Sunday, January 29, 2012

Thank you to several friends of the blog Part II

I think it's weird when someone says "friend of the blog" until I realize that I used that term myself in a post about a year ago where I thanked several people who have been influences, inspirations, and help to me:

I'd like to update that list a little with a few more names:
I recently wrote about many twitter friends I've made including my favorite grammar nazi Christine  Becker, eternal Community fanboy Noel Kirkpatrick, rapping bookworm Ellen Wernecke, and the AV Club's budding star Rowan Kaiser. All of these guys continue to provide support and ideas to bounce off.

I'd like to also give thanks to some other friends I've made through twitter that I missed last time:
Kenny Herzog is a guy who's given me advice and is kind enough to talk to me despite being wayyy more successful at what he does than I am. He said to me once, "Hey man, us freelance plebes all gotta stick together." Great words to live by.
Kenny Herzog is currently published nearly everywhere in the Western Hemisphere (he is currently looking to get in the door at the Trinidad Press for the trifecta). Rolling Stone, Spin, Time Out, MSN, New York Daily News all bear his name. Rumor has it that he freelance wrote some chapters of the King James Bible as well.

Kenny Herzog's work can be found at www.KennyHerzog.com

Cory Barker is a guy who in my early days of twitter (remember kids, these were different times. Think back to November 2010)  when no one was following me, I emailed this guy in a huffy-puffy snit over why he wasn't following me. Since then, he's been a guy who's done an admirable job of tolerating me in our storybook twitter friendship (Disney hasn't yet bought the rights to our story, but we're holding out). Cory's love of TV criticism borders on masochism. He insists on watching pretty much every show on TV and reviewing it all. Look at his end-of-the-year list and you'll see he's watched some 20 million shows in 2010 and apologized for the 4 he didn't have the time to watch. www.tvsurveillance.com

Les Chapell is a person I met when LA Times Critic and AV Club chief TV writer Todd van der Weff was compiling a crowd-sourced sitcom and Les and I agreed to share a $10 prize to type up a transcript.. Since then, Les and me have fed each other publishing tips and shared advice on how to improve each other's pieces. This is the perfect relationship a freelance writer needs and I highly recommend you all go out and find your own Les (not my Les, though, I've snatched him up). Les's work can be found at ahelplesscompiler.wordpress.com


Speaking of Todd van der Werff, who once deemed himself the 17th most prominent TV critic in the nation (how cool is it, mom, that I have the 17th most prominent TV critic in the country on my email queue?!) also played a major role at the beginning of my writing career: Namely, rejecting me as a writer for the AV Club when I was unemployed in directionless in the Fall of 2010. More specifically, Todd's biggest contribution to my writing career was taking two weeks to reject me after looking at my work, rather than just flat-out looking at my work and rejecting me outright. .

The mere mention that I applied to the AV Club and was under consideration had a few facebook friends to get real excited for me. In an effort to keep my doors open and clean up my work for when Todd would eventually take a look at it, I applied to more things in that two-week period that either accepted me or, at the very least, gave me hope to keep writing.


More than that, Todd's contributions to my career haven't been accidental. In addition to hopefully paying the $5 he owes me (and $5 to Les if he wants it), he was encouraging and kind upon rejecting me, and he regularly is kind enough to respond to me on twitter. I know that's not much, but Todd is patient enough to respond to some of the dumbest things I say on twitter (I'm not sure why he doesn't respond to smarter tweets), such as getting the number of seasons of a particular TV show wrong or assuming Davy Jones of the Monkees was dead when Todd, in fact, was standing in a room with him. Todd's writing (or the writing of the writers he hires) can be found at avclub.com/tvclub

I also have to thank Eddie Rodriguez for assisting me in being published on cracked and offering to include me on other pitches. Neither me nor Eddie had been published on cracked before when Eddie volunteered to jump on board the idea of an unpublished writer like me and bring it to fruition. Since then, Eddie's had phenomenal success on cracked with 6 or 7 pieces to his name last I checked. Thanks also E. Reid Ross over at cracked for helping to work with me on pitches as well and volunteering to troop on through my examiner recommendation..

