“Blogging is best learned by blogging...and by reading other bloggers.”
-George Siemens, theorist
Thursday, 30 September. Umbro's design studio is filling up fast. Aside from the sports brand's cardboard cut-out cartoon characters, there are also actual human beings populating the building- specifically bloggers. We're here basically to try to get more readers.
Blogger Fat Roland welcomes us and introduces the night. Here's his electronica-based blog: http://fatroland.blogspot.com/
He hands over to Aaron, an Umbro representative who gives us the low-down on the location. The venue is a cross between a design studio and a shop, and has very recently opened. Umbro itself has spent 85 years operating in Manchester, but now with the arrival of the new studio there will be a new slant: You'll soon be able to walk into the store and design your own football shirt... and then buy it! Hurrah.
Every year, Umbro give £60,000 to fund public events. They recently held a giant tea party in London. Got an idea that could bring people together? You might £10k to fund it if your idea's good enough. This ain't on the website yet, so there's some insider gossip for you.
I was firing blog cards with the enthusiasm of a 1980's Manhattan yuppie. Other people were shouting about their writing, and I promised I'd shout them out too.
This bizarre but interesting collection- appropriately football-themed- is “a collection of work about Roy Keane, luck, and scarves.” They're open to submissions... NOW!
In the site's words: “The concept behind 330 Words is simple. Take a photograph and let it inspire you towards a piece of fiction. Let your photograph form the foundation of your story. Choose your own genre and style. Keep the entire thing under 330 words.” I promised the editor I'd have a go. Stay tuned, my friend.
Lee Moore's movie blog. Go Lee. He pointed out- accurately- that his blog is the top Google search result if you were to query “penguin abuse”. Hmm.
Dave Hartley's blog “Do a Barrel Roll” was a winner at last year's Manchester Blog Awards. The theme? Film reviews and rabbits. Find good writing on both of these topics, here.
Here's another thing I learned on the night. Want more info on your blog readers? Apparently this site works:
It's handy to know how many readers you have, obviously. It also tells you which web page they had been on before clicking to your site. A kind-of “where they found you” device. I'll throw it on my site soon.
The night's highlight- bumping into someone I gave a blog card to about 18 months ago, who still reads my work. Miracles happen. Keep reading!