The Half-Eaten Mind would like to wish all our followers and readers a very happy New Year 2017. 2016 has not been the greatest of years and we hope that 2017 will bring happiness, hope and glory.
The Half-Eaten Mind wishes all its readers and community a very happy Diwali.
The Half-Eaten Mind, East London’s leading (and paywall-free) news and features blog, is pleased to announce that we have been kindly nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award by photographer and blogger Alex Smithson of Mother Nature – life at the touch of a button.
Alex was nominated himself on the 31st of March, 2016, by fellow blogger Brooke in recognition of services to blogging, so we at HEM feel we have been honoured with a very special legacy.
As with many blogging awards, there are some simple rules to follow and nominations to be made. The rules are as follows:
My blog started four years ago here on WordPress. I am a journalism graduate who has always been passionate about current affairs and the world around me since I was a small child. Sadly, although I was unable to secure the career of my dreams, I decided to keep my news reporting and writing skills fresh by writing and rewriting news myself on a blog. The name for the blog came from an expression my ex-fiance used when we used to talk for hours on messaging services. She would say she was ‘eating my mind’ when she thought she was taking up the whole of my attention when we were conversing. I was inspired by her to set up the blog, and even discussed naming it with her. She originally suggested the name “Vijay’s Blog”, but I wanted something more memorable and ‘exciting’. I remembered her mind-eating expression and from this, the name Half-Eaten Mind stuck.
Then in 2015, to compliment HEM, but mainly as a separate venture, I set up a second blog dedicated to animated GIFs – it was christened “Gifville – Vijay’s gallery of animated images & art”.
My two bits of advice to new bloggers is firstly to acquaint yourself with social media, because it is one of the best ways to promote your blog and work. Don’t just involve yourself with the big social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, but also look for niche ones too that are applicable to what you blog about. I have had one post here shared more than 500 times on Facebook and I know of bloggers who have reached millions of shares, retweets etc.
Secondly, always keep at it. Blogging is fun, but it can take time too, whether building up a following and readership, or at the micro level, setting aside an hour a day to plan out and cook up a post. Some new bloggers sadly find blogging becomes a chore and abandon their blog to the internet scrapyard. Just don’t. Stick with it and blog because you love it and want to nurture your talents.
I would like to give a hearty thanks to my good friend and supporter Alex Smithson over at Mother Nature. He blogs on a lot of interesting things, such as photography, his college experiences, graphic design and gaming, and he is a ‘top lad’ as we Londoners say. I’d highly recommend checking his blog out. You can start with his nomination article for the BRA (Blogger Recognition Award) at this link.
My BRA nominees are:
As always it is not a massive deal if you cannot or wish not to accept the award. However, I chose you as I feel your blogging deserves to be recognised….and to those who didn’t make the list, please don’t think that I value your work any less. If the BRA rules allowed me, I’d nominate every one of you.
Have a great weekend!!
On the very last day of 2015, it has been my pleasure to have provided you all with quality news, views and features, and to have consistently remained true to our core objectives of impartiality, information and telling the facts as they are. As we look down into the beginnings of a new year, I have been very proud of this blog and everything it has achieved.
In 2015, I made news and writing a bigger focus of the Half-Eaten Mind than ever before, and our proprietary GIF Moments were spun off into a second blog named Gifville, which in many ways has become a phenomenal success as a project in its own right. I created a website that showcases the best of HEM’s designed (and hurriedly assembled) graphics, and we have made many new friends along the way. We also recently joined forces with SWNS digitalhub, a news and features agency, and look forward to further developing our partnership with them.
Every year, alongside WordPress, the Half-Eaten Mind releases a special annual report, excitedly illustrating the many achievements statistically speaking this blog has made in the past year. I’ve only gone ahead and made the report public for your viewing pleasure. You can now see it at the link below.
2016 is soon to be upon us, and I am so excited to see what it will bring the Half-Eaten Mind. Most importantly I have got to thank all those who help keep the blog extra-special and keep me motivated through your likes, comments and shares, as well as the contributors who have submitted articles and story ideas to HEM.
We’d like to take this moment to wish you all a very happy, prosperous and lucky New Year 2016. Stay great and keep smiling!!
In celebration of the festival of lights, Diwali, which arrives this year on the Wednesday, 11th of November and which coincides with Armistice Day in the UK, the Half-Eaten Mind has unveiled a special commemorative graphic.
