This was published in the Milford Daily News. Maybe they will fix their web site some day and I can update this with the link. For more on the story with the web site, check over on Passion for the Good Customer Experience.
Bloggers take their thoughts to the Web
By Claudia Torrens/ Daily News Staff
Sunday, July 23, 2006 - Updated: 01:53 AM EST
You've likely heard about them or even read their observations, diatribes and confessions.
They write about Bush being impeached, about the Israel-Hezbollah conflict, about the latest veto to stem-cell research.
Bloggers have built up a reputation of being somewhat controversial and critical, commenting the news of the day, sometimes questioning them, sometimes being the journalists themselves.
But for some local bloggers, creating a Web journal is more about connecting with people, expressing views and, of course, having an audience.
"I love attention. Good or bad, I will take it," says Erica Ferencik, a Framingham resident and creator of WakeUpAndSmellTheBlog.com.
Ferencik, who writes about her random thoughts, says she is careful about what she posts, trying not to get into political debate, or name the company where she works. Her private online space allows her to get creative and write about things like the dream she had yesterday, using the skills from when she used to do stand-up comedy.
"I am not a political commentator, but I know I hate ferrets," she says with conviction.
That's what she talks about in her latest post: ferrets and their owners, who, according to her, need to be different by owning a ferret, instead of a regular dog or a cat.
Bloggers like Ferencik seem to actually be the norm in the United States.
According to a national study published this month by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, the majority of bloggers in the country write about their life and personal experiences.
Only 11 percent of the people who answered the survey - called "Bloggers: A portrait of the Internet's new storytellers" - said they blogged about politics and government. Their blogs, however, are well-publicized, the report said.
About 52 percent of the bloggers surveyed said the main reason they keep a blog is to share their experiences or as a form of creative expression.
Stephen Sherlock, for example, is a 53-year-old Franklin resident who writes about running.
"The temperature and humidity were both still in the upper 80's when we got to the track for this week's workout at 7:00 p.m. Decided to do less repetitions. To go at a slower pace," Sherlock writes in one of his six blogs, http://passionaterunner
He also has a work-related blog and another one to explain more personal experiences, called Steve's 2 cents. But whatever he writes, he says, he tries to be meaningful.
"If I can't put value to something, I don't say it," he said.
Blogging has become a rewarding hobby for him because he has been able to connect with other runners, and people with whom he shares the same interests. To describe bloggers as controversial and critical is a generalization, he says.
"Not everyone is out there to replace the mass media."
Mark Mischke agrees.
The Natick resident has been blogging for about two years in two blogs: one more personal and a more professional one that can actually help him get more clients.
"Bloggers get an undeserved reputation of being radical. But I think you need to feel a connection with your topics," Mischke said. "I don't want to wear a bumper sticker."
Mischke, a 41-year-old computer specialist, says he actually blogs to share knowledge about computer-related issues or about things and ideas that could be helpful to other people. For him, to make new friends is not the goal of his blogs, accessible at www.mischke.org.
"If they are done well, it can be to your advantage," he says. "Nobody is interested in my private life. I tend not to write about myself, I write about topics of interest."
Getting too personal can actually get you in trouble.
A British secretary working in Paris and writing a popular blog called "La Petite Anglaise" allegedly was fired this month because of the contents of her Web journal.
She is filing a lawsuit against her employer, according to CNN, but some of the followers of her Web site have e-mailed her saying that being online also carries some sense of responsibility.
Derik DeLong, a 24-year-old Northborough native and avid blogger, says it is hard to sometimes draw the line between being controversial and having readers.
"A very vocal part of the bloggers out there say things to get attention. Many can't get fired so it is easy for them to say things that are wrong," said DeLong, who is a software engineer.
But readers won't read you if you are boring, he said, so it is hard to be fair, honest and interesting at the same time. Besides having a personal blog, DeLong is a blogger for Macworld magazine and is subscribed to 333 Web sites.
Personal life experiences are also what Michelle Swartz writes about.
The 32-year-old moved to Framingham only a year ago and decided to write about the places she visits in town, the things she likes and the things she dislikes. Her site, www.thisisframingham.com, has photos of the restaurants she goes to, the food she eats, and the street corner where she had a car accident.
"People think that Framingham is Rte. 9, but I always wondered about what other little places were out there," said Swartz.
Hers is a light-hearted blog to give out information about where to go in town, she said.
"I try not to get too political. I am usually pretty careful," she said. "I think it is important to keep it light."
(Claudia Torrens can be reached at 508-626-3976 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Powered By Qumana