Archive for December, 2011

Final: How to Promote My Blog

Top 5 things to promote your blog:

  1. Write quality content and post regularly- Updating your blog regularly will provide your followers with a reason to keep coming to your site. Nobody wants to keep checking on one of the bloggers they follow if they don’t post regularly. Also, it is important to write well and produce quality content. If you have bad grammar, misspelled words, and disorganized thoughts you probably won’t have many people looking to read your posts. This is why I try to proof read my posts as much as possible and even read them aloud for friends and family to hear in an effort to make them as well-written as I can.
  2. Write search engine “friendly”- Search engines are an important part of trying to promote your blog. You should make sure to post titles and post page archiving, When you’re writing your post, try to write as descriptive as possible and about something specific, so your post winds up near the top of any search result.
  3. Link to other blogs- People who are already following or browsing other blogs are the type of audience you want to start by trying to attract, seeing as they already appreciate and like following blog posts. When you link to other blogs, you give that other blogger their opportunity for promoting their page, and they might just do the same thing for you. Also, perhaps commenting on these bloggers posts and saying that you’ve talked about a similar issue, they probably won’t mind if you share a link to your own site.    —For example, I would link some of my more politically oriented blog posts to: http://the36review.com/, http://olcranky.wordpress.com/, http://mashedpotatobulletin.com/. These are insightful, politics blogs that might share similar thoughts to my own. Linking to these sights would help contextualize my own ideas while demonstrating my own efforts to become more active in the blogger sphere.
  4. Be an active commenter- Similar to what is described in the previous method of promotion, when you comment on another person’s blog site, all of their followers have the opportunity to see what you write and even check out your page. If you write a well written and insightful comment, they might want to see some of the other things you write.   —We all utilized this several times throughout the semester (35 minimum, to be exact). I would continue to comment on other blogs, perhaps more popular ones. For example, some humorous blogs that I have particularly liked and have commented on include: http://cochinblogger.wordpress.com/, http://stayabnormal.wordpress.com/, http://articlesofabsurdity.com/
  5. Post links to your blog site on your various social networking pages (like Facebook or Twitter) and/or email the link to family/friends- This promotes your page among the people who are already interested in what you have to say or talk to you on a regularly basis. Maybe they just never knew you write a blog and if they see your link or a page suggestion for one of your posts, they’ll like it and start following.  If I had something particularly interesting to say on my blog one day, I would update my facebook status with a link to my blog, encouraging my friends to go there and check it out.

There are several persuasive techniques that you could use to successfully perform these tasks and promote your blog. First and most importantly is first method, to write quality content and post regularly. In order to create well-written arguments in your blog, one must utilize all the various rhetorical techniques we’ve been learning this semester.

The same applies to active commenting on other people’s blogs. When you comment on another’s blog you shouldn’t just try to tell them what they want to hear like, “that was great, sooooo well written!” etc. Instead, tell them what you thought of their argument (minus anything clearly offensive) and then supplement their thoughts with those of your own. This allows that blogger and others reading your comment to appreciate your insight on the topic and click on your blog to check out what else you have to say. Make sure that in your comment you incorporate some rhetorical strategies (because, after all, you’re making a mini-argument in the comment). This could include appeals to emotion or reason, including facts/statistics or appeals to authority, witty remarks or sarcasm to essentially entertain the audience, etc.

When you post a link to your blog or a page suggestion for it on your social networking sites, it is important that you highlight it in an appealing way. Give those who stumble across it a reason to check out what you have to say, maybe by posing a rhetorical question that you analyze in your blog post.

 

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Let’s give the guy a break. He meant well…

A recent article by LZ Granderson talks about two words men should never bring up to women: “fat” and “weave.” He says that men have been socialized to avoid both these topics from either “sexism, wisdom, or fear.” After a comical introduction, LZ gets to his main talking point, how Blaine Stewart mentioned his co-worker’s, Laila Muhammad, weave. Apparently, after blowing out a candle in a jack-o-lantern and mentioning that he hopes the smoke didn’t set off the sprinkler system he mentioned to Laila, “You do not want a sprinkler system and a beautiful weave, because they do not go together.”

As seemingly harmless as his intentions were, the comment was fairly inappropriate, especially on live TV. To be fair, he did mention in an interview with LZ that he knew about the no “fat” talk rule, but he wasn’t aware that mentioning a woman’s weave is a similar rule. In the article, LZ keeps it light by joking that no matter the circumstances this holiday, you do NOT mention a woman’s weave… abiding by this rule, he says, “saves lives.”

