A place where stories, thoughts and ideas come together

Monday, August 23, 2004

Blogging everywhere

Last week, I registered for a TechSoup Online event: Weblogs: Beyond the Hype.
I found out about on the onlinefacilitation Yahoo list, and because my first blog was trying to make the voice of an NGO heard, I thought I should jump in.
It was supposed to be a discussion about the ways in which nonprofits can use weblogs.
Tools, ways to attract readers and working routines have been discussed, but there was not much feedback on NGO experiences with blogs.

Friday was dedicated to an open discussion, and Marnie Webb, the moderator of the event, posted there a list of useful links from the Global PR Blog Week:
All the Basics in One Place
Blogs for Government
Blogs for Non-Profit Orgs,
that were supposed to be a basis for discussion (check them if you're looking for information on the ways NGOs and governments could use blogs in their interaction with the public!).

On the same day, Webb also moderated a session called Blogging: What is it and why should you care, at the N-TEN 2004 San Francisco Regional Conference. He had the intention to also blog the event, tempting some Audio Blogging. Probably something went wrong, because he didn't succeed.

Because of the time zone difference, they were always starting their discussion after I was leaving my office in the afternoon, so the only time to catch up was the next morning.

With Luxembourg, things are somehow weird: there are no Internet cafés (correct me if I'm wrong!). Just a few free access places meant for unemployed and young people that close at 6 pm and never open on week-ends. This week-end, I accidentally discovered one recently opened on Avenue de la Gare. It seems it's the first! So my blogging was kind of suffering, because neither working late nor coming early in the morning at the Institute were encouraged.

Somehow funny, in my first days here, I jumped off the bus because a saw a bilboard with the word Net on it. Wishful thinking: it was an abbreviation from Nettoyage à sec (dry cleaning shop!). But never mind - I just got my own ADSL connection at home!

|| Gabriela 12:12:00 PM
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Friday, August 20, 2004

Having a Blog Mission Statement

Sonny Cloward from the Craft Emergency Relief Fund had an interesting contribution about Having a Blog Mission Statement at the TechSoup Forum Weblogs - Beyond the Hype.

"Like trying to describe the purpose of a nonprofit, the mission statement is (or should be) the most clear and concise explanation for why your organization exists (...).

Similarly, a blog needs a mission statement. I believe a blog's mission statement needs to be: 1) a description of what a blog is, 2) what purpose your blog serves 3) who its audience is 4) and why it's important you are blogging (i.e. its actual or intended impact). All in 50 words or less.

Well, I think I should try and formulate mine as well...

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Tuesday, August 17, 2004

ERCIM Fellowships

I received in my e-mail box the news about the new ERCIM Fellowship Programme for 2005-2006 being launched. The deadline for applications is 30 September 2004.

"ERCIM offers postdoctoral fellowships in leading European information technology research centres. Fellowships are of 18 months duration, generally spent in two research centres. Competitive salary. Deadline for applications: 30 September 2004. Full description of the programme, conditions and the online application form can be found on the ERCIM website."

After finishing my PhD I had the idea to write a book titled "The Sufferings of the Young PhD Candidate". At that time, I had never heard about blogging. Now I think I should start a category called "The Hurdles Faced by a Research Fellow". Honestly, I could help others to avoid some of the obstacles. Few days ago, I found out that my Institute is going to welcome a new ERCIM fellow starting with the 1st of September. I could spare him a lot of trouble. Hope they will ask me to! Anyhow, I volunteered.
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Thursday, August 12, 2004

Just my imagination?

Strange things happened to me this morning.
First, the bus didn't arrive on time. It never happened before. Then the connecting bus was 12 minutes late.
Opening my e-mail box was a bigger surprise: I got a message from (a post I made on the 1st of July from Graz on my class reunion blog). We experienced an incident few months ago, when someone (apparently one of us!) deleted some posts I was referring at, making me sound like a fool. That's when I decided to use this Blogger facility and to mail all the posts on my personal address. Well, every post was sent to me since then. Two days ago, I got this post from 1st July in my mailbox again. OK, a malfunction, a virus, God knows!
Today, I got it again- the same post.
And this was not enough - I also got a message from COGAMI - our Galician partner in an educational project, dated 17 June and advising me to cancel my flight to La Coruna and to book a flight directly to Compostella - a message I never got before, otherwise I would have taken it into consideration!

OK, probably my provider experiences some problems. This is a logical explanation.
But it is worth it to have a look at the stars: Mercury is retrograde (apparently going backwards ) and because it is the ruler of my birthsign, Virgo, I'm more inclined to experience its influence than others.

Mercury rules a range of activities that include speech, writing, publishing, translating, listening, research, editing, buying, selling, advertising, negotiating, publicity and any other communicative art you can think of. Mercury also rules travel and shipping, and even these areas might cause problems this month. (via Astrologyzone)

Is it real or I am making it all up?! Let's say I feel better when I can find an explanation to some odd things that happen to me!
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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Testing Meme Propagation In Blogspace: Add Your Blog!

