GeoFoodie has been nominated for a Very Inspring Blogger award!
On one page in GeoFoodie, connecting technology, I wrote that I like WordPress.com because of its inherent community. Anyone can read a WordPress blog, but once you set up your account, which is easy to do, you can join the conversation. This joining can be in small ways, such as through following and commenting on other people’s blogs. There are challenges that one can engage with, such as the weekly photo challenge, where you are given a theme. I’ve done a number of these and have enjoyed the process of shaping my own form of blogging to fit what is asked for. There is reward in the interactions and comments that people write. It is affirming. People are listening and they are engaging with what you have to say. Quite often they are complete strangers from totally different parts of the world.
There are also a number of awards that are floating around. The way they work is someone who has received an award then passes it forward to blogs that have impacted, inspired or touched them. I had seen them on people’s blogs, but didn’t think about it all that much. It came as a complete surprise to me this morning when I received a notice that my blog had been nominated for one of these awards. A big thank you to Sonika who nominated me. Sonika writes a blog primarily about travelling. In her blog (which you can find here) she describes places she has visited, throws in a comment or two about another passion–eating sweet things, and provides some absolutely stunning photographs. Occasionally she also dedicates a whole post to puddings and other sweet foods. A good combination I think.
The rules for accepting the award are as follows:
- Display the award
- Acknowledge and ping back to the blogger than nominated you. (see above)
- Provide 7 facts about yourself.
- Pass the award forward to 15 other bloggers by listing them on your site
- Inform the nominees and explain how to accept the award.
While a bit chain letter like, which is something I do not normally get involved with (fact 1), there are some advantages. Firstly, if you are a curious sort, which I am (Fact 2), you can follow the chain of nominations backward and find some really interesting things. For example, the blogger who nominated Sonika, writes a blog called Traveller Soul. Which also has gorgeous photographs. You can also track forward to other blogs that the proposer liked, and so you can find other interesting blogs you might never have found. I found one called Ghosts of Alexander, which is all about conflict and society in Central Asia. A particularly interesting post about writing about Afghanistan is here. In short, WordPress also gives you opportunities to learn things and connect with others.
I must admit I am somewhat reluctant to dwell too much an myself. So I will quickly offer the other five facts as requested by the award at the end of the post. There is nothing in the rules that indicates that the fifteen blogs I nominate have to be WordPress blogs, so some of them are not. The list is also a bit eclectic. It is likely that posting the award forward will go against the rules of some of these blogs, but that is ok. Mostly I want to pass on the information about them to others. The list for the award is as follows:
- Follow the things. This is a brilliant Blog (to me it is a blog, because new content is added all the time, though some might see it more as a website), which tells us where our stuff comes from. There is also a more traditional WP element of the page here where one can comment.
- Being Mrs. Charmichael. This blog makes me laugh so much. The text is witty and the photographs are frequently centered around a posed mannequin. What more could you want?
- China Daily Mail. This blog is a collective and offers current news and information about China. I learn about stuff going on here before I read it in the western news.
- Say no to food waste. Comments and interesting graphics written from the US but concerned with the global problem of food waste.
- Hong Wrong Blog. This blog is cynical, informative, full of satire, and also offers quite a bit of serious commentary about Hong Kong.
- Urban Photo. This is another blog with a lot of Hong Kong content. It is informative and well researched.
- Philosophies. This is a blog that belongs to a group of Architecture students in Sweden. The students’ comments draw on social theory they have been reading to make observations about architectural research and practice. It is very thoughtful.
- Arun with a View. This is a blog that offers commentary on lots of things and film reviews. Often of films I would never have thought of seeing.
- Cogent Comment. When I first started reading this blog is was called Rant against the Random. Though mostly US focused, the comments are pointed and important and are often translatable to elsewhere. I am not the only one to think so, which is why it has become what it now is.
