Thursday, March 08, 2007

Exploring the blogosphere

I spent an amazing amount of time exploring different blogs, and had a hard time finding interesting ones. It seems that, although there is such a huge number of blogs around, not so many are intriguing; or maybe I was just looking in the wrong place... Anyway, when looking for a blog, you should have a clear idea of what you're looking for; otherwise, you'll just get lost in the blogosphere. In the end, I managed to find a couple of blogs which appealed to me:

Language Realm Blog, a blog devoted to language, translation, interpretation and linguistics. It's the official blog of the Language Realm, a web site dealing with language learning, translation and interpretation, so I suppose there's a whole team posting in the blog instead of only one person. Some posts deal with translation tips; others explore particular idioms and colloquial expressions; others delve into linguistics and phonetics. For instance, the most recent post at the moment explains the correct pronounciation of the consonant "r" in American English. Considering what we're studying now, I found this blog quite useful.

Another 52 books, a blog by an Icelandic lady who loves reading (this sounds familiar, I wonder why :D). She has given herself a reading challenge: she's going to read and review 52 mystery books by 52 different authors. However, she sometimes reviews books from other genres as well. Once she's read a book, she prepares a review containing basic information about the book (title, author, setting, themes, and so on), a plot summary, her impressions, and a rating. Another interesting feature is the right column of the blog, which contains an amazing number of useful links and resources for readers. Apart from the content, I appreciate this blog because it's very neatly organized: each post is carefully labelled by author and genre, so that readers can easily find what they're interested into. Alida mentioned to me she likes mystery books; I hope she can find something intriguing here.

A few weeks ago I stumbled on another blog which made me think... I'm posting the link here, because it is very different from the other two. Italy is falling: this is the blog of an Italian guy who records (in English) his personal reflections about what goes wrong in Italy. I've often had the feeling we live in a strange country, where some things never work in the way they're supposed to be, so this blog made me pause and think. However, I think all this pessimism is bad for you, so I would suggest reading only a few posts at a time.

I think there are a number of styles you can use in a blog. It depends on the blogger and the subject, as well as the intended readership. If you're recording your personal thoughts, you will probably use informal or colloquial language. On the contrary, if you're dealing with topics of general interest and trying to get the attention of a higher number of readers, you will probably use more formal, objective language. Some bloggers try to develop a personal style in order to make themseles recognizable from others.

Links are very important in a blog, especially if the blogger is careful and wants readers to find easily what they're looking for. Posts often include links to relevant sites and to previous posts on the same subject matter, as well as sources. Tags, too, are useful tools because they allow the readers to browse through the posts in order to find what they're really interested into.


Alida said...

Dear Alessandra,
First of all I want to thank you because you remebered me while writing your post!
I entered the blog you suggested me and I found it very interesting. I read some of the author's reviews the but they were really too many to read them all!! Anyhow the blog deals exactly with the kind of books I like and whenever I'd be willing to start reading a new book I'm going to take that blog as a source of inspiration.
In addition I must admit that I did not even click on the first blog because the subject did not interest me. On the other hand I spent quite a long time reading the third one you included in the list. I'm not very happy in this period and reading what that man wrote increased my negative feelings!!
It is a little pessimistic but I also found it very interesting. What really caught my attention were the comments other people left on his space. It was remarkable the way they interacted with the author and thanked him for the suggestions and the topics developed.
Eventually I'd say that the blogs you chosen were worth reading. Thanks!

Alessandra Peron said...

Oh well, you don't have to click on every single link if you don't want to. I'm sorry to hear you're not feeling very cheerful at the moment. And you're right, this guy writes pretty depressing stuff, but he might be considered a good source of inspiration. Not to mention his writing seems very spontaneous, which is probably more than I can say about my own writing.

martina said...

Dear Alessandra,
thank you for the blogs you found out...I really enjoyed reading something from the first two because, as you already know, I'm interested in language and (professional) translation, and I also like reading books (so now I can go there and see if there is something I'd like to read). As far as the blog about Italy is concerned, I admit that I "abandoned" it after reading some was too depressing...sorry!

erica bergamin said...

Hi Alessandra,
I really enjoyed your link to the "Italy is falling" page. I was curious about reading other people's opinions about the situation we're living it Italy, as, like you, I also think that Italy is sometimes a strange country!!!
Then, ok, every opinion is worth of respect but sincerely THAT page was a little bit TOO sad to me!! =(!

Alessandra Peron said...

I'm having second thoughts about posting the list to the "Italy is falling" blog, since you all find it so inccredibly depressing. Oh well, I'll link to something more cheerful next time :)