Blogs are a relatively free-form type of social software, and are decentralized, often running on their author’s own domains (Rettberg, J 2008)
The purpose of setting up this blog is to create a web presence for what I enjoy doing and talking about. Facebook, MySpace, YouTube. They can all help us do this and I myself have all listed. The blog is somewhat different; I see a blog as an outlet to create your own virtual community. Facebook for example, owns the community and we all play a part in this by linking, updating, posting and so forth. Creating my own blog and tuning it the way I want it to be over the internet is something I can create and control and set my own digital identity via the context of which I enjoy. I decided to do mine on the automotive industry, mainly automotive events and rallies, and exotic and sports cars.
For the styling, I used the theme Twenty Eleven. It was a theme that really stood out to me, It did unfortunately at times, did have its bugs as some of my created pages would save and disappear from time to time. Refreshing the page a few times did bring it back but honestly I do not know what I did to fix it. I can only guess WordPress already were aware of the problem.
Twenty Eleven is a nice clean and smart looking theme, I did not want my theme to take away any of spotlight from the content I was creating. I want the readers to be involved with my blog and not how pretty and shiny it looked.
I chose to leave the comments section open, although this is more of a lifestyle blog on the things that interest me, I still want to create a sense of community here where people can also add and collate ideas and create opinions. The Internet is an open foundation for us to build on and without cooperation and collaboration; sites like these do not get the opportunity to flourish.
Adding to the content, I added a RSS feed widget, this links back to one of my favorite sites Jalopnik.com. This RSS feed will incorporate more ‘trending’ automotive news to the blog, allowing further discussion and topics. RSS feeds provide more dynamic content allowing my visitors to view my blogs and at the same time, be greeted with more changing content as they browse. The RSS is currently pulling information from Jalopnik.com, an auto-blog that’s very popular to many people who have an interest in the industry. I listed this as “what else is up?” keeping the theme more relaxed and generic.
Also, linking in my Flickr account, I am able to upload photos from my PC or iPhone and share this with my community. Flicker is fast growing with users with 3.6 billion images (Wolk, 2009) Being able to ‘tag’ my images also, labeling them in a group for my viewers to see and also experience related content that may be online with other users. I chose flicker over other programs such as Photo-bucket due to the larger audience that uses it, and with research, I have found flickr to be the more popular in terms to linking together or incorporating with other social feeds and sites.
My next up is Twitter. I was torn between using my personal twitter account and setting up a new one for the blog. I found that by personal twitter (although, very, very rarely used) had a lot of content I would have liked to weave into my blog, I thought that as I already had my about.me widget set up for that, I felt the blog would have lost a bit of purpose. If someone wanted to find me, they can via about.me. Setting up @truspeedblog allows me to involve twitter followers, quicker ‘tweets’ of updates and also ‘retweets’ of content that was relevant, as well as involve some information via twitter that’s not exactly blog material and more ‘news on the go’. Keeping the format of the blog uniform.
At the end of the page I added my About.me profile. As listed above, if the audience wants to connect to me on a more ‘personal’ level, outside of my community and as an individual they can. this I think creates a more natural relatable blogging experience. My audience knows who I am and where they can reach me.
In regards to copyright, I chose to use all my own content. All the photos on the site are photos I have taken while on travel and for enjoyment. Uploading to Flickr I chose to keep my rights and not list them under creative commons. I figured there is lot of content out there others can use if need be! Plus, Its more personal to me to have as I have spent a lot of time effort and money on getting my information and photos, I would not like to see them on anyone else’s blog without my permission.
How does this reflect me? As said, I have a passion for automotive sport. I feel this page is a reflection of the things I love. Exotic cars, news, technology and the lifestyle. As this blog hopefully grows, I feel I might broaden the blog by not limiting myself to the exotic car market, and to most genres of lifestyle from exotic, to Japanese and US markets and so forth. This is a learning experience for me, as I have never blogged before. Thanks to this experience, if its not on this topic, I feel I will be doing much more of this in the future.
Wolk, D. (2009). Future of Open Source: Collaborative Culture. Retrieved June 12th, 2009, from http://www.wired.com/dualperspectives/article/news/2009/06/dp_opensource_wired0616.
Rettberg, J., (2008), Blogs, Communities and Networks in Blogging. Polity Press; Cambridge. Retrieved from http://edocs.library.curtin.edu.au/eres_display.cgi?url=dc60263770.pdf©right=1