Category Archives: blogging

Blog Inaction Day

Yesterday I lamented about the old posts that get forgotten in the blogosphere. Today I have a solution.

We need to collectively stop and take a look back.

That’s why I am proposing a Blog Inaction Day.

That’s right. A day of inaction. A day where all bloggers don’t publish anything. A day where we bloggers honour the past by doing nothing except reading old entries. We can dip into the vaults of our favourite blogs or explore blogs we’ve never been to before.

We can keep a record of what jewels from the past we were able to find. We should all find at least five articles from the past that interested us in some way. We can then go and post the links up on our blog. No commentary is needed.

All we need to write is, “Look what I found in the sandbox!”

Then we will let the discussion begin. We will have created a dialogue with the past. We will honour our history and still move forward.

What’d ya say. Are you with me?

Blogs are Disposable

You know it’s true. I mean, when was the last time you read a post of any blog that wasn’t the most recent post?

Why is it that we always gravitate towards the newest material? We only want to see the latest movies, either at the ciniplex or at the rental store. We only want to see the latest research in anything we are interested in.

The news is the same way. We don’t read old newspapers or old magazines for the most part. We read them quickly and throw them them away just as quickly. We are always looking for the next thing.

I think we sometimes need to work against this commonly-held belief that it’s old it doesn’t count. There are some jewels of knowledge hidden in previous blog posts, old newspapers, old stories, and old theories.

My old posts mean something to me. They are there for you to browse through if you choose to. But who has the time?

So old posts are discarded and never to be thought of again. At least, they aren’t recycled into a new edition like the daily newspapers are. The old posts remain. The titles call for your attention. But like the voices of the elders, we seem to be hastily moving forward all the time. Maybe this isn’t the best practice.

What do you think? Are blogs disposable? Do our voices matter?

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post as I will continue along this theme.

Welcome to the SC!

Silent Cacophony was born a long, long time ago. I remember exactly how it started.

I was fishing through the dictionary and came across this wonderful word “cacophony.” It meant a harsh or discordant sound. I didn’t even know how to pronounce the word at the time, but it resonated with me for some reason. I also immediately thought of the oxymoron “Silent Cacophony.”

This term energized me. It felt like a description of who I was. I didn’t feel like I fit in anywhere. I hadn’t yet discovered my place in the world. I tried to make noise so people could know me but it didn’t work. I felt invisible. This was the perfect term to describe myself.

It was also the perfect term to describe the act of writing. Words can speak volumes even though they make no noise at all.

So I decided this term would be the title of the book I had always wanted to write. I was a teenager at the time and I thought I had all the answers (boy was I naïve.) Anyway I wrote my observations about life in a coil notebook. I didn’t follow through with it though. The book was never completed.

Years later, I decided to start writing seriously. I wrote a screenplay and had a few other ideas floating around in my head for some novels. I thought I should have an on-line presence if I wanted to become an author so I set out to get a blog. Right away, I knew my blog should be titled “Silent Cacophony.” I was glad it was available in blogspot and I got right to work.

Since then, I have written a verse novel, a young adult novel, a short story, some poems and songs, and a literary novel. My blog has grown and developed too.

If you are new to Silent Cacophony, please check some of these posts. If you are familiar with me and my blog, please check these out for a trip down memory lane.

Thanks for stopping by!

Five Year Mission – My very first post

A Nice Short Story – Survived by Stuff

The Title Here Says It All – Nothing

On The Radio – Chase March on a Podcast

Hip Hop Commentary – Rap Isn’t Music

Relationships – Whatever Happened to Commitment

Break Up – Trouble With Falling

Twice as Much Work

It’s a bit frustrating teaching a split class. There is just so much stuff that I need to juggle. I’ve been trying my best and I know that I’ve been doing a good job. But I also know, that I can always do better.

I’ve been staying late almost every single night for the past two weeks. I’ve been trying to figure out how to teach the Grade 3 and Grade 4 curriculums at the same time.

Truth is, sometimes I just can’t. There are certain lessons or topics that I just can’t fracture. I need to spend some time on these topics so that everyone in the class can understand them. So I try to teach a lesson that can apply to both grades and then just vary the work that the students do afterwards.

