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Blog your dream alive! Begin this weekend

I can’t start . . . that’s my problem, I don’t know where to start!

If you have been scouting the internet for advice on turning your dreams into reality, then you will have come across advice to begin. Just begin!

“Arrgh!, you scream. If I knew how to begin, I wouldn’t be asking!”

Well, here you go. This is what you can do to begin.

It’s within your power and it is a test of whether you mean to begin, ever.  Or whether you will be a lurker in the shadows of your dreams to the end of your days on this earth.

Bring your dream alive through your blog

Whatever your field, whatever your concern, whatever your dream, I want you to blog evey day. A quick picture from your phone, if you have one, and a short text describing what you saw, what surprised you and what you would like to know more about.


Here is a good example of a format that would suit you: the Timbuktu Chronicles. These are stories of entrepreneurship and inventing in Africa. Captivating, isn’t?

Steps for blogging your dreams alive

#1 Sign up to Posterous and make 3 accounts

  • Account one is your long term record of who you are:
  • Account two is for your children and relatives:
  • Account three is for the development of your dream:

#2 Update your MyName account weekly

Post one update of how your career has progressed this week. Salute your colleagues. Give your clients some airtime.

#3 Update your account for your children and relatives daily

Take a picture of something you are doing and put it on line. Describe what you are seeing, feeling, tasting, hearing and let them see it too. Let them share your life.

A quick picture and a caption of what is what you walk past, eat, smell and hear when you are not with them.

#4 Add a snippet to your dream collection every day

And never break the chain!

Everyday, add a picture of something you noticed that is relevant to your dream. Or summarize what you are reading. Or connect the dots between points in your field.

Maybe over the weekend, add a summary post : the best 7 videos on . . .

Start collecting the jig saw puzzle pieces of your dream, one piece a day.

After all, by the end of the week, you will have 7 pieces!

Have you begun?

It’s a relief, isn’t it, to begin, just to begin!

Do subscribe to my jojordan.posterous blog here and I will subscribe to yours!

The best of weekends to you.  Set up your blog!

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Academics begin by dismissing the democratic potential of social media and end there?

Social media, so what? Assessing the impact of blogs and social media


Stefan Niggemeier, BILDblog

Evgeny Morozov, Georgetown University

Matthew Hindman, Arizona State University

Richard Allan, Facebook

Chair: Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon, Oxford University

Theorists such as Yochai Benkler have suggested that the accessibility and inherently social nature of Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, social networking and wikis mean that we might expect them to enhance our democratic freedoms through the opening of new channels for debate and collaboration. Academic research suggests that such new opportunities have not been equally taken up, and that in many areas, new social media are simply being used by old ‘elites’. At the same time, blogs and social media are having significant effect in enhancing accountability and transparency, particularly in repressive regimes like Burma and China. This session will ask whether we should be so quick to dismiss the socially egalitarian and politically democratic potential of social media or whether there might equally be more mundane but significant social impacts which have so far been ignored.

Missed beginning with internet problems.  People kicking the benches.  Photographers blinding us with flashes.  No work getting done here.

Evgeny Morozov:  From Belarus – some countries getting more democratic.  Some activists and NCG’s becoming more effective.

Impact of internet – what about people who are not activists.  All political forces are using it.  Can find connections of dissidents online.  Access doesn’t make people aspire for democracy.  [Why should it?  Technological determinism?]  Says refrain from technological determinism?  [Straw man?]

Richard Allan:  Potential vs reality.  Political practitioner.  Audience had left the building.  Political class optimistic.  Cyberutopia just that.

Apps that allow ppl to have ongoing deeper relationships beyond challenge-response of a blog.   Afffordancies from a political view.

Early social media : pubs (bars) online.  Bars develop a specific character. Talking to the same people.  People could come in but don’t.

Now: Festival.  Arrive with like-minded people but reach out and meet new people and discover new ideas.  At a Festival, we spend time in the music tents not the side shows.  But side shows can arrive and develop novel connections.  Entertainment also still trumps politics.  Can we use social media to expand our networks in novel ways.