The graphic is part of a long tradition on the blog for what is termed in the business as ‘homemade graphics’. Every Diwali since 2013, HEM’s blogger and editor Vijay Shah uses his graphic designs skills to produce special edition graphics which serve as not only a bit of fun and celebration, but also as a tip of the hat to the talent that goes on behind the scenes.
This year’s image is derived from a wallpaper offered by HappyDiwaliGreetings.in and created via image design site piZap. It features three symmetrical and stylised diyas (lamps) arranged over Paisley patterns in a nod to traditional north Indian art. The design carries the official HEM branding as well as a QR code which when scanned with a suitable app on a mobile phone, can take the viewer to the blog.
The graphic will be featured on the HEM social networks nearer the occasion.
The Half-Eaten Mind would like to wish our readers, supporters and the Community a very happy Diwali in advance.
Last night, we decided to visit the Internet for an end of day jaunt….and came back with an awesome souvenir….a brand new website.
Introducing to you our latest presence on the web, a slick, contemporary and attractive portfolio website, known as ‘HEM Graphics’.
The purpose of the website is to act as a portfolio for the images and graphics I have created for this blog over the past three years, including our famous header images and idents created for individual pages. In addition, HEM Graphics will also serve as a depository for images from contributors and for interesting GIFs that have been featured on the Half-Eaten Mind, such as those in our Diwali specials and the recent forum flag icons I have been blogging about on our Animated ccTLD flags series (the Virtual Vexillology articles).
The website was created using Weebly, a free website-hosting service with a unique drag-and-drop approach to making webpages. Weebly was set-up in 2006 by three university students as part of an internet portfolio project and by 2012 had 20 million users and was receiving 1 million unique visitors per month.
Although I am quite good with computers, I had very little website design or formatting experience, so I found Weebly a relief in that they pretty much make things stupidly easy for you. You begin by choosing a site URL (address), which for the free version always ends in ‘.weebly.com’, then you choose a template, and after that is registered, you can begin customising your site’s appearance with text, titles, images and even Flash/HTML widgets.
The HEM Graphics site has a minimalist vibe in order to make the graphics I will be featuring on it more prominent and noticeable. Unusually for a website the page menu and blog logo are on the left hand side, and just like the blog, the header image is of that famous dawn photo of the tower blocks in Plaistow, London I took years back in 2007.
The website is still in the development stage, but so far I have made some astonishing progress in the hour or so I spent setting everything up. I have organised the home, about and contact pages and also uploaded all my ‘homemade’ graphics to a dedicated page for them. I also made some time to add some fun functionality to the place, installing a revolving globe from RevolverMaps that records visitor locations and a clock widget to make things business-like.
I am also moving the links to the two Paper.li e-newsletters along with this new site to a dedicated page on the blog, provisionally titled ‘HEM Links’.
The new website can be viewed at :-
Let me know in the comments section what you think, and any suggestions or improvements you may have. If you are a Weebly user yourself, what were your impressions of the site and its usability?
Everyone gather round…quick…quick…you there!!…stop swinging off that chandelier!.
It’s been a special week for this blog. We’ve been expanding our services into online newspaper making by teaming up with online media curation site paper.li to launch two new e-papers.
But that’s not been the only good news here at HEM HQ (Half-Eaten Mind Headquarters).
On the 12th April 2015, the blog reached a very special milestone. It passed the 100,000 views mark and has in fact surged ahead. With more than 350 articles, of which a handful have gone viral worldwide, we have given people all over a lot of great news and features to read and enjoy. It’s been a hard slog to get there, but it is a proud achievement and one that fills my heart with joy. Even I’m in shock that there’s that many views now, but this just goes to show where hard work, graft, persistence and dedication to your ideals and dreams can take you.
Oh we’re not done yet….
This past Wednesday (or Thursday if you count from when we began operations) marks the third anniversary of the establishment of the blog. Our very first article, way back in April 2012, was a feature piece on the Shard tower here in London, which was still under construction at the time and now looks very glimmering. Since then we’ve gone from strength to strength, changed a lot visually and in terms of our content, branched out into all sorts of things, shook hands with several clients and even self-published a book. But most importantly of all, I have made many new friends and followers.
Who knows what the next three years will bring?
HAPPY 3RD BIRTHDAY HALF-EATEN MIND!!!
