Sunday, July 31, 2005

Help!! -- I'm computer illiterate...

So, as if I didn’t have enough on my plate[1], I’ve plunged into blogworld , and what did I find? Well, for starters that I’m computer illiterate... Up to now, I had been puzzled by acquaintances describing themselves as such even though they were quite clearly capable of using a PC, so why all that false modesty? NOW I know ... or rather, now I know that I don’t know anything! [2] But, as they say, I’m willing to learn (note, I said ‘willing’, not ‘eager’...).
So what did I learn about the blogscape yesterday? Well, for instance, more web or blog based vocabulary.

blogdex: a site developed by MIT media laboratories to track the appearance of memes (see below) in the blogging community.
blogorrhea: - surprise, surprise, is a derogative to describe those blogs which are devoted to someone’s raving and ranting, moaning and whining, general rambling and sharing every minutiae detail of their pathetic little lives (I’ll feel well at home there then...)
flamebait: a link installed or comment made in order to create a strong reaction
fram: a contraction of friends who send you spam; we all know the type: any joke, any remotely interesting link finds its way into their mailing list and into your inbox
linkaholic: self explanatory really
linkslut: a blogger/website owner who loves to be link to other websites in the hope of receiving a link back
memes: in casual use, the term often refers to any piece of information passed from one mind to another (Wikipedia info)
slashdot: /. a site focussed on technology
troll/trolling: 1 (n) someone who reads blogs, sites, forums without commenting; 2 (v, tr) to deliberately post incorrect or provocative comments; 3 (n) someone who conducts acts described in 2

The last one I had already encountered on the Weight Watchers’ forums (in the shape and form of 2 & 3), and they were truly obnoxious, whereas the first meaning I came across as ‘lurking’ recently.
As for linkaholic and linkslut – well, the first one describes very aptly what I already am and the other one, what I fully intend to be in the future....
Which brings me neatly to linking – clearly, this is what blogging was all about in the early days (so my research shows), i.e. drawing the readers’ attention to interesting stuff you’ve just come across by providing the immediate link to it. Well, I’d love to do that (finally some small purpose to all my surfing) but I don’t know how to, maybe it’s in the blogging instructions...
But first of all I’ve got to get my parcel packed for the Blogging By Mail action, and put the Red Russian into the fridge, so we can drink to my new acquaintance from C & Z who’s getting married today. I shall be taking photos ... but I don’t know what to do after that...Tomorrow, the teenagers are off to Manchester for a week and OH is probably working away somewhere exotic (not!), so nobody’s going to tend to my PC needs, which means I have to persuade them to load the photos tonight... so, I’m not sure whether I can even say: watch this space! (Apart from it being a worn out clichĂ©...)
[1] more about that later
[2] about Socrates et al a bit later

Friday, July 29, 2005

So I've got myself a blog!

It probably hasn't even been a month since I first encountered the term, let alone taken on board the concept, and here I am: creating my own! It's all Chocolate & Zucchini's fault...

First, it seduced me with its exquisite recipes and photographs into the realm of shere food eroticism.

Then it lured me into the fundamentally addictive world of forums - simply the most tempting place for a true procrastinator (everything computer-related is...) - which in this case turned out to be the most fabulous fellowship of foodies with whom to make connections, concoctions and corollaries.

(I happen to like alliteration, so please don’t start a discussion on its fuddyduddyness, its far and wide frequency and its thereby created fatigue factor. Like Slarty Bardfast, who liked his continents adorned with fjords because of their baroque feel, I happen to like alliteration – which, as most of you will know, goes way back beyond baroque, all the way to Beowulf and Gawain and the Green Knight...
But I’m digressing, which – if I want to apply Grice’s conversational maxims to my blog – I shouldn’t do. So, more about literature, language and film adaptations some other time.)

Last but not least - the really decisive factor came when Clotilde mentioned that there is an exchange going on between European food bloggers: you pack a parcel with goodies (at least one item has to be home-made), send it to a given address, and then you receive a parcel in return! Of course, you have to write about the experience in your blog -- so, la voilĂ ! I was forced to become a blogger, as there is nothing quite as enticing, exciting and exhilarating as packing and receiving a parcel! Exponentially multiplied (?!!) when the content is food!! I can't wait!!!