Posts Tagged With: Facebook

We Sold Our House on Facebook

They said it couldn’t be done. There were some tsk-tsk’s and a few exaggerated expressions of good-luck-with-that-one. Is there an emoji for that yet? We were bucking the system and taking a self-stab at the real estate market. Hey, I sold my 1996 Suzuki Sidekick on Craigslist. Surely we could sell our 1861 stone house on Facebook.

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Earlier in the year, Kim and I toyed with the romantic notion of raffling our house off. Wouldn’t you buy a $155 ticket with the possibility of winning a house that only required you to arrange your furniture and fill your champagne glasses? We would. But could we pull it off in tiny Galt, Ontario?

Remember the 1996 movie Spitfire Grill (neon-lit by the likes of Ellen Burstyn and Marcia Gay Harden)? Actually, I barely do, but there was something about a $100-an-entry essay contest and the winner could take over the retiring owner’s restaurant. The movie has generated similar copycat tactics, most recently in Toronto. In September 2015, Ruthie Cummings tried to raffle off her three year old German restaurant, Das Gasthaus, on Danforth Avenue for $150 bucks a pop. Instead of being a feel-good story, the unexpected backlash came in the form of eight labour complaints from former employees.

Cummings hoped to sell 4,000 tickets, earning her the tidy sum of $600,000 so she could return to Europe and care for her aging parents. The winner, Shawn McKerness, 40, a Windsor chef and restaurateur, decided to forfeit the controversial prize. According to the Star, the restaurant itself was closed at the end of January and had a bailiff’s note taped to the window, noting it was in arrears of $6,367.50. Oh, and then there’s that touchy subject of unpaid rent. “Property manager Alex Stergiou told the Star that Cummings is still “technically in possession” of the restaurant. Therefore, he said, she is on the hook for rent, which is about $5,500 a month.”

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Undaunted, Kim and I still liked the idea of the raffle. We didn’t have any jaded employees (maybe ex-girlfriends, but…). Could we hit up 2,700 friends, family and exes for $155? Our stone house-loving pals Troy and Lori were in. “We’ll buy a few,” Troy promised with a clink of our pint glasses. I knew my parents would be good for one or two. So, we had four sold before we even did a blitz! Plus, I won a soccer ball in elementary school for being a top chocolate-covered almond seller for Brantford Youth Soccer. In high school, I sold turkey shoot raffle tickets (among other things like poinsettias, dream catchers and tie dye t-shirts) to 100% pay my way to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Selling raffle tickets for our darling stone cottage would be a snap.

Instead of taking the sure-and-steady traditional realtor route, home owners are opening up to the magic, possibility and opportunity that a raffle can ‘buy’ somebody. The Humble Heart Goat Dairy and Creamery in Elkmont, Alabama is opting for the raffle route too. Rock Spring Farm in Essex County, Virginia is raffling off their 38-acre horse farm. There’s even a movie theatre on the block. You can write a 250-word essay on why you want to own a seaside cinema and win the Cape Ann Cinema and Stage in Gloucester, Massachusetts. How about a B&B in Maine? After 22 years, Janice Sage is retiring from the Lovell Inn & Restaurant (the gig comes with 10 staff and 100 dinner guests on the average night). She won the Inn via an essay contest back in 1993 and wanted to share the karma all over again.

A Whitby, ON couple who bought a waterfront property in Kingston as a retirement plan in 2003 opted to cash out with an auction last month. They had listed on the market the past for a $1 million price tag with no bites and were anxious to move on with their retirement and travel plans. They had hoped the 66-acre property and rural stone castle would nab around $800,000 but the lucky bidders snagged it for $660,000 (the minimum bid required was $300,000). There were 13 offers for the gated house with turrets, an elevator, a cedar grove and 2,000 feet of waterfront.