In response to Stewart’s tactless remark, Laila wasn’t terribly offended, mostly just shocked and fairly embarrassed. She was quoted saying, “I wasn’t mad at him—but he clearly didn’t know the rule. No I didn’t run to HR. No, I didn’t beat him up off set. NO, I didn’t have to explain my blackness to him afterwards. It was clear he was trying to make a compliment… He didn’t mean to call me out.” Showing good humor and understanding towards Stewart is a very positive approach that more people should attempt after a situation like that. Far too often, people are easily offended and assume the worst out of people, even if they simply misspoke. There is a difference between botching good intentions and just being mean.

LZ then concludes the article by stating some more remarks mentioned in his interview with Stewart, who says that people had some pretty harsh remarks about his comment on TV, calling him a “white devil,” “racist,” or even a “bitchy queen.” He also said, “But its funny, we can talk about fake eyelashes, lip gloss, makeup and all the other enhancements that we do, but when it comes to hair, we keep quiet. It’s the last taboo.” Well, LZ doesn’t agree that it’s the last taboo, stating, “And if he didn’t believe me, he should try bringing up the word ‘fat’ and see what happens.”

I had a lot of things running through my head while reading this article. I, of course, agree that society has made it a rule to not talk about certain physical enhancements women have as well as their weight. Especially their weight. However, I do think that we’ve gone a bit too far in America trying to be “politically correct” about everything we say; along with that, we tend to be a little too harsh on people who simply misspeak. Mistakes happen, and not everyone at every moment is thinking clearly about what they’re saying. Of course, being a TV host on a live morning show requires a bit of careful consideration and conscious word choice. But hey, give the guy a break. He messed up, and the only harm came from some slight embarrassment. It wasn’t sexual harassment, it wasn’t blatant racism, it wasn’t overtly offensive. Laila forgave him and that’s all that really matters. And at the very least, he definitely knows to be more vigilant when he speaks on TV or to women again.

So, let’s all agree to try and follow these “rules,” simply because no woman wants to hear remarks about her weight or hair enhancements. However, we can even include guys; women shouldn’t comment if a man appears to be balding, have a “beer gut,” or an abundant amount of body hair. But if a mistake should happen, get over it.

Simply, be careful about what you say about everyone and their appearance, but at the same time try to be a little less sensitive and forgiving about mistakes.

 

Post #33: ‘Tis the Season!

While logging on to WordPress this week, I saw a blurb about one blogger commenting on the Santacon in New York City, which occurred on December 10th, 2011. I only just learned what this was a few days ago, so I was immediately interested in the blogger’s story. For those who don’t know, it’s an event in NYC where thousands and thousands of people dressed in Santa suits (and a few other get-ups) go around the city, particularly bar-hopping. In 2010, the estimated turnout for this event was 10,000 Santas. The article I stumbled upon, “So 10,000 Santas walk into a bar…” details Santacon from a participant’s perspective, in a very entertaining and well-written way, and actually in a style quite similar to my collumnist’s.

To begin Santacon 2011, participants gathered at two starting locations: the marina at the Hudson in lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge Park. It is described that in order to not scatter throughout such a large city and end up losing the effect of a “sea of Santa’s” running around, a mysterious leader “periodically tweets instructions indicating where in the city the throng should assemble.” Sometimes to get from point A to point B, the Santas take the subway, yet most times they just walk. I’m sure this is quite the site for both the locals and tourists, and it is also mentioned that quite a bit of caroling fills the ears of those in witness.

After some time to hit the bars in that area, a Twitter announcement told the Santas to meet at the South Street Seaport. The blogger of this article mentions one of his favorite moments during any Santacon; when his group was walking down the Street towards the Seaport and a little boy around eight years old was watching them and yelled to one participant, “Are you the real one?!”

After Seaport, the blogger said that their next stop was City Hall Park, but unfortunately the NYPD showed up and announced that the Park was being closed. I’m sure this event causes a lot of uneasiness for the NY police and I’m actually quite surprised they don’t appear more in the beginnings of Santacon. After that occurred, they all moved on to Grand Central Terminal; the picture accompanying this description is utterly ridiculous.

