To Blog or Not to Blog

Navigating Social Media

To blog or not to blog. That is the question I am asked often. My answer is a resounding Yes!

The Wikipedia definition of a blog is:

blog is a personal journal published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order so the most recent post appears first. Blogs are usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often are themed on a single subject. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

A “personal journal” on the WWW? That kind of blog is done, finito, past tense.

I’m banning the word “blog”, because every time I talk about a blog page with a client, I’m faced with a blank stare that says “are you crazy? I’m not writing a personal journal online!”

Yes, the “blog”as we know it is over. Sooooo 2000. But, I still want you to have one. We’re just going to call it “the place where you update your website twice a month to generate interesting and valuable content for your website visitors”.

Navigating social mediaIt’s not  a “personal journal” as Wikipedia defines it . Walker Park Media says it best: It’s your publishing platform, your personal magazine, your coupon book, your how-to teachings, your place to share your expertise and the place where you showcase what’s cool in your world. It’s one part writing and many parts visual, with videos, screencasts, photography and illustration. Like a business scrapbook. Navigating social media and a blog is easy: It’s the place where all your potential clients and a website passersby will be able to get to know and like you. It’s going to create a link between your website and Google search engine results. And it’s the content that brings life and direction to your website.

There are the 3 C’s of the social web and blogging (or whatever we are calling it now) : Content, Communication and Consistency. Look forward to my next three blogs to discuss these in-depth. In the meantime…

Here is a video of a song that I love. May it motivate and inspire you to blog!

Design in art: Various elements in the creative flux…

“Design in art, is a recognition of the relation between various things, various elements in the creative flux. You can’t invent a design. You recognize it, in the fourth dimension. That is, with your blood and your bones, as well as with your eyes.”—D. H. Lawrence

Dobry den! Greg and I just returned from a magical trip to Prague in the Czech Republic. Never could I have imagined the beauty that was constantly, almost nonchalantly displayed at every corner, in every building. It seemed like millions of cobblestones lead me to marvels that somehow survived what history had dealt them.

People have asked me about my favorite parts of the trip. That’s a tough one. The very Gothic Saint Vitus Cathedral in Prague was an awe-inspiring place of worship and symbol of holiness and faith.

Also, the majestic Charles Bridge that crosses Vltava river in Prague. It was commissioned by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV in 1357 and has seen the good and bad eras of history in that area.

 

In contrast, the The Lennon Wall is a totally different creative inspiration. Once a plain wall, since the 1980′s it has been filled with John Lennon-inspired graffiti and pieces of lyrics from Beatles songs. In 1988, the wall was a source of irritation for the communist regime. Young Czechs would write complaints on the wall and this led to a clash between hundreds of students and security police on the Charles Bridge (mentioned above). Now, the wall symbolize love and peace.

 

In the midst of all this history are remarkable contemporary bronze statues sprinkled throughout parks and courtyards in the city. The clean, rounded lines contrast with the intricate tangle of vines, patterns and seemingly hundreds of visual layers carved into the historic buildings (even each door, window, and every other  structural element). Some of the contemporary works are comments on modern life. D.H. Lawrence was an English author, poet, playwright, essayist and critic. His work represents a reflection upon the dehumanizing effects of modernity and industrialization. In Prague, sculptures with the same theme are placed next to a building that was built before the 1500′s. And this contrast works, not only in theme but visually. One gives you a rest from the other. Let’s you appreciate the properties of all without personal saturation or having to “choose” which art you want to experience in such a large city.

There are artistic treats and surprises around each turn. These surprises and their contrasting styles have re-opened my eyes to the design possibilities in all medium. The chaos and balance even translate to web and graphic design projects. Contrast can create visual drama and an experience client’s cannot turn away from. Why not take the risk?

P.S. No rock climbing pictures of Stacy this trip—foot still broken. Greg climbed in the Czech Republic near Poland, though. I’ll have to wait ’till the broken foot heals and stick with the incredible climbing near Hendersonville and Asheville.

Nashledanou (Good bye..for now)