In the world of print, I have been lucky enough to be published in 4 different print publications over the last 12 months*-Sun Gazzette, Connection NewspapersFalls Church News Press, and Washington City Paper, in addition to toptenz.com, gunaxin, patch.com,  and Arlingtoncounty.com and thanks to all the editors at those places and anyone on staff who helped me. I wouldn't want to mention any of them by name because that would make it look like I'm sucking up to them for more articles but I would like to thank one of them, Philip van der Vossen, for his transparency and his interest in hearing writers' opinions and suggest to freelance writers that Gunaxin.com, while not necessarily the most profitable place on the web, is not a bad place to consider because its editor-in-chief is a trustworthy and fair guy.

At Connection, I had the opportunity to work in an office setting with a number of interns and other freelancers who were great company and inspiration. Maya Horowitz, an intern-turned-freelancer, worked side by side with me for quite a while and has been a source of support even after my leaving the Connection. To see Maya's exploits at the Connection and to learn what it's like chasing local leads for a community newspaper, she can be found at mayahorowitz.wordpress.com.


A special thanks also to aspiring editor and Connection intern Edison Russ for helping me tremendously in terms of teaching me how to write better and self-editor (this blog entry was live for half a day before I recognized that mistake. That's how badly I need Edison) . He stayed behind on the last day of his internship just to help me with my grammar. He also looked at my blog recently and tried to compliment me on my ironic misspellings of certain words, unaware that I didn't misspell those words on purpose. I would highly recommend Edison to anyone interested in hiring him as a rearranger of words in (that mistake took an extra two run throughs for me to spot. Read every other entry of this blog to see how much I suck at grammar and self-editing) and inserter of punctuation marks (I guess that's what they call a copy editor?). I almost had an opening for Edison at Arlingtoncounty.com and he was a good sport when it fell through.
Edison's collegiate portfolio can be found at edisonruss.webly.com.


Thanks to all the interns I worked with at the Connection who made last summer more exciting for me and for making me feel important because I wasn't the lowest person in the office. Thanks to Isabelle for keeping me in the loop about the high school running scene, Adam for being the rounder-up of lunch-going and thanks to budding journalist Abigail for completing her fine article for me at ArlingtonCounty.com which allowed me the opportunity to say I successfully hired and supervised another journalist.





















Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Predicting the Oscars 26 minutes before they're announced

While waiting for the Oscars to be announced in 25 minutes (and counting), I'm going to post my predictions as I did at goldderby.com via invitation of the LAMB. This is solely so in the case that I'm correct, there's some evidence out there that I was either very right or very wrong.
Eight Questions to Ask Before the Oscar Nominations Are Announced

Picture: War Horse, Moneyball, Tree of Life, Midnight in Paris, Hugo, Artist, Descendants, Help

Director: Bennett Miller, the director of The Artist, Terrence Malick, Marty Scorsese, Alexander Payne

Notes: Can't spell the director of The Artist, and won't even try. Wasn't a big fan of Bennett Miller's work in Capote but Moneyball is all about the director. If Malick doesn't get nominated, that would be tragic.

Actor: DiCaprio, J Edgar, Michael Fassbender, Shame, George Clooney, The Descendants, Brad Pitt, Moneyball, Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Notes: Ewan MaGregor of Beginners is also highly deserving


Actress: Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn, Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs, Meryl Streep, Viola Davis, The Help, Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Note: I would be thrilled if Charlize Theron for Young Adult or Rooney Mara for Girl with Dragon Tattoo got nominated. In the case of the latter, I have no rooting interest for the film, but I'd want to see Mara because heroes and heroines from big blockbuster tent pole films rarely get mentioned

Supporting Actor: Max von Sydow, Extremely Personal and Up Close, Brad Pitt, Tree of Life, Jonah Hill, Moneyball, Albert Brooks, Drive, Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Notes: I'm really holding out hope for Ben Kingsley, but I thought I'd mix it up anyways.

Supporting Actress: Shalene Woodley, Descendants, Carey Mulligan, Shame, Octavia Spencer, Help, Jessica Chastian, Help, Vanessa Redgrave, Corlianis

Notes: Vanessa Redgrave is the actress I have rooting interest for. She's a living legend and it's a field almost entirely composed of newbies

Adapted Screenplay: Moneyball, Help, Descendants, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Notes: Best pictures shouldn't automatically be placed in the screenplay categories (Goodbye Hugo and War Horse). Girl with the Dragon Tattoo had as much pressure as The Da Vinci Code to not disappoint fans of the book. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was also adapted from a well-known source and succeeded despite comparisons to recent movies. A film like Hugo doesn't really stand out for stylized dialogue.