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Then there was the guy that essentially traded a red paperclip for a two storey house in Saskatchewan. I was as charged up and confident as Kyle MacDonald, the bloggernaut behind One Red Paperclip. MacDonald made his first paperclip trade for a fish-shaped pen in July 2005. He reached his goal of trading up to a house with the fourteenth transaction. The deal? Trading a movie role for a home in Saskatchewan (and it somehow involved Alice Cooper and a trip for two to Yakh, BC, along the way).

Okay, so, we didn’t have a movie role to barter with (but they do film Murdoch Mysteries down the road from our house), and maybe the raffle was a contortionist stretch for us. Maybe. We didn’t consider a one-day auction, but, the idea of us selling private was enticing.  It would involve nothing more than crafting a blog post, culling our best home and garden snapshots and some serious social media sharing. We peer pressured everyone to brag about this place and share it widely and wildly from Banff to Nashville to the UK to Australia and Uganda. Kim agreed that we should try, but, not endlessly. We’d establish a deadline and then go with an agent. Share. Like. Like. Share. Tweet. Reblog. Like. Like.

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We have both watched enough HGTV to know the math, logistics and obstacles of selling a home. With our PhD in Property Brothers, House Hunters International, Fixer Upper and Million Dollar Listing NY we were confident. Combined, Kim and I have spent 14,786 hours on realtor.ca. We know all about curb appeal and what-the-hell? We love real estate culture and count many agents as our friends. I flip to Toronto Life’s real estate page (where they profile a buyer and their three properties of interest. And then unleash the ugly guts of the bidding war and how much the listing went, over-ask. When we decided to go social media first instead of a sign-in-the-ground, a few of the agents got in on the mix too. (*Special thanks to Lindy Brown (Peak Real Estate Ltd), Lisa Reilly and Lisa Hipgrave of The Two Lisa’s (REMAX Hallmark Realty, Ltd.) Toronto for the Facebook press blow-out. And, to Laura Thompson of Coldwell Banker and Jane Gardner (Royal LePage) for potential buyers, inside scoop, special considerations and market assessments).

Trends and traditions are changing like the May barometer. Not only can you trade a paperclip for a house, write an essay and win a movie theatre, but you can divorce and sell your life. In 2008, after a sloppy break-up, Brit Ian Usher sold his life in Australia on ebay for $399,300. He wrote a book all about it, Life For Sale, and wrote a second, Paradise Delayed, about his off-grid life in Panama. Following the sale of his life, he set off around the globe to cross off 100 goals which he achieved in 100 weeks.

It’s endless, exciting and…what else can we sell? (Pause as I look around the immediate vicinity)

Why just have a garage sale anymore? You can sell your house on Facebook and hand the paperwork over to a lawyer. Which you would be doing anyway.

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The condensed version is—after a big splash on Facebook and over 900 visitors to the blog post I wrote (“House for Sale…Ours”), we did it. Thanks to the powers of social media and a friend of a friend of a friend who didn’t even remember how they knew that ‘friend’—we found our buyer.

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As we signed papers over cocktails at Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa, the couple remarked, “This is so civilized.”

Yes, we sold our house on Facebook. And now I want to enter that essay contest to win the goat farm in Elkmont, Alabama.

*If you like jellybean counting contests and want to win a cinema or the B&B, check out Kelly Gurnett’s The Write Life post about the essay contests  here.  I call dibs on the goat farm!

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Categories: Home Sweet Home, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Task Uncommitted

In case you are just tuning in: I’m taking a travel writing course through Matador U, a new media school for writers, photographers and filmmakers. This week’s assignment zoomed in on social media platforms and our connections to them. We were asked to find and critique five blogs in a geographical area of interest to us. What appeals? Visuals? Design? Content? Navigability? How would we make the blog better?

After this comb over, we were asked to check the Alexa rating of each, which is a web information system that identifies internet traffic stats and metrics. The site where you can find out that .000043 of global internet users visit your blog. Wow!

The final task involved setting up a Twitter account and an additional profile on another platform such as Stumbleupon, Digg or Reddit (insert groan and nauseating feeling of hypertonic trapezius muscles here).