Hot on the heels of our new online newspaper, The Half-Eaten Times, which was officially launched on the 5th of April, 2015 in association with online media curator site paper.li, we have decided to start a new publication specifically promoting the content of the HEM blogging community.
Called simply “HEM Bloggers’ News“, this new e-newspaper from Half-Eaten Mind and paper.li is exclusively designed to showcase and promote articles, photos, musings and much more from the great friends and compadres we have made in the WordPress community and beyond. As with our news version, HEM Bloggers’ News will come out twice daily, with links disseminated on Twitter.
Why not check it out, see what other bloggers are talking about and make some new friends. The community has given so much to the Half-Eaten Mind. Now this is one small way we are paying back the love.
HEM Bloggers’ News is available for viewing at the below URL and on the side toolbar:
While being the next Rupert Murdoch or Lord Northcliffe is probably a very unlikely event for me any time soon – a lack of a gold-plated triple-password protected Swiss bank account not withstanding – it is however, stupidly possible for me, or indeed anyone, to have their own newspaper with content that interests them and their friends. No messy printing ink, whiny subeditors, or pleading with newsagents required. Just an invisible, hands-free, fuss-free ‘editor-bot’ who will pull off a carefully-ish curated selection of tweets, website links etc. to make that virtual front page.
Thanks to the internet, the Half-Eaten Mind now has an accompanying online rag, the Half-Eaten Times.
This special newspaper was launched on the 4th April 2015, just before its parent blog’s third anniversary. Created with the help and hosting of the Swiss curated newspaper site paper.li, the Half-Eaten Times draws on the sharing activity of lists and followers on the blog’s Twitter social account @halfeatenmind and curates interesting and newsworthy content, presented in a New York Times format for easy accessibility and browsing.
Like any good broadsheet, The Half-Eaten Times has a respectable and diverse selection of categories for our readers. Updated every 12 hours (twice daily), our e-paper features the latest picks of the current headlines in the HEM world, as well as subtopics covering leisure, entertainment, technology, sciences and business matters. Every contributor is a blogging citizen journalist (excusing the ones who are already journalists, of course) and every follower has the potential to make the news. News media at probably its most democratic.
In addition, there will be also plenty of news from all the world, supplied by our media partners.
Although I own the e-paper, I am not responsible for the content, which is picked up automatically by the curation technology that paper.li makes available to its users.
You can subscribe to the newsletter via email or social media, and special tweets and posts will be sent out every time a new edition of the Half-Eaten Times goes on the newsstand.
Have a leaf-through the Half-Eaten Times at the link below.
In other words….. “Read all about it!!”
I’ve also produced a banner advert for this new feature which may be included in the sidebar of this blog for maximum visibility, however my final decision is still pending. Using the now familiar HEM street sign logo, I was lucky enough to find the right visual elements to make this advert tie in with HEM’s header design (the original sunrise one with the silhouetted buildings) in the same way the e-newspaper’s name ties in with the blog’s name. Smart thinking eh?
The Half-Eaten Times….out now at your local PC screen and at all good tablets….for the cover price of £0.00 ($0.00 US/Canada; Rs 0.00 Mauritius, ₹00/= India)…you get my drift…Get your copy today! 🙂
Let me know what you think. I can also help you set one up if you need.
Ladies and gentleman, yours truly the Half-Eaten Mind has come into another great blogging award this Easter/April. On the 31st March 2015, keen young photographer and college student, Alex Smithson, who runs the Mother Nature blog out from nearby Croydon, has kindly nominated us for the Liebster Award.
Alex was himself nominated by Chey from the blog Socially Awkward Chey, and it is his second blog award nomination for 2015. The first one was awarded by little old me 😀 !!!. Like other awards in the blogging community, the Liebster, whose name is derived from the German word ‘liebe‘ (love) is an award designed to promote connections and love between bloggers and strengthen our special community.
As part of Alex’s nomination, he has fielded ten questions to all nominees, which I’m now going to answer, once I can find my thinking cap which seems to have found itself lodged behind one of those god-awful ugly black leather sofas downstairs.
Without further ado, here are the questions….
Alex’s Liebster Questions
1. What made you want to take up this hobby?
I took up news-writing as a hobby for this blog, as I am a big fan of news, views and current affairs. From my childhood days when I used to sit with the parents in the living room and watch Moira Stewart and John Sissons (I think his name was) presenting the Six O’Clock News, I had a fascination with the world around me. Add to that a well enhanced vocabulary and a degree in journalism, and I knew my ideal destiny was in the media. It is because of this dream I set up this blog, so I could practice being a reporter and use this as a step-up into that highly competitive career path.
