Sunday, June 10, 2007

Harry Blalock: On Blogging

fI thought Blogging was taking Saipan by storm several months ago. Now it is really picking up steam! Read what Harry Blalock had to say about the Saipan Bloggers in this Week's Food For Thought:

I had Walt Goodridge come on my morning talk show, Island Issues a week ago, and we had a good discussion about where Saipan is heading, and what role each of us may play in it's future. In case you're not familiar with him, Walt is an author with quite a few books under his belt at this point, he also write a column each Wednesday in the Saipan Tribune called the Saipanpreneur Project, and he is the founder of the We Love Saipan internet network. I swear Walt's brain is clicking away about 28 hours a day with all kinds of plans and ideas. I have invited him to be a regular guest on Island Issues to discuss his ideas and to hopefully inspire you listeners about some of your hidden potential as well. I believe he's going to take me up on it, and I'm genuinely looking forward to seeing what comes out of it.

If you haven't checked out the We Love Saipan web page, let me encourage you to do so, it's at www.welovesaipan.com. And if you'd like to write a little testimonial about why you love Saipan and have it included on the page, they are always looking for more people to be included. Especially if you have a web page or a blog, it is a great place to link to, and help build exposure for the network and for your web page as well.

As I read through some of the people's blogs, I was finally pushed off my lazy backside to start my own blog. I have had people suggesting it for a long time, but I always thought it was too much work setting up a website and everything. That's because I had never really checked out www.blogspot.com, it's basically blogs for dummies. It takes all the work out of it, and you just click on the options for how you want your page to look, and it does the rest of it for you. Oh yeah, and the best part is, it's absolutely free! So then you can upload pictures to your blog, it makes it very easy, you really don't have to have any html knowledge at all. Then you just write whatever you want to say in your blog, just like you'd type it out in a regular Word document, and push the Publish button, and then you have it, your own blog.

This is truly a great way to get free exposure for Saipan, and to let other people see Saipan from your eyes. They can see the pictures you choose to put online, and hear what you think about things. This is a great way of countering that website, which shall remain nameless, that has nothing but bad things to say about Saipan. When Walt started the We Love Saipan website on December 6th of last year, it was ranked 155th in the Google search for Saipan. As of this morning, when I just checked it, it came up in the 10th position. The more people that connect to the network, and the more hits it gets, the higher it will climb in the Google search. Wouldn't it be great to have a website promoting Saipan in a positive light be the first thing that comes up in a Google search? While this may not fix all the problems currently facing Saipan, it is certainly a step in the right direction, and it allows you to become a part of the solution.

And I have to admit, I'm enjoying blogging, it's a way to put down your thoughts and observations and have them recorded before you forget them. It's basically a modern day journal, only one that you let the world read. You can talk about anything you feel like, and make it as personal or impersonal as you wish. For me, it's a way to talk about more things than I can cover in my weekly Food For Thought. So some of my blogs will be my thoughts about various issues or events, while others will be talking about my 27th wedding anniversary with Kelli, which we just celebrated on June the 7th. So just in case you don't get enough of me each morning, and once a week with Food For Thought, now you can read my ramblings on my blog as well. I can't guarantee that it will always be something you'll be interested in, but then again you don't have to read it if the title doesn't interest you. I'm telling you, if I can do a blog, anybody can do a blog, it really is that easy. Mine is at www.saipandiver.blogspot.com.

In my blog I've talked about having some of my underwater pictures published in an upcoming book, the Saipan Chamber of Commerce scholarship program, the meeting with Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne, my sons new ferrets, and Kelli's and my 27th wedding anniversary. Like I said, you can talk about anything you feel like. In my case, I usually don't have nearly enough time in Food For Thought to talk about all the things I'd like to, so I find this is a good supplement. It allows me to go into other topics that might not make the cut for Food For Thought, and it allows me to talk about things that our family and friends in other locations might be interested in.
This comes on the heels of Jeff Turbitt's piece on blogging in the Marianas Variety and right before Dr. Khorram's article in the inaugural issue of MP magazine. We're famous!

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