Original Screenplay: Young Adult, Artist, Margin Call, Bridesmaids, Midnight in Paris

Notes: Artist is a silent film, but that can be just as hard to write. Margin Call is wishful thinking, but it's that good. Beginners and Win Win would also be wishful thinking. Bridesmaids would definitely be a unique contender and, what's more, it's pretty probably it will make the cut. I have my personal qualms with Midnight in Paris

Score: Super 8, Artist, Hugo, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Harry Potter VIII

Notes: I listened to about twenty different scores thanks to youtube so I had a lot of samples to draw from.  Artist and Hugo both sound very much alike. Plagarism?






Editing: Girl with Dragon Tattoo, Moneyball, War Horse, Tree of Life, Hugo

Notes: Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy or Drive could easily also fit into here. Moneyball should win this. Tree of Life is an interesting conundrum: It's way too long but you have the feeling that without the editor reigning in Malick's vision, it would have been a much longer film


Cinematography: Super 8, War Horse, Artist, Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy, Tree of Life

Notes: Super 8 has amazing cinematography even if it's not a good film.. I'm not sure why it would be ignored in that category.


Art Direction: Anonymous, J. Edgar, Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy, Hugo, Harry Potter VIII

Note: Anonymous was shot using Roland "I like to blow up the world" Emmerich using mostly green screens. A very interesting and novel way to do a period piece. Harry Potter VIII, I'd put in art direction, because Lord of the Rings won in that category, and the two seem very similar in production values.





Friday, January 20, 2012

Reviews of Moneyball, The Help, and Margin Call


Just went on a back-to-back-to-back DVD watching binge over the last three nights as I figured out how to reopen my redbox account. All three films were excellent but clearly I had the foresight of all those year-end reviews to steer me in the right direction.


Moneyball:

Moneyball is all about Brad Pitt. Because the film ties Billy Beane’s journey of self-discovery to that of his sport, and because there’s a surprising amount of psychological depth to Beane himself, this film transcends the typical sports film. At the same time, it’s a very exciting sports film in and of itself.

The sad thing about professional sports today is that to spectators and players alike are excited by the whole phenomenon up until the point where they lose. This is a film that deals almost exclusively with how to deal with defeat and how victory itself is tenable. That says more about life than much of sports does today.

This is Aaron Sorkin’s third movie (Charlie Wilson’s War and The Social Network) since making the abysmal television show “Studio 60” and committed every sin imaginable in the TV writer’s bible (don’t have all the characters sound alike, don’t use the show to air out your dirty laundry, try to at least pretend to care about where your story is set, etc.) and he’s been using more and more restraint on those Sorkinisms. Occasionally, Sorkin still gets cringe-worthy as in the conversation between scouts about how they shouldn’t put in a pitcher with an ugly girlfriend.

Another weakness of Aaron Sorkin seems pretty subverted in Jonah Hill’s shy and introverted character of Peter Brand. Unfortunately he drifts a little towards Sorkinish territory towards the end.
On my top ten list (which I’m working to rapidly construct a couple weeks later than everyone else), this lands at #2. Not as profound as ambitious as “The Tree of Life” but it’s more intense and kinetic than anything else I’ve seen this year and it marries that intensity to a stronger story than a typical action or sports film


Margin Call:


The film takes place over a condensed 28-hour period as a bright employee (Zach Quinto) a couple levels below management at a multi-billion dollar investment company discovers some kink in the system. It’s 10 pm on the night when the staff is out celebrating because they’ve survived the night of recent layoffs, but gradually everyone up the chain of commands right up to the CEO, stops everything their doing and shows up back to the office, because they come to the realization that they’re company is going to be screwed very soon.

For me, it’s an especially interesting experience to watch because I’ve long relegated economics and finance to the grey areas of my knowledge that I’m too far behind on to have a chance of understanding. I could embarrass myself very quickly with a list of current news events from recent times (Fanny and Freddy, the subprime mortgage crisis) that I didn't understand whatsoever.

So as someone who had no understand of this world these characters inhabited, I can truly say the film did a very good job of not making it exclusively about numbers and graphs. Rather, it was the emotions and consequences behind those numbers  It also helped that (whether it was making some thematic point), some of the higher ups in the company had no idea what those numbers meant either.