Of course, this doesn’t always work. I find that I don’t have enough time to do everything that I want to do. So I need to pick and choose which topics or lessons need more time and which ones don’t.

The problem is that I know my students are losing out, just a bit. I can’t spend as much time on a science unit as I can if I were only teaching a single grade.

I finally have my year plan down to my liking. The problem is that I am already a week behind schedule. I found that my students needed that extra time for this current unit of math and science. So I gave it to them. Now I need to trim my plan once again.

It’s really not fair.

I also found that I don’t have the same amount of time I used to have for blogging. I think I might drop down to only three or four posts a week. But I don’t really want to cut back on my posting schedule. Besides, if I do that, wouldn’t I need to change my header again?

Ah man, there’s always something more to do. It’s crazy. I need a break.

Good thing it’s a long weekend.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Why Blogs Suck

Last week when I was at the university for the radio show, I picked up a copy of the student newspaper. I haven’t read it in quite some time. Truth is, I used to write for it way back when.

I read almost through the entire publication. It’s still just as an interesting read as it was back when I was still in my undergrad. The paper hasn’t changed much, and surprisingly, the student voice still seems familiar to me.

Anyway, I found an interesting column by Sarah El-Hamzawi. In it, she discusses why blogs suck. I really got a kick out of her viewpoint and I agree with most of it. It might be strange for a blogger to actually say that, but she even admits to blogging. So here goes, the condensed version of her article.

Why Blogs Suck

1) It makes anyone an expert.

2) They are killing off the pen to paper means of writing.

Remember when you had a real journal and not a “live” one?

3) I can’t escape them.

Those are all good reasons Sarah. I agree with them and I have much of the same gripes about the whole thing that you do.

Anyway, go read her column f.u.b.a.r. I think I will be checking for that every week now.

You Talked Me Off The Ledge

I almost quit blogging last week. It didn’t feel like there was much value in it anymore. It felt like I was just going through the motions.

I actually wrote a post titled, “What’s the Point?” where I contemplated the entire process of this blog and its purpose. I didn’t publish it though.

I did, however, drop a few comments on some other blogs that really reflected how I was feeling at the time. On Blogging Without a Blog, Barbara asked her readers “How do you see yourself in blogosphere? How do you see me?” I immediately started typing;

“I feel like I’m a tiny pebble at the bottom of the aquarium. Nobody watched the pebbles. They wouldn’t notice if I disappeared. It seems like there are enough pebbles doing the job…”

Barbara wrote a great reply that made me feel much better about my role in the blogosphere. So I emailed her to thank her.

She then used my crisis of faith as fodder for her next post. Tonnes of responses came in and I was really surprised at the amount and value of those comments. They really helped me to realize that real reason why I blog.

I blog because I enjoy writing. I enjoy the comments and discussions that have sprung forth on this and my favourite blogs. I like the small community that has developed around these blogs as well. There were some really touching comments that made me realize that I was worrying about stuff that I didn’t really need to worry about.

So, I’ve gotten over my crisis of faith, thanks to all the great community members in the blogosphere. I really appreciate all the advice and encouragement you’ve given me.

Thanks for talking me down from the ledge.

Still Trying to Find My Rhythm

School is back in full swing but I’m still trying to find my rhythm. I feel better when I know exactly what I’m doing and the best way to work things. But I’m still adjusting to my new school, their established rules and routines, and a having a split class. I’m trying to develop my own routines and get my class running smoothly as well. It’s a lot to deal with, and has been taking up a vast majority of my time.

I haven’t had much time online since I got Internet service at home. And the time I have had, I’ve been searching for new music and podcasts. It’s just the novelty of being able to finally do that. It feels like I’ve really joined the digital age now.

I haven’t written much. I haven’t really replied to any blog entries. But I’ve continued to read my favourites in Google Reader.

So I’m still trying to find my daily rhythm. I hope I find it soon. Things seem a little crazy right now and I’ll look forward to everything slowing down and falling into place.

Welcome to My Talk Show

I have begun to think of blogging like talk radio.

