Thoughts On A Page.

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Blogging helped to create a political crisis that forced Lott to step down as majority leader. Similarly, blogs were among the driving forces behind the " Rathergate " scandal. To wit: television journalist Dan Rather presented documents on the CBS show 60 Minutes that conflicted with accepted accounts of President Bush's military service record.

Bloggers declared the documents to be forgeries and presented evidence and arguments in support of that view. Many bloggers view this scandal as the advent of blogs' acceptance by the mass media, both as a news source and opinion and as means of applying political pressure. Though often seen as partisan gossips, [ citation needed ] bloggers sometimes lead the way in bringing key information to public light, with mainstream media having to follow their lead. More often, however, news blogs tend to react to material already published by the mainstream media.

Meanwhile, an increasing number of experts blogged, making blogs a source of in-depth analysis. In Russia , some political bloggers have started to challenge the dominance of official, overwhelmingly pro-government media. Bloggers such as Rustem Adagamov and Alexei Navalny have many followers and the latter's nickname for the ruling United Russia party as the "party of crooks and thieves" has been adopted by anti-regime protesters. By , the role of blogs became increasingly mainstream, as political consultants , news services, and candidates began using them as tools for outreach and opinion forming.

Blogging was established by politicians and political candidates to express opinions on war and other issues and cemented blogs' role as a news source. See Howard Dean and Wesley Clark. Israel was among the first national governments to set up an official blog. The impact of blogging upon the mainstream media has also been acknowledged by governments. In , the presence of the American journalism industry had declined to the point that several newspaper corporations were filing for bankruptcy, resulting in less direct competition between newspapers within the same circulation area.

Discussion emerged as to whether the newspaper industry would benefit from a stimulus package by the federal government. There are many different types of blogs, differing not only in the type of content, but also in the way that content is delivered or written. As the popularity of blogging continues to rise, the commercialisation of blogging is rapidly increasing. Many corporations and companies collaborate with bloggers to increase advertising and engage online communities towards their products. In the book Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers , Henry Jenkins stated that "Bloggers take knowledge in their own hands, enabling successful navigation within and between these emerging knowledge cultures.

One can see such behaviour as co-optation into commodity culture insofar as it sometimes collaborates with corporate interests, but one can also see it as increasing the diversity of media culture, providing opportunities for greater inclusiveness, and making more responsive to consumers.

As of [update] , blogging had become such a mania that a new blog was created every second of every minute of every hour of every day. There are essentially two measures of this: popularity through citations, as well as popularity through affiliation i. The basic conclusion from studies of the structure of blogs is that while it takes time for a blog to become popular through blogrolls, permalinks can boost popularity more quickly, and are perhaps more indicative of popularity and authority than blogrolls, since they denote that people are actually reading the blog's content and deem it valuable or noteworthy in specific cases.

The blogdex project was launched by researchers in the MIT Media Lab to crawl the Web and gather data from thousands of blogs in order to investigate their social properties. Information was gathered by the tool for over four years, during which it autonomously tracked the most contagious information spreading in the blog community, ranking it by recency and popularity. It can, therefore, [ original research?

The project was replaced by tailrank.

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Blogs are given rankings by Alexa Internet web hits of Alexa Toolbar users , and formerly by blog search engine Technorati based on the number of incoming links Technorati stopped doing this in In August , Technorati found that the most linked-to blog on the internet was that of Chinese actress Xu Jinglei. Many bloggers, particularly those engaged in participatory journalism , are amateur journalists, and thus they differentiate themselves from the professional reporters and editors who work in mainstream media organizations.

Other bloggers are media professionals who are publishing online, rather than via a TV station or newspaper, either as an add-on to a traditional media presence e. Some institutions and organizations see blogging as a means of "getting around the filter" of media " gatekeepers " and pushing their messages directly to the public. Many mainstream journalists, meanwhile, write their own blogs—well over , according to CyberJournalist. Some bloggers have moved over to other media. In counterpoint, Hugh Hewitt exemplifies a mass media personality who has moved in the other direction, adding to his reach in "old media" by being an influential blogger.

Blogs have also had an influence on minority languages , bringing together scattered speakers and learners; this is particularly so with blogs in Gaelic languages. Minority language publishing which may lack economic feasibility can find its audience through inexpensive blogging. There are examples of bloggers who have published books based on their blogs, e. Blog-based books have been given the name blook. A prize for the best blog-based book was initiated in , [55] the Lulu Blooker Prize.