The film’s biggest strength is how the ensemble is all on the same page. Zach Quinto, Paul Bettany, Kevin Spacey (hamming it up as the most conflicted character), Simon Baker, Demi Moore, and Jeremy Irons all seem to bring a surprising intensity to a movie that’s basically set in the same two or three rooms and features a fair amount of quasi-technobabble.

This film is definitely a keeper for my top ten as well, somewhere in the middle. It’s certainly about more than a film like “Bridesmaids” and I’m not sure where I compare it to “Win Win” which has a little more heart but has a little less solid of a cast.

The Help:

It’s probably safe to assume that the genteel life of bridge games and debutante balls in 1960’s Mississippi with those colored women lurking the background of family photos was probably a morally grayer zone than depicted in “The Help.” In this film, you have heroes and villains with Bryce Dallas Howard playing Cruella de Vil donned in the makings of a society gal. Words that I would associate with Bryce Dallas Howard (someone who I’ve been eagerly following since my older sister randomly became friends with her at summer camp 15 years ago) are enigmatic, quiet, and reserved. This is a major change of pace for her.

The hero is independent gal Eugena “Skeeter” (what a name!) Phalem, who bucks the trend by going to University of Mississippi and majoring in something other than husband-hunting. For a film that would eventually make the short-list for Oscar if all goes according to plan this Tuesday, Emma Stone was a risky choice for the lead. She looks like Lindsay Lohan and her career trajectory up to this point (minus the drugs) has mirrored hers. Stone pulls the leading role off admirably.

Aside from Stone and Bryce Dallas Howard, this film boasts a very strong cast and one of the few films that’s loaded with great female talent without looking like it’s simply an excuse to win someone an Oscar in the ordinarily thin “Best Actress” category. Mary Steenburgen, Sissy Spacek, Allison Janey, and Jessica Chastain (who holds the distinction of being in literally half the films to come out in 2011) have great parts while Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis provide the heart of the film as the two African-American maids who Emma Stone is interviewing to get the maids’ side of the story.

The film still does an excellent job at capturing a place and time, although I do wonder if it’s the most interesting place and time  

This is definitely not a film that reaches for the tragic depths of The Color Purple or Mississippi Burning. The abuse that the maids suffer is relatively mild that maids suffer in comparison to other points or subsets of in the Civil Rights era. Without having a firm working knowledge on 1960’s Mississippi, it’s a little hard for the viewer to decide how badly to feel for the protagonists. They are, after all, getting paid to do a job, and on occasion, they seem to have friendly employers.

It’s through the framing device of Emma’s story and a New York publisher’s (Mary Steenburgen’s) reaction that we learn that race divisions were tense enough that no one would willingly trash their employer. Of course, no one looks good trashing their employer today, but you get the sense that the repercussions might be more dangerous.

If there’s one other slight weakness, I’m not sure if I’m conditioned to expect dramatic films to be devoid of comedy, but some moments in the second half of the film felt more screwball comedy than cathartic. The major plot point revolving around a (without spoiling too much) rather unique slice of pie, seems a little more like a scene from some zany children's flick than a film with the kind of aim this film goes for.

The Help is still a film that swings for the fences.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Oscar buzz: Is the tail wagging the dog at this point?

I just bought an issue of Entertainment Weekly when I was was on a trip and stressed out and needed to get my mind off things, and it was comfort food to read it.

When I skipped straight to the prediction section, I started to realize a problem.
What I was reading was information I already knew with just minor alterations (i.e. now Steven Spielberg is in the best director category instead of Terrence Malick and Money isn't one of the BP frontrunners).

And then it struck me as ridiculous. I was eagerly wanting to consume information telling me most of what I already know. Then I'll eagerly watch the Oscar ceremony where 70% of the content is what I've already seen before.

The Oscar speeches will be mostly identical to the Golden Globe and SAG speeches and the results will almost be pre-ordained.

Oscar buzz likely started out as a few people wanting to be the guy in their office who says "I know who will win the Oscars," but 80% of the time, we all know who will win the Oscars and 80% of the time, the participants know who will win. How awful is it to invite Jacki Weaver (nominated last year for "Animal Kingdom") or Mark Ruffalo (nominated for "The Kids Are All Right) to the Oscars when they both know it's a practical certainty that they're going to lose. For all, we know the precursor gluttony decides the voting. Someone might have asked themselves in the 2010/2011 race: "Why should I vote for Jacki Weaver when all of the precursor awards show that it's either gonna be Hailee, Amy Adams or Melissa Leo?"

