Blogging upscream

6 October 2009

Written by: Lawrie Zion

When diving into the murky waters that is the blogosphere, one needs to be aware of a few things. To begin with, the pool is deep – very deep. It is also filled with people you wouldn’t ordinarily share water with, and who’s personal hygiene will have you running for the showers. If you stay in the baby pool too long you’ll end up sitting in the eternal ‘warm spot’ of same-old same-old. But jumping in the deep end could see you drown spectacularly. All in all, it’s difficult to get a big ego when you’re practically swimming at Werribee beach.

Are we sick of the water metaphor yet? Is anyone still reading? Ahh, yes. Blogging.

I started my blog Screamedia after a lecturer suggested blogging is a good way to keep your writing skills fresh and to develop web 2.0 skills. He said to write about something I was interested in. I first toyed with the idea of writing a blog about 80s electro band New Order. But then I wondered: (1) how much do I really have to say about New Order? (2) surely there is already at least one New Order fansite in existence and (3) how many people are going to read a blog about New Order?

My second thought was to blog about what I spend 90% of my waking life doing; consuming media.

Let me give you a breakdown. When I wake up at 6:45am I turn the radio on in one room, the TV on in the other and open my laptop – all before pouring my Fruit Loops. When I get to work my opening line to colleagues is “Did you see *insert name of television program here* last night?”. I turn on my computer and go through about four news websites and a few blogs. I flick through the small paper at morning tea, the broadsheet at lunch, and keep an eye on Twitter throughout. When it’s time to go home I listen to as much drivetime radio as I can handle (there’s only so many “tell us the strangest place you’ve had sex” ring-ins one can take after all).

If I’m at home at night I somehow manage to watch three or four tv programs at the same time – I don’t know how I do it – I just thank God for ever-expanding advertising breaks. If I’m not home I manage to catch up on important TV via the web. My blog is focused on Australian media – which is sometimes sad because I would love to rave about the new IT Crowd season, but is a necessary evil if I want to keep things on track.

I try to blog at least a few times a week – depending on how busy I am in ‘real life’. The biggest joy of blogging though is that I get a lot of things off my chest; my deep-seated hatred of current affair programming, my unrequited love of Shaun Micallef, my suspicion that Joanna Griggs and Ian Thorpe are in fact the same person (seriously though, have you ever seen them in the same place at the same time?).

Now where did that water metaphor go? Right, so I’ve learned to swim but haven’t won any medals, I’ve dodged the warm spots and been vigilant with my strokes, I’ve developed a greater lung capacity (all the better to voice my opinion with) and am altogether enjoying the thrill of the wide world of wet that is blogging.

Now read my blog. I promise there’s no mention of water, the ocean or swimming.

Marian Blythe is a final-year Media Studies student at La Trobe University who also produces the podcasts for Triple R’s Breakfasters program. Screamedia can be found at upstart welcomes stories about blogs and blogging.