So…

Five Blogs

Having just pounced upon expedia.ca sell-off flights to Belize for February, investigating blogs with a bull’s eye on manatees, quetzels, cashew wine, Ambergris and Caye Caulker seemed obvious. Finding five Belize blogs wasn’t an issue. Google matches revealed a strong presence of blogging expats, some even hawking promotional blog fan t-shirts and hats. However, the format, granny-friendly font and garage-sale advert clutter of most Belize blog pages led me elsewhere.

I decided to examine the blogs that I am already attracted and dedicated to.

Clearly, the strength of a blog’s writing is the magnetic force for me. The content can range from surviving the Burning Man Festival, Oregon’s best microbrews to chimp rescue stories to how to make sushi rolls out of mac n’ cheese. Similar to my writing force field, I read in the same manner. All over the map.

What I know for sure?

I refuse to read white script on black background, or blogs that have been brushed with too much Hollywood (flashing widgets, WIN THIS! and running scripts). I find danger in too many hyperlinks within the text. Like a magpie that spies something shiny, I too have been known to fly off, distracted, clicking a hyperlink to another page, never to return again. (Which means you are NOT allowed to divert from my page to discover my go-to blogs below. An alarm will sound.)

What appeals?

Clean lines. White space. Simplicity. Seductive, high resolution photos and engaging writing that meshes with my interests, or musings that spark interest, unplanned longer runs in the rain, another glass of wine, deeper conversation and restless sleeps.

Writers that mesh and spark:

Andrew Westoll

An automatic network emerges among those who have worked with primates. I was initially virtually introduced to Andrew via a friend in Suriname who thought we might like to share and compare our Jane Goodal-esque love and chimp sanctuary volunteer experiences. His body of work is humble and honest, showcasing the grit of a writer’s life and hope in chimpanzee crusades. A former primatologist, sometimes CBC Radio One science columnist, sometimes vodka expert, the author of The Riverbones and The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary writes intelligently here:

http://www.andrewwestoll.com/    Alexa: 13,226,465

Brene Brown–Ordinary Courage

With a PhD tucked up her sleeve, the University of Houston Research Professor poses big questions about vulnerability, courage and authenticity in a smart and accessible way. She made her rounds on Facebook in a viral way with her TED video (Ideas Worth Spreading) on the power of vulnerability. She captivates and enlarges a sentence in a remarkable way. And, I might just copycat her sidebar that spotlights what she’s listening to and what’s on her nightstand. It makes Brene Brown a little more 3D to me.

http://www.ordinarycourage.com/    Alexa: 256,306

Ryan Coelho

We were both shortlisted for a prized travel writer internship position with G Adventures in Toronto and I admired his rock solid empowerment and personal brand from the get go. He is a former aerospace engineer turned brand & marketing strategist and leadership coach. I gravitate towards his writing because he adheres to his blog mantra when he posts: Dream. Explore. Discover. Inspire.  He is also consistent with his brand via Facebook and Twitter and has a graphically tidy and splashy site:

http://ryancoelho.com/    Alexa:  7,379,662

A Bus Called Forward

A mutual friend in Mexico thought Keph (Matador U alumni) and I would get on like a house on fire with our shared passions. He thought our writing had a similar slant and groove. I was flattered and became hooked on A Bus Called Forward. Keph’s photos will transport you to everywhere she has been in a blink and her succinct words fill in the textures, temperature and tastes.