More disturbing is that when we discuss Oscar buzz, we're not actually talking about movies anymore for the most part. We're simply trying to use statistics and such to predict human behavior. Some of the most prominent people in the film criticism community are nothing more than glorified statisticians. Go to Awards Daily and you'll see that most of their articles consist of announcing press releases by various groups giving their awards of the films of the year. Commentary by the webmasters of the commenters will use this information to slightly recalibrate their attitudes about who will be selected as Oscar winners.

Just the other day, we had the Central Ohio Film Critics Awards announcing their picks. Are we now dividing states into latitudinal thirds for the sole purpose of disseminating a list of best films of the year that closely mirrors 200 other such lists?

I've previously written that the winners of the Oscars were originally publicized before the big night. Now, the stated goal of the Academy is to keep the results sealed. Technically, those awards are still sealed but when we have 8 million awards precursors; when they allow directors, actors, writers and producers of the academy to vote in other awards ceremonies; when sites on the internet are dedicated to using every algorithm they have to predict the results, what's the difference?

Monday, January 09, 2012

FAQs about blogging

How do I know whether I should start a blog?
I would recommend a blog if you have things to say and you take pride in expressing it.

Do you find yourself occasionally having thoughts about stuff and wanting to express them in a fuller extent? Do you take pride in what you write on message boards or even your facebook notes, facebook status messages, tweets, or correspondence to other people in e-mails? That’s material you can put on a blog.


Do I have to like writing?

You might or might not like the process of writing. Sometimes, I might not like the actual writing, but I do like the feeling I get of looking at something I’ve written and knowing that it was written by me. In other words, I write for love of the finished product.

In another scenario, writing might also be cathartic or therapeutic for you. It might not be the thing you enjoy most in the world, but like eating vegetables, it could be a healthy component of your daily activity.

Lastly, you might see it as an ideal vehicle for advancing your point of view or opinion.

What are the benefits of blogging as opposed to just writing on a blank word document?
Blogging is partially about creating a body of work. You can use it as a reference for yourself for things you’ve written. I’ve had two occasions where someone wanted me to write about the film “From Here to Eternity” and fortunately, I’ve already written about it multiple times on my blog. That’s fairly easy material to rework for someone else’s needs without having to rewrite the piece. More importantly, it’s a way to display to someone else what you can do which is what you often need to get ahead as a writer.

Blogging will also keep you productive. If you see that the current month has only one blog post, you think it looks kind of lonely sitting by itself and are tempted to add another one to it. It’s a fairly easy way to ensure that you’re consistently writing each month.

Does blogging make you money?

Blogging on wordpress or blogspot will likely not make you much money at all. Even if I do have ad sense, people have to click on those ads and google ad sense doesn’t yield much profit as opposed to other sites. It depends on growing your readership to 5 or 6 figures which is easier said than done.

That’s not to say that blogging shouldn’t make me money. I do firmly believe that the world is a better place if people pay for art they consume in the appropriate amount. If you enjoyed reading my piece on Capitol Critters, for example, you should pay whatever you think that experience was worth (donation jar on the top right, tis the season for generosity folks), even if it was worth 19 cents. That said, believing that people SHOULD pay and convincing people to ACTUALLY PAY are two entirely different things.

So you don’t care about the money? Why are you doing this?
For the money, of course. I originally graduated college as a na├»ve idealist who didn’t think money was important, but I've come to understand that everything I do is underlined by capitalistic motives. My goals are to grow readership and to direct you (through links) to sites where I do get paid based on traffic. That's not to say that that strategy is working particularly well.

So everything on this blog is your third-rate throwaway work?
Exactly! So if you like these measly article scraps, you should check out my better stuff. In all seriousness, though, I do strive to maintain a minimum level of quality for this blog. Putting my best efforts on this blog while trying to maintain a presence on my new home at Gunaxin and Examiner (my home of two and a half years) and give both of those outlets my best stuff can be somewhat of a challenge.

The consequences of trying to maintain a minimum standard in quality. so that anyone seeing this blog would be impressed translates to a loss in quantity. I have a lot of things I could write easily, but to write them and not have them come off as sloppy, takes twice as long.