Consumer-generated advertising is a relatively new and controversial development, and it has created a new model of marketing communication from businesses to consumers. Among the various forms of advertising on blog, the most controversial are the sponsored posts. Blogs have led to some disintermediation and a breakdown of the traditional advertising model, where companies can skip over the advertising agencies previously the only interface with the customer and contact the customers directly via social media websites. On the other hand, new companies specialised in blog advertising have been established, to take advantage of this new development as well.

However, there are many people who look negatively on this new development. Blogging can result in a range of legal liabilities and other unforeseen consequences. Several cases have been brought before the national courts against bloggers concerning issues of defamation or liability. Internet Service Providers ISPs , in general, are immune from liability for information that originates with third parties U. In Doe v. Cahill , the Delaware Supreme Court held that stringent standards had to be met to unmask the anonymous bloggers , and also took the unusual step of dismissing the libel case itself as unfounded under American libel law rather than referring it back to the trial court for reconsideration.

The Cahills amended their original complaint, and the mayor settled the case rather than going to trial. The plaintiff was supported by the Malaysian government. In the United States, blogger Aaron Wall was sued by Traffic Power for defamation and publication of trade secrets in The case was dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction, and Traffic Power failed to appeal within the allowed time. Employees who blog about elements of their place of employment can begin to affect the reputation of their employer, either in a positive way, if the employee is praising the employer and its workplaces, or in a negative way, if the blogger is making negative comments about the company or its practices.

In general, attempts by employee bloggers to protect themselves by maintaining anonymity have proved ineffective. Mr Justice Eady refused to grant an order to protect the anonymity of Richard Horton. Horton was a police officer in the United Kingdom who blogged about his job under the name "NightJack". Delta Air Lines fired flight attendant Ellen Simonetti because she posted photographs of herself in uniform on an airplane and because of comments posted on her blog "Queen of Sky: Diary of a Flight Attendant" which the employer deemed inappropriate.

Simonetti took legal action against the airline for "wrongful termination, defamation of character and lost future wages". In early , Erik Ringmar, a senior lecturer at the London School of Economics , was ordered by the convenor of his department to "take down and destroy" his blog in which he discussed the quality of education at the school. Mark Jen was terminated in after 10 days of employment as an assistant product manager at Google for discussing corporate secrets on his personal blog, then called 99zeros and hosted on the Google-owned Blogger service. He was fired two days after he complied with his employer's request to remove the sensitive material from his blog.

After the blog was discovered and she was fired, [79] she wrote a novel based on her experiences and blog: The Washingtonienne: A Novel. As of [update] , Cutler is being sued by one of her former lovers in a case that could establish the extent to which bloggers are obligated to protect the privacy of their real life associates. Catherine Sanderson, a. Petite Anglaise , lost her job in Paris at a British accountancy firm because of blogging. Sanderson later won a compensation claim case against the British firm, however. On the other hand, Penelope Trunk wrote an upbeat article in the Boston Globe in , entitled "Blogs 'essential' to a good career".

Business owners who blog about their business can also run into legal consequences. Blogging can sometimes have unforeseen consequences in politically sensitive areas. In some countries, Internet police or secret police may monitor blogs and arrest blog authors of commentators.

Blogs can be much harder to control than broadcast or print media, because a person can create a blog whose authorship is hard to trace, by using anonymity technology such as Tor. It is the first time in the history of Egypt that a blogger was prosecuted. After a brief trial session that took place in Alexandria , the blogger was found guilty and sentenced to prison terms of three years for insulting Islam and inciting sedition, and one year for insulting Mubarak.

The kids have turned on me. Like bite-size Judases. Maybe 'turned' is an exaggeration as, when I start to think about it, I don't know they were ever really facing me in the first place. It's been on my mind for a while now. To write about the Kardashians. I can feel your judgement, but I choose to ignore it.


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I love them, you see - I truly do. Their show at any rate. Tuning in to their zany world makes me all kinds of happy. Deep in my heart - in my soul - I'm a very content loner. I like to sit alone, just thinking, daydreaming I'm pretty nifty at staring genuinely blankly, my brain all a-whirr with silence. Well, I'm in the fog. The almost-six-months-down fog. I was fairly new to writing stories, and over the moon to have been selected for her class.

This was at the Humber School for Writers. These words had energy, I said, and subsequent rewrites wrecked that force. It was, she said, an essentially Romantic capital R idea, one that pictured creativity as a single, great spasm.

Shaena Lambert

This stuck with me. The appraising look. The good but scathing advice. It needs to morph and shake off skins.

