Friday, November 30, 2007

Thoughts on blogging

I hate blogging.

I hate most blogs and never got the appeal.

This hatred was discovered last year when, for a previous course, I was also required to keep a blog. That's when I discovered that I would rather doing anything else than blogging.

There are some "blogs" that I read. The authors call them blogs, but the only true blog I read on any sort of regular basis is Media Nation. I read the local news blog, Bruins blog, and other sports blogs on, but I don't consider those blogs. They're more just online updates put under some category in the sports section.

Would it be considered blogging if the updates were just posted on the online sports page or on the home page? I believe that's the same as CNN or the New York Times updating their sites throughout the day with new news items. It's not necessarily blogging.

I enjoyed my online journalism class this semester, don't get me wrong. What I learned about taking pictures, editing audio and visuals, and putting together slideshows will be invaluable as I attempt to find a job in the field of journalism after my graduation. But the blogging aspect of this class was hard for me.

Personally, I'm a news guy. I love breaking news and other hard news. Blogging, I feel, requires too much of an opinion in a person's writing, which is the opposite of what I've been trained to do. Some people are better at it than others. Most people are better at it than me, but, as the saying goes - to each his own.

Veggie blogs

So, as I said in my last post, I enjoy eating. Which is good and bad because I tend to eat not-so-healthy foods(deep fried buffalo chicken).

So when I stumbled upon Veggie Friendly, I didn't expect to be impressed or interested, but I gave it a shot.

I'm glad I did.

The food on there doesn't sound too hard to choke down and, on a personal note, I should eat healthier - at least that's why my friends keep telling me.

I especially enjoyed the entry about pizza because even if it's a veggie pizza, it's still pizza. And who doesn't love pizza?

What's for dessert

I love to eat. That's clear to anyone who knows me.

But dessert is one of my favorite meals of the day. And I'm pumped that I found a blog dedicated to deserts with a local hook!

Fussy Eater is a great blog to read on a full stomach because if you haven't eaten in a while, those hunger pains will only get worse.

The blog, unfortunately, isn't updated too frequently, and when there is a new post, it tends to be more about baked goods in general. However reading back a bit further reveals some tempting tips about local bake shops right in the area.

The pictures that go with the posts make the blog that more appetizing.

Now for dessert.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Underage blogging

Thankfully, I'm over 21 and don't have to worry about not being able to get into an event or some 21+ club/bar, etc.

But one college student has had enough of the local under-21 scene (or lack of it) and has started a blog dedicated to events for all ages.

The blog only started this month, but after reading the couple of posts makes me wish this blog was around a couple of years ago when I wasn't 21 yet.

There's a lot of "underground" events the author blogs about, but he makes them sound appealing and sometimes includes mapquest directions to get to the location. Another useful feature is the calendar of events.

I wouldn't be surprised if the blog skyrockets in popularity soon.

Quick side note: For those that don't understand or forget how lackluster the under-21 scene is in Boston, here's a refresher.

More geekiness

I thought this blog was going to be lame. I mean, it's called Boston Geek. What more of a hint do you need?

Then I found that this author has reviewed more than 100 beers and I found myself sitting at my computer reading through the reviews and thinking about what I would be ordering at the bar tonight.

Besides the booze, the blog also has posts and podcasts that focus on "tech geekiness and gaming geekiness."

Personally, I'm not into gaming or tech stuff, but the beer reviews make the site well worth a visit.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hey! I'm bloggin' here!

This couldn't be more true:

"When you are on the T, it's best not to make eye contact. If you do, we know you are new to the whole public transportation thing."

That's from the author of the blog Driving to Work. It's a great blog based on a simple premise - a man's daily commute to work.

The author takes public transportation and somehow (I'm assuming some blackberry or similar device) blogs while he commutes to work. The posts are interesting because they appeal to anyone who has taken the T more than a couple of times. I just wish it was updated more frequently.

City seen again

Here, again, is another blog with daily photos from around Boston.

Unlike the blog from the previous post, this blog seems to be more focused on Boston.

Also, from the pictures, it seems this author/photographer actually likes the city and is not trying to leave.

Despite the title, the author is definitely not clueless in Boston.

