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Queen Rania

Queen Rania

Queen Rania of Jordan is a human rights activist, advocate for children, and get this… YouTube videoblogger. My friend and Arab pop culture blogger Hana from Jordan reassured me she was cool and genuinely trying to advance women issues, not just playing into the web hype. I’ll admit it, I’m a cynic but who hasn’t been the past eight years? I’m coming around. Especially after seeing the queen’s latest video. The queen proves how cool she really is. Rania does her “Top 10” on Letterman.

Queen Rania has insightful commentary on extremism, veiled women, and other Islam-related stereotypes in her interview with Fareed Zakaria on CNN. It’s really good stuff if you’re looking for some closure on the al-Queda terrorism nonsense.

Video of Queen Rania on Letterman

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Excerpted from ProBlogger’s two part series on collaborative blogging and a kind of blogger buddy system.

The Power Of Collaboration In Today’s Blogging World – 10 Reasons to Find a Blog Buddy: “Advantages to having a blogging buddy:

1. You can feedback on posts, prior to pressing publish. Writing without a sounding board can be difficult. Writing without a sounding board when we’re about to publish our thought for world consumption can be terrifying. Having someone with whom to send our words for perusal can make all the difference in how we feel about our work. Sometimes, feedback is as simple as a good job! or a quickly corrected comma. Other times a slow down! or a what exactly are you trying to say? might be more in order. Good or bad, a buddy can help lead us in the right direction

2. You can have someone to vent to, who understands your situation. Blogging is difficult. No one understands this essential truth better than another blogger. Most of us suffer common setbacks. Simply knowing that someone else is feeling, or has felt, something similar, can be all we need to know our feelings are only fleeting.

3. You can work on projects together. Collaboration is one of the great joys of blogging. Cooperation comes in many forms, and often by surprise, but pooling minds on a joint project offers pleasure like little else. Swapping ideas through email or instant message is immediate and often amusing. Inspiration will surely abound, and take you to wonderful places you were never even planning to go.

4. You can share link love. It’s well established that links are the currency of the net. They strengthen our rating with analytic aggregators such as Technorati and Alexa, while erecting new roads for readers to reach our words. Having a buddy that we can count on to help generate links is like having a friend post flyers to our show on telephone poles across the city.

5. You can share each others posts through social media and with other bloggers. Social media plays an enormous role in helping drive blogs toward success, and can sometimes be the difference between breaking out and blowing up. When it comes to outlets such as Twitter and StumbleUpon, every blogger brings a different audience. Even with audience overlap, a post spread by your blogging buddy will extend to a different audience than your own.

6. You can share communities. Each post develops our community further. Every blog has its own set of readers and subscribers who drop in to say hello. Commitment is a natural byproduct of community. A buddy blogger can ask his audience to give your work a chance. A portion of the audience will be happy to comply, and that chance could make all the difference.

7. You can help each other stay motivated as you share encouragement. The peaks and valleys of daily blogging lend themselves well to the buddy system. Just as one buddy sees a lull in subscribers, the other may be experiencing a peak. That peak could be a prompt for encouragement. Your buddy is part of your team. Success for one means success for all. All it takes is the proper mindset; choose to celebrate successes, and supersede all difficulty.

8. You can guest post for each other. Guest posts are an excellent way to build your name brand, while continuing to refine your craft. Landing a guest post, especially in the beginning, can be difficult. With a blogging buddy, it’s as simple as trading baseball cards.

9. You can share each others talents. People are different, and bring separate skill sets to the table. Some people tend to be more creative, while others might display a stronger technical side. Fate seems to have an odd way of laying opposites together, and often you will find that the talents of your blogging buddy, or buddies, will nicely compliment your own.

10. You’ll have twice the blogging power at your disposal. Getting started blogging is hard, gaining momentum even more so. Having twice the reach, or at least twice the intent, can be the difference between barely eking by, and soaring through the stratosphere.”

Does anyone want to share they’re buddy blogging experiences? I’m working on an announcement. It’ll go something like this: Wanted! Buddy blogger to swap secrets, possibly make his/her RSS feed public, and share clippings. Must be highly geeked out by Twitter networking.

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I looked at my RSS feed just after publishing the last post to catch “Want a Popular Blog? Put Your Ego Aside Then” out of the corner of my eye. This was a reminder for me to correct for the fact that I did find two blogs that have reinforced my faith in the helpfulness of blog “tips.” They are: CopyBlogger and ProBlogger.

I’ve been reading Copyblogger for a while and really like what they have to say on monetizing blogs. Last night, I wanted to make a group of bloggers on my @tweetdeck to follow and help each other out with research and advice. After looking for hours, I finally found a huge list of bloggers on Twitter from the ProBlogger Social Media Love-in.