After Grand Central the police make a more prominent role in the tale. The blogger states, “Sadly, by the time I had arrived in front of the library, the Santas were gone from the steps. In their place were New York’s finest, standing watch. It appeared that what had occurred in City Hall Park had happened again. There was only one thing to do: repair to a nearby bar for some much-needed libations.” Before any one gets all jumpy and thinks that a 10,000 person mob of drunken Santas is probably some sort of communal hazard (okay, I’m thinking it too), the blogger says that “Santacon tends to be remarkably devoid of misbehavior. Sure, there’s the occasional Bad Santa; but most people who participate are just trying to spread holiday cheer, and remain well-behaved.” In fact, the most frequently violation of the law that was committed was the open container law (which might seem quite obvious), and yet, Santacon continued until nightfall!

This day for many ends with an “official” Santacon after party, described as an actual ticketed event in Brooklynn. However, the blogger states that he instead chose to remain in the East Village and hit up more bars there, including a popular karaoke bar. Let’s just picture for a second a bar completely filled with Santas (maybe one or two that just happened in there by mistake) singing karaoke…

I thoroughly enjoyed this bloggers detailed description of Santacon 2011, and I think that it was well articulated and entertaining right to the end. While not necessarily written with persuasive intents, I think this post can work to persuade many to either lessen their criticism of the event or maybe even participate themselves. I know that the way it was described by this author, I would consider participating in it, and I’m actually pretty sad I didn’t know about it so I could join in this year. Hey, the more the merrier, right?

Here is the link to the original post, I encourage everyone to check out the pictures!

http://hbombkaraoke.com/2011/12/11/so-10000-santas-walk-into-a-bar/

“Sports is supposed to be a part of society, not apart from it.”

In order to find an article written by LZ that I didn’t already analyze, I looked at his editorial articles on ESPN.com. I found one that seemed interesting enough, but it didn’t seem to follow the witty and forthcoming side of LZ that I’ve grown to appreciate. The article titled, “Kobe Bryant’s lack of civility,” opens by insinuating public outrage by some homophobic and offensive statement Kobe made around that time. What he said, however, I did not find out until LZ described Kobe as dropping the “other F-bomb” about half way through the article. While it is probably a rhetorical strategy to keep the reader interested enough to continue and not just click away after they learned what was said, it greatly frustrated me. I didn’t like being “kept in the dark” six paragraphs in, and actually tried to skim ahead to see a quote highlighting what was said.

However, I think the article in its entirety is fairly well-written. LZ’s underlying message is that we should never stop addressing “ugly situations” when they arise; in order to “continue functioning as a civilized society,” we should not allow any type of prejudice to cause offense, even if it comes from our admired “star” athletes. It is stated, “There’s no room in baseball for disrespect and uncivil behavior, and there shouldn’t be tolerance for disrespect and uncivil behavior in connection with any game.” Following this, LZ provides an example of a Bulls fan spitting on a player for the Pheonix’s. Imagine that level of disrespect.

I agree with the tone of this article and think that in all games, sportsmanship isn’t just about losing gracefully or winning appreciatively. It’s about remaining civil and respectful to all players and fans; its about being a decent human being. And remember, sportsmanship doesn’t just apply to sports… we should all be decent and courteous people outside the game, as well. I hate when people use the “other F-bomb” or the “N-word” or any offensive slurs about woman in front of me, and there hasn’t been when I just let it slide. So why should Kobe be able to say it and only get a slap on the wrist? Because he’s a sports star? That just doesn’t sit well with me.

In an interesting turn in the article, LZ states, “If you think Kobe’s utterance in frustration was not that big of a deal, I am going to tell you that I agree with you. It’s not. It’s a little deal that lumps in with all the other little deals that we let go unchecked, because, well, it’s sports.” He then goes on to describe a simile with snowflakes falling on a mountain top, each being relatively harmless on their own but destructive when it causes an avalanche. I agree with his sentiment that instead of simply cutting away from Kobe’s tirade, in which he mentioned the offensive slur, TNT announcers should have denounced what was said and offered a public apology on his behalf (that is, until Kobe came out and apologized, himself).

But alas, no apology by Kobe was made, and a fine was sanctioned for $100,000. Is this enough? I guess that’s something each person would feel differently about, but what I think is that if he didn’t apologize then more than a simple (petty, to him) fine should be the consequence. Using offensive language in public as a sign of frustration isn’t just resorting to a “figure of speech,” it’s a slur that society needs to be more vigilant in stopping/preventing.

“…I’m going to hope the rest of us wouldn’t need the Lakers, the NBA or the media to point out that what he did was wrong. After all, sports is supposed to be a party of society, not apart from it.”