I love talk radio.

It is great to tune into to a show daily and hear the host speak about a variety of topics. My favourite talk shows don’t carve out a niche. They explore a vast array of topics. And this is important.

I don’t normally care what topic my favourite hosts put on their shows. That’s not why I tune in. I tune in because of their personality. I tune in because of the way they handle the discussion. I tune in because it is comforting to hear them. I think blogs are like this as well.

I visit blogs regularly because it feels like I have a connection to the author. I like to join in on the discussion. I like to hear their take on issues. I like being exposed to topics and discussions that I wouldn’t otherwise be interested in.

This is why I don’t think blogs need to be limited in focus. Yet, I see things written all the time that say we need to identify our audience and write for them. I don’t believe in this.

I think as authors we needs to write primarily for ourselves. We need to write with passion, we need to be open and honest in our writings, and we need to foster discussion by replying to comments with respect. If we do all of this, then we are a lot like radio talk show hosts.

So come on tune in to my show every weekday. I will be here discussing things that may concern you, things you might not have thought about, and things you probably should think about.

Agree with me, disagree with me, it doesn’t matter. Join the discussion. I look forward to hearing from you as much as you do reading me. Without your readership and comments this blog wouldn’t work. We are in this together.

Thanks for joining Silent Cacophony, the Chase March show.

Comment Moderation – On or Off?

I have had comment moderation on my blog since I started it. I wanted to make sure that no offensive comments or language were ever posted on my blog. But so far, I haven’t deleted one comment because of this criteria. In fact, the only comments that I didn’t approve were spam. And that has only happened twice.

The comment moderation feature does not allow me to alter the comment in any way. It just gives me two options; approve or deny. I normally approve every comment that I get, and I wouldn’t want to edit anyone else’s thoughts anyway.

So, I’ve been thinking that maybe I don’t need to moderate comments anymore. I’m a little hesitant to cancel the feature though, simply because I want to keep my blog G-rated. But I think that normal people, and my readers in particular, won’t take advantage of an open comment format.

Most of my favourite blogs don’t seem to moderate comments. And they don’t seem to have a problem with inappropriate remarks. Besides, I can always delete a comment after it has been posted if need be.

I also like going to other blogs and seeing my comment appear immediately. Your comments won’t show up immediately on my blog. They only show up after I have approved them. My question is, do you like to wait? Does it scare you away from making a comment? Does it impede the discussion?

Man, I’ve got so many questions about this feature. But I’m still sitting on the fence. So what do you think, should comment moderation stay on my blog or should it go bye bye?

Work It In

It’s funny how my original Silent Cacophony book that I wrote in a coil notebook got put away for years but would not die. It stayed with me, even when I thought it was completely lost. And when I thought of starting a blog I knew that it had to have the same title. But after finding my book two weeks ago, I was shocked to see that the coil notebook was indeed the start of this blog.

It kind of reminds me of the original idea I had for my last novel. I wrote a scene that told me exactly what the book was going to be about. I couldn’t seem to start the novel though. It took me a few weeks to get going on it as I cooked the idea some more in my brain.

That original scene didn’t actually come into the novel until I was way into it. It managed to fit nicely into chapter 3. It managed to work itself in.

I always wanted to be a writer. In fact, I considered myself a writer long before I started this blog. I was just a writer that didn’t write. A writer who tinkered around with some horrible poetry and some pretty pedestrian rhymes. A writer who had a novel in him but couldn’t find the time to write it. A writer who was scared to even try.

But the story wouldn’t leave me alone. It was hard to write that first one but the story insisted on being told. It found a way to work in to my life. And I’m glad it did.

I love writing now. I have written quite a few different things since then. And I plan on continuing to write. Writing has managed to work its way into my life just as those original writings in my notebook found their way into my blog.

It’s amazing how things seem to work out, but they always do. It seems like I tried to start this blog a decade too early. Like Barbara, I seemed to be blogging without a blog. Perhaps the timing just wasn’t right. But it looked like I knew what I wanted to do with it. I’m just glad that I finally did it, and I will keep doing it. Silent Cacophony for life!