This posting is a community experiment that tests how a meme, represented by this blog posting, spreads across blogspace, physical space and time. It will help to show how ideas travel across blogs in space and time and how blogs are connected. It may also help to show which blogs are most influential in the propagation of memes. The dataset from this experiment will be public, and can be located via Google (or Technorati) by doing a search for the GUID for this meme (below).

The original posting for this experiment is located at: Minding the Planet (Permalink: – results and commentary will appear there in the future.

Please join the test by adding your blog (see instructions, below) and inviting your friends to participate — the more the better. The data from this test will be public and open; others may use it to visualize and study the connectedness of blogspace and the propagation of memes across blogs.

The GUID for this experiment is: as098398298250swg9e98929872525389t9987898tq98wteqtgaq62010920352598gawst (this GUID enables anyone to easily search Google (or Technorati) for all blogs that participate in this experiment). Anyone is free to analyze the data of this experiment. Please publicize your analysis of the data, and/or any comments by adding comments onto the original post (see URL above). (Note: it would be interesting to see a geographic map or a temporal animation, as well as a social network map of the propagation of this meme.)

To add your blog to this experiment, copy this entire posting to your blog, and then answer the questions below, substituting your own information, below, where appropriate. Other than answering the questions below, please do not alter the information, layout or format of this post in order to preserve the integrity of the data in this experiment (this will make it easier for searchers and automated bots to find and analyze the results later).

REQUIRED FIELDS (Note: Replace the answers below with your own answers)
* (1) I found this experiment at URL:
* (2) I found it via “Newsreader Software” or “Browsing the Web” or “Searching the Web” or “An E-Mail Message": Newsreader Software
* (3) I posted this experiment at URL:
* (4) I posted this on date (day, month, year): 10/08/04
* (5) I posted this at time (24 hour time): 14:11:00
* (6) My posting location is (city, state, country): Luxembourg, Luxembourg

OPTIONAL SURVEY FIELDS (Replace the answers below with your own answers):
* (7) My blog is hosted by: blogspot
* (8) My age is: 45
* (9) My gender is: Female
* (10) My occupation is: researcher
* (11) I use the following RSS/Atom reader software: Bloglines
* (12) I use the following software to post to my blog: Blogger
* (13) I have been blogging since (day, month, year): 04/10/03
* (14) My web browser is: IE 6.0
* (15) My operating system is: Windows 2000

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Friday, August 06, 2004

Burnout or fractured personality?

I had a crazy, but wonderful period. I attended, one after the other:
- the I-KNOW '04 conference in Graz, Austria (30 June-2 July)
- BlogWalk3 in Vienna (4 July)
- BlogTalk 2.0 also in Vienna (5-6 July)
- the PACE project meeting in Santiago de Compostella (8-9 July).

During all this time, what was happening around me was much too important to let me time for breath. I didn't dare to blog, even if I was given all the chances to do it! I guess I wanted to experience everything at full intensity, even if in my head, I was blogging all the time!

I arrived back to Luxembourg three weeks ago, in an empty apartment, realising that my electricity and gas were cut off in my absence. Back on Earth!

It felt like I arrived here for the first time: it was a continuous struggle with the bureaucracy to get accepted and find my place here. Then I had to register to several other authorities, to move all my stuff from Germany over here, to buy basic furniture...

No that this was done and I found my peace again, I think I can go back to blogging.

I felt bad all this period about deserting my blog, and I made great efforts to come back. Then I read Bloggers suffer burnout in Wired and I thought maybe the same happened to me: I'm done!
Two days later, I discovered Nancy White's post about trying to catch up, and I felt a bit better.
Probably I will never suceed to catch up, even if there are so many things about these past events I would like to talk about. But why not start again now, and see what happens afterwards?

During BlogWalk3, I had few apparently neutral talks that made me reflect on my blogging. First, speaking in a group about my thoughts being spread throughout several blogs, Elmine told me she considered blogging about my personal life only in Romanian unfair. She argued that people reading Coniecto can only perceive one of my facets and are prevented from knowing me better. Then, speaking about my passion for astrology and sharing pros and cons during lunch with JJ Merelo and Fernando Tricas, JJ asked me: Do you blog about this? And I said yes, often, but only in my personal blog I keep in Romanian(which is a mixture of links, quotations and stories about myself).

Doubt was already planted in my head. By trying to keep my personal life out of my so-called professional blog, I made it sound false. I missed a voice. OK, people were able to guess a lot about me just by looking at the kind of things I usually post. But I think Elmine was right: this is not fair! A sort of gap developed between me and my own blog, keeping me from writing when I was mad and sad. I think I am ready to accept now that this is me, and there's no use to hide that I have doubts, fears and preferences, just like any other human being!

So, back on track, trying to put my "fractured" personality together right here, in what was meant to be a serious, strictly professional weblog.

After reading yesterday Olaf Brugman's serie of posts about the spiritist perspective on social development and knowledge management and finding it really interesting, I feel a lot better about thinking of studying the possible influence of stars on people's inclination to blog.

Blogs can foster our weirdest ideas, serendipity arises on the edge (I read this few days ago in a blog, but I can't find my bookmarks anymore), so why not?

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