“When she was 28 years old and I was only 5, my mother bought a renovated 1950s school bus and named it Forward. We left Toronto in the spring, driving westward towards the Pacific. Her incomprehensible plan was to drive to New Zealand but Forward blew a radiator hose in the mountains in the interior of British Columbia. Ever pragmatic, my mother sold the bus for $500 and a wheelbarrow, and started a garden. I haven’t stopped moving, but my mother’s still there, still gardening.”

http://www.abuscalledforward.com/   Alexa: 4,315,987

Julia Dimon: The Travel Junkie

A few years ago I was velcroed to an OLN (Outdoor Life Network) program called Word Travels that followed two scrappy travel writers pitching and landing gigs as fast as their planes around the world. Firecracker co-host Julia Dimon has visited 80 countires on all 7 continents. She is hopeful, insightful and a writing dynamo. Her site is glossy, enviable and the ultimate time-sucker. In a good way.

http://juliadimon.com/julia/blog.php  Alexa: 4,611,331

 

About the Alexa Ratings

My blog currently perches at 3,206,262 in worldwide blog rankings. Is this good? How many jellybeans in the jar does that equal? This does not change my life in any way. Do I really care that 3.55% of visitors keyed in “he farted in a hermetically sealed suit” and were led to my blog? Did I ever mention farting in a hermetically sealed suit? Should I take note that high impact search queries were tagged on the following terms: cat crap coffee, chips with gravy, bug bite soup, rotten confessions, Czech beer and chocolate covered marshmallows?

The Alexa rating serves a purpose to someone, but, it won’t influence my writing enough to narrow my niche to farts and marshmallows.

About Twitter, Stumbleupon, Digg, Reddit

I just can’t. I can’t be responsible for another social platform. I feel like I’m trying to barf up content in too many places already. Facebook obligations alone have angry “friends” upset with my lack of communication (interpreted as “ignored”). I drop off the face of Facebook for a few days to enjoy life as it was before the Techno Whore Wave of the 2000’s and I am berated. I can barely remain verbally active on Twitter. I refuse to Tweetchat or Twitpic. I don’t want to Stumbleupon anything else, there are enough viral videos and cuddly kittens and tsunami dog love stories on Facebook.

If shunning more social media platforms will be the detriment of my writing career, I’m okay with that. I’m not Twitter-friendly enough because I don’t have a cell phone. And I don’t have one for a reason. I would disconnect my home phone if I could. I never check my home phone messages when I’m at work, or away—mostly because I don’t know how to, but also because I don’t need to. I’m not that important, and socialites have to move in mysterious ways sometimes.

So what?

Social media is an accessory, not a necessity in my life. It has its place like shortbread for breakfast, Kobe beef and champagne. I can’t do it all the time. I will commit to my blog, the established blog writers that stretch my static thoughts, to intermittent Twittering and near-daily smartass Facebook updates.

That’s it.

Categories: Polyblogs in a Jar, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lure of Facebook

Facebookitis: characterized by repetitive status updating, profile lurking, photo album creeping and Farmville crop ownership.

It happens to the best of us. It’s like a grown-up playground where the recess bell never rings. Like the party line my great-grandmother had in the early ’80s that allowed us to eavesdrop on all the other gabby party liners. It’s like passing sweaty folded notes in grade 8 behind the teacher’s back, that get read by every person en route before reaching the intended classmate five desks to the left.

Facebook is the neighbourhood we carefully craft for ourselves to live in. We choose our friends, defriend and proudly tag ourselves grinning like Lindsay Lohan in the courtroom with all our pals draped off our shoulders. It’s an acceptable form of bragging, voyeurism, cattiness, hedonism and fluff. While I might be slightly embarrassed to actually buy a glossy copy of InTouch, I have zero qualms about scanning status and relationship updates for gossip.

It’s the efficiency of it all that I love. In the span of one cup of morning coffee, I can see what Jacques is doing in Uganda, what Michelle is up to in Qualicum Beach, what Heidi is thinking about in Nashville and what Jann Arden had as a midnight snack. Geography becomes obsolete, and the beauty of Facebook is that somewhere in the world, there are other friends that are awake when the rest of my Ontario counterparts are smartly sleeping.

