Archived entries for digital lifestyle

I heart blogging

I heart bloggingI’ve been doing a bit of thinking about my “brand” lately. Besides the fact that cyberseraphic is well overdue for a redesign (it’s in the works; I’ve even commissioned artwork!) I’ve had to do a bit of soul searching to understand what this blog is actually for.

I explained in a previous post that one of the frustrations is knowing exactly what the scope of this blog should be. Am I “lifestreaming”? Am I sharing some quirky aspect of myself, or am I trying to find fame and fortune through building up a large group of followers? In the end, I think it’s probably none of the above. I’m just writing because my brain is overflowing with all kinds of information, and blogging is the best medium to receive it. So much so that I’m now actively maintaining 3 blogs: this, THRIFTerrific and the recently launched GeekReads. I’m cranking out at least a-post-a-week and still have enough topics in the backlog to last me a good part of the rest of the year.

Granted, we’ll see what happens after I’ve worked through that backlog (although of course new ideas constantly come up, just not at the same rate as when the concept was new and minty fresh). But I’m still pleasantly surprised at how much easier it is to write when the themes are narrow and focused.

On a separate but related note, I’m very excited about some of the revelations that I’ve received in regards to the Social Media space, and I have a few exciting projects lined up which I hope to have the pleasure of announcing here one day, although much depends on the other project collaborators.

The write way to blog

Writing and blogging. Blogging and writing. It's hard no matter how you look at it.What is a blog good for, really? It might be to share one’s thoughts with the world, but that requires somebody to actually read it. The only reason people even visit to this blog any more is to see pictures of Lara Croft*.

Many blogs are successful because they manifest the outgoing, sociable or sanguine nature of the blogger, and their success in the virtual world reflects their success in the real one. I’m obviously not one of those people – I use words like “manifest”.

Other blogs have purpose, stated or not, such as Lea Thinks Aloud which focuses mainly on book and movie reviews, or my other blog THRIFTerrific where I’m trying to concentrate on sharing tips to help people save time and money.

But cyberseraphic (as a blog) is more than 5 years old now, and it has become a cumbersome ship to steer. Nevertheless, I will persevere. My recent accomplishment in successfully completing “A chance encounter” was a very fulfilling experience in spite of the very long gestation period and the anguish suffered during the writing process, and so in this next season of my blog I’m going to focus on more creative writing (and probably the occasional post bitching about the writing process).

Hopefully, in several years’ time when I’ve achieved my goal of writing for a living, I’ll look back fondly on this post as the turning point.


* SEO fans, see what I did there?

All your Webs are belong to Google

The Google logoIf there was ever any doubt as to Google’s impact on peoples’ way of life, I could offer myself up as an example:

  • Today, I turned the RSS feed of this blog over to Feedburner, which Google acquired in 2007. The move was entirely narcissistic – after all, what possible need do I have for knowing the number of people that subscribe to my blog?
  • To the feed, I attached Google AdSense, to display an ad every now and then, in the vain hope that my constantly updated, and hugely successful blog will generate some income. If you’re reading this on the Web, you’ll see that my blog already shows ads in the right column, but it hasn’t generated so much as a single cent for me since I first signed on :-)
  • Metrics reporting is provided by Google Analytics from which I can observe the actions of my visitors, like a kid with an ant farm. Again, just navel gazing, but it is interesting learning that my blog was a GoogleWhack (a search that only returns a single result) for somebody’s search on a certain Eamon song lyric…
  • This blog itself is created in Blogger which was bought out by Google in 2003.
  • I use my own domain name for e-mail, which is hosted by Gmail (now part of Google Apps). I purchased the domain name through GoDaddy, which isn’t a Google company (yet?) by is still in keeping with the “G” theme.
  • Jenny and I use Google Calendar to keep track of our appointments (also part of Google Apps).
  • We navigated our way around Canberra last weekend using Google Maps.
  • Recently, I’ve helped my father-in-law to promote his Guitar Shop using Google AdWords.
  • And of course, who doesn’t use Google Search?

I’m sure there are others. The list above is larger than I had originally anticipated – as I was writing I kept thinking of more and more services. It’s sad, but there’s really no denying that Google plays a significant role in my life!

Short, sharp and sweet

Maybe I’ve got it wrong and short posts are the way to go…

Card humbug!

Is the Christmas card dead? It seems as if people are becoming less and less inclined to send bits of flattened wood pulp all over the place in order to express their season’s greetings. It’s probably due less to do with environmental concerns than the fact that in today’s world it has just become plain cumbersome to have to go and buy the damn things, write in them, and then put them in the post or hand them out. Why go through all of that when one can simply put one’s thoughts into an e-mail and send it off in an instant?

Me, I wasn’t able to find the motivation to do even that. Most of my friends and family received a cold, unfriendly silence in lieu of a card (virtual or otherwise), or even a generic mass e-mail. Now I have this guilty feeling for not making the effort to keep in touch with people, so I suppose you could consider this blog post as a weak attempt at restitution – a cyber-repentance of sorts.

So an extremely belated merry Christmas, and a happy new year! Keep in touch. Feel free to send me a card to let me know how you’re doing :-)

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