The diverse blogging universe: five blogs worth following

One of the reasons why I started blogging was to connect with other like-minded bloggers expressing themselves online and in doing so discover great stories, ideas and photographs.

In the few months that I have posted on Freshlyworded, I have come across some sensational blogs full of witty, clever and insightful ideas and a passionate and committed collection of bloggers.

Freshlyworded, apart from being a blog about my opinions about a variety of topics, has no real theme. It’s kind of like the sitcom ‘Seinfeld’ – a blog about nothing (and everything).

But the majority of blogs I have come across and interacted with have a definite theme and I have enjoyed a number of these for a variety of different reasons.

The great thing about the internet and online tools like wordpress.com is that they make it so easy to create your own blog and start expressing yourself.

The challenge though is to stick to it – and write (or photograph) interestingly and creatively and to entice people to read on, to comment, to link, to ‘follow’ and to ‘like’. After all, everyone who blogs wants an audience otherwise, we’d just write a personal diary and keep it in the drawer beside our beds.

Among all the thousands of blogs out there, these are five that I have enjoyed over the last few months (in no particular order):

Blog: Toemail
Address: http://toemail.wordpress.com/
Bloggers: Quillan and Angela with submissions from readers from all over the world
Started: 2010

The jist: The blog asks people to send in photos containing a portion of their feet taken in some interesting part of the world. Sometimes the toe is incidental to the photo – the backdrop is what matters – or it is the centrepiece. But mainly it’s a blog about exotic and interesting places where people’s feet have walked. Photos come from all parts of the world, sometimes they are photos of real feet and sometimes they are the feet of statues and paintings. And there is often a touching or interesting story written about the photo too.

Check out: This post about a painting by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo taken in Mexico City.

Blog: The flash fiction daily
Address: http://flashfictiondaily.com/
Blogger: Daniel Jevon
Started: October 2012

The jist: This blog is quite simply the embodiment of the phrase “truth is stranger than fiction. Every day Daniel Jevon writes a short story based on a true event or at least one reported as true in the newspapers. At the end of the story he provides a one line summary of what actually happened with a link back to the original article. It’s a clever idea and makes for some good ‘fiction’.

Check out: This short story called “A hate crime”.

Blog: Broken light: a photography collective
Address: http://brokenlightcollective.wordpress.com
Bloggers: Run by a  “magazine and book photo editor in New York” with submissions from all around the world
Started: March 2012

The jist:  The blog acts as a place where people suffering from mental illness can express themselves through photography and words. Photographs can remind those struggling with these challenges of better, more hopeful times and also as a way to convey thoughts and feelings and what it’s like to be trapped inside your mind. The ultimate goal of the website is to have a gallery space dedicated exclusively to “displaying and selling works by artists who struggle with mental illnesses, as well as helping them to learn and grow by offering free photography classes and workshops”. The images are some startling, often moving and deeply felt.

Check out: This almost Hitchcokian-image taken by someone suffering from depression.

Blog: Ambling around Brisbane
Address: http://amblingaroundbrisbane.com/
Blogger: Paul Dean, an expat-Brit living in Brisbane, Australia

The jist: This is a blog about photography and words. Paul has a great eye for photos in a city setting, with many photos taken in and around Brisbane. He also stimulates thought and discussion with images selected from around the world. But it’s the photos in and around Brisbane that I really love – it’s a personal thing for me as I lived in Brisbane for just over a year. Paul has a knack for finding the beautiful, bizarre and poetic in the mundane.

Check out: These images of Brisbane architecture and this photo as part of one of his weekly photo challenge “Big”.

Blog: Think. Act. Ethics
Address: http://thinkactethics.wordpress.com/
Bloggers: Abbie, Magdelina, Marion and Sophie studying communications at Southampton Solent University

The jist: the blog is part of an ethics course being taken by the four university students. It raises ethical issues such as “Is torture ever justified” (such as when the information extracted can or could have saved lives) or “Do you agree the burqa should be banned?” The authors do a good job of highlighting both sides of the debate and make you re-consider your stance.

Check out:  This post on the topic of euthanasia.

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