In what would have taken my great-grandmother three days of party line phone calls–I can find out the breaking news from my friends dispersed in Australia, the Congo, California and even two blocks away at my brother’s apartment. Tell me Laura Secord wouldn’t have killed for Facebook chat instead of trekking 20 miles across the Canadian hinterland to tell the British that the American troops were planning to invade Beaver Dam in the War of 1812.  If Laura had been really savvy, she would have sent a Friend Request to one of the British troops with a bat of her eyelashes, and she would have seen the status update and hit the Share button!

In addition to conquering the ill-planned time zones of earth, Facebook is a great venue for ‘dating’ friends. If we don’t like somebody after an intial friending, we can defriend faster than Kim Cattrall finds a beefy man to shag in the boudoir. If we don’t approve of a comment, we can delete it faster than the news of a leaked Brangelina sex tape could spread.

Facebook has evolved into more than a rowdy extended cafeteria table though. It has become a personal cheerleading squad. Can we do any wrong with our army of friends rallying behind us? They are there for pats on the back, daily pep rallies and commentary that supports any posting we place on our wall. Prop 8 opposition, the BP oil blooper and Jesse James faced a relentless firing squad, didn’t they? Viral videos circulate like bed bugs and create an emotional Polaroid network. We are instantly bonded through You Tube uploads of footage of  heartbroken Bella the elephant and Tarra, her beloved dog friend at The Elephant Sanctuary  in Tennessee. And oh how we wept over Christian the lion reuniting with John Rendall and Anthony Bourke in Kenya. Then there was the hero dog that saved another dog who had been hit by a car by dragging him across a freeway in Santiago, Chile. Together, via Facebook, we share a unified, emotional experience and find solace in the universal weepy response of others.

When we are ill, Facebook friends begin filtering into our waiting rooms with sage advice, old wives tales, sympathy and virtual companionship. Our friends become doctors with solutions at the ready for parasites, rashes, itches, sore throats and sleeplessness.

But do I need 450 friends?  Do I really have 450 friends? That’s the population of Nottingham Township, Ohio. It’s an Italian wedding guest list. It’s the entire student body of the elementary school I went to–including the herd of dairy cattle in the field behind the soccer pitch.

Of that 450 there are certainly my near and dears and there are friends that I haven’t even met. And until recently, even two fictional friends. Yes, they exist (in an imaginary sense).

What I would like to see is an Awkward Application. For example, when a relationship ends, or when a one night stand turns out to be the symptom of tequila, Facebook terms of agreement should automatically terminate the virtual relationship. This would avoid the dreaded “I can’t believe you deleted me” backlash. If Facebook did that messy stuff for us, the Facebook world would be an easier place to navigate.

What I can do without is the nagging motherly overtones of Facebook. “Get in touch with so-and-so.” “Send so-and-so a message.” “Try Facebook Mobile.” “Jules, try Facebook’s Friend Finder” (because apparently 450 friends is below average). “Jules, here are people you may know–”

What I will acknowledge is that Facebook is a time-sucker. It’s like a lethal combo of quicksand and the Food Network. But, I try and convince myself that it’s the equivalent of completing a Sudoko puzzle or the New York Times crossword. You can’t just ROTFL or LYAO all the time and LOL for every comment. There are expectations now, there are friends of friends who indicate whether they “like” your comment or not. Before you could comment haphazardly without being judged.

But I like it. I like the neighbourhood I’ve created. I’ve been married twice on Facebook now. I’ve been censored, deleted, defriended and hit on by a woman in Spain who was positive that I was her type. Blood type? I’ve reconnected with camp counsellors, the American I gave Ugandan shillings to after he was robbed, fellow travellers I met in the Galapagos, my dream boyfriend of age 13 and a guy who recognized my name from a mural that I painted a decade ago in a pizza shop in Dunnville.

Facebook makes an already small world smaller, and I grateful for my pseudo Nottingham Township, Ohio community.

Yes, I like this. Poke me.

Categories: The Kitchen Sink | Tags: , | 3 Comments

I’m the Only One?

