communities care when people disappear on-line and it does seem as if people do not hide their real selves completely. 1 (loc cit) The fact that writers do not totally hide their true identities makes it feel safer. There are sometimes lurkers, (in Internet culture, a lurker reads discussions on a message board, newsgroup, chatroom, file sharing or other interactive system, but rarely or never participates actively). There are so many groups to belong to though so perhaps all bloggers are guilty of lurking somewhere in a Facebook group or Yahoo group.
Five years later and I continue to blog. I have an online voice, an audience and strong idea of the cybercommunities I like to join in with. Along the way I have become a Facebooker, part of a poet’s Ning network (an online platform for creating social networks like Facebook or twitter network) dabbled in Squidoo and made a few on-line friends who I consider fine photographers on Flickr.
My blogs feed into and off all these networks, just like they feed off my heart, soul and brain, and life experience for writing topics. I have some blogs that only a few can access. These are my reading/writing groups to test out work before I publish it further. I treasure these smaller worlds as the comments are genuine, sincere and sustained.
Now I realize it is important to value my blog and I am embarking on self publishing books to sell off the blog.3
I am wondering about whether I have found my niche and what it actually is?
I am still a mother and wife, a budding novelist but I am also Pearlz Dreaming, imagining myself a camera, Unity Bell previous passenger of the SS Vulcania, a nanowrimo winner (50,00 words on novel in a month challenge) and a World Citizen Dreaming.
© June Perkins
1. Soul Food Café, Yahoo Group Messages [4274, 3511-3513] & SS Vulcania Yahoo Group messages, [700, 694, 697, 693, 663, 662, 649 and more.]
For more thoughts on this topic by June Perkins
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