Courtesy of Lindsey Dawson.
The blogosphere is the hot place to be. So who’s running it? Nobody. Which is its blessing and its curse.
You probably do know that blog means ‘web log’. It started when web-savvy writers began to pour out words in a journal sort of format that could be updated at will.
Now there are around 133 million (and counting) blogs out there. ‘Real’ journalists can be a bit sniffy about bloggers, dissing them as mere scribblers. But to sneer would be missing the point. Many blog writers are top names.
The world’s biggest blog, at www.huffingtonpost.com , prints the views of major commentators and now rivals venerable newspapers in terms of influence.
For the most part bloggers write for free but if they’re clever enough they can turn a buck or two. For instance, fashion ‘curator’ and professional speaker Gala Darling sells her writings as monthly chapters of an ongoing book called Love & Sequins.
“It’s my handbook on being a love letter to the universe,” coos Gala, who grew up in Wellington and moved to New York in pursuit of a more glamorous life. Like all big web personalities she is prolific – blogging madly at www.galadarling.com and other sites, and is all over Facebook and Twitter.
That’s the gorgeous Gala in the picture.
There is, of course, much serious blogging happening too. At www.stuff.co.nz a range of familiar names pops up – such as political reporter Colin Espiner and investment expert Bruce Sheppard.
Also included is Christchurch librarian Moata Tamaira. Her self-described “unholy mash-up of whimsy, cynicism and wry observation” won her the best blog prize at last year’s Qantas Media Awards. She’s just written a hilarious piece about being detained overnight by Customs at Madrid Airport when she lost her passport on the inbound flight.
There are a dozen or so good writers at www.publicaddress.net. Try also www.kiwiblog.co.nz which has been “fomenting happy mischief since 2003”. It contains some 400 blogs. Some are moribund but there are heaps to get stuck into, including the prickly Cactus Kate. She’s a Hong Kong-based lawyer (and admirer of Rodney Hide) whose tagline is, “Saving the world from sanctimonious bearded men, one whisker removed at a time”.
If you’re looking for local and stylish browse www.lovelyblogs.co.nz – which collects appealing blogs from around the country. So give it a go. Set yours up at www.wordpress.com, www.blogspot.com or www.tumblr.com – all are free and simple to use.
* This article is adapted from my Webmistress column in the Nov issue of Next magazine. I’m also currently running its Facebook page – find it at Next Magazine NZ and tick the ‘Like’ box to see what’s happening there.