Thursday, September 21, 2006

what I really learnt at dci

Now that I’ve had time to regroup and teetotal, at least until I meet everyone out for a drink(s) later, best I get my act together and divulge what I learnt at the DCI Blogging Conference.

1) No but seriously: How to make hyperlinks. I’m having a whale of a time with these at the moment, as you might’ve noticed. Also standard HTML codes like strikethroughs, which look super sexy when you use apply them. An RSS feed is also a useful little gadget, or so I’m told. I haven’t actually put mine up yet, but will get cracking. This means more people will find my blog through ‘feeds’ of words. I sound completely tech-juvenile, and you may laugh, but this is all new to me.

2) Blogging and journalism. Heated debates around this topic. Alec Hogg from Moneyweb blatantly and very poignantly told us that journalism or the media as we know it is under serious threat. Blogging may or may not have something to do with this. There are around 50 million known blogs out there. A blog is created every two seconds. Domkop may have a point in saying blogs are taking over the Net.

Bloggers are not journalists. OK, I’m a journalist, but that’s just a coincidence.

Bloggers may have the citizen journalism rights on their side, but this doesn’t make them professionals. The general media laws do not apply, therefore bloggers are not media gurus. I am exempt, of course.
However journalists need to listen to what citizen journalists and bloggers are saying. Each medium can use each other as a supplement, both needn’t be threatened by each other. Neither is a seminal source anymore. In fact, the bias I have seen in journalism myself of late is something else altogether. Both can move parallel to each other.

3) Blogs are used in so many mediums. Most being day-to-day diaries (like this one), news and pop culture pages, tech updates and activism sites. Many blogs are used with the writer knowing he may be putting his life on the line. Ethiopians, Egyptians and Pakistanis in particular.

4) My bit: I got to speak for five minutes. I was told to speak impromptu about my blog experiences. I spoke about community. For me, blogging has opened up a system or network of readers that have become a support group. In order to get read, you have to read others. It works two ways. My readership and commentators have been a support for me during, well, hook-ups, break-ups, fuck-ups and general chaos. What better way to endeavour a hangover with people by your side?

5) Photoblogging. People become engrossed and are interested in pictures. After some beautiful presentations, I am willing to develop my blog from something that features only writing to something more multi-dimentional.

6) You can make money from your blog. This is still a contentious issue for me. I don’t really want to sell out. I also feel that in order to make serious moolah from my site, I need to get more readers if this is to be serious. I will think about advertising on my website in future, especially if I suddenly find myself unemployed. One can use Google Ads as a start. Sure, you may earn 16 US cents, and only be paid out after tallying up $100, but it’s a start.

7) Creative commons. You may be a journalist, you may be a blogger. Copywrite is copywrite no matter what you write. It’s yours. If in any doubt, always attribute another’s work. A simple reference. Quotation marks. A hyperlink. The Creative Commons website has quick, legal documentation that makes this yours. With a cute little sidelink to attach to your template. I will also be getting one of these very soon.

In general, I met some extremely informative people. People in the know. I was truly honoured to be there and to listen. Thank you to all the speakers and other delegates for teaching me more about my profession, journalism, and sideline profession, blogging.

PS: Mid-week madness. We're going out tonight for some toots. One of my mates is having a man crisis. Welcome to my world, dollface. Let's tequila through it.

36 comments:

Kevin Cadman said...

Hey Peas! How are you doing?

Judging by the last couple of posts, I'd say you had quite the time at the conference!

The last couple of days haven't been all that fun for me - so much Carla drama! I've decided to keep it off my blog for now though as it's not doing either of us any good.

I think I need to go to some conference in the middle of nowhere and just let loose - I'm over this stressed shit!

Anyway, just saying hi. Hope you're well.

Oh, and congrats on the intro to HTML! Just remember that now that you know HTML, make sure you don't overdo it. There's nothing more annoying than too many links - you know, those blogs where every second word is a bluddy hyperlink!

I'm sure you won't though, you know your shit! :P

Cheers,
Kevin

Peas on Toast said...

Hi Kev!

