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.

 

writing territory 2

 

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.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Art
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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.

writing territories

An Illustration I created for one of my poems
‘Writing Territories’

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

Citations.

1. Soul Food Café, Yahoo Group Messages [4274, 3511-3513] & SS Vulcania Yahoo Group messages, [700, 694, 697, 693, 663, 662, 649 and more.]

2.http://weblogs.about.com/od/bloggingethics/tp/Top3BloggingRules.htm

3.http://www.profitablemommyblogging.com/the-trouble-with-mom-bloggers/

Further Reading

 

www.nymag.com/news/media/15971

 

www.historyofblogging.com

 

www.blogherald.com/2005/03/06/a-short-history-of-blogging

 

http://blogjournalists.blogspot.com/

http://weblogs.about.com/od/creatingablog/ss/StartWordpress.htm

For more thoughts on this topic by June Perkins

http://qcan.blogspot.com/2006/03/bloggin-for-writer-in-community-june.html

http://globalteacher.org.au/2009/03/04/to-blog-or-not-to-blog/


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About Ilura Gazette

The blog of Ilura Press, an independent boutique publishing house founded in 2006 and based in St Kilda, Melbourne.

10 responses to “I am Blogger Hear Me Roar”

  1. Gail says :

    Fascinating post, June. That map of your blogging themes is beautiful, and I wouldn’t worry about `finding your niche’ – too limiting, when you have so many ways to express yourself. I never thought of using Smilebox that way, for example. Continue to explore, and share those explorations with us. I’m going to be keeping track of this blog.

  2. Lori says :

    This is a wonderfully informative article, and as a blogger, I have experienced much of what you describe here.

  3. Pam says :

    Hi June

    I’m an old dinosaur and don’t much like the idea of blogging myself, but I think what you have written would really be inspiring for someone with a interest in blogging who feels a bit hesitant about starting out.

    Keep writing and inspiring…

    Cheers

    Pam

  4. John Hoare says :

    thanks June. i dont have much to comment. just wanted to let you know i read it. i would hate to be a lurker. blogging is all a bit foreign to me. maybe i am just a dinosaur. maybe Morna will switch me on a bit more when she gets back. Sounds like you are enjoying it all and I love the artwork. all the best john hoare

  5. Alexis says :

    Love this. Blogging can really mean so many things. I see blogging as my record of moments in my life that I wish to share with friends. I may not post everyday, in fact maybe just once a week or less at times, but when I do post, it’s because something has happened or gone thru my mind that I wish to share and I hope my friends will enjoy seeing as well. 🙂

  6. GwenGuin says :

    Blogs are so many things. Any blog is only as good as the contributors and readers, and I have beenb fortunate enough to read some of the best blogs on the ‘Net thanks to Soul Food cafe.

    What is my personal blog to me? It is where people actually listen to what I have to say, and appreciate what I have to say. It is through my blog that my voice is clearest.

    I will be saving this to my favourites love, and I am looking forward to more.

    GwenGuin

  7. Sally says :

    Excellent, June. Now that I’ve blogged for more than a year, I can’t imagine being able to express myself anywhere else. Of course, being with a group such as Soul Food where I feel safe and find encouragement is of the utmost importance to me. And I “met” you…It has been a pleasure, June.

  8. Jill says :

    This is fabulous June, such a comprehensive overview of blogging written from personal experience which gives the reader real insight.
    The notes/links are great – you have created a good resource too with this piece. Many congratulations.

  9. woodnymph says :

    This is most interesting and informative article. While I am not a blogger per se I found the content educating. I don’t know that I’ll ever become a blogger. I am happy with the Soul Food groups despite the fact that I have not recently produced much of worth. This sad fact was due to health issues but, I’m happy to say, I am well on the road to recovery. My muse, I’m also happy to say, is beginning to stir.

    Thank you for this great piece and the illustrations contained therein.

    Vi

  10. Suzanne says :

    This is a really interesting article. As you say, entering the world of blogging can be bewildering. I like how you break it down and explain some of the pitfalls and many of the benefits. I’ll definitely keep coming back to this blog.

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