Matthew Hindman: Access, openess, public sphere – most people say there are low barriers to entry.  Monopolies -high fixed costs, low variable costs.  Economics on internet are far less forgiving.   What has Google spent on intrastrucutre on R&D.  By end of 2010, Google will have cost more than the Manhattan project. Web has many new niches but saturate quickly.    What is cost of Amazon?  In any established niche, fixed cost are very high.    Choke points.

Who uses the technologies – may onto existing . . .

Democratization – messy business – no technology can make all the values better at once. American public sphere currently very exclusionary – gatekeepers different but disproportionately male, white, highly educated.    Internet does not reach people who take their lunch pail to work.

Marketplace of ideas is more ferocious than ever – imperfect ways of addressing.

Deliberation vs coordination.

View of BO campaign -networks ran centrally rather than distributed.  Disintermediating politicians.

BO won Ohio with much more effective statistical targetting & political history – won in Republican areas of state.  Done by elites.


Unintended consequences.  Most important unintended consequences.

Stefan Niggemeier:  Use tools to own end.  Use for spam or evil things.   Don’t think in UiC.  To start internet company can be difficult, but so much easier to be heard.    Know it doesn’t happen all the time.

Matthew Hindman:  Traditional media you will be heard.  Publish on internet you may not be heard.  You do not have to ask permission -you need to catch the attention of a big blogger.    Many possible patrons but still need one.   Some groups are not on line – trade unions and conservative religious not on  line.

Production more open but filtering is not more open.  [push pull issues here??]

Evgeny Morozov. Social media helps repressive media – selective about response.

[Some give and take by panel as I am distracted by media problems again]

Matthew Hindman.  Example.


??  Take focus away from minority -technologies exacerbate divide.  96% of Africa no way of expressing themselves.

MT: Mobile phones in Africa.  Half of Africa can be reached by cell phone.

Richard Allen.  Less interesting in library and more in conversation.  Advantages of being part of conversation (yes or no)?

BBC: Blogs, crimes and national security.

Evgeny Morozov.  Sharing information on cyberattacks.   Need discussion of cyberviolence.   Govt is going pursuing national security agenda – most done by individuals for non-criminal reasons.


?? Synthesis – social mediators –  what I can do on line?  Seeing emergence of new intermediation.  What do people do with what we do online?


??  Unintended consequences.   What do panel think about real time public scrutiny has affected public debate?

Answers: ? Citizen expectations that we would move toward direct representation – Richard Allan prefers representational politics.  EM – healthcare debate – 70% discuss myths and then media comes in.   [ confused – Palin talked about death panels to win not to be accurate].

MH clearest result of real time scrutiny has bee higher polarization.  Opinion transformation has been transformed.

Would you improve debate by seeing Twitter stream?  Stefan yes.


??  Politics is tired in UK.  Polis on line has been  failure.  Is discussing social media a smoke-screen?  Is overestimating social media undermining social media?

MH.  Cable news – most people started consuming less news, some more news, distribution changed.  Lower voter participation [cause and EM: effect?].  Inequality about what people know about politics.  Politics is small part what we do online .25% [demographic s?]

EM: Slacktavism.

Richard Allan.  Is what you are saying on line immediate and significant when they engage?  Electorate are smart.  Voters ignore politics when it is not relevant.  Not tools and issue.

Closing . . .

Very ragged.  Restless meeting struggling with intermittent internet.

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Mojo of Social Media White Noise

There is heaps and heaps of advice out there on how to write good blogs, mostly in the “5 easy steps” genre.  Oddly, though, there is little in the “5 dazzling blogs” or “5 perfect blogs” Digg-friendly category.  Maybe there is an adjective for blogs that I am missing!!

I don’t have any qualifications at all in literary analysis.  Indeed having a literal rather than literary turn of mind, I was a total dunce at literature at school.  What is the significance of the weather in Wuthering Heights?  It rains in Yorkshire.  You think it will stop because we want to be happy?  You get my drift.  I am bad at this sort of thing.   Zero neuro circuitry for the oblique, obscure, metaphorical and mystical.

But there is an underlying structure to blogs, good blogs, that goes deeper than “5 easy steps” and I’ve been admiring @loudmouthman’s Social Media White Noise for two weeks now. What is he doing that makes his blog so compelling?

Easy reading features of Social Media White Noise

Yes.  The blog posts are short.