Funnily enough, about five minutes ago, before I saw your comment, I was thinking about you and wondering how you were.
Is Carla giving you cr@p again? I bloody well hope not. Stay strong my dear: people may be worth a fight, but don't kill yourself doing it.
And I agree, keeping it off your blog will make things less complicated.

Come up for a weekend in Jozi, it should sort you out. Getting away from the old comfort zone tends to do that.

But I hope you coping generally, there are lots of people plugging for you, and I hope it all works out in the end dollface.
Lots of hugs. xxxx

Jam said...

Great to see that you learnt so much at the conference Peas, and I am looking forward to the evolution of your site.
Good luck with the tequila monster tonight.

Peas on Toast said...

Thanks Jam. Everyone was telling me to swap to Wordpress as well. I was like "why? blogger works fine for me." BUt maybe that will change, who knows.

other-duke said...

where the pictures?

kyknoord said...

It's all a matter of preference. Wordpress doesn't allow you to put quite as much crap in the sidebar as Blogger does. Of course, if you decide to switch to Wordpress, I predict it'll be the start of the avalanche.

Anonymous said...

Blogging..mmm...written in code one wonders how the regulators will eventually deal with it all!

Pea`s I need some personal description here, I am visual and struggle to put a face to such eloquence

Peas on Toast said...

O-D: I have nothing to upload at this point. ONce a week. Let's start slow. Because my blog is still primarily about the writing. ;)

Kyk - I still don't get the big hoo-ha over wordpress. But then I'm still learning I guess.

Peas on Toast said...

Anon - I'm a fat chick that struggles to put my pnats on in the morning. :)

Just kidding. I'm a smoking hot foxy horndog. Actually.
:)

Jam said...

WordPress is great if you understand enough HTML. In terms of design, I find it very flexible and user friendly. I also (personally) prefer the comment structure, and using the huge amounts of plugins online for WordPress. But I think that for you, perhaps, since your site is so writing based - blogger is just great. You've done so well with it up to this point - so....

Peas on Toast said...

Thanks Jam. Yip until I become more design-savvy, I think I'll stick with what I know.

Revolving Credit said...

Please don't make me have to type in my name, email, site url, shoe size,answer a riddle, decrypt the anagram and complete in the maths olympics each time I want to post a comment. At least with blogger, once you're logged in, you're logged in.

Peas on Toast said...

Rev - ha ha! That's exactly what drives me mad about commenting sometimes. The hurdles and hoops are exhausting, what a mission.

No on this site you can just do. Easy peasy. :)

Revolving Credit said...

Easy Peasy? Is that your Ho name?

Peas on Toast said...

Is it now ;)

JD said...

Peas you do have feeds coming off this page. A RSS and a ATOM feed. I am using them.

Anonymous said...

Hey Peas,

By the way... you already have an RSS feed up. It comes automatically with blogger. :-) Just load up Firefox and have a look in the address bar.

Anonymous said...

hey Peas

So glad you're getting your RSS up and working. Scoble (http://scobleizer.wordpress.com/)once said that if your site has no feed it’s dead to him. Yours is one of my favourites and I would love it if it was fed to my reader everyday. The only reason I check your site daily is becuase I know you update regularly.

Rock on pretty Peas!

zuzula said...

there's a big debate going on here about citizen journalism too - personally i think anybody who's telling a story, whether they're qualified or not, is a journalist of some sort. Obviously our job is to double check the facts and the details... but I increasingly use blogs to find stories/guage opinion. You (and a few of your readers) really helped me out once with some stuff I needed to know about SABC's reputation a few months ago - I don't know how I would have found that out any other way. citizen journalism at its best, methinks! :)

Stubenmeister said...

Great post Peas!

On the point of what blogging system to use. If Blogger works for you stick with it (famous quote by Mike Stopforth).

Wordpress is great, but the online version, the one where you do not need a local host, is quite limiting I think. No HTML editing, you have to pay to access CSS etc.

Still wanna see that pic with u putting that pants on :P

Tony Hawk said...

Peas-

Did you come right in G'town?

Peas on Toast said...

