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Creative Use of Pinterest

It has always been the potential of web software that I have found most exciting. This page highlights a creative application of Pinterest.

Despite having been written in 2007 the Wild Garden Advent Calendar still provides lots of ideas about how to use freeware imaginatively.

Beware Googling Health Issues

I Googled the dangers of using Google to learn about health issues and sure enough, up popped a whole lot of warnings about how it might be hazardous to health.

One witty article cuts to the chase with the opening  “Since I’m a hypochondriac, every minor pain I suffer is invariably life threatening.  Every headache is a brain tumor. Every bout of indigestion is either stomach cancer or angina.  Every sore throat means I’ll need to have my larynx removed and wear one of those gizmos that’ll make me sound like Stephen Hawking, only it won’t make me any smarter.”

Then I found an article about the perils of googling when you are pregnant

“Pregnant? Did you know that loud concerts could damage your baby’s hearing? That some eye-drops could lead to birth defects? Or that long periods spent at high altitude could reduce your baby’s birth weight?

And don’t stress, as even mild levels of stress can affect foetal brain development.

How do I know all this? Because ever since the appearance of the blue line on the home pregnancy test, I have suffered from a common but poorly understood prenatal condition: Gestational Googlemania. It is a debilitating illness, characterised by the compulsive need to ask the internet about every conceivable pregnancy danger.”

rest of article

Sometimes a quick look at Google can save you from bundling the kids into the mini van for a trip to the Emergency Centre but generally it is wise to be cautious and protect your health by not looking up too much.

Lori Gloyd Shares the Love

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith great enthusiasm I respond to today’s prompt from the Daily Post: “Tell us about another blogger who has influenced your own online journey.“

Without reservation I say that Heather Blakey through her work at the Soul Food Cafe launched me on the road to daily writing and navigating the realm of the blogosphere.

Prior to 2006 I was plugging away at writing on my own static website. No one in my world knew diddly-squat about these things called “blogs” and certainly no one was reading my website. Then one day I fell into Heather’s magic Chocolate Box and started writing. One turn in her labyrinth led to another and then another and I ended up blogging on a regular basis with a delightful group of women (and a few men).

I have moved on to my own work here at the Perch, but I still keep in contact with many of my SFC buddies. Many of them are actively engaged in their own writing projects. I urge you to take a click on the links in my Blogroll on the left and see the handiwork of these wildly creative individuals.

According to the SFC website, the group is now closed, but Heather is currently working at Just Nous and Creative Foraging. Go there. Take a look around. Be inspired by Heather.

I was, and still am.

Lori Gloyd

A Pilgrimage Affirmed


It has been some time since I have worked collaborative blogs at the Soul Food Cafe but the material is all still there, documenting a rich, creative period applying blogging technology to build a community well before social networking had become so popular. Tania Pryputniewicz found some of the work and has written about it. It feels like she is describing another life that I have lived in another time, another space.

“You’ll remember that Chaucer’s group of traveling pilgrims–including among others the Knight, the Miller, the Cook, the Wife of Bath and the Parson–compete to recount the best tale in hopes of winning a free meal at the journey’s end. Chaucer’s question to us: Who tells the best tale? The pilgrimage becomes incidental; in fact, the tale in some ways becomes secondary to what the tale reveals about each storyteller.

For our purposes here, notice Chaucer uses pilgrimage as a frame as a way to feed us tales from the point of view of multiple pilgrims traveling the same road. Someone who has taken this concept into blog-land with far-reaching and beautiful scope is Heather Blakey, through her project at Soul Food Café , where in part, anonymity of participants fosters sanctuary over competition and allows for blossoming across forms (blogging, artwork, collage, etc., all while playing with available technologies that interface with the internet).

Through the sublime timing and hopscotch of connection the blogosphere invites, I just now stumbled upon Heather Blakey through Edith O. Naullain, a writer who blogs at In A Room of My Own. I am in awe of Blakey’s project and skill as moderator–she has been working with bloggers for years—if nothing else, read Zen and the Art of Team Blogging for direct testimonials of Blakey’s online node like this one: “She gives me a place to open up along side others who may journey for different reasons. We journey together in a virtual world that allows us freedom to dream.” (Luna Eternally).

One page that exemplifies what I mean here by creative frame and delivery or reinterpretation of pilgrimage is a page called the Rookery.” You, in your role as visitor, are greeted by an image of a tree, branches weighted by the bodies of rooks, trunk base circled by a few standing rooks on the ground and a few wheeling midflight. Not a single word appears other than the title, the Rookery, each letter etched white across a blue sky.To enter the space, you must select a bird, and thus are transported/winged to another page. Each bird represents a view, a voice.”

by Tania Pryputniewicz

Social Networking Mentor

Heather Blakey has had over fifteen years experience building online communities using web based technologies. She first began to blog in 1999 when she was a columnist for Cathy Atherton’s Prairie Den and went on to demonstrate the potential of blogging. She wrote articles such as Zen and the Art of Team Blogging and worked in schools across Victoria, Australia, promoting the use of blogs to engage students and enable them to meet and be heard by people with similar interests. Global 2 is phase two of Global Teacher/Global Student, a pioneering blogging environment built by Heather Blakey, for the Victorian Education Department, in 2006.

The Wild Garden Advent Calendar, created in 2007, explored the use of web based technology and amazingly, much of it is very current. The creative work of women who Heather Blakey has mentored and guided reveals just what can be birthed in this environment.

Perhaps you still don’t know what a blog is. Maybe you don’t know a tweet from a widget or how to link to others. It could be that you simply need the hand of a creative midwife to help you realize your creative potentiality. It so happens that Heather is offering private mentoring for those who want to use blogging for educational, artistic or business purposes. You can work with Heather and become familiar with all those tools people are using. You can learn about

  • Basic blog construction using WordPress
  • Creating digital portfolios
  • Discover diverse, imaginative web applications to meet individual needs
  • Monetizing Your Blog and promoting business
  • News-gathering and Research Methodology
  • Building niche communities and online groups
  • Link-building Strategies
  • Social Media Optimization
  • And much more…
  • Contact heatherblakey at fastmail dot fm for more information

Two Good Cautions re Twitter

This article from the BBC and another printed in the Guardian are essential reading for people using Twitter and, especially, Facebook.