Elite Blogger: Rendezvous With Miss Cellania

To begin with, the celebrating statement of the day is EliteBlogger = Birday gurl Miss Cellania.
I was on my hunt for my next EliteBlogger after interviewing Alex from Neatorama and Shaun from Deputy Dog. And then fortunately both the bloggers recommended Miss Cellania, who is popularly known across blogosphere for her contribution across diverse nature of blogs i.e. Neatorama, YesButNoButYes and Mental Floss. Cutting the long story short, I spent couple of hours getting a fair idea of her deliverables and got to know that she is the Blogebrity of the humorous and offbeat stuff.

The very day I sent her an invite to be my EliteBlogger with a prompt response from her saying: Sure, I will be glad to answer your questions.

And here we have her with us penning down interesting responses to the long-list of questions sent across. Go with the flow:

Cellania, Kindly introduce yourself to my readers and take us through your usual day at work.
I get the kids off to school in the morning, then surf the web and post items at Neatorama and YesButNoButYes until about 1 or 2PM. Then I do some housework and take a nap. In the evening, I take the kids to their activities, check on my mother-in-law, grab some dinner, help with homework, and try to get the kids in bed by ten. Then I write for mental_floss and my own blog until maybe 3AM.

When did you sense an inclination towards blogging?
I started sending a newsletter of jokes in 2004 to reconnect with old friends and entertain new online friends. When I discovered blogging, it seemed like a much easier way to do the same thing.

Whilst having an email-interview with Alex, he introduced me to Neatorama as the neat side of web. What remains your criterion of post selection that you play here?
The main criteria for Neatorama is that an item be interesting; the kind of thing that will make you say, “Hey, that’s neat!” Other than that, it must be appealing to a wide audience, fairly safe for family viewing, and something we haven’t posted before.

Is there any niche that you maintain while posting “Morning Cup of Links” at Mental Floss or are they random picks that fit well one’s breakfast table?

I try to get a variety every day. Optimally, I’d love to have a science breakthrough, a link or two on history, geography, or language, some news that makes you think, and several funny links. And a kitten doing something cute. But I will sacrifice variety for quality, depending on what’s good that day.

How is your experience to write for a site targeted at men (YesButNoButYes)? Is it difficult or interesting?

Both difficult AND interesting! I walk a fine line trying to be ladylike and give the guys what they want. There have been many times I’ll pass on a great story or link because I think it’s over the line for me, and later find one of the guys used it and had a very successful post. But that’s OK.

How do you maintain stability at writing front as you deliver articles across diverse areas i.e. humor, movies, men, gadgets, and other random stuff?

For my own site, I just collect anything that amuses me. Working for mental_floss has caused me to expand my horizons, so to speak, since I never wrote about gadgets at all until they asked me to do a weekly “gadget report”. And I’m always looking outside my comfort zone to find subjects for my mental_floss features. It keeps me on my toes, but I’d hardly call it maintaining stability.

Japan seems to breed robots in huge numbers. Can you imagine a day when robots are efficient enough to substitute humans for all major tasks? Would you depute one to blog for you?

If I could afford it, sure! In fact, I would hire a human to do it for me now, if I had the money. I’d also hire someone, or a robot, to clean my house if I could.

How would you define an ideal blog? I mean, what special features it must have to make an impact and deliver?
There are no universal ideals, because there is no way to please the entire online audience. There are niches for link blogs, political blogs, personal blogs, specialty blogs, art blogs, etc etc. They all have different standards to appeal to a different audience. Within each genre, they should have 1. Quality content, 2. Whatever it take to make accessing that content easy for the reader, like a pleasing layout, simple navigation, and proper grammar and spelling. Even those things vary, because you don’t need proper grammar on a blog that posts graphics only, and a pleasing layout varies depending on the type of blog and the audience.

Do you think there is any scope left for evolving bloggers to try their luck?
There is room for many more bloggers! You hear about how many millions of blogs there are, but they come in all languages covering many different subjects. And many bloggers don’t need luck, because they aren’t setting goals for their blogs -they just want to write for whoever is interested. Blogging is easy to try out, and easy to quit if you aren’t getting what you want out of it.

