Posts Tagged ‘Entertainment’

Have you ever written a blog that was never read? Then you know how frustrating that is. If you’re just starting, you want to avoid this situation. Here are some ways to make a good, interesting blog.

    • Steps

      1. 1

        Choose an interesting topic. Boring topics generally are not good for blogs, unless you are one of few people who are genius writers; those who can create beautiful prose even when writing about the most mundane things.

    • Pick a topic that you know and are passionate about, one that other people can relate to. If you like video games, for example, write one detailing your experiences playing them. Note that this kind of blog is different from a ‘Dear Diary’ blog discussed below.
    • Avoid writing your own biography. A “Dear Diary” blog isn’t interesting to other people unless you are a really significant person. Think about it: who would really want to know what you ate for dinner? This kind of blog is self-indulgent and gratuitous; it does not offer anything to the people reading it.
  1. 2

    Funny blog posts tend to become viral. Humorous charts, pictures, and videos are great supplements to your text.

  2. 3

    Do not rehash or rewrite blog posts from famous blogs. Try to think of unique things to write about, or write an opposing view on a certain subject.

  3. 4

    Instead of just repeating news reports (as most bloggers tend to do), write your own commentary. What do you think of an issue? Offer your views and analysis. Ask you readers what their opinions are too. This brings us to:

  4. 5

    Make your blog interactive. Provide your readers some way to express themselves by letting them comment on your articles and voting on polls.

  5. 6

    Write clearly. Be conscious of grammar and spelling. Write the standard way; it is irritating to read words and sentences like ‘tHiS iS a CoOl SeNtEnCe,’ or ‘Wh@t are you D0ing?’ for example.


  • Make sure you have good visuals. No one likes to read a black and white blog. There can be pictures or videos and they do not necessarily have to be of you.
  • Be honest and true to your views. This makes you a sincere and reputable writer. In being one you’ll eventually have a loyal readership, one that will keep coming back to your blog and recommend it to others because they know they’ll get high-quality and helpful reads every time.
  • Inform you readers from the beginning if an article is sponsored. People hate being led-on and tricked into reading a blog post that they expect to be helpful, just to realize that it is a subjective and promotional one.


  • Never plagiarize other blog posts, news articles, reviews, and books. Copying and pasting articles and passing them off as your own is illegal and immoral. Provide proper attribution if you must quote another’s work.

Article Info

Categories: Blog Basics

Recent edits by: Vasiliaskid, Justine Halligan, Teresa


Tina Fey actress, comedian, writer and producer known for her roles on Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock …

“Follow your fear, which in improv usually leads to someone making you sing an improvised song or rap, which is the worst thing that can happen. But the larger thing is the notion that if something scares you a bit, it means that you should follow it a little bit. Now, ‘follow your fear’ does not mean that you should get in the car with a weirdo in a small parking lot. But it does mean that there are moments in your life when something comes up, a chance to move to a new city, or the chance to study in another continent, read your short story out loud, and you feel a lot of fear. And that fear means that you should definitely do it.”



It’s hard. It’s hard to move away from fear. Hard to be willing to fail. Hard to try and perhaps not succeed. As a result, we end up with so many things we haven’t had the guts to do yet and so many reasons why we haven’t done them. The real question is, what are we going to do about it?

We could sit and complain about how we don’t have time, or how the right situation just hasn’t come up yet, or how it’s just not a priority right now or instead, we could take action.

Earlier this year, I suddenly became very aware of one of my own fears that I had been avoiding and decided to do something about it. The journey so far has been eye-opening.

Improv is terrifying to most people. In fact, it was to me when I first started, and it was that fear that kept bringing me back for more. And every time I’m on stage, I’m working to be more and more comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Early in my Improv career I had the opportunity to study with David Shore. David had always encouraged his students to follow their fears, and even though I was probably one of David’s more terrified students, I always took that message to heart.

Especially when he chose to lead by example by performing a one man solo improvised show. The idea that anyone would ever even consider attempting such a thing was enough to send chills up my spine. But he did it and it was amazing. It was at that point I knew that one day I also wanted perform a one man Improv show.

Years passed and I never did perform that show, until one day Andy Eninger came to town to teach a weekend intensive on solo Improvisation. This was what I needed! I always wanted to do a solo Improv show, but I just didn’t know how! Here was an opportunity to learn! Do this, and then on to the performance!