Bloggin' the Bard

This isn't really a blog. It's actually a live journal page written like a blog, but I liked it so I'm putting it up here.

The site is just a list of entries about Shakespeare-related events going on in and around Boston. There haven't been too many events in November so far, but October seemed pretty full of Bard days.

And, if you've ever seen Shakespeare in the Common, and liked it, then this site will be useful to you.

City seen

OK, if I haven't said how awesome a city Boston is, then I'll say it one more time just in case you didn't get it the first 843 times.

Boston's great! There's so much to do and see here besides the typical touristy trail-type stuff. And, even if you've been here for years, decades, etc., there's still new, interesting things to discover.

This blog showcases Boston through a lens. The author/photographer posts one of her own photographs each day. And, although her profile makes it seem like the author doesn't particularly care for Beantown, she takes photos that showcase "everyday" Boston.

Let it snow

Here's a link to a blog for "Weather geeks."

I'll admit it - I am a "weather geek" as the blog puts it. I would track hurricanes for fun, download the National Weather Service maps and all that jazz. But school work has since rained on my weather hobby parade.

This blog, run by the MetroWest Daily News, is pretty new, but already has some interesting facts posted, especially about my favorite type of precipitation - snow.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hub history

One of the reasons why Boston is such a great, diverse, and cultured city is that its roots are deep in history.

From the birth of the Revolution to the discovery of new medicines, Boston is one historic place.

And one local historian is attempting - through his blog - to reach out to the masses and explain some of Boston's less glamorized historic events and places.

The blog can, at first, seem a bit dull, but that's because the posts are not about the same aspects of Boston's history that you hear over and over again.

Budding blogs

I recently stumbled upon a blog directory and it listed blogs broken down by categories. I clicked on gardens, figuring there would be so many I'd have to do some digging.

Turns out there's only three, at least according to this directory, and one of the blogs is run by a daily paper up in Lawrence. The others are both from authors living North of Boston.

The two independent-run blogs can be found here and here.

If you're like this author and don't know the difference between a daisy and a daffodil, then you can find these blogs interesting as the posts go into detail about each author's garden. The author's passions is evident as soon as you finish reading the first post.

I also like the description on the back quarter blog that reads:

"Sometimes your mid-life crisis puts you in the driver's seat of a granny car rather than a sporty convertible. Deal with it."

Hairbrained blogs

This blog is a great example of how you really can find a blog about anything.

It doesn't have much to do about anything, but during my research I came across it, read it, and became interested.

It's like a bad TV show where you start watching it at its premiere and it turns out to be bad, but you're too invested in the characters that you have to keep watching.

Oh well. Enjoy.

New blog, new insight

Some blogs that pop-up post about the same old stuff. Others take a new idea and try to run with it. And others put a new spin on an old favorite.

There's been travel blogs as long as there have been blogs. People - especially Americans - love to travel and are in the top group of people who spend their money and time traveling.

When it comes to traveling in Boston, the Go Boston Card Blog seems to have the Hub covered.

The blog even had this Bostonian surprised at what he could learn about the city he grew up in from a new travel blog.

The blog is updated frequently with a list of weekly activities and guides to getting around each scene in Boston, from nightlife to shopping to vi sting colleges.

There is one catch, that isn't much of a catch anyway. The blog is operated by a group that sells a "multi-attraction pass" for Boston. I'm not sure if they're only putting events or places up on their site where you can use the pass, but it sure seems like you can use it everywhere.

The blogs worth checking out, even if you live in the city. You might learn something new.

The people's blog

There's not much I enjoy or like about blogging, but one side effect of blogs that I do agree with and encourage is how they facilitate discussion.

Blogs create some sort of stir when there's a post about a certain subject. Readers of the blog can then comment and the author can then comment back. Then there are the blogs that take the "discussion" to the next level.

One such example is the blog Fitchburg's Voice.

The blog is an outlet for citizens of the city many miles north and west of Boston to post comments and voice their opinions, concerns, whatever, about a certain topic. It sounds like a message board, but the moderator helps out here.

Instead of letting people go off on one topic for however long, the author of the blog creates a new topic or a subtopic every so often. During Fitchburg's recent city election, the author posted a couple of times. One post asked "Who did you vote for and why?"