2. Who inspired you to set up your blog/website and why?
The original idea for a blog came from a university classmate named Kshitij, but who was usually called Mike. We kept in contact after I graduated, and while discussing our future plans, he suggested I set up a blog to showcase my talents. This was way back in 2007, and due to certain difficulties back then, I couldn’t get the blog ball rolling. It wasn’t until 2012, when I was in a relationship with a girl in India whom I was planning to marry, that I started the blog formally. I was very happy to be in a relationship at last, and was buoyed up by my new confidence. I told her I wanted to start a blog while talking with her on Skype. In fact the name of the blog comes from an expression she used to use every time we talked, and that was that she was disturbing me by “eating my mind”. Sadly the blog outlived the relationship, but blogging is still my passion.
3. What do you love the most about life?
I love my family because they bring so much happiness, I love God, I love seeing beautiful things (and people), and discovering new experiences. I cherish the diversity and opportunities that life can bring and that there are many good and decent people in this world that help negate the more dark and painful experiences that everyone has to go through. I adore my friends and supporters, both inside and outside the blogging world.
4. If there is one thing you could do in life, what would it be?
I suppose now in this point in time, it would be to get married, settle down and have a family. That is my number one priority now in life.
5. What is your blog/website about?
My blog is an news site covering news stories and features for London, the U.K. and the world. Think of it being like an online newspaper but with less political bias and no pressure from advertisers *laughs*. I also write personal articles, often relating to stuff concerning the blog but not always. I also feature contributions from readers and clients and sometimes use the blog to show off my photography and graphic design skills.
6. Are you the kind of person who loves to go for opportunities whilst they’re still available?
There is this one saying that I sometimes quote. It goes: “when opportunity knocks, open the damn door!“. Sometimes you have to seize the moment, because it may never come round again. So, yes, generally I will take the opportunity if the time and situation is right. You never know what could happen, and if it doesn’t work out then that’s a learning experience for you.
7. If there was something you wanted to do other than what you currently do now, what would it be?
I would love to travel the world. Career-wise, it would be to work as a journalist. I’m currently doing a data entry/admin job.
8. What is your most favourite quote of all time?
“Rise above it all” – I can’t remember who created the quote, but it’s sort of a good metaphor for my life.
9. Do you like writing or reading books?
I like both, although reading books expends less effort and you’re less at risk of succumbing to that dreaded ‘writer’s cramp’. I haven’t read a book in a while though. Writing is definitely a passion of mine too.
10. Did you like being nominated for the Liebster Award? If so, has it made your blog/website become stronger?
I thought it was a nice gesture from Alex. Although I have received the exact badge before, this gives me an opportunity to work up those creative skills and create my own interpretation, which you find below. Being a Liebster nominee will hopefully gain me some new followers and put a smile on my face as my own nominees receive a nice little pingback-flavoured surprise.
In no particular order, here are the 10 nominees I have chosen to receive the Liebster Award:
4. Don Charisma
10. Two on a Rant
Here are my own ten questions for the above nominees:
1. What inspired you to first start blogging?
2. What has been your best blogging moment of 2015 so far?
3. What ambitions for your blog do you have for the rest of 2015?
4. What is the one thing that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face?
5. What three things are you most passionate about?
6. What three things do you love most in life?
7. Which blogger has made the biggest impression on you this year?
8. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
9. Do you have any blogging routines, rituals or quirks. If you do, what are they?
10. If I was a first-time visitor to your blog and you were giving me a virtual guided tour, what would be the first thing you’d show me?
As befitting the nature and meaning of the Liebster Award, I’m offering you two badges to choose from, the original and also a special Half-Eaten Mind edition, created by myself.
As always, you are free to accept or decline the nomination as you wish and you can accept this award at any time, no pressures or worries.
Many, many thanks to my good friend Alex for considering me, especially given the intensity of his college coursework. I’m pleased and honoured that he has taken time out of a busy schedule to make this kind gesture. Also, a big congratulations to the ten Half-Eaten Mind nominees who all richly deserve this lovely Liebster.
You can see Alex’s original Liebster article here.
Have fun and enjoy your April and spring!!