Not so.

While I managed enough courage to sign up and attend the course, I never did perform that solo Improv show…

Fast forward a few years later, I’m hanging out after a show and I get to chatting with a fellow Improvisor. He was performing in a one man scripted play and I asked him, “Have you ever tried solo Improv?”, and he replied, “Nope, you?”.

And that’s when it hit me. For years I’ve been wanting to do this, for years it’s been in the someday/maybe pile, but for years I’ve found excuse after excuse to put it off.

That night I decided it was time to make this dream a reality.

And so it’s happening, June 15th, 2012. You can buy tickets to come see the show if you’re in Toronto and want to come check it out.

But this article isn’t a plug for a show (but by all means come to the show), it’s about the realization I had that these things don’t just happen. It’s up to us to take the steps to make them happen. And some times the first step is simply making a commitment to get something done and to give yourself a deadline to reach a certain goal.

So I thought, why not invite other people to participate in this event? Why not see if there are others like me that have a list of things they’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t yet gotten to? And so I opened Follow Your Fear Day to anyone in the world who wanted to join. All they had to do is sign up to make it known that they were going to do something about it by June 15th, 2012.

And that’s when things got even more interesting…

As I talked to people about this event, so many of them were excited about it.  They would tell me how they thought it was a great idea and they’d tell me about all the really amazing things they’ve always wanted to do and then I’d send them the link to sign up and then…



People, when faced with actually doing the thing they’ve always wanted to do, more often than not, don’t. Some have signed up (and kudos to them), but the majority have not.

The Follow Your Fear Day facebook fan page has almost 100 fans. So far none of the sign ups for the event have come from there.

We like the idea of being someone who could be somebody or could do something, but when given the opportunity to put it to the test and risk finding out whether we are or are not that person, we freeze.

Perhaps it’s loss aversion? Perhaps the idea of losing this concept of ourselves is too tragic to put it to the test.

We like things like TED talks and inspirational quotes, but perhaps these things end up doing more harm than good. They make us feel good about ourselves, like we’re people that could do the things these people talk about. Like we could change the world by simply sharing a link, but when it is time to take action, we don’t.

Think about this in your organization. We would all like to be in organizations that valued their employees and allowed them to be innovative, creative and produce high quality software. We’d love to be in a company that did pair programming, TDD, CI, and continuous delivery, but when given the opportunity to make it happen, will we? Or will we find some way to maintain the status quo?

Take a few minutes and think about what it is you want to do, whether it’s in your personal life, or in your job and instead of just saying “some day”, sign up for Follow Your Fear Day and make something happen.





Season 8, Episode 21: Romeward Bound

by  • 5 months ago • Episode DiscussionSeason 8 • 1 Comment


Ok.  I watched the episode this morning, so I’m all caught up now.  Overall, I’m giving this one a solid B/B+.  I’ll explain why below.

Romeward Bound

What Was Good

As usual, the humor.  Particularly with Barney, there were a few real laugh-out-loud moments.  I loved the whole “Indiana Jones would not look at this body.  Her body could melt the face off a Nazi.”  “I want to get my face melted off!” bit was great.  The line about “Please.  Use a tripod.  Shaky-cam isn’t artsy.  It just looks sloppy” was hysterical, at least to me.  (I’m really NOT a fan of shaky-cam.)

Also, the Godfather II references were great.  “Cic’!  La porto!” and the Don Fanucci outfit that Marshall wears (which, apparently, was real and not just some dream sequence like Ross and I were guessing ahead of time).  My only gripes were that (1) Frank Pentangelli actually says “Cic’!  A porto,” I think, and that Marshall’s hat could’ve used a bit of work at the brim.  But I guess the props department didn’t want to shell out for that nice of a hat.  Understandable, I suppose.

Structurally, this was also probably one of the best balanced stories we’ve seen in a while.  The Lily/Marshall story was solid and entertaining with good use of Kyle MacLachlan, but also seemed pretty meaningful.  Marshall’s work is on the slide-out, Lily’s dealing with her own professional anxieties, etc.  And the Barney/Robin/Ted triangle was well played, too.  I particularly liked how it seemed all jokey-jokey on the surface, but had a few really meaningful moments.  More on that in a bit.  But really, I think the thing that worked best about this episode was that it didn’t try to run too many different plotlines at once, and the plotlines it was running weren’t so complex as to compete too much with each other.  You just had a solid A and B story, and that was that.  For next season, I really hope they try to do more of this.  It’s a return to show’s earliest form when you’d usually only have two stories going on at most.

