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Archive for the ‘Featured Bloggers’ Category

Featured Blogger Interview: Valerie Marino and Kevin Norris of Triangle Music

by Paige Wilcox
Thursday, July 28th, 2011

The Triangle is a unique magnet for captivating music. The venues, artists and music lovers that make up the Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh, North Carolina, music scene have provided Triangle Music Founders Valerie Marino and Kevin Norris with plenty of music reviews and news to share with their readers. In addition to visiting the site, stay connected by following Triangle Music on Twitter and Facebook!


Triangle Music's Founders Kevin Norris and Valerie Marino

Q: When and why did you start blogging?

A: We started Triangle Music in May 2006. It was purely selfish at first — we just wanted an outlet to write about the bands we were listening to and any shows we happened to go to.

Q: How do you think your blog stands out amongst other music blogs?

A: A lot of music sites focus on a particular genre of music, but Triangle Music’s cornerstone is its diversity. We started the blog by writing about the music we like, and that’s anyone from Gillian Welch to Arcade Fire. Our goal is to inform our readers about not just local acts but to stay up to speed on the latest concert announcements and other music news that impacts the Triangle.

Q: How has the Triangle music scene changed since you started blogging?

A: The scene seems to have exploded in the last five years since we started Triangle Music. There have always been some great local bands, but these days it’s a hotbed of activity from new festivals like Hopscotch to all the new venues that have cropped up and bands like The Love Language and Lost In The Trees garnering national attention. (more…)

Featured Blogger: Kristi Diehm of The Story Siren

by Paige Wilcox
Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Kristi Diehm has transformed her personal passion for reading  into a community to share her enthusiasm for young adult books on The Story Siren blog. In addition to providing YA book reviews, author interviews and giveaways on The Story Siren, Diehm spends her time as a wife and orthodontic assistant. Stay connected with Diehm and The Story Siren news on Twitter and Facebook!

The Story Siren Blogger Kristi Diehm

Q: When and why did you start blogging?

A: I started The Story Siren in 2007. I had a personal blog before then that consisted of mostly day to day mundane antics. And it was very mundane and boring. I’ve always been a reading fool, and often posted my thoughts about books on my personal blog, and soon it was overrun by nothing but books, so then I made the transition from personal blog to book blog, and I never looked back!

Q: How do you think your blog stands out amongst blogs of the same genre?

A: My enthusiasm. I absolutely LOVE blogging and reading, and I think that comes through on my blog and people enjoy that. My reviews are also really personable and simple. I want people to feel like they’re discussing a book with their best friend, I don’t want a literary analysis, I just want it to be fun!

Q: What other book genres do you enjoy reading?

A: I love Romance novels. Paranormal…. historical… I’ll read anything! I also enjoy Urban Fantasy as well. (more…)

Featured Blogger: Will Folks of FITSNews

by Paige Wilcox
Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Founding Editor of FITSNews, Will Folks, utilizes his experience as a South Carolina political consultant and former gubernatorial spokesman when delivering his commentary on politics, news and pop culture on his site.  Folks is upfront and honest about his views, clearly declaring the site as “unfair” and “imbalanced” right on the Home page.  His transparency lends to his credibility for readers seeking a direct, conservative and libertarian perspective. Join Folks’ nearly 7,000 Twitter followers and keep updated with the FITSNews Facebook page!

Q: When and why did you start blogging?

A: I started blogging in 2006 – accidentally. Someone had written an
article about me, and I was trying to post a comment in response.
I must have clicked on the wrong link, because when I tried to
post my comment I was taken to a “build your own blog” Web page.
So that’s how it started. I guess it’s still going because I have a
lot to say.

Q: How do you think your blog stands out amongst blogs of the same

A: FITSNews is very opinionated – but that’s not why people read it. People
read it because it’s also blunt. I try to say what I think – which
results in people often saying “you said what other people were
thinking.” It also stands out because we’re beating the
mainstream media to a lot of stories and starting to compete
with them more directly. (more…)

Featured Blogger: Levi Asher of Literary Kicks

by Paige Wilcox
Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Literary Kicks, also known as LitKicks, is still kicking after almost 17 years with founder Levi Asher continuing to provide readers with relevant perspectives and opinions on modern literature. The site has maintained its position as a highly credible resource for quality literary content. In addition to commentary on specific works and broad industry trends, the site provides author interviews and  a poetry forum called Action Poetry.

