What’s Your Type?

Whats Your TypeDo you have a Type you like…in a blog post?

Let’s be honest: there are a ton of blogs out there. They all have a style, a “type” of post they publish. And I certainly have several styles I can write–and have written–in.

Call me curious, but I would like to know what YOU like. What’s your favorite “type” of post? What do you connect with most? What is most helpful to you? Let me know with this brief SURVEY.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts! And I will happily share the results.

Do you have more thoughts to share that aren’t in the survey? Want to discuss more types of posts? Leave me a comment!

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About YOU

Alright, so in the vein of continuing a Blog Makeover that promised change…it’s time for me to write about YOU.

Wait! Don’t run away! I promise I’m not morphing into a creepy stalker who will track you down and write about you from a discreet distance.  (Or will I…?) (No, really, I wont.)

The point is, I’m wanting to revamp my focus on this blog. I have been encouraged lately to consider the audience I’m writing to, and what their needs and interests are.

Used to, I assumed that the “right people” would read my blog. Those who wanted to hear about my life experiences, those who shared my various interests. Surely that would generate a decent audience, right?

Then I realized that, to fully fit that description, the audience I was writing for…is ME.

As much as some of you love me (hi, Mom), no one is going to be fascinated by a blog that revolves around ME. And I realized that if I want to write for an audience of myself…well, that’s what my journal is for.

So here’s part 1 of my Blog Makeover: I’m making it more about YOU.

And here’s the part where you help me: tell me something about YOU. Tell me interests you have, what you love to read about, areas in life that you hope you’re not alone in.

Sure, I can’t write about everything you’ll respond with. But I can start paying better attention, and when I know you better, maybe then I’ll have something worth saying.

‘Hoping someone is listening’

Today, I read the Wikipedia article on Twitter. The last sentence gave me something to chew on. It said that Twitter had been “satirized…as an addiction to ‘constant self-affirmation’ and said tweets were nothing more than ‘shouts into the darkness hoping someone is listening.’ ”

Of course, I proceeded to then tweet about it:

It’s been said that tweets are “shouts into the darkness hoping someone is listening.” What do you think?

While I am mostly waiting to hear other people’s responses, these are a few other questions/thoughts I have on the matter:

Since when is it wrong to hope?

Since when is it wrong to be heard?

Since when is it wrong to shout into the darkness in a belief that we’re not alone?

 

What do you think?

30 Day Shred

Welcome to my first

Totally Topical Tuesday!

(And apologies for skipping out on my M&M Monday post yesterday…I promise I’ll make up for it next week.)

So I sat down at my computer to check up on my Facebook today, and it occurs to me: OH NO! After making my wonderful blogging schedule, I am already a day behind. So I take a deep breath, calm myself, and sit in front of my laptop. It’s ok, Self, I say. Let’s just start with Tuesday’s post. Ok, what is a topic I can write about that will engage my readers and leave them breathless with awe at my literary skills and amazing insights?

And coming up with nothing in that moment, I opted to go with the thing most recent on my mind.

The 30 Day Shred.

That’s kind of like a topic, right? A topic is something you can converse or discuss about, so that’s what I’m going with.

If you would like to know, I honestly discovered the 30 Day Shred from reading other blogs, and after hearing their rave reviews about it (and also since I was looking for an exercise video) I rented it from Netflix and gave it a try. I had been in decent shape most of my life (thanks mostly to soccer, then to Tae Kwon Do in college), but especially in the last year I’ve gained a little more than I’m comfortable with. So I figured, Hey, let’s get back into shape. Let’s do this Shred deal. Twenty minutes a day? I can totally handle that.

Well, I was right, but it was a lot harder than I anticipated. Level 1? Yeah, I’ve been working out, I’ll just fly right through that and get to Level 2. YEAH RIGHT. If you are a fellow Shredder, you’ll know Level 1 is no game of patty-cake (nope, not even the super-cardio patty-cake). It’s hard-core, and I stayed right at that level for a good bit of time while it got me in shape. I am now able to do level 2, but I haven’t even done that very much.

There are several reasons I enjoy the workout. 1) It’s fast. Heck yes I can do twenty minutes a day! 2) It’s comprehensive. I’m doing cardio (work that heart!), strengthening muscles, and especially toning my abs. 3) I end up feeling/seeing it. Yes, I have been a little more sporadic in my commitment, but I can tell and see a difference. My endurance is up (meaning, I’m not almost dying by the end of a workout) and I can feel my muscles getting stronger (meaning, when I poke certain places it doesn’t only feel like jello–there is actually a tough layer emerging underneath).

So if you’re looking for a quick workout you can do at home (hand-weights only required) that’ll push you, huffing and puffing, into shape, then I definitely recommend doing the 30 Day Shred Workout DVD.

