Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

This is NOT a Blog Anymore

seltzer2.jpg

Over the weekend, I purposely avoided reading blogs written by women in order to explore the world of male blogging.

Here are a few of my insights:

1) Too many men write about too many boring subjects — like computer technology, politics, gadgets, business news, and management styles.   Ironically, these are the most popular sites on the web and  make up most of the Technorati 100.

2) Blogs are getting BIG in the business world.  Companies from Microsoft to Tivo all want to market their products with a “human” face by having a “blog.”   Some even suggest that Walmart should start blogging.

IBM is getting into blogging in a big way.  According to CNN:

IBM thinks blogging is the next wave in marketing, and it’s preparing its employees to ride that wave, according to a published report.

With an eye on blogging’s potential to influence future employees and business partners, the technology bellwether began offering blogging tools to its workers six months ago, according to AdAge.com.

“Other companies have fired people for blogging, but IBM is encouraging it,” Christopher Barger, IBM’s unofficial “blogger in chief,” said in the report.

According to AdAge.com, IBM employees who blog are advised to follow the company’s business  code of conduct, respect copyright laws and to not reveal proprietary information.

The report said IBM now has 15,000 registered internal bloggers, and more than 2,200 of those workers publish external blogs.

My childhood friend, Tuck, works for IBM in New York.  I asked him today what his IBM blog was going to be about.

“I have no idea.  LAN administration?”

“Can you show pictures of your cute son on your IBM blog?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Do you know if any hot IBM women will be blogging?”

“There’s a really good-looking redhead who works in financial services, but her blog is mostly about accounting software.”

“Any photos of her on her blog?”

“No.”

“Well, thanks for the info.  My readers will appreciate it.  I’m looking forward to your first post.”

3) Some bloggers are making money.   Did you know that if you have some specific skill or expertise you can pitch your blog idea to one of the blog networks?  This will get you a lot more exposure — and maybe some money down the road.

Unfortunately, you have to have some expertise in something.  And you have to write about the same subject every day.  And if your blog is supposed to be about “Sports Equipment,” you can’t decide to write about, say — your wife.

4)  Because of the growth of blogging, the concept of a “blog” is changing.  Readers are expecting a blog to be about “something.”  IBM employees will write about IBM products.  Defamer and Gawker will write about celebrities and the media.  Engadget will write about gadgets.

So, where does this leave bloggers like most of us who write mostly nonsense?  You know, those of us who write about what we had for breakfast today?

When I started blogging several months ago, this is what I thought a blog was.  Now, I see that blogging is being usurped by those who want to say something, market something, or sell something.

Soon, a BLOG will have a whole new meaning, one associated with real-life issues.

That’s why, from now on, I don’t consider “Citizen of the Month” a blog anymore.

From now on, I will think of “Citizen of the Month” as a “Shpritz.”

shpritz:  a short spray of seltzer from a seltzer bottle

Every day, I will write a daily Shpritz.

And like a shpritz from a bottle, a literary shpritz will spray you in the face to get your attention, but it will never, ever stain your clothes.

Good-bye, blog.  Hello, Shpritz.

65 Comments

  1. Hiya! Why do they have to make any thing popular, commercialized? blogging is for an audience of one, tats rule one. It never fails tat someone will end up measuring it. sheez. cheers then!

  2. I like the term – Shpritz! Have you the copyright and trademarks nailed down? I think sitting down and writing a business plan, taking into account risk management issues and potential ROI, and doing some rigorous global marketing assessments, there’s a dollar or two to be made here.

    It really is depressing though. The company I work for has been toying with the blog idea for over a year now. I keep pleading, “For the love of God, NO!!!” (I’d probably end up being one of the shmoes having to write it.)

    It seems every idiot who works for a company and has a business degree thinks the Internet is some sort of motherload of money waiting for them to mine it. They don’t seem to understand it’s about chatting nonsense, tits and grabbing the odd tune now and again.

    One of the things you didn’t mention about those business blogs … What a humourless lot they are! Like anyone in their right mind gives a flying fuck about the future of direct mail marketing. Who thinks about that if they don’t have to?

