Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Blog Reflections

In a piece called Of Blogs and Reflections in the Malay Mail today - Gabby Goh asks three litbloggers, myself, horror king Tunku Halim and Eli James of Novelr about our favourite web discoveries this year and our hopes for next. Here's what I said (with a couple of bits bolded so you will take note of them). Sorry if I've gone all nerdy on you - I'm surprised myself! :
For me, 2008, has really been the year of Facebook - the application has put me in touch with old friends and made me new ones, been a useful place to pick up news and share ideas, but most of all it has been the best avenue to reach a large potential audience for the events I organise. I have set up a group for readings@seksan and look forward to another exciting year of live literature!

This has also been the year I really started to find my feet in the vast virtual world Second Life (which I initially heard about from librarian friends who have established a strong base there). Now that I can fly and teleport and have a good wardrobe of pixelated clothes, I'm busy looking around for ways the metaverse can be used to promote reading and writing activities and making connections with others from around the world interested in the same. (For a taste of what's possible take a look at http://www.writtenword.org.uk.). I've been attending poetry readings and writing workshops and see so much potential for bringing practitioners of all the arts into this very creative space. The complete beginner can avoid the traps I fell into by reading Second Life for Dummies. But the best book to help you understand the history and evolving culture of this community is The Making of Second Life by Wagner James Au. Au reckons, by the way that virtual worlds like Second Life will, in time, become our interface with the internet.

I'd like to send my thanks to all my readers for sticking with me for yet another year, and for helping to make bibliobibuli such an interactive blog by commenting on posts and emailing me links and feedback. The bookshops, local publishers and distributors have also been a tremendous support, passing me copies of free books and sending me hot items of news. I am inviting anyone who feels they would like to contribute a post on any aspect of books or writing to guestblog for me. (Get in touch with me at sharonbakar@yahoo.com). September 2009 will mark my 5th blogiversary, so I am thinking of ways to celebrate this in style!
A very Happy New Year to all of you!!!

14 comments:

Satima Flavell said...

I'll look for you on Facebook, Sharon. Happy New Year, and good luck with all those projects!

bibliobibuli said...

yes, please do add me Satima!

Eliza said...

Sharon, thanks for the links. I'd been hearing of SEcond Life a lot and it's great to know it's not that intimidating a virtual space. Happy New Year to you - and please keep on going with the blog. You've helped us readers and writers so much over these past years.

CW said...

Happy New Year Sharon, here's to a great 2009! I've been enjoying your blog for ages and look forward to more great posts in the coming year. I didn't realise you've been spending so much time in SL - I have pretty much been ignoring it but am going to have to pay more attention this year, for work purposes! I'll have to look you up :)

I'm not volunteering to guest blog, but that's because I seem to have enough trouble with my own blog these days...

bibliobibuli said...

haha CW i first heard of SL from YOU! and thought what crazy thing is this that makes even relatively sane librarians (or is that an oxymoron) venture into a virtual world. i'd love to know what you're working on. maybe we should meet for a cup of virtual coffee some time?

eliza - i found it very confusing and difficult to get into at first - it was a steep learning curve. i seemed to spend my first few weeks falling in the sea. that's why, if anyone needs a helping hand, i volunteer to show 'em the ropes. as james wagner au says in his book you must either go into Sl with a purpose - or embrace purposelessness. i went via the latter route and only gradually began to see just what a remarkable thing it is.

BorneoExpatWriter said...

Second Life - where have I been? Sounds intriguing, but I've been slow getting into blogging, into facebook (both of which are beneficial but do take up a lot of real time) so I'm not going to rush into this when it sounds like a lot of work up front just to figure it out. Keep us posted, though, and also thanks for the reminder about Cyberspot. I was supposed to reply to Sheila, but with son number one visiting us in Kuching and son number two falling on his face and nearly breaking his nose...where has 2008 gone -- cyberspace? Fortunately, I believe in second (and even third) chances.

Wishing Sharon (and everyone else), Merry Blogging and Happy New Year, and thanks for keeping us writers in the know. Where would we be without you?

bibliobibuli said...

robert - first of all now the interface for new users is much improved and secondly, there's a helping hand here for anyone who needs it! the dummies guide is also excellent. it might be something that suits you very well as there is the opportunity to get your work out to a wider audience, run workshops and interact with publishers who are themselves exploring the possibilities.

Eliza said...

Hi Sharon, actually signed up for an SL account right after your post but for some reason, have not been able to login since yesterday. It's so frustrating.

KittyCat said...

Hi Sharon - Happy New Year again!!!

You're really into Second Life are you? LOL

For 2009, I'm hosting a Read-A-Book-A-Month Challenge to encourage more Malaysian mothers and fathers to read with their children. Will you help me spread the word?

I've been receiving children's books from the US for review but would love to review Malaysian books.

Do you think they'd be interested in my blog? As my visitors are mainly from the US (go figure), it's a great platform for local writers to go international :)

bibliobibuli said...

eliza - i am finding it very hard to get into SL at the moment and get disconnected frequently too. factors i think it may be due to : 1) there's a cable busted (again) after an earthquake under the sea near egypt and our internet is running horribly slow 2) there have been some interruptions with service at their end too (you can check the grid staus at the second life blog)

our broadband connections in malaysia are invariably slower than they are supposed to be which is a frustration, and to enjoy SL to the full you need a good graphics card (i just upgraded mine)

anyway, once you're in you will find there are tutorials to follow so you learnt he basic how to stuff. after that let me know and i will help you find some nice places and some cool free stuff

Anonymous said...

SL is kind of boring, there's not a lot of stuff to read :P

bibliobibuli said...

haha anon. though i just received some nice faulkner short stories for a discussion tomorrow

k said...

the girl-in-pink avatar - is that you then? nice!

bibliobibuli said...

k - oh yes, i'm a second life hottie ... but then who isn't there?