Blogging Makes the World Go Round
A Periodic Column by Cindy Burch
A Periodic Column by Cindy Burch
In our business of retail and food service I try to keep abreast of trends, by traveling, attending gift markets and antique shows, reading trade journals, and doing my favorite form of research--- dining out. But lately, I have found a surprisingly new source of information, in the form of blogs, short for web-logs. Even though I consider myself internet savvy, I had not really paid much attention to blogs on the internet. The talented ladies, who help me at The Dove's Nest, are die hard bloggers. They encouraged me to check out a blog titled Curious Sofa Diaries by Debbie Dusenberry. Curious Sofa is a retail boutique in Kansas City , Missouri . Dusenberry keeps an online diary about her shop, and the highs and lows of being a business owner, artist and stylist. She posts pictures of her store and talks about new items that are coming in. I immediately felt a kindred spirit with Dusenberry. She carries many of the same lines we have at The Dove's Nest, and merchandises her inventory in our look and style. I found it comforting to read about another shop owner who climbs the same hurdles in her business as I do. When I first read her blog, I noticed a list of links she titles, “The Anointed”. The list consists of shop owners and artists that have inspired her. As I navigated through her links, an incredible new tool of encouragement unfolded, as each blog linked to other inspiring artists alike. I was amazed at the raw honesty these entrepreneurs were willing to share about their businesses. I felt as though I was a member of a new sorority.You don't have to be in business to enjoy blogging. Women, especially, are connecting, sharing and motivating each other in numerous areas of interests and hobbies. You name the topic, and I guarantee you there is a blog about it. Hobbies like traveling, scrap booking, jewelry making, antiquing, and cooking, are just to name a few. There are political blogs, religious blogs, and even blogs about blogs. If a blog attracts enough readers, a virtual unknown writer can become famous. Take for example, Julie Powell, who on the verge of an emotional meltdown, decided to make all 524 recipes from Volume I of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" by Julia Child in the span of one year. Powell monitored her progress by blogging about it, thus attracting the media attention that ultimately led to the publication of a best selling book, Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen. Another success story is Niall Harbison, a former chef for Microsoft owner, Paul Allen. Harbison started filming video of himself preparing recipes onboard Allen's 300-foot mega yacht, Tatoosh. He not only provided an interesting cooking video, but provided commentary on the different ports he and the crew visited along the way. The site became so popular that Harbison landed himself a fulltime job on ifoods, a professional cooking tutorial website that will launch in July. The best way to learn to blog is to blog. A hosted service is the easiest and quickest way to start. There are services like Blogger (by Google) that allow new users to set up an account for free and begin posting in a matter of minutes. I created my own blog for The Dove's Nest, http://thedovesnest.blogspot.com/ . It has been a great addition to our website because it allows me to post catering pictures the same day, talk about happenings in the store, and list new items on our menu. I also enjoy the feedback I receive from readers who may not have been to Waxahachie, but are able to get a taste of what we do, and order our cookbook online. Researchers say blogging is inspiring a new group of writers and creators to share their voices with the world. The simplest innovations are often the most effective. As we respond to ground swells of trends and change, blogging is bringing people together in a worldwide forum our grandparents would have never imagined.