  3. So, uh being a male blogger, you don’t read my blog? Not to give you a guilt trip I read a lot of blogs. Both male and femaie. I really love this blog the most. I’m most sincere and truthful when saying this. This blog definitely beats out many women’s blogs in my view. I am also a straight male, lol, just in case you were wondering. I’ve noticed that women’s blogs get more hits than males blogs….but I seriously think that is because more viewers/readers of blogs tend to jerk off or think to have a chance with these female bloggers. It is very hard to be a male with some good content I will agree. I personally rant about shit on my blog, and talk about hmm well music if anything because that is my passion. Nope not playing it but listening to it. Oh well, I actually look to blog to be inspired for my blog. I don’t do any posts off of what you do, but I post period due to your eloquent storytelling. Thank you Neil…I know you do come visit my blog…just fuckin’ w/ ya, about you not reading it. Shit you have me linked and for that I am also grateful 😉

  4. Time to trade in that “blogging” tag for a “shpritzing” tag then?

  5. But will corporate blogs ever be as interesting and popular as those celebrating, um, life… in all its glorious tedium?

  6. I kind of like Shpritzing.. Hmmm. If “blogging” becomes to popular with the boring companies we should all boycot and call our “blog” a shpritz in honor of Neilochka…

  7. Capitalism certainly has a way of ruining stuff sometimes.

  8. “I know I’m not supposed to surf at work, Mr. B, but the thing is a few of these blogs run really great technical content and instead of going to the company’s help desk message boards I tend to go to the blogs. They give much better information and are far more user friendly.”

    *whistling…*

  9. Thank you for the thoughtful comparison. And I must agree. The only think that suckz is when a male’s blog is good… it’s DAAAAAMN good (you, brando, schuey).

  10. They are confusing blog, which is basically an online diary, with a column which is basically bullshit in a vertical space.

  11. Why, oh why, do corporate giants have to take the fun out of EVERYTHING?

    Are we really supposed to be fooled by this? Are we really supposed to believe that IBM cares more about us because they have a blog and therefore we should buy their crap instead of Mac’s crap?

    Errr…. That made me crabby this morning. Thanks a lot, Neil.

    😉

  12. Maybe I’ll rename mine to a “Daily Plotz”…I mean, I’m always dumping loads of emotional crap and it’s oftentimes a mental diarrhea of irrelevant observations. You could be on to something Nielochka.

  13. Ugh. The beast is lumbering towards us– we must be smarter and craftier and run from its gaping maw.

  14. where are all the women blogs talking about their vaginas? (jk)

  15. I agree with Tanisha— consider me shcpritzed.

    In honour of this new left wing blogging away from the corporate blog mongers—-yeah like Who the F is going to read them anyways…….

    I will get schpritz-faced according to the tao of Neil.

    Is it Friday yet?

  16. Is making money equivalent to staining your pristine blogging clothes?
    I’d say – if somebody can get more out of their enterprise than just 300 female bloggers swooning over each new installement – good for them, they found a way to be rewarded in globally accepted currency.

    This rant sounds a bit green grape-ish, forgive me.

    Let the market decide: if there will be no increase in sales after thousands of commercially-funded blogs launched -you think big corps will waste money on that? And if it will – great, it means somebody needs precisely this type of blogging.
    Also, shpritz means hypodermic syringe in Russian (and, I believe, in German, too). How much is the opium for the masses?(c)Il’f&Petrov
    Not the image I’d want my readers to associate with my blog, if I had one.

  17. First La Dauphine, I’m turning red here :)thx

    But I mean, as the european I’m going to defend the (blogging) corporations ? It’s natural that they use every type of channel, and it just proves what a good channel the blog, sorry the “Shpritz” is.

    And some places (like this one) is not boring or corporate at all :p

  18. I’m only interested in reading stories. Gadgets have their place, but give me long-form narrative blogging/writing/journaling any day. I like your writing, Neil, because you make me laugh and make me think.

    I hope a few people feel the same way about what I do. If I could make money from my blog without selling my soul, I’d do it. Until then, I’m keeping my day job.

  19. IMPORTANT UPDATE: Sophia called up and yelled at me that I was giving the wrong impression.

    She is right, of course. I am not against making money off of my shpritz. I am ready to sell my soul. I just want to call it a shpritz because a blog is becoming something different from what I’m used to.

    I read blogs like Engadget and Gawker all the time. If one of these blog networks wanted to hire me to write for them, I would not say “no.” I could still write about Sophia and tits on my personal shpritz using this alias of “Neil Kramer.”

  20. Over the weekend, I purposely avoided reading blogs written by women in order to explore the world of male blogging.

    http://anonymouscitygirl.blogspot.com/2005/11/day-2-marseille-in-pictures.html

    comments have a time stamp… ya gotta be slicker. 😉

  21. Until Sunday! Until Sunday! That’s what I said. Check what I wrote, ACG!

  22. “Blah blah blah IBM. Blah blah blah CNN. Blah blah blah LAN.” Aaah, here we go – finally:

    “Please stop writing about your penis. The wife doesn’t want me to talk to you anymore.”