Unfortunately, no one has yet to comment or start the discussion. The idea is good. Let's hope more people realize that. Maybe they're too busy commenting on sites that post pictures of celebrities pets in Halloween costumes?


Here's just a quick link to a list of blogs in the state broken down by town.

Some of the western towns appear to have a blog, but it's just the wicked local link. Other towns or cities, like Cambridge or Mendon, have some blogs operated by townspeople and not journalists, which can be a good thing and provide a different perspective.

The link listings, which seems to be a project of h2otown's Lisa Williams, is a useful tool for finding blogs about specific cities, towns, or neighborhoods.

Holy blog, Cardinal

Who says blogs are for the younger generations in touch with modern technology?

Well whomever did say that hasn't read Boston's holiest blog.

Cardinal Sean's Blog, as you've guessed, is updated by Boston's own Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley. The blog started out over a year ago, before the Cardinal's trip to Rome, as a more modern way to communicate with fellow area catholics about his trip and what he was doing over there.

However, the blog is updated once a week and is a great new resource for area catholics to stay more connected with the head of Boston's archdiocese.

The posts are incredibly long, but they're full of pictures, so that helps a little.

I was hoping there was at least one podcast on there because I vaguely remember the Cardinal doing one recording of a Mass perhaps, and putting it online somewhere. However, I couldn't find the podcast anywhere. Anyone that's heard the Cardinal speak before knows he has a wonderful voice, especially for radio or any sort of audio. Hopefully he'll start podcasting soon. Couldn't hurt.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Have yourself a merry little blog

Christmas IS the most wonderful time of the year.

There's just too much to say about how great Christmas is, so I'll spare you the long post. But here's a link to a good, local, blog that's all Christmas, all posts.

Hopefully, I'll find more local, great Christmas blogs to post here later.

Big 3 blogs

OK. So I guess I can't post about the Sox, Pats, and B's and then not post about the 2007-08 NBA champion Boston Celtics.

Any realistic C's fan will tell you that the team was just bad over the past couple years - actually for a while, but they were just plain bad the past few years. Finally, their front office made some trades, got some absurdly amazing players, and suddenly the C's are 11-1 and are picked by a number of sports media outlets to be the number 1 contenders for the NBA title this season.

There's always been the standard blogs about the C's and, of course, the recent pop-ups since the C's are now a force in the NBA. But the simply titled has been around since 2004 - a year when the C's lost more games than they won.

The site bills itself as "interactive community dedicated to providing fresh, comprehensive coverage of everything related to the Boston Celtics and the larger world of basketball." And it's a blog of its word.

A real Boston Red Blog

In a city where almost every resident lives and breathes baseball, fans are always looking for more and new information about the hometown team.

The two newspapers in Boston try their best to provide readers with in-depth and complete coverage of the Red Sox. On game days there's no shortage or ink used up on the Sox. And I won't even mention special playoff sections. There's also no shortage of Sox blogs based in the area.

But one blog has become the blog to go to for Sox info.

38 Pitches is a blog that news outlets have confirmed is updated by Sox starting pitcher Curt Schilling.

The blog has become its own news outlet in recent weeks. It was Schilling who announced his own resigning, which other news organizations then attributed their reports to.

Some of the posts are long - very long, but I don't think many Sox fans have a problem reading anything Schilling posts, no matter how many hours it takes them to finish reading it.

Blog for art's sake

Since the filming of Good Will Hunting, Boston's cache as a city for filming movies has grown exponentially (we can't forget the recent help of The Departed). And with this growth has come a renewed demand for information about Boston's movie scene.

That's where comes in.

The blog is a pretty good source for information on Boston's movie and TV scene. However, it's not limited to the big and small screens. The blog provides information on some of Boston's biggest attractions - the Wang and other performing art centers of the Theater District - and, of course, Boston's sports teams.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

One for the blogoholics

With dozens of universities and thousands and thousands of college students in Boston, one would bet there would be more blogs about drinking or "the bar scene."

But while doing research for this blog I found that to not be true.

There are a few good blogs that discuss alcohol and "the bar scene," but with a certain audience in mind - that of the Allston/Brighton/Cambridge/Somerville/Medford/etc.-based grad student or young professional.