But you’re writing is still sloppy

I’m not writing the most perfect piece with a blog entry. I’m writing the best I can in the time I’ve allotted myself to write that entry. Every fact check and spell check I do is time and it adds up. There are bloggers who argue to the contrary: Poor spelling and grammar is unacceptable. I’m not ideologically opposed to those people and would get everything right if I could. It’s just a matter of time constraints.

What are the benefits of blogging as opposed to writing for a site that pays you money?
Three main reasons:
1. Sometimes, blogging fires up your creative juices or gets the wheels turning in your brain en route to producing that thing you would get paid to write.
2. I have free reign to write whatever I like with my blog. In order to write for examiner.com, I have to go through the trouble of using their more complex interface system and I have to stick to the topic on the film industry in Washington D.C. In order to write for Gunaxin, I have to make something that’s conducive to heavy visuals. In order to write for toptenz.com, it needs to be a list. In order to write for cracked, it has to be meticulously researched and pass through an editorial team
3. Sometimes a blog entry is a first draft of a better piece and it’s good to get that first draft out.


PART II:
WHAT ABOUT ME, What should I write about?
It generally helps to write about one thing, but you don’t have to stick to any rules. If you look at my early posts, I was pretty free-flowing. In order to develop a readership (i.e. one of your main goals), you should try to stick to the same general area of interest, the same style, and/or consistent features. That’s what they call branding.

If a reader stumbles upon your blog because of one good post you wrote, they’ll appreciate that, but they might not stick around. If, on the other hand, they come across more of what bought them there in the first place, they might have cause to stick around.

What if I can’t contain myself to just one interest?
If you have multiple interests and don’t want to constrain yourself to one topic, I recommend that you rely on an efficient tagging system. For instance, if you’re equally passionate about insects, skiing, and Cambodian politics, I would just tag all three posts and clearly divide it on your blog. That way if a reader stumbles upon an excellent article on the Cambodian elections, he can easily sort his way through other articles on Cambodia.

You should also diversify how you write on a topic. I do standard film reviews, but I also have a feature on guest star rosters, a directorial list progress report, and an ongoing list of songs that I like based on lyrics, for example.

But that’s not branding!
Yes, it is. I’m actually building a new brand with each new feature I do. You might stumble upon a guest star list and want to see more of them. I know this because this happens a lot to me as a reader.

I’ll give an example: A blog I have on my google reader is Zulkey.com. The reason I follow this blog is because Claire Zulkey (a published author) interviews writers (who otherwise don’t get press coverage) and I find it interesting and informative for someone in that field.

Looking at her feed, she has two interviews from her last 12 posts. In between, she has a variety of other stuff. She has a wide variety of topics, mostly resembling the kind of oddball humor bits you’d find at McSweeney’s. She writes about boring presidential scandals. If I stumbled upon her blog article about boring presidential scandals, I might enjoy it, but I also might be more inclined next time to go to a site like snopes.com (dealing in urban legends) or oddee.com (dealing in oddball munitiae of that sort). However, because I already was at her blog (because I like her interview pieces) to check out her latest interview, I was able to jump to that piece fairly easily and enjoy it too.



Also of note, Zulkey uses the blog to promote larger projects of hers. In this case, it is an event she's speaking at.

So that's how web traffic works?
No, that's how I work. Most people are worrisomely overreliant on web searches for everything, so in response, a lot of bloggers try to make their writing match google searches by using a technique called Search Engine Optimization. People still remember branding and blog names, however.

Is that how people find their way to my blog?
Yes and no. People find their way to your material through a variety of ways, but not as many ways as you think. If you do absolutely nothing to promote your blog and if you write on a standard wordpress or blogspot account, then people will find you through searching. You can, however, network and ask to be listed or linked to by other blogs. You can also keep a twitter account and mention your blog on facebook. I personally find message boards to be an effective place.

What if no one reads my blog?
First of all, join the club. If no one is reading your blog, go get some more readers.

OK, what if I do that and fail?

That’s part of what blogging is about. Whether you succeed or not, going through the struggle of getting more readers and trying different methods to accomplish that goal will likely have taught you a lot about how networking, promotion and media work. There are people who have been interested in hiring me in the field of PR because I've been through the trenches in trying to promote a blog that no one reads

Any other questions? Post in the comment section or email me at mrpelican56@yahoo.com