Q: How did you decide on the name “Literary Kicks,” and do you ever wish you had chosen a different name?

A: Funny you should ask, because I distinctly remember the moment.  I was in a supermarket, walking down the aisle, and suddenly I thought to myself “Literary Kicks”.  At that moment, I knew I needed to create a Web site with that name.  Today, I don’t always love the site, but I always love the name.

Q: What do you think makes Literary Kicks unique amongst other book blogs?

A: Well, besides being certifiably the oldest well-known literary Web site on the Internet (founded in 1994), I think it has a quirkier and more personal voice than many of the others.  I range pretty freely into territories like philosophy, politics, art and psychology, and I try to represent counter-cultural or alternative points-of-view about life as often as I can.  I also think I focus more on literature of the past — the classics, the forgotten should-be classics — than many other literary bloggers do. (more…)

Featured Blogger: Andrea Strong of The Strong Buzz

by Paige Wilcox
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Andrea Strong is a prime example of how a person can drastically alter his or her path at any time. Strong went from building an unfulfilling career as a corporate lawyer to following her passion as a food writer.  Her redirection is our gain with all of the great industry food buzz she shares on her blog, The Strong Buzz.  It features the latest updates on newsworthy restaurants, chefs, events and food ideas.

Q: When and why did you start blogging?

A: I started blogging in November of 2003. I was tired of sending clips to editors I was pitching and started my website, The Strong Buzz, as a way of collecting my clips and drawing attention to my work as a freelance food writer. I began writing my “blog” posts (the term was then in its infancy) and sending out a weekly newsletter when no one else was really doing this, and the Strong Buzz caught on quite quickly as a site with valuable and cutting-edge information since at the time most newspapers and magazines did not have websites or blogs themselves, so I was scooping major print publications and in that way really gaining a huge following.

Q: How do you think your blog stands out amongst blogs of the same genre?

A: The Strong Buzz has a very distinct voice, mostly my own, that is familiar and friendly and also one of many years of experience as a food writer and as someone who has worked in the business. There is a relationship that was built very early on between my readers and myself, one I think, of trust and friendship. I think readers look to me for reliable news and reviews and came to really enjoy the Strong Buzz because of its fun and familiar tone and high quality of information. (more…)

Featured Bloggers: Chris Stang and Andrew Steinthal of Immaculate Infatuation

by Paige Wilcox
Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

With so many tempting restaurants flooding the streets of New York City, it’s hard to know the best places to spend your time and money. Wouldn’t it be great to have a couple of local friends providing reliable recommendations? Well, make Chris Stang and Andrew Steinthal your new best friends.  In addition to working in the music industry, Stang and Steinthal take the guessing game out of New York dining on Immaculate Infatuation. These two can break down the best places for you based on your event type, neighborhood, cuisine and venue. They also highlight five notable culinary personalities each Friday with their Friday Fives feature.  Make sure to check out their siteFacebook, Youtube, Flickr and Twitter to prep you for your next New York food excursion.


Immaculate Infatuation bloggers Chris Stang and Andrew Steinthal

Q: What was the catalyst that pushed you two to start blogging?

A: The nature of the music business means we’re out all the time seeing shows, and that also means a lot of dinners beforehand.  After a while, you become the one in your circle who knows where to eat, and suddenly you’re fielding phone calls every time one of your friends wants to impress a date. We also noticed that a lot of our friends and peers who love to eat out didn’t have a go-to resource for information on restaurants in New York. So we started one.

Q: How do you think your site stands out amongst other food blogs?

A: It’s entertaining, yet at the same time very useful. There aren’t many other places that you can go and find a restaurant in your neighborhood that’s “Perfect For: Day Drinking.” It’s also about consistency. We review 3-4 restaurants a week, and have a celebrity Friday Fives feature each Friday. Our readers know what to expect and check back daily.

Q: What do your family and friends think of your site?

A: They love it and are our biggest champions. The site is as much a representation of our friends and family as it is us. We even created a video series around Steinthal’s Grandma talking restaurants. (more…)

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