Texture & Colour in Our Garden

This will be a bit left field for people that read this blog. But as well as loving the Internet, blogging and podcasting I love photography. I would not call myself a serious photographer or anything. I just find it relaxing and fun. This afternoon I came home from work and decided to take a few photos around the garden.

We live in the tropics and we have put a lot of work into our garden. It contains so many colours, textures and varieties I decided to try to bring some of that out in a series of photos that I put up on Flickr.

What I did was try to concentrate on texture and colour. I think the photos are not to shabby actually. I put lots of descriptions in to explain what the photos are of and/or why I took it. It was fun to do and publish. If you are interested take a look at my Flickr page.

Texture 8


Obligatory Non Conformism

Today, well yesterday Sebastian posted a story on his blog. The post was essentially about Skype spam. Anyway the story got put up on Digg and ended up on the front page. Sebastian has experienced a pretty big jump in traffic on his blog, to say the least. For Sebastian this has been a big confidence boost, there is however, more to the story than that.

If I were him I would be shit scared about what I would write next. To that end I ask this question; does the idea of social networking and peer review put undue pressure on bloggers, authors, writers or anyone that produces any sort of public content, to follow everybody else and produce what people want to hear because they get noticed.

This is such an easy way to respond to "being noticed" or to have something admired by others. Or to have someone of influence say that you have produced something of value. Do I appease these people and everyone else or do I just keep doing what I want to do because that is what I am enjoying doing? Tough questions, for me I think it would be hard. We all look for confirmation, acceptance and respect within the world in which we live, and definitely within our peers and those people that we regard as our "audience".

That caused me to think about how this type of notice generates this kind of pressure and what type of "surfer" is the average "Digger". The only way I can judge that is to think about the way which I look at articles posted on Digg. I look at the catchy title of the article, if it takes my fancy or I think it is news worthy, I click it. I might read the whole thing I might not. I then click the back button (I might Digg it I might not). It might have just be morbid curiosity that caused me to click the story in the first place and not even wanting to Digg it in the first place. Or it might have been the comments on the story that made me have a look. More so the article title may have caused an emotive response in me that made me read it, nothing to do with who wrote it or what it was about or how well it was written.

So is the average Digger a discerning surfer? Maybe some are. Those who are will go back to those sites that are worth a second look. That is the challenge that confronts the Dugg. "I am playing the big leauge here, I will have to write something that will be popular enough so that I keep these readers coming back". So with the pressure that is exerted by the average in-discriminating Digger he or she leaves in their wake a blogger (or whatever) who is feeling the heat somewhat. Therefore, is the average Digg turning our Blogosphere into a tabloid dynasty that has zero content? Does it then become tag city that loses it's way, battling over the meager offerings from the few Digg etal. sites that are out there? I think that this entirely possible due to the peer pressure factor. However, I think that there are those that will stand out once the bubble has burst. That means that we need to learn to write for ourselves, as Sebastian would say we need to "be the ball…".

I do not promote my blog much. For me the whole thing is for enjoyment and because I like it. Occasionally, I get a good story that talks about some new idea or news and I get a few more hits but nothing that special. But I know that more people read my blog today on a day to day basis than did a month ago. For that I am very grateful. I am happy to just blog when I want to, about whatever I want to, when I want to. For me that is enough.

How would I cope with "attention"? I really could not tell you because it is not something that I think will happen. For that reason I am not sure what I would do, say or write. Don't get me wrong I would absolutely love it and enjoy the experience especially the bit where your hits go up by the hundreds every couple of minutes, that would just be cool to watch if nothing else! Yet I would like to think I still had an obligation to blog about what I wanted to and still compelled to report that which had merit, regardless of pressure or the need for acceptance.

It may seem like I am flamming Digg in all this but in reality there are people, blogs, content, news items, videos [add mediums here] that should be aknowledged, admired, respected, and commented on within this community. Due to the very nature of the community and peer review this can not be censored, vetted or moderated and that is the way it should be. But the character of the person is tested to the limit in the wake of being Dugg in a big way. The challenge then is to conform or to be an Obligatory Non-conformist.

Because fireworks are wonderful, but they don't happen every day. True fulfillment comes from the tree that you planted as a seedling that is now big enough to hang a swing from for your children.

Strange Frog Happenings

Frog InvaderOur house has been invaded by frogs! The last two nights we have been inundated by baby green tree frogs, they are everywhere. Every hour or so I have to walk around the house, collect the frog and put them outside again. They mainly end up in the kitchen, as this is where the light is on.

This year we have had a fair amount of rain and I think the frogs are loving it and each other. They have bred like rabbits and now the babies have hatched the place is lousy with them. The reason that they are getting in the house is that we have an open house with no fly-screens so they just hop in through the windows and doors. I pick up about four to five each time. I don’t want them locked inside as they will certainly “croak” (eww bad pun). We are happy that they are back as the last couple of years they have not been around in great numbers in the last two years that have been quite dry in comparison.

It had to happen, but I was going to insert a picture into this post but right as I was going to take the picture the camera battery went flat. I will have to put it in later.

Well later has happened and I have charged the camera and I have taken a picture of one of the many frogs. To give you an idea of scale the frog is sitting on my middle finger. We think that they are white – lipped green tree frogs. I am stoked with the photo – click on it to look at the full sized image.