Yes.   Loudmouthman is listing resources. We love resources.

Yes.   Social Media White Noise filters the social media news saving us a lot of time reading our feeds.

Yes.   The prose is readable.

Yes.   The layout is consistent and easy to scan.

All good.

Entrancing twists of Social Media White Noise

The pattern of the content is also interesting though.

Each post seems to be a brief description of mundane details in the day of two geeks in the south-east of UK, followed by a list of major events in the social media world world wide.

The mundane details are tongue-in-cheek in the self-deprecatory style of British humour.  The contrast between the mundane details and world events also seems to be the key to much British humour.  There is a sort of smugness, we are above it all, the world is really ridiculous anyway, ironical view which is commonplace in our descriptions of our world.  We try and try but nothing works but it doesn’t matter anyway. Humour that is incomprehensible to many cultures and faintly irritating to others.

I think the blog really works though because of the sense of two streams of time – the forceful main current of social media world wide and the choppy waves and eddies lapping at its edge.

But it is the the juxtaposition that seems important.  If the content were reversed and we saw the main events of the world in the background and our own daily activities in the foreground, it wouldn’t work.  It needs the tension of foreground and background interchanged.

But why are the streams important?

I rather suspect the sense of motion is appealing to me – I am not sure whether it is to others.  I would be interested.

What is even more important, I think, is the sense of belonging to something larger than ourselves.  When we see the backdrop of our work,  the mundane realities, and even brutalities, of our daily lives take on perspective, if not meaning.

It is the counterpoising of day-to-day life against the broader picture that conveys the sense of authority and feeling that these are people we look to for leadershp.

To convey a picture of where we are going – our sense of purpose and even the comedy of our own confusions – against a picture of where are world is going, orients us and provides a valuable service.

Now to figure that out for my own blog.

My recommendation

Social Media White Noise is very clever and worth a read.   So head on over and grab the feed.  You will be happy.

And if you weren’t a dunce at literature, tell me what they are doing to make it work so well.

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Good looking pleasing personality test

@ PersonalDNA

Refreshing interface, immediate report, advice, trait ratings and logo/description to put on your site.


The original post was about a personality test but a lot of people arrive here trying to find out the meaning of being good looking.  So I’ve edited the page and added the key psychological points of being good looking.

It seems to me that most people know if they are good looking or not.  We also know that some people are born with great attributes: they have symmetrical faces and are tall and well proportioned.

For the rest of us, this is what we can DO about being great looking:

  1. Smile.  Smile when you speak to someone, smile when you go down the street, smile when you sing in church, smile when you talk on the phone, smile when you are alone.  Smiling tells people that you like them, or that at least you are willing to give them a chance.  And they like you for giving them a break even if they are a teacher, a traffic cop or just the utility man trying to do his job.
  2. Listen.  Look at the person and follow what they are saying. Watch their body language and fall into step with them. Dance with them.  Repeat what you think they said before you add your own story.  Walk in their shoes!  Most people are never ‘heard’ and the relief people feel when you listen is palpable.  Watch for it.  Just remember to smile when you start speaking yourself.
  3. Spruce up.  People like to interact with someone who takes care.  There is no set way of dressing.   Just take care. Wash, iron, end, brush.  Fold your clothes at night.  Clean your shoes.   If you feel good, people catch your mood and feel good too.
  4. Exercise.  Look after your bod.  If you hate sport, dance.  A good bod is a good bod.  If you are working two jobs.  Take the stairs.  Do neck exercises in the shower.  Do Pilates quietly on the bus!
  5. Gratitude.  The last thing you should do every night is think about the people who gave you a break: the canteen lady who dished your food, the professor whose lesson made sense, the bus driver who took your money.   If you forgot to thank them in person, well do it next time.  But every night, go to sleep on the memory of people who did well what they could have done badly.  You will sleep better and look forward to tomorrow, smile more readily, listen more easily, iron your shirt with more humor and bound up the stairs with more energy.

And it will show.  People will notice you and want to talk to you.  Which will make you smile!

Enjoy!  Five steps.  Smile. Listen.  Spruce up.  Exercise. Gratitude.

And let me know if this list helped.  Thanks for coming by here.  Evey page hit brightens my day.