Both your personal blogs Miss Cellania and Miss C Recommends seem to be populated with videos. Considering your inclination towards digital technology, can we expect you to enter into the domain of podcasting in coming months?
I don’t have the time or patience to do audio podcasting. I don’t even have the time or patience to listen to podcasts! As far as video goes, I tried that at Neatorama. Since I live in a small town far away from anything interesting, it’s really hard to find good subjects to shoot.

Miss Cellania

Pen down your five favorite posts written till date.

The LOLcat of Death.

Does My Butt Look Big in This?
The Weirdest Insects in the World.
My Dream Job.
8 Historical Crossdressers: Women in a Man’s World.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten something that should go here.

Whom would you count as the top-five male and female bloggers that has enabled blogosphere stand next to mainstream journalism?
I really don’t feel qualified to answer that. There are way too many good news bloggers that I don’t read. I tend to concentrate on the humorous and offbeat stuff, so a lot of good journalism passes me by.

Tell us you favorite blogs across following areas:

1. Gadget:
Coolest Gadgets
Geek Like Me

2. Political:
Simply Left Behind
Crooks and Liars

3. Movie:
Big Picture, Big Sound

4. Entertainment:
Bits and Pieces
Phil’s Phun
The Presurfer

6. Others:
Nothing to do with Arbroath
Mental Floss
Science Blogs
Damn Interesting
Clueless in Carolina
Wulfweard the White
I could go on all day. I love a lot of blogs!

Quick bites:
1. Hours you invest surfing net: 6-8 hours a day. A bit less on weekends.
2. Biggest blogging mistake you did: I spent three years doing one post a day, when I should have done several smaller posts.
3. One hidden truth: It never pays to take yourself too seriously.
4. If asked to post only on one blog (not the current ones), which one would that be?
Hmm, that’s a hard one. Damn Interesting.
5. Advice you would have given yourself five years ago? Start writing! It’s what you’ve always wanted to do!
6. If not a bloggger then.A DJ. I was a radio announcer for 24 years.
7. Life without Internet: Lonely.
8. First gadget you kept your fingers upon: A clock! I got attached to one when I was a toddler. My mom says “clock” was my first word.

How would you like to be known as:

1. Blogger
2. Writer
3. Entrepreneur

Blogger is fine. I don’t write as much as I link. And entrepreneur is a big word for someone who doesn’t make any more money than I do.

If asked for giving three tips to a greenhorn blogger, what would that be?

1. Write about things you enjoy, or you’ll get burned out fast.
2. Don’t worry about pleasing everyone, because you can’t.
3. Make friends. They’re the best thing to come out of the internet.

What are the five things you wish to accomplish while you’re alive?

1. Raise my daughters to be strong, confident, independent women.
2. Travel the world.
3. See my grandchildren.
4. Build a retirement fund.
5. Go on a date.

Where do you see the future of blogosphere? Is there anything that you wish blogosphere to accomplish?
I love how the internet is getting so much information to people in the blink of an eye. I only wish that this kind of communication were available to everyone. I see a big dichotomy between computer users and non-computer users, which I am afraid, will only become worse. What I would like the blogosphere to accomplish is to bring people together, with communication between people of different regions and countries, so we may understand how similar we really are.

Whom would you recommend as my next EliteBlogger and Why?

Hoss at Old Horsetail Snake would be a hoot to interview. Jon Swift would also be funny. Or Jean-Luc Picard. They all have wonderfully amusing online personas.

Give us your views on EliteChoice.
This series of blogger interviews is fascinating. I’ve learned a lot about people I thought I knew!

Your turn! I am ready to answer a question for you.
Where are you?

I am currently in Las Vegas

Here, we convey all our wishes to Miss Cellania and look forward to have a birthday cake from her next year on a preplanned schedule. Thanks Celliania for fetching time from your busy routine to enthrall my audience.
Miss Cellania

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