November 11, 2008

I can’t be the only one, but often I have been. When Vanilla Ice shook the rap world with his white skin and Ice Ice Baby, I thought for sure that everyone was going to shave their eyebrows just like Ice himself. I was the only one.
I also thought that other kids must be burying overdue library books down by the pond in discreet spots. It seemed the logical solution to avoiding the disappointment in Mrs. Powell’s grey crow-footed eyes for actually returning them so pathetically late (guess I’ve always been a great avoider of conflict). I was the only one.
Similar thinking led me to believe that everyone kept collections of bats and newborn opossums in formaldehyde as personal museum collections (numbered and catalogued of course, on shelves groaning with mica, skunk cabbage root, owl pellets, bird skulls and such). But, I was the only one. Everyone else seemed to fascinated with the Babysitters Club books, ATARI and Playmobile figurines. Or, watching Family Ties, Diff’rent Strokes and The Cosby Show.
So, this morning as I was scanning my KLM e-ticket and visa extension request for Immigration I checked my Facebook page to see if anyone was up or if there were any witty status updates that I had to comment on. I noticed a message from my brother, followed in two short minutes by another. His second message was his admission that he had just ‘’pulled a Grandma’’ when he responded to my latest update—Dax had hit ‘Reply All.’ This was definitely a grandma move so I quickly responded, laughing at him for being so much like our mother, hitting Reply All, despite having the brains to cure cancer and being capable of talking genomes and DNA strands all day. In his first message he had asked me who so-and-so was. She (so-and-so) had obviously contacted him from looking at my friend list. Any friend of mine is generally a friend of my brother’s, we are a gay package deal.
Looking at the clock, I hastily tapped out a description of the above-mentioned so-and-so to Dax, said “way to go Mom, on the Reply All” and sent the message. In that fleeting moment I felt the hot prickles of holy shit—what did I just do? I did what Dax had just done and replied to all! My palms and armpits went into sweating overdrive and my brain suddenly felt too big for my skull bones. Shit shit shit. Not that I said anything too scathing, but, I thought I was just sharing a private, semi-judgmental conversation with my brother (gay people are supposed to be judgmental, right?). How did Reply All even become an option? The office became overwhelmingly hot, I felt like there were flames licking at my face. I checked my Sent file, hoping for other news. Maybe I imagined seeing Reply All. Nope, there it was, a long list of friends who didn’t even know so-and-so, but had been just updated.
I fretted for a solid 10 minutes, trying to undo my mess, fooling myself that deleting a sent message would delete it from the history of the world. My ribs squeezed at my heart and I thought of how I might soon be contacted by the management staff of Facebook Inc., notifying me that I had been demoted to Two-Faced Book. I cringed.
I emailed my brother, painfully careful to ensure that the message was going just to him and recounted the whole ordeal (which with my run-on thoughts can eat up KB’s like no other). Dax of course would be fast asleep in Toronto, the hum of streetcars lulling him into REM hours ago. Again, I had this thought, am I the only one? (Besides Melissa Etheridge who’s the only one who’ll walk across the fire and drown in her desire when all your promises are gone).
Wasn’t there a Friends episode when Rachel or Monica left a message on someone’s answering machine (Ross or Tom Selleck’s?) that they were frantic to retrieve? Now of course, you can do a few dry runs of a voice mail message and continue doing takes until you are happy with your no longer original message. This is what I needed, someone to prompt me and say, ‘’are you happy with this message? Do you realize 20 other people are going to read it, Dummy?’’
I stopped fretting because it was out of my reach, but as I walked to catch the matatu to Kampala, I hoped that karma wouldn’t bite me in the ass. I think it did take a chomp though when the boda I was on was sandwiched between two matatus later that morning. And, the boda bike did bounce off two bumpers, oh, and then I was clipped in the elbow by another boda mirror—and slammed my helmet-less head on my driver’s helmet when he narrowly avoided a collision with a Corolla. That was enough karma right?
Anyway, I can’t be the only one. It happened to my brother, and me in a span of hours. Does anyone want to confess? It would make me feel so much better—and, c’mon, I revealed the Vanilla Ice eyebrow thing. I am exposed, I am raw, I have librarians contacting my parents in Brantford with thousand dollar fines. Please share, because you know I’d walk through the fire for you, Melissa is not the only one.