    Shpritz away! =o)

  23. So your “no women’s blogs” weekend consisted of just Saturday?
    Come on… fess up…

  24. darn you corporate america! blogging at work was supposed to be all “edgy” and “dangerous”… now it’s going to fall under my daily duties?! i won’t want to do it anymore, if i’m REQUIRED to!

  25. First, spam comments, now THIS? Why does SOMEONE always have to try to ruin the fun?!

  26. I’m a woman blogger. I don’t remember blogging about my vagina, or my “monthly visits from a friend.” It’s still a girly blog about meaningless nothing. If some people read it, I’d say half found their way there by mistake and left quickly. The other half are deeply disturbed individuals with a thick shell and a well-developed sense of humor.

    The day my company starts blogging officially is the day I resign and become Amish.

  27. I write about other people’s vaginas.

  28. I just started a “hidden blog.” It’s not my main blog, but a blog that’s hidden somewhere on the web. I’m starting a contest today — if someone can find my hidden blog I’m going to be giving away a turkey.

    I hope, Neil, you’ll also give away some schpritz for my turkey winner.

  29. The Shpritz movement gains momentum, starting with the always forward thinking Dutch:

    http://www.aboutblank.nl/pivot/entry.php?id=846

    By the way, I love you Holland! You have the best-looking women in the world — and you know it!

  30. I KNEW you couldn’t stay away from the women bloggers for long. WE OWN YOUR SOUL!

    *Insert evil laugh*

  31. In solidarity, I believe I’ll start calling my site a “bagel”. (Or perhaps I’ll just go and eat one – I’m hungry!)

  32. Always forward thinking, Neilocka. Missed ya. Though I don’t blog much on the weekends anyway.

  33. “Please stop writing about your penis. The wife doesn’t want me to talk to you anymore.”

    Funny you should mention this…I found you by google searching “Neil penis.”

  34. Pants — That’s funny. That’s how Sophia met me.

    Maribeth — thanks! I’m now the proud owner of shpritzer.com. What I will do with it? I don’t have the faintest idea. Maybe I’ll set up a Dutch site.

  35. If the model you’ve proposed is the case, well, I’m pretty much fucked then. Who wants to read about extreme martial arts, water cooler exploits, dumb nyc nightlife and sex from someone who is an expert in nothing? NOTHING.

  36. Dude!!!! I wrote about boobs! How did you miss it?!?!?!?!

    ~Jef

  37. takes a lot to tempt me, but how did u know that i couldn’t go on without clicking on ‘tits of female bloggers’ ? damn my curiousity 😉

  38. Thanks for the shout out, Jeff.

    http://quizzicles.blogspot.com/2005/11/b00b13-post.html

    I know I’m completely against any type of plastic surgery at all, unless it was necessary. If I wouldn’t do it on myself, I wouldn’t want anyone else to do it, either. Frankly, I would not want to be near any of Pamela Anderson’s fake boobs out of fear of combustion.

    Boobs are beautiful in all shapes and sizes.

    OK, maybe except this one:

    http://dudemanphat.blogspot.com/2005/11/nicole-richie-has-no-side-boob.html

  39. I bet you’d like to schpritz a few of your female bloggers… especially those with great boobs.

  40. Uh-oh, should it be shpritz or schpritz?

    Either way, Danielle, leave it to you to turn something wholesome into something dirty.

    And yes, I have admired your seltzer bottles from afar.

  41. Mine’s more like a shvitz. Which is why I come here afterward for shpritz.

  42. […] Zet een man, die gewend is weblogs van vrouwen te lezen en die een liedje op zijn weblog heeft geplaatst waarin hij hoog opgeeft over de tieten van zijn lezeressen, voor een weekend aan het lezen van ‘male blogs’ en hij komt tot de conclusie dat het woord blog voor hem niet meer voldoet: Blog wordt Shpritz.

    And like a shpritz from a bottle, a literary shpritz will spray you in the face to get your attention, but it will never, ever stain your clothes. […]

  43. Thanks for the clarification, Sophia.

    I’m still trying to pretend that this whole blogging thing is just a small, simple little adventure. I hate hearing television news shows talk about blogging and bloggers, as if they are suddenly “cool” and “with it” for knowing what blogging is. Why does it have to define us or give us status that we otherwise would not have?