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Still, I stubbornly continue to believe that early drafts, if they are good, can have an energetic force to them — a force that can be caught, and then passed from draft to draft, becoming, no matter how the words change, an energy container for the piece. But how do you deepen a piece while keeping the aliveness at the core? How do you keep a draft from getting more stiff and tight with each rewrite, or keep it from peering and itself in the mirror, getting excited by how it looks?

A large pad of construction paper will also work. I then write all around the edges, asking myself questions, trying new ideas, colouring in scenes that are faint. Renaming characters, etc. At the same time I can drift, consider, and work around the edges, asking myself questions, making no distinction between writing the piece and writing about the piece. This physical process — writing all over pieces of scrap paper — frees me to open up the first draft and play with it, while keeping the shape of the initial draft in front of me, with its twists, turns and — yes — that DNA-like surge of energy that comes when you first commit words to a blank sheet, creating a story out of nowhere.

This essay had a huge impact on me. Her theory is that symbols and I think we could add in theme here as well can only be created when the writer pays close attention to the surface details of life: how things smell, taste, look, feel. This is fascinating and true. If you want to talk about death, life, youth, eternity, redemption, you can only do it through dirty socks, rancid butter, mustard stains, a flock of geese. But if you find the right images, and poke at them, and play with them, they can become doors or windows, revealing hidden layers.

To render the physical world in such a way that it gives off meaning — a kind of world under the world of the story — is close, I think, to what E. Some writers always remain secular. But others do. My favorite story writers all are able to do this. With Henry James, for instance, you can feel the huge weight of a secondary meaning beneath the surface of his stories. And the aliveness!

Talk about closure. Or pieces of skeleton from the family closet? For most writers, collecting material has a more secretive, illicit quality. It is gathered in the dark, kept under wraps, then released, with a mixture of pride and guilt, in what one hopes is a sufficiently transmogrified form. We are crows. This was my process writing Oh, My Darling. Story ideas came from a variety of sources — neighbourhood worries about teenage drug use, a conversation on the beach, a book on children of the Werhmacht — and each produced its customary thrill and its customary angst.

Then in February, , as I worked to complete the book, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was thrust into a world of MRIs, visits to the cancer clinic, operations, radiation. I was afraid. Yet, to my surprise, I found myself writing in a more focused way than ever before, with more efficiency and less drama. This went along with other surprises. I found I had a huge inner resolve to heal myself.

I focused on what was good for me. Friendships grew in intensity. I felt surrounded by love. And even on bad days, I headed to my desk. By disappearing into writing, I had a refuge, and to my surprise the stories I had been having trouble finishing finished themselves. The book grew from seven stories to eight to nine. I had told myself I wanted ten in the collection, and, after a dream about an amorous spider, I decided to write one about cancer.

I was near the end of my treatment and felt an urge to explore my tangled emotions. I composed a draft, using that love-struck spider as a motif, but the story was flat. Then in August, a few weeks after my final session of radiation, I headed to a coffee shop in Kitsilano to write in my journal. I opened my diary on the marble table top. Healthy Diet. It felt good to draw up a list. I took a sip of my tea, then picked up my pen again and wrote,.

I stared down at the words. Where had they come from? They were just so mean. And effete. And oh, so intimate, with their reference to Little Women , my favorite book as a child. In a flash I knew where that voice came from. It was the cancer, which, until recently, had been lodged in my body. Teasing, desirous, sadistic — it was paying me the deepest of attention. As a woman fighting breast cancer, I suppose I must have been shocked by how the cancer had been personified in the dark of my unconscious mind, then wriggled into my hand and written itself into my journal.

But as a writer I was electrified.

Thoughts on Writing « Welcome

I got on my bike and rode along Spanish Banks, then threw myself onto a bench. In one sitting I wrote down the bones of the story. The next week my husband and I travelled to Hollyhock retreat centre on Cortes Island. This story became the title story of my collection, and when I look back on writing it I feel proud. But my love of picking up shiny bits helped me seize the raw materials of my own life when the time was right.


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The cancer may have nailed me, but I really felt, as I sat writing under that apple tree, that I was nailing it back. And I will never forget that moment in the cafe, as I felt that voice breathing out of the page. A ripple of life. Here is my answer, below. Thanks to Kelli for her guest editing of the National Post books section, and for asking the question. As for length: short stories usually run a maximum of 40 to 50 pages. Longer and the story may be a novella waiting to be unpacked. But on the other end of the spectrum, some stories twitter stories, at characters for instance are too short.