BEDA #2: The 5 Avenues of Online Conversations">BEDA #2: The 5 Avenues of Online Conversations

As the title of my upcom­ing book is The Great­est Blog­ger in the World I have started to be asked ques­tions like, ‘Do you think you’re the great­est blog­ger in the world?’ and ‘What’s it like hav­ing a blog and talk­ing online?’ Firstly, I am not, will never be, don’t want to be, can’t think of any­thing worse than being known as the great­est blog­ger in the world. So, no. And sec­ondly, at the risk of talk­ing about talk­ing and never say­ing any­thing new or real I’d like to talk about talk­ing. They say that there are five lev­els of conversation:

1. The Weather.

It’s start­ing to look like rain”.

2. A topic.

I catch rain in my water tank.”

Water tanks are cool.”

Yeah, way cool.”

3. Ener­getic conversations.

I can’t believe our fathers both sold water tanks back in the 60s!”

Life was pretty strange with a water tank sales­man for a dad!”

Tell about it.”


4. Mean­ing­ful

So I just don’t know any­more if my father loved me then or loves me now.”

All because of the tanks?”

5. Mean­ing of life-ful

Yeah, all because of the tanks. Is this how life is sup­posed to be? I feel like I’m doing it all wrong. Or maybe Dad did it all wrong.”

I think it all depends on how you look at it. Is the water tank of your life half-full or half-empty?”

As more and more online social net­work­ing sites are used (and more and more arti­cles called ‘So What Is This Twit­ter Thing Any­way?’ get pub­lished in week­end news­pa­pers) eti­quettes and ‘appro­pri­ate behav­iours’ for these sites become more evi­dent. For exam­ple, it’s not really cool to post some­thing like ‘Andrew just got dumped and is very sad. I hate you Rebecca!’ on Face­book or Twit­ter. These sites are for flip­pancy, pho­tos and gen­eral news and info. How­ever this is not to say that all types of con­ver­sa­tions can­not hap­pen online (I lose 2 writ­ing points here for my dou­ble neg­a­tive). Which brings me to my Five Avenues of Online Conversations:

1. The weather

The weather and related small talk can hap­pen pretty much any­where online. Although bor­ing con­ver­sa­tions may raise ires if you’re IM–ing.

2. A topic

Per­fect for book­mark­ing — Digg, deli­cious, etc as well as the Twitterbook.

3. Ener­getic conversations.

You could do these on Face­book or Twit­ter but peo­ple are going to get annoyed at see­ing a con­ver­sa­tion going back and forth between you and your friend. You’ll call it ener­getic, they’ll call it inane. Email or Direct Mes­sage it the way to do Level 3. Also, blogging.

4. Mean­ing­ful

Email or Direct Mes­sage, but really IM is the best course for this. And any insight­ful blogging.

5. Mean­ing of life-ful

IM. It’s the only way to ‘talk deep’ online.

My lists and rant­i­ngs are, in them­selves, flip­pant and not to be taken too seri­ously. The only real impor­tant thing to say is that any type of con­ver­sa­tion can take place online. Talk­ing online is not a sixth, dif­fer­ent level of con­vers­ing. Unless you think that shar­ing links to silly things is a supe­rior level of com­mu­ni­ca­tion that can ONLY take place online and is there­fore a sixth (and quite beau­ti­ful) level of com­mu­ni­ca­tion in itself.

Blog Every Day April

So it turns out that April is Blog Every Day April. It’s a fun lil band­wagon that I have decided to jump onto. New York YA writer Mau­reen John­son is head­ing up the BEDA (I love a good acronym) action and blog­gers around the world are tak­ing up the chal­lenge, because, really, who can resist a silly online gimmick?

Per­son­ally, I hope BED will bring some kind of reg­u­lar­ity and struc­ture to my life. I just  hope I can see the month out. Unlike the fail­ures that were Do Push Ups Every Morn­ing March and Stop Eat­ing Apples That Don’t Belong To Me Feb­ru­ary.



While the world sali­vates over the new pics of the Where the Wild Things Are movie I thought I would share an illus­tra­tion of one of the char­ac­ters from my upcom­ing book The Great­est Blog­ger in the World.


Let me intro­duce you to Bar­code. This lit­tle guy (as drawn by the clever Gre­gory Bald­win) plays the impor­tant role of ‘fam­ily duck’ in the book. He also makes an illus­tra­tive apper­ance at the start of each of the book’s chap­ters too.  Good job Bar­code. And nice beak-clenching-newspaper skills too.


I was raised in an outer sub­urb of Mel­bourne called Wat­so­nia. The only real thing of note in Wat­so­nia is the Simp­son Army Bar­racks which began life as the Wat­so­nia Mil­i­tary Camp in WWII. Appar­ently there’s lots of com­mu­ni­ca­tions equip­ment at the Army Bar­racks which means that if Aus­tralia is ever invaded Wat­so­nia would be one of the first places likely to be bombed. At least that’s what I think I heard some kid at school say once.

Apart from the Army Bar­racks and the Wat­so­nia Library — be kind to your local librar­ian — there’s not much else hap­pen­ing in Wat­so­nia. Although the sight of Jenny Mack­lin MP cam­paign­ing out­side the Wat­so­nia Bake­house dur­ing elec­tion times is worth vis­it­ing town for. If Wat­so­nia was my bio­log­i­cal father then I could be said to have Daddy Issues.

They say that Aus­tralians have a love-hate rela­tion­ship with the ‘burbs and  I have a love-hate-lust-domestic vio­lence rela­tion­ship with Wat­so­nia. And when I vis­ited the place this week­end past I was con­fronted by the sight of an aban­doned TV sit­ting on top of a boul­der, around the cor­ner from the Wat­so­nia BP.

A TV on a rock in Watsonia

It was sooo Wat­so­nia. I loved and hated and lusted for and wanted to beat that TV on the rock. But I should stop rag­ging on my home­town now. Thankyou blog for the ther­apy times. See you next session.

Author Pics: A Discussion

The good ol’ author pic is the ire of almost all authors. Often found on the back sleeve of a book, it’s easy to see why the com­mon author treats their back-of-the-book pic with gen­eral dis­dain. There’s a rea­son movie direc­tors don’t flash their por­taits onto the big screen at the end of their movies. I mean, would the final scene of Thelma & Louise have the same impact if it was fol­lowed by this?


But to undi­gress (not an offi­cial word) my label mate at Hardie Grant Egmont, author Chris Mor­phew, recently blogged about his own author pics and pro­ceeded to label one of my author pics as a ‘Clas­sic Mope’.


I think he’s prob­a­bly right. Some other favourite clas­sic author poses include:


The Guru Pose.


The ‘I’m so doey-eyed how could you not believe me?’ Pose.


And the ‘I signed a movie con­tract and hired a styl­ist” Pose.

If a clas­sic author pose can­not be struck the next best way to show your­self as an author is to turn the author photo black and white.


Noth­ing says ‘author’ more than grayscal­ing the author pic.


And here’s my label-mate Chris Mor­phew author-ised.


Although I guess there are some peo­ple who are just never going to look like authors.

Pages: Prev 1 2 3 ...10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Next