Oh, I thought, blogger tips are for bloggers. Social media tips are for social media entrepreneurs (even though they post them on blogs) and their regulars. Honest mistake! See you on Twitter, bloggers. Looks like I may need your help, too, figuring it out so hopefully there’s enough love to go around. Follow me @blogislam and I’ll follow back.

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Today I’m moving out of my parents house (like actual adult moving out for good) into an apartment above my friend Greg. I posted photos on flickr of the “before” move-in, “after” pictures will be posted later. For now, I’m just going to make an ambiguous hyperlink between Neitzsche’s declaration that “God is Dead” to “Blogging at a Snail’s Pace” from the NY Times (according to the article, slow-blogging is en vogue).

Maybe it’s blogger burnout affecting my judgment but I find in it a perfect explaination of the “internet cosmos” without all the definitions, rules, or seriousness. It could be that since was reading social media “tips” all morning about how to make my online Twitter updates purposeful, a couple old-timers totally ignoring the advice yet still following their own makes me happy. Hey, they know what’s right by them, and that’s all you can ask from a blogger.

And the quote:

‘Free spirits’ feel, when we hear the news that “the old god is dead,‘ as if new dawn shone on us; our heart overflows with gratitude, amazement, premonitions, expectation. At long last the horizon appears free to us again, even if it should not be bright; at long last our ships may venture out again, venture out to face any danger; all the daring of the lover of knowledge is permitted again; the sea, our sea, lies open again; perhaps there has never yet been such an ‘open sea’

Nietzsche, The Gay Science

Thanks to @markdykeman for passing along the slow-blogging article via twitter. It’s a gem. What do I think? I think that homecooked meal is great when someone cooks it for you. But when you go to the movies or a sport’s game sometimes you just want a little junk food. Go Boing Boing!

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The Hipster punk blog entry that changed the world. Here’s my favorite quote from it. You can find the entry en total on Street Boners and TV Carnage.

STREET BONERS and TV CARNAGE » OBAMA VICTORY RENDERS HIPSTER “MOVEMENT” OBSOLETE: “Now prepare yourselves: This is an era in which you will find many people becoming inspired by government. You are going to see a lot of regular people asking what they can do for their country, applying to work for the Obama administration, and trying to make a difference in real life.

I myself won’t be participating, because I’m too fucking lazy, greedy, and scared. But I don’t harbor any illusion that my selfish path somehow makes me smarter than the people who are actually trying to help. (Many of you do – you are ‘Those in the Know,’ as vane$$a says – there you go, you dumb racist cunt: you’re famous.)

Never believe that the cynicism you spend on scene-dues is actually legal tender in the real world – it would be as dumb as a Hippie thinking he can fight global warming by fashioning a testicle-choker out of hemp.”

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From Gawker: Journoblogging!!

Look, there’s an incredibly lengthy new seven-part survey of journalists who blog, exploring how blogs have affected their journalism, and how journalism has affected their blogs, and what they think about blogs and journalism and the effects that they have upon one another, and also upon the journalists who sit astride these two dynamic fields—blogging and journalism. We haven’t read it yet, because we already know (from personal experience!) the five-part process that all blogging journalists use:

1. Look at a blog in your beat (Romenesko for media, Deadspin for sports, Andrew Sullivan for politics, etc.). Find something there that looks interesting.

2. Chew pen for a few minutes.

3. Rewrite the item you stole, taking a slightly different angle than the original blogger.

4. Send what you wrote back to the original blogger, in search of a link.

5. Celebrate newfound internet fame.

[Optional sixth step: fill out lengthy survey. Pic via CJR.] [From The Secret Journoblogging Method [Journalismism]]

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Open Thread

Jezebel: Open Thread

Open threads are a way for bloggers to open a post up for user comment. Usually the title of the post is Open Thread: Topic (whatever the topic may be). A good topic would be something in the news, like Hurricane Ike, or something everyone can relate to, like baby strollers.

Blogs like Boing Boing or Clusterflock post links to interesting, but totally random content that’s entertaining. They post open threads just because they can. There doesn’t have to be a topic because the blog doesn’t have any particular focus so users don’t expect one. At the same time, it’s not always true that blogs use open threads because they don’t have anything to say or need content. Even blogs like Jezebel that post 50+ times a day use open threads. It’s also part of online community “bonding.”

It’s kind of like a chat room since users and bloggers have common interests and are interacting online. But blogs aren’t groups, they’re networks. So, open threads are a way to tap the network (users and other bloggers) about a specific topics.

It’s also simply just a way for blogs to discuss popular news or important events.

OPEN THREAD LINKS:

  1. Open Thread on Wikipedia
  2. Jezebel: Hurricane Ike Open Thread
  3. Clusterflock: Open Thread

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