    Man, that nailpolish remover is going to my brain, giving me a high. No more psuedo deep thoughts.

    Neil, talk about “little Neil” all you want (that’s my euphemism for your penis) if it makes you happy. We can always pass over those posts. 😉

  44. Neil, I hate to “rain” on your parade, but I think many Jewish mothers refer to their little boys “shpritzing” on the lawn, in their pants, in their beds, etc.

    Are you telling us that your literary shpritz in the face is like a literary “piss” in the face?

  45. Pearl, I never heard any Jewish mother use the term shpritz for pee. Peeing takes too long to be considered a “shpritz.”

    spritz, shpritz:

    transitive verb (past spritzed, past participle spritzed, present participle spritzing, 3rd person present singular spritzes)

    spray liquid: to spray a fine jet of liquid through a nozzle

    noun
    fine spray of liquid: a fine spray of liquid squirted through a nozzle

    [Early 20th century. From German spritzen “to squirt.”]

  46. Thank you, Neil, for the great compliment on Dutch women (one of them is mine).
    I hope you could understand all the dutch talk I wrote. If not, better don’t do the link to my own blog, oops: shpritz-thingie. 😉
    You’re gonna need a good translation.

  47. Ton —

    This is more for your amusement than anything else, but here is Babelfish’s translation:

    A man, who has got used, puts web-unwieldly of women to read and that has placed a song on its web-unwieldly in which he gives up high concerning the tieten of its reader ashes, for a weekend to reading male blogs and he reaches the conclusion that the word no longer satisfies blog for him: Blog become Shpritz.

    Since Sophia is an interpreter, I’m sure she’s happy that there still is a use for “human” interpreters.

  48. So it’s like Neil lite then. Great taste less filling? I’m not sure I get any of this. When are you coming over to polish my toes?

  49. Brooke, do I have to explain another post to you? Everyone else seems to have gotten it? Even the Dutch get it and they speak a different language. It’s not complicated like something that Akaky usually writes. Did you have a hard day in school, is that it? And please wash your feet first.

  50. But then, if we’re all used to the fact that human interpreters will be needed, we can’t do without them, we won’t ever do anything without them, especially those we realy like (I say, a Sophia would do for you; my very dutch girlfriend for me), then we will all laugh outloud because of that ‘web-unwieldly’-word.
    Die stomme dingen zonder tieten = Those stupid things without anything that’s worth noticing.

  51. Holy crap!

    My blog is supposed to be about something?

    Back to the drawing board…

  52. Good grief you actually blog about your flippin penis? Did it ever occur that that is kinda deranged? I don’t say that to be mean, but in a helpful sorta way (if conceivable) because I really LIKE the name of your blog…

    They awarded Citizen of the month at my school and I remember how in 6th grade I looooonged to get the award, though once i got it, I had no freakin clue what I had done to get it. I dont know what anyone did to get it. I figured the only reason I got it was so as not to hurt my elementary self esteem.

    Now I look back at that and I wonder how simple were our pleasures then. Citizen of the Month. hmmm see all this dreadful nostalgia, at the mere name of a blog.

    have a nice day.

  53. Heather — I was the Citizen of the Month almost every other month in school. That’s why I call this blog “Citizen of the Month.” I may write about “deranged” things, but I’m still an excellent citizen.

  54. Sphritz, eh? Yeah, I think I’ll keep writing whatever crosses my mind. If I could only market that!

  55. Maybe it’s an American thing and being in Canada I don’t get it … but I’ve wondered, what exactly is the Citizen of the Month (other than a blog)? Is it a civic duty kind of award in schools? Just wondering.

  56. The bastardization of life by marketers and others trying to pimp a product simply infuriates me.

  57. your blog, er, Shpritz, is destined to win tons of gold medals like Mark Shpritz.

  58. I’d write about my vagina, but since my work knows about my blog, and I work in HR, my vagina entry probably wouldn’t go over so well with the boss. lol And I love the Shpritz! Very clever!

  59. Maybe you should quit just for that reason.

  60. I like Shpritz. It’s cool and catchy. Time to whip up some WordPress Shpritz theme.

  61. […] Citizen of the Month is no longer a blog. It is now a Shpritz. […]

  62. Am I a Nielochka girl with a 36DD??

  63. That is soo wrong the way my name came out Previously!!!

  64. All the recent blog log visitors over in your right sidebar are women. Why do you think that is?

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