A Presentation: The Lure of the Blogosphere

NOTE: This was a presentation I gave at the PANOS-hosted workshop for female journalists, under the theme “Skills Building in New and Alternative Media” on the 3rd of October 2009.


THE LURE OF THE BLOGOSPHERE: Blogging as a journalist, woman and individual in Sri Lanka.

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I’m supposed to speak to you on blogging and the blogosphere – something I am fairly new to myself, but have quickly got quite addicted to!

MY STORY: Beginnings

I started blogging last year, around October, and it was for the most mundane of reasons – a bad break up. I felt I needed a release, I had been reading blogs for a while and decided that then was a bad a time as any to start writing. And I did – I wrote and wrote and wrote. It was all very personal at first but then, as the sting of the break up faded, I started to write about other things.

I have always loved writing. I have always felt that I sounded better on print than I did in real life! Words have come easily to me from the time I was a child: I would write stories endlessly – my essays in school were 20 odd pages long while the average kid wrote about half a page. I’ve kept a journal since I was 11 and still write in it, although admittedly, not as often.

Still, a blog is a whole different ball game. There are so many dimensions to it: There’s the anonymity issue, that weird dynamic between being private but public at the same time, and then there’s content. A blog can be about literally anything, so the possibilities are endless.

From my own experience, and judging from the experience of some others I know, starting a blog is always the hardest part of the process. I think people tend to put too much thought into it – they think it needs to have a set structure, that they need to write in it all the time and they don’t know if they have anything to say that could be interesting to other people. These were certainly my own concerns as well. I first thought of blogging when I was at University. I remember writing, re-writing and discarding draft after draft of what would be my very first blog post. And in the end, the pressure was too much and I couldn’t bring myself to get started at the time. It was only when the necessity to put my thoughts and feelings out there trumped all my preconceived notions about blogging, that it came to me easily. Continue reading A Presentation: The Lure of the Blogosphere

Racing the weather, to music.

The office is suddenly hotter and stuffier and I don’t have to look out the window to know that I’ll have to race the rain home today.

Hurriedly throwing things into my bag, I whip out my trusty iPod and within minutes, I’m on my way.

Humidity follows me out the door, past the security guards and onto my customary route back home. I untangle the earphone wires twisted messily around my fingers and pause while I turn the dial, looking for the perfect tune.

Slightly superstitious, I try to please the Gods and stave off the rain with something fabulous and the choice falls on Led Zeppelin. I press play, the moody strains of Babe I’m Gonna Leave You fill my ears and I start walking again, a little faster now.

The song fits the weather perfectly. Stormy clouds seemed to have tinged the whole world different shades of grey and the very air around me is thick, pregnant with the promise of rain. Not just a timid shower, but a full on downpour.

God this weather. Tropical, capricious, infuriating. I can’t believe I actually spend so much time writing about the weather on my blog. But it’s really much more interesting that one gives it credit for. In this country anyway.

I said baby, you know I’m gonna leave you.
I’ll leave you when the summertime,
Leave you when the summertime comes arollin… Continue reading Racing the weather, to music.