Sunday, February 26, 2012

3 Tips for Wikitravel Writers


1.    As a Wikitravel writer, it’s important to be conscious of your tone. Unlike Wikipedia articles, Wikitravel articles may be written in a conversational and informal tone. A lively tone is welcomed since Wikitravel encourages writers to share the excitement and fun of travel; however, avoid using clich├ęs. If you have a good sense of humor, don’t be afraid to use it in your articles, so long as they aren’t making fun of a person, involve any sarcasm, and you should avoid inside jokes. Finally, when you write an article, your tone should definitely not assume that the reader is an idiot. This means, you don’t need to offer advice that’s clearly common sense, since it comes of as disrespectful to the travelers that read your article.

2.   Follow the writing style rules according to the Wikitravel manual of style. Writers are allowed to address the reader, using “you;” however, writers should never use “I”, “we”, “our”, “my”, etc. After all, you are not the only writer contributing to the article. It’s important to be concise in your articles, which doesn’t mean you can’t include detailed descriptions of sights, but rather, avoid lengthy detailed explanations when offering advice. If you decide to make generalizations, be careful; meaning, avoid exaggeration and being too extreme.

3.   Wikitravelers check this site to find out places worth going to, not the places they shouldn’t go to; therefore, avoid negative reviews. According to the Wikitravel’s style manual, there are exceptions to this rule, since travelers may be led to the attraction from other information sources. Some of the exceptions include the following. 1) It is widely advertised. 2) It is commonly featured in other guidebooks. 3) It is prominently located, such as near popular tourist areas, across from a train station, etc. It is suggested that in these cases, you should create a listing of attractions you recommend, but in the description make note of why the place is not worth going to and explain why. Writers are encouraged to note in general unsavory aspects of a destination, so long as they are honest and fair comments for the traveler’s benefit. By general unsavory aspects that means unsafe areas that are high in crime, like drug-use and prostitution, unsafe climate, police corruption, etc. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Aha!

The topic I chose for my clubhouse blog is 90s pop culture and childhood nostalgia! I think my generation will enjoy this blog, since they'll be able to relate to it. I plan on covering various parts of 90s pop culture, including music, television, fashion, movies, toys and other fads. Because there was so much going on during this decade, I don't think I'll ever run out of things to talk about!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Clubhouse Blog Ideas


For a good 25 minutes, I sat doodling in my notebook, trying to think of a topic for my enthusiast blog. It’s funny how when you’re given the freedom to write about any topic, you suddenly can’t think of anything to write about. Anyways, I started brainstorming and came up with the following topics:

 -Fashion- the latest trends
-Pop Culture
-T.V. Shows- must sees and don’t bothers
-Last months as a college student
-Ways to still have fun when you’re a broke college student

I decided to cross out the Fashion topic because I’m not too passionate about it, as well as the T.V. show topic since, these days, I rarely have the time to watch television. I liked the Pop culture idea, but I think the topic is just too broad. I almost went with the last months as a college student topic, but I started thinking about the kind of things I could write about… Besides searching for a job and going to class, there’s not much else really going on. Right now, I’m leaning towards the topic on ways to still have fun when you’re a broke college student. As a college student with a tight budget myself, I’ve been trying to be creative, coming up with ideas to have fun without burning a hole in my pocket. With this topic, I can write about fun activities that are free or inexpensive, budget-friendly recipes, party ideas that are easy on the pocket, etc. I think this blog could interest many college kids since it’s a topic many can relate to and some might even find it to be useful.  

Sunday, February 5, 2012

"Blogs as Clubhouses" Response


The article “Blogs as Clubhouses” discusses enthusiast blogs and offers some helpful tips for those looking to start one. The first tip concerns the focus of your blog to aid discovery. The author suggests picking a topic that is not too broad in order to avoid it from being “dominated by giants.” Moreover, the topic shouldn’t be too narrow either since it will be difficult to grow a decent fan base. The next tip involves how frequently you should be post.  “Don’t let too much time pass between posts or readers may et of the habit of visiting your site, but at the same time, don’t fall into the trap of posting drivel just to see another entry online.” In addition, the author says that the content of your blogs should be either useful or entertaining, and it’s a great blog if it contains both. The author also mentions the importance of writing style, suggesting that it should be friendly and conversational, and never in a way that seems to be demeaning or rude. Finally, the tip labeled “the most important” for enthusiast blogs regards personality. The author says that these blogs also serve as a showcase for the bloggers personality, and one that displays “strong tastes and well-crafted opinions” is more likely to benefit and succeed.

 Since we are going to create our own enthusiast blogs for this class, I thought this article was very useful with all the helpful tips. I joined the bloggersphere a few years ago, and for a while I maintained two different blogs. One of the blogs was mainly for displaying my creative writing pieces and seeking input from other writers in the blog community.  My other blog was more for free writing and a way for me to vent, expressing my thoughts and opinions about different current events. My blogs didn’t have a solid focus, which is why this clubhouse project will be a whole new blogging experience for me. One of the author’s tips involved posting regularly and to the point. I think that was my biggest challenge and still is. The last time I posted on the blog that I have outside of this class was probably in September. When school started and I got a job, I no longer had the free time to post, which caused me to lose some of my followers. I was thinking about shutting down the blog because of the fact I haven’t posted in forever, and I’ve had a case of writer’s block for the past 5 months. However, the author suggests sticking with it, “truly successful bloggers are those who weather these moments and build faithful readerships over time.” And so, I decided I’m going to stick with it. And who knows? Maybe this project will inspire me to keep an enthusiast blog too.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Response to Rebecca Blood's "Weblogs: a History and Perspective"


            In the article “Weblogs: a history and perspective,” Rebecca Blood discusses the start of weblogs and how it quickly developed into a whole new means of communication and expression. Blood takes us back to 1998 when there were only a handful of blog sites available on the web. Before long, there were hundreds of sites after “Pitas, the first build-your-own-weblog too l launched.”  According to Blood, before this advance, weblogs could only be created by people who had the knowledge of how to make a website. But when sites, such as Blogger and Edit this page launched, people no longer had to be tech savvy to have a weblog. Blood says, “All of these services are free, and all of them are designed to enable individuals to publish their own weblogs quickly and easily.”
            The article also explains how people were finding more and more uses for weblogs. “In September of 2000 there are thousands of weblogs: topic-oriented weblogs, alternative viewpoints, astute examinations of the human condition as reflected by mainstream media, short-form journals, links to the weird, and free-form notebooks of ideas.” Blood discusses the impact weblogs have had on the media. She mentions how some weblog editors are “engaged in seeking out and evaluating the “facts” that are presented to us each day” by corporate news sources. I think she makes an interesting point about how weblog editors are beginning to “redefine media as a public, participatory endeavor. “
            Since this article came out in 2000, weblogs continue to thrive and offer people new ways of communication and self-expression. I think one of the most fascinating points Blood made in her article was about how the weblog experience can have a positive impact on the blogger on a personal level. Blood even reveals that she herself has had such a positive experience from the creation of weblogs. “I began to feel that my perspective was unique and important,” she said. I think the greatest aspect of blogs is that it gives people a voice and an opportunity to be heard and feel heard. As the bloggersphere continues to evolve, I believe this new form of communication will bring our great big world a little bit closer.