- Charlottesville Winter. This blog has won this award from someone else already, but I also like it and want to include it on my list. The writing is lovely.
- Word Crushes. This is a blog by a friend of mine from more years ago than I care to remember. She is my go to person for new books to read…and she has published her own stories. Her blog focuses on teen fiction and helping teens and tweens to find their voice.
- Cee’s Photography. I like this blog because of the support it provides to others. The author runs her own photo challenge and she regularly visits the posts of others and comments or leaves likes. It is this sense of community mindedness that I find most inspiring.
- Toemail. The idea behind this blog is that you take a photo of your feet and toes and send it to them. It is sort of toes around the world. I think it is a funny, quirky idea and shows how inventive one can be. I also like the curatorial aspects of the project. I am not alone, thousands of people have participated.
- Top Left Design. This is a blog about social media and twitter in particularly. Keren, the owner of the blog, also seems like a really nice person. I’ve learned how to organise my blog and twitter activities in ways that are more effective because of what she has published.
- LSE’s Impact for Social Sciences. This blog is really useful for an academic wanting to publish in new and somewhat alternative ways. The blog inspires confidence to undertake ones own social media publications. The information that is provided is both technical and general. To my mind it offers one avenue of how academic activity should be pursued. I have also found that it is also a very inclusive blog. The administrators, who also tweet, are friendly and engaging.
And here are those five remaining facts.
- I love to cook. One of the things I have really enjoyed about living in Hong Kong is the opportunity to learn new food combinations and discover new types of food. I’ve written about one of my favorites here. The dish is called Spicy Eggplant and I’ve included a recipe.
- I collect cookbooks. This kind of goes hand in hand with the above. I love cookbooks, particularly if they have photographs. I always ask for a new cookbook for Christmas as reading. This type of reading is something you can do on Christmas day and still be relatively sociable with your family. The food is inspring and gives me a project for the coming weeks. I think the books and the practice of receiving them also reminds me of my mom, as she also has hundreds of cookbooks and always seemed to get one at Christmas. It is a moment of silent connection with her.
- I tend to use cookbooks sequentially. At present, I am mostly using a cookbook called 400 Thai and Chinese: Delicious Recipes for Healthy Living.It is an edited cookbook and what makes it great is the fact that there are lots of photos, the instructions are easy and clear, the food is wonderful and able to be provisioned where I live now, and the recipes are all modified to be lower in fat. Each recipe also has the nutritional breakdown at the bottom.
- I like to take photographs. I find that some places are more inspiring for photo taking. I have also discovered that some places inspire for me certain types of photographs or views while others offer other affordances. I have been trying to think about why. I don’t really have an answer. I just know that when I look through the 10 years of photographs I took in England, they are mostly close ups of various plants or bugs, pictures of people I know or big landscape images. Hong Kong inspires detail as well, but of a very different sort. It is mostly detail where human intervention is more obvious, photos of other humans who are unknown to me, and instead of landscapes (though I do have some of those types of images) the more interesting photos are of the interstitial spaces. In addition to the photo’s on this blog, you can also see other photos on my Flickr page, which you can find here.
- Linked to this, I always have a camera with me. I actually have several camera’s. I’ve got a large Cannon DSLR camera with fancy (expensive) lenses. It is heavy, large and obvious so I tend not to carry it around with me that much. Because I like to take photo’s on the fly I tend most of the time to use either the camera on my Iphone, which is pretty good and offers easy, in fact automatic, uploading. Sometimes I use the camera on my Ipad, as the size of the viewer offers a different perspective on the shot. It is more a what-the-final-used-image-will-be-like camera. I also have a red Nikon Coolpix camera. I use it a bit less because there is an extra step for uploading and it is usually at the bottom of my bag so it requires some motivation to dig it out, whereas the phone is usually already in my hand when the photo opportunity arises. I carry the Nikon with me though mostly because it has better zooming quality than the iphone.
Thanks again to Sonika for honouring me.