One of the more comprehensive drinking blogs is's updated by a freelance journalist, so you know the author knows how to drink.)

The blog provides some interesting tidbits and facts about drinking and certain kinds of alcohol and even provides information on upcoming local drinking events or tastings. However, as I wrote earlier, this blog, like most of the others, has a certain audience in mind.

It's not aiming for the undergrad crowd, which I don't understand why one of these blogs hasn't yet. If I had a nickel for how many times I asked my friends, or vice-versa, where we were going to drink this weekend, or where can we go for a different "scene," or rent was due this week, where is there cheap beer, I wouldn't have to worry about drinking money.


Here's a quick post about a fun site I recently found.

It's called Boston Behind the Scenes and it's more a blog full of podcasts than an actual blog. I've listened to some of these and they turn out to be really interesting.

It seems like the author focuses on some of the quirks that make up Boston, or things that would undoubtedly be on a tourist's checklist. However, after listening to some of the the author's podcasts, the information in them can inform even someone that has grown up in Boston all of his or her life.

Be surprised and listen for yourself.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Pats blogs

No. This post isn't about people named Pat. It's about the newest dynasty in the National Football League - the New England Patriots.

The Pats, who are now the only undefeated team in the NFL with a record of 9-0, are undoubtedly the most interesting team in football right now. Their quest for the perfect season is being watched closely by Pats fans and foes alike. As soon as it could, NBC switched its scheduled Sunday night prime time game between Chicago and Seattle to the New England vs. Buffalo game on Nov. 18.

The interest has lead to an increase in chatter among Patriots bloggers.

One popular blog, Reiss's Pieces, is updated almost daily, and on game days forget about keeping up with the blog as the amount of posts can surpass the two dozen mark. The blog, updated by Mike Reiss, the Patriots beat writer for the Boston Globe, reads not only as an analytical sports report, but also reads as if a fan were writing it.

The amount of detail in Reiss's blog is unmatched and his love for the team doesn't interfere with his writing.

Another blog, Patriots Locker, is run by a sort of conglomerate of sports blogs updated by local writers. Judging by the number of comments per post, the blog gets a decent number of visitors. However, as some readers comment, the posts are bogged down with stats. There are updates to player situations and injuries, but hardly any commentary or analysis except for the occasional adjective.

More blog law

I've recently discovered another local and interesting legal blog, which makes a great follow-up to an earlier post.

The "Boston Immigration & Nationality Law" blog is updated by a local attorney, Joshua Paulin, who "serves the immigrants in the Boston and Framingham metro areas."

Paulin's blog offers information that can be useful to local immigrants. From legal information, to local immigrant informational meetings, to visa bulletins, the blog serves as a centralized source for a broad range of helpful programs for immigrants. Some of the posts are even written in Spanish.

After the recent raid by Immigration and Customs Enforcement on a New Bedford factory that employed scores of immigrants, this blog serves a true social purpose. However, one has to ask if the people willing to work for little pay in poor conditions can even access Paulin's blog.

Blog law

Newspapers and other media outlets are not the only one's that have to adapt to the Internet to survive this new media age.

Personal injury lawyers are also turning to the web to not only "inform," but to advertise their services.

One such lawyer-turned-blogger, Christopher F. Earley, has at least three blogs that offer "information and a general understanding of the law." There is a disclaimer on his sites that warn readers that the blog is for "educational purposes only" and "not to provide specific legal advice."

One of Earley's blogs, simply titled "Massachusetts Personal Injury Blog," is a little misleading. The personal injury blog reads more like his other blog, "Massachusetts Auto Accident Blog." Both blogs do provide legal insight that is pretty random and not timed to any recent news event. For example, some posts on the personal injury blog deal with truck accident statistics and myths about traffic tickets. Also, both blogs haven't been updated in about a month or so.

His third blog, which also hasn't been updated recently, is a little more focused. The "Massachusetts Slip and Fall Information Blog" does exactly what it says - provides legal information to those who have slipped and/or fallen.

There's no signal as to where Earley went or why he stopped, but he is still licensed in the state as a lawyer and has no record of discipline. Maybe the blogs worked so well as an advertising tool he became too busy to keep up with them?