JD and Anon - excellent news! I was told I didn't have one. Hmmm. This is brilliant news.

Anon(2) - why thank you dollface! That's what I need to organise, a feeder to let people know I've updated. But then, I suppose I update everyday same time, same place.

Stubenmeister: firstly how much german cuisine is there until you've run out Wienerschnitzel? I'll be posting that gorgeous pic of myself tryingto pull on my pants. Hold onto your hats boys, I'm hot stuff. :)

Zu - I remember that! The good old SABC. Yip, I'm all for citizen journalism. In every way.

Tony - finally, somebody asked! :) You're a mate Tony. ;) Did I come right? Hhhm, did I? It's hard to tell, I was broken everytime I went out. However, was quasi-attentive during the seminars. Perhaps we need to ask the Rat's manager. ;)

Vincent Maher said...

Hi all

Peas' feed is http://mushypeasontoast.blogspot.com/atom.xml

it's the same on all blogspot sites that have feeds enabled.

Anonymous said...

hi Peas,
Florence here, interesting this post about the j-blogger. That is what you are in essence, and what a fundamental part of the journalism/netizen/bloggin debate this has become: the j-blogger. Of course there are many who argue that blogging has nothing to do with journalism, and then there are those who ask what else it is if not writing and reporting on any one topic. I am of course, concerned with the ethical dilemma ( for some) that j-bloggers are faced with, thus the acknowledgement of hyperlinks as forms of attribution shows you heed somewhat...which is great. Anyway, this debate can carry on for ages and I am about to start on the bibliography section of it all...(at last)

Peas on Toast said...

Shot Vince. ;)

Hi Florence, it is somethign that could be debated forever. I suppose it's easier to steal off blogger than news reports. I must put you on my blogroll - I haven't forgotten, promise! ;)

Champagne Heathen said...

Peas - you go away to one conference and 3 days later I have no clue what 3/4s of the words are on your postings/ comments. This place is getting too techie for me...

Kate said...

Hi Peas
I really loved this last post because its about the stuff i think a lot of bloggers need to think about, and your site has a large readership! And since you mention copyright - did anything ever come of that site that plagarised (sp?) your blog? Maybe you gave us an update and I just missed it?
Love Possum

Revolving Credit said...

If you're using Outlook 2003 or higher you can link all the RSS feeds to your mail folders.

All my favourite blogger posts are routed right to my mailbox

Peas on Toast said...

Champs - yes, very techie. But don't worry, things will get back to normal once I've had a drink tonight. :)

Possum Kate - hello dollface! I did in fact get a resonse from the grantavenue guy. I said attribute or delete. Two options. He took ym stuff off. Just as well. Since a lot of what he had was me getting plastered and singing karaoke.

Rev - but it takes all the mystery out of it! Wouldn't want that now, eh? ;)

Pete said...

Wait, you mean you did something other than throw name at the Rat?

And 'Wednesday' is 'Bowls Club Day' so expect to see you there

Peas on Toast said...

Pete - correct, you little bugger. ;)

Wednesday is also Jolly Roger half price pizza day, btw. :)

Pete said...

This is true.. Watch out for the pesky camera's tonight, I might blog a pic of your acne-faced, pant ripping self tomorrow:)

Anonymous said...

Hi Peas, did you notice that THINGS I HATE ABOUT MY FLATMATE guy is back.

Choosy said...

Hey Peas - all this techie stuff hurts my brain (what little grey matter the Colony has left me with anyway). Can you recommend a good website to go read up on this stuff...I fear I'm turning into my parents. Oh and the Things I hate about my Flatmate guy is BA-ACK!

Peas on Toast said...

Pete - if I see anyone snapping away with a camera, I'll personally fuck them up. That's a threat.
:)

Anon - I did notice, thanks! Isn't he the best?? Yay!

Choosy - it hurts my brian too m'dear. Especially when I was absorbing it all on a hangover. Websites to check out: creativecommons.org, technorati.com, feedburner.com. Or alternatively, anyone on the blogroll list of the DCI Blog on my template to the right. They are all in the know. :)

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