Categories: Polyblogs in a Jar | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bullied Into Blogging

Last year I narrowly avoided the pencil jeans craze and am stepping clear of the Daisy Duke short-shorts phenomena of 2009. However, I was the first and only one to own a red faux-leather Michael Jackson Thriller jacket in elementary school. Sometimes I am ahead of the crowd and sometimes I choose to avoid from what I presume will be a bubblegum fad or a phase. Like Facebook, I would have bet a lot of Monopoly money that it would become Phasebook, so I was the very last to join the social media ranks. Previous to that, I was the last to get an email address, despite my brother having our family connected by dial-up back in 1993.

I’ll blame it on my parents. We were the last family in southwestern Ontario to buy a microwave. And a VCR? That purchase took years (during which we rented a VCR from Jungle Video for the weekend, and my father spent two hours, mostly exasperated, connecting the machine to our console TV). I never did learn how to program the VCR because a very wise part of me knew that it would go away. The DVD will as well (hello Blue-ray!), so it doesn’t make sense to become well-versed with the settings and features now. My 4MP digital camera of 2005 is already a museum exhibit which I will display next to my cell phone of 2000 which is as big as a rolling pin.

Should I confess that I’ve never sent a text message? Oh, the humiliation! I don’t think I’ve even bothered to figure out the necessary keys to make a happy or sad face out of apostrophes and parantheses. But, the time has come for me to blog. Rona Maynard, former editor of Chatelaine told me so. And what does she know? Well, when it comes to anything literary, writerly or necessary, she would be the woman I would choose to represent me for the Double Jeopardy question in any of those categories.

 “You really MUST have a blog (I say for the hundred and 99th time).”

–Rona Maynard, April 25th, 2009

In May, when Rona roams around China possibly eating frog eyeballs and chicken testicles, I will be featured as a guest post on her website www.ronamayard.com. This post has prodded me to enter the jungle of blogging because as Rona said, how would her readers find me otherwise? Where could they go to read more of me?

In the last few months I have read three books that have stemmed from blogs: Julie & Julia by Julie Powell, The 100-Mile Diet—Alisa Smith and J.B. Mackinnon and Petite Anglaise by Catherine Sanderson. I have come to realize the power of love (thanks to Celine Dion), and the power of blogs in a society that has a hunger for the latest and greatest (preferably in word economy format that Twitter allows)with the immediacy of ordering a tall, no-fat latte.

Julie Powell’s humble blog about creating 524 Julia Child recipes in 365 days evolved into a movie starring Meryl Streep. For Smith and Mackinnon, who originally chronicled their attempts to eat local on theTyee.ca, their blog boiled into a Food Network series: The 100-Mile Challenge. The couple can now lean back and watch the exasperation as six Canadian families endure 100 days minus daily vices like coffee, tea, chocolate, olive oil and sugar.

For Catherine Sanderson, the Brit blogger living in Paris, fame came when she pink-slipped from her job at Dixon Wilson Chartered Accountants, due to her blogging activity. Her employer must be still frothing to know that canning Sanderson directly led to her publishing deal and first book. The initial gross misconduct charge was altered to “dismissal for real and serious cause—breakdown of trust.” The Petite Anglaise blogger was anonymous until press interest leaked her name. Sanderson’s complaint in court earned her a tidy sum of 44,000 euros plus legal costs and a two-book deal with Penguin Books.

As I begin this blog, I wonder where it will all lead to. Possibly getting fired if I don’t get a move on here and get ready for my real job. Don’t think Penguin will issue me a book deal for that.

with-latteAnd here I go.

Categories: Polyblogs in a Jar, The Kitchen Sink | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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