For those of you who have Shredded, any additional comments? Likes, dislikes about the program? Anyone else trying to get in shape who has some good tips or stories of what you’re doing? I’ve love to hear them! Let’s encourage each other as we whip ourselves into shape.

Survey on social networking

Hey everyone! It’s been a while since a post, I know, but I wanted to put this up and ask a favor from all of you AMAZING people. My awesome sister Lindsay is a senior in college and is doing a survey for her class about social networking. Since I know how socially connected all of you are 🙂 it would mean a whole lot to her and me if you could take a sec to fill out the survey.  Below is her invitation to the survey:

Hey friends!
So I’m in this research class, and I need people to take this survey about online social networks like Facebook, Myspace and Twitter. It shouldn’t take too long. The more people I get to take it, the more extra credit I get, yay. ( I need 15 ppl for one point.)Also, if you could put my name (Lindsay Parks) in the last question when they said, who asked you to take this?, thanks!! And we are closing the survey in 9 days.
If y’all could take it, I’d really appreciate it! Especially since it’s stuff about Facebook, etc…and you know you are already on it 🙂
So I also just want to say, even if y’all don’t take the survey or send it on, I’m still glad that I know all of you guys! 🙂
And on the plus side, we will probably publish this research, so you could be in a journal article, yay 🙂

The link to the survey is:

http://survey.hsutx.edu/SS/wsb.dll/lcope/technologyfa09.htm

Thank you so much again!

How to become one of my favorites (…if you’re a book/movie)

This blog topic is thanks to the wonderful suggestion from my dear friend Ashley. I put out the open-ended question “What should I write about next?” on places like Twitter, Plurk, Facebook, etc., promising to write about the best topic. Since only two people responded, I will write about both of their topics in separate posts. Ashley’s topic gets to go first, since she was the first to reply. 🙂

I have thought more about what I like in books than in movies, but I believe the general principles apply to both. Allow me to share my humble opinions with you.

A good book/movie has:

1) A twist in the plot. I cannot stand stories that are utterly predictable. Granted, most stories have some elements of predictability. But if I could sit down and write out the ending for you, your book/movie is not going to be one of my favorites.

2) Thought-provoking material. Most of the time, I want stories that give me something to think about. Probably because of my psychology and English degrees, I like analyzing. I like finding symbolism and layers of meaning. Now, before I sound like a total nerd, I enjoy mindless stories as well. I am a fan of nights where I curl up on the couch with ice cream and a book that is as pointless as ice cream is to weight loss. But, overall, at least give me some kernel to gnaw on if you’d like to be one of my favorite books/movies.

3) Engaging content. By this I mean that the story has to pull me in. It must be able keep my attention; I don’t want the hours dragging by as I’m reading/watching the material. My favorite books/movies are the ones where I end up shocked by how quickly time has flown because I have been so engaged in the story.

4) A range of emotions. I like to laugh; I like to be moved to tears. If a book/movie can do both, genuinely, then it’s a favorite.

5) A bittersweet ending. Now I can’t say this is a must for every book/movie, and a good deal of my favorites do not have this. If, however, the story can end in a bittersweet way, with you feeling happy and satisfied with just a hint of regret about something (even if it’s only that the story is over), to me that is true genius. Any story can end well. It takes brilliance to find just the right tone of a bittersweet ending. If a book/movie can do that, it is a favorite.

Any agreements/disagreements to my list above? What makes a good book/movie for you?

Our Story

So I decided to join 20 Something Bloggers. I’m looking forward to meeting other bloggers, reading their blogs, learning, commenting, etc.

I’ve been thinking about blogging a lot lately. I used to blog on Blogger.com. I actually had kind of forgotten about my old blog until I started getting ready to start a new one. I went back to Blogger.com for a bit to look at creating a blog there (although I eventually, obviously, decided to just do one here at WordPress). And lo and behold, I found my old blog. I first started writing it in July 2004, so I was newly 19. I had just learned about blogging and apparently had decided to jump in full force. Right before 2007 started, I moved to keeping a blog at my MySpace page. That’s where the in-between blog was. And now I’m starting right back here.

Blogging is an interesting phenomenon. Why is that we write? For so many of us, it’s therapeutic. It’s a way to get things out and express ourselves. For some of us, it’s a way to help keep friends/family updated on our lives. And for others of us, it’s a way to meet new people. I’m always surprised and honored when people I don’t even know stop by to read my blog and comment. And I admit, I love finding new blogs that I can read.

But I think there’s more to it than those things listed above. There’s something about putting our lives out there for people to see. Whether it’s a whole picture of your life or just a part of you that you like sharing, we all want to share our story. We want to connect with others. We want to see life happen and show life happening. As I ended my piece of scratch fiction Friend Request on my writing blog: “No one’s life should be invisible.”

I think blogging is, in part, our way of making sure someone can witness our story.

For you other bloggers…why do you blog?