All entries for Thursday 11 August 2005

August 11, 2005

How to be a Great Blogger

Surprise, surprise, I don't actually know how to be a great blogger. Do you really think I'd have written entries such as this if I did?

In a fit of boredom I – typically behind the times – ended up stumbling across the Guardian's 2003 Best British Blog Awards . The categories were:

  • Best Design
  • Best use of Photography
  • Under 18s
  • Best Specialist
  • Best Written

So how can we, Warwick Bloggers, go on to be great bloggers?

Design

I think winning a best design award might be a little tricky here as there's not any room for creativity. As someone who breaks in to a cold sweat every time my computer asks me anything more complicated than if I want to log-off or shut-down I'm most grateful for this.

I'm not sure what makes a blog well designed anyway, they all look the same to me. Perhaps they're like babies, only their parents can tell the difference between their own blog and somebody else's.

Best use of Photography

This is one for the "arty" bloggers out there, though make sure the file's not too big. There's plenty of Kodak moments on Warwick Blogs, but I'm not sure that's what's meant by good photography, being something more like this sort of thing rather than this sort of thing. Though there a few proper photographers out there, such as Steve Rumsby and… and… I'm sure there's plenty more.

Under 18s

I find it hard to envisage anyone on Warwick Blogs winning this category without cheating so let's move swiftly on.

Specialists

In a way all Warwick Blogs are specialist by virtue of being related to the University of Warwick, but as a subject goes it's pretty dull. One of the blogs mentioned in the article is about travelling on the London Underground even if it didn't actually win, so perhaps there's potential for an X12 specialist blog.

The winner of the category was someone posting The Diary of Samuel Pepys over the course of ten years. Which if you're of a certain intellectual bent you might consider clever and artistic, but as I am not I'd call it a bit of a cop out. We've all been there: Blogger's cramp. If you've got it pre-written by someone else it's easy to get around. In all fairness, what the heck do I know though, so if someone has a copy of Anne Frank's diary to hand you might be onto a winner.

Best Written

This is one that's got to open to everyone. At least, everyone who can type coherent sentence. usrs of txtspk might b best 2 frgt bout it. The winner was belle de jour – the diary of a London call girl. Let's face it, that's a bit grittier than anything likely to be seen on Warwick Blogs. Warwick Blogs are written by either bratty students or people who work in a university – a place full of bratty students.

Less gritty, but probably still beyond Warwick Blogs reach was Call Centre Confidential . I've taken a quick look and anecdotally it's much funnier than any of us here could hope to achieve, making me think of The Office at a first glance.

You won't need telling that there are well written Warwick Blogs though. By default I'd rate anyone on my favourites as being worth reading (duh!) To pick some out I'd say Fluffy Pink Shit by Elizabeth Jenner is especially well written and humourous, and of course, as everyone knows, the bloggiest blog has to be Sam Hates... .

Conclusions

To summarise the above, to be a Great Blogger, you need to:

  • Make your blog look pretty, I'm going out on a limb here, but the "glassdog" theme is unlikely to do you any favours.
  • Blog on a specific theme, flitting from one topic to another doesn't seem to win awards.
  • Be from London! With blogging, as with just about everything else, the rest of us may as well not exist.
  • Have an interesting job or lifestyle or…
  • Have a boring job or lifestyle but use it for humour.

24 Hour Liscensing

There's much brew-ha-ha about 24 Hour Liscensing. I'm not sure what to make of it all, there seems to be strong feelings on both sides of the debate.

Take for instance this quote I read by a scientist studying drinking:

It is my honest opinion that 24 hour liscensing will turn our young people into ogres.

When the scientist was accused of using inflammatory metaphors, he responded with "who said anything about metaphors? In Shrek they try to make out that princess Fiona was under a curse. In actual fact she was a binge drinker. They removed those scenes from the film because drinks companies who supply actors with booze for their drink problems were worried it might harm their profits."

The other side is just as barmy if you ask me. Alcoholics Unanymous have this view:

Twentyfour hour drinking is still too restrictive. Twentyfour hours just isn't long enough for a good piss up. So what we propose is building pubs and bars on Mars, they have twenty five hour days up there. That extra hour makes all the difference.

Naturally the forces of reaction have their views, usually available to be read in the Daily Mail. Judge O. L. D'Fart had this to say:

If I want to go to a friends house for dinner, have a couple of sherries before dinner and maybe a couple of G&Ts and then a few bottles of wine with the meal and then follow it up with a couple of rounds of brandy, then drive home, then that doesn't hurt anybody. But when these young people go to bars and get lashed on lager and alco-pops then that's a different matter.

This is the view of a priest:

Sure, we drink at the church, but a couple of bottles of wine never hurt anyone. Well, except for Pablo, the little boy I er… rescued from Brazil. A crate of wine fell on his head and killed him. Most unfortunate. When these young people go out and get plastered they don't know what they're doing. I don't know what it is with the youth of today. I saw a young couple walking down the street holding hands. In broad daylight. I couldn't believe it. This sort of debauchery is bringing the country down.

The student population is also getting in on the act:

Oh we're all for it, but we're not like those Faliraki types. They're just louts. When we get drunk and mess about it's just hi-jinx, there's a subtle but important difference.

With all the conflicting views trying to figure it out is a minefield. I give the debate 3 stars. The Daily Mail plays the role of the nasty old baddie really well, but the liberals come across as a bit wooly and unconvincing.


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