What Was Meh

Marshall’s job being on slide-out seemed a bit of a convenient dodge to me.  It worked, but it was just a little too wrapped-up-with-a-bow to me.  I’ll allow it, though.

I’m not sure where they’re gonna go with the whole “The Ericksons move to Rome for a year!” storyline.  I’m a little concerned that they’re doing this to remove them from the board so that Ted’s left even more alone (which seems kinda unnecessary, given that they have a kid who, by the way, shouldn’t he be headed into toddler territory by now?).  The trouble I see on the horizon is that they move them away, only to undo it a few short episodes later.  “Oh, it didn’t work out.  The Captain got bored, so now we’re home!”  I don’t like when shows make major changes and then just hit the undo button, ya know?

Other than that, no real complaints.  I didn’t “like” Barney’s behavior in this episode, but I liked it.  See below.

General Thoughts (salute)

So.  The Ericksons are Romeward bound, per the title of the episode, thereby removing more of Ted’s support structure.  While it’s unlikely they’ll stay the full year, I could see the time they’re in Rome accounting for the summer break.  Maybe when they get back they meet the Mother who’s with Ted and the first half of Season 9 will be Ted and the Mother jointly telling them how the relationship got started.  Say…  That’s actually kinda clever, if I do say so myself…

Anyway, so, they’re headed out, presumably after the wedding.  And speaking of the wedding, Barney’s getting married in 3 weeks, which apparently puts this episode actually a little forward in time to, like, the middle of the 1st week of May, 2013.  Not 100% real-time, I guess.  Also, they have a wedding planner just showing up at T-minus 3 weeks?  Good luck with that, guys…

Now, as for the real meat of the episode…the interplay between Barney, Robin, and Ted (whom I shall now refer to as “The Triangle” in the interests of brevity and because I think it sounds cool).  We’re clearly starting to build the tension in the season, and I can see that Ted busts his hand up due to a fight with Barney maybe.  Also, Barney’s reaction to Ted warning him about being too casual with Robin?  Dude.  Bit of a dick move there, twisting the knife about “You’re not getting married, Ted.  She’s marrying me.  Not you.”

Could it be that Barney is more than a little threatened by Ted?  Hmmmmm…..  Maybe this whole “I’m staring at boobs everywhere and making threesome jokes left and right” is all a cover for Barney’s insecurity.  Likewise, Robin’s clearly acting like it ain’t no thing, but I think Ted’s right – below the surface, she’s scared, too, and Barney’s cavalier attitude…probably not helping.

I’ve been wondering how they’re gonna deal with those issues, and have been a bit frustrated at how pat the solutions to the various “I don’t trust you” issues have been.  How quick and sitcom-easy-resolved-in-22-minutes they’ve been.  Robin freaks out, Barney gives a flowery but Barney-esque speech, and all is well again.

Or perhaps not…  It could be that all those tensions come roiling to the surface again in the next three episodes.  Because, and this to me is the important part, as cool and tough as both of these characters are (Barney and Robin, that is), they are fundamentally driven by insecurity and self-doubt, which only makes them try to act tougher/braver.  I’m looking forward to seeing how all of that is ultimately resolved (hopefully by the end of this season and NOT dragged out into the start of next season).

And lastly…Ted.  Poor Ted.  Have I mentioned that it was a dick move by Barney to twist the knife like that with Ted?  I mean, on the one hand, yeah, I get it.  Ted’s an ex of Robin’s.  And it’s a bit presumptuous of him to be telling Barney how to behave towards his fiancée.  On the other hand…Ted’s right.  Robin may seem cool with all this, but it’s gotta be eating at her.  And Barney is being pretty insensitive (and, to my eye, insensitive in an almost defensive way, if that makes sense).  But I really felt for Ted.  Josh Radnor played that scene masterfully.  Actually he and Neil Patrick Harris both did.  It was the perfect balance of cruelty on Harris’ part, and appearing wounded but trying to hide it on Radnor’s part.  Really just top-notch acting there.

So, yeah, a solid B/B+.  We didn’t REALLY move the story forward, but it looks to me like we laid some important groundwork leading into the final three episodes.  Here’s hoping next week continues the streak!