Tag Archive for 'Culture Blogger'

Keri the Canadian Explorer

in Blogging, Culture Blogger, Ontario, Photography and Toronto

KeriCDN is a talkative girl with lots of creative energy; exploring Canada is her raison d’etre.  At Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario, Keri studied business, history and linguistics, but her real life education started in February 2008, when she started blogging.

Keri The Canadian Explorer has culturally significant adventures everyday, and she shares her discoveries with a growing tribe of domestic and international followers. It’s interesting that she profiles all types of Canadians, not just the ‘great ones’.  She reports the facts and lets her audience decide if her subjects and settings are worthy of praise. For example, she’s quite proud of a recent video exploring the Canadian Navy.

Keri’s site contains no advertising.  She has refused to do sponsored posts and thinks Google AdSense looks tacky; she doesn’t want to appear avaricious for three cents a day.  The business training inside of her is however looking for benign sponsors; she would like to play a part in something larger, something sponsored by a proud and worthwhile Canadian enterprise.

To that end, she threw a blog party at the Reservoir Lounge last November.  It was a big success, and helped put her at the center of a local community of like minded individuals.  Since then she has banded together with some other famous web friends to create The Toronto Blog Girls which is a loose association of popular Toronto fashionistas and event bloggers that reside in Canada’s largest city.  All of these girls are attractive, intelligent and artistic, and together they’re a powerful press squad.

Check out Ryan Couldrey’s photo of Keri using automatic weapons.

Keri’s biggest fault might be that she’s too darn nice. In the video she did with Five Hockey Legends, she really shouldn’t have let security interrupt her filming, and it’s so typical of Canadians to apologize and be so concerned with procedures instead of just rolling tape and saying sorry later. To that point it would have been great if she’d turned and tried to leave with Red Kelly’s NHL Stanley Cup ring…  but she’s too nice.

Keri often profiles influential speakers and attends a lot of events on inspirational subjects. In most episodes the girl charms her way backstage or somehow corners presenters after appearances. Her well conceived queries combined with her compelling interview style more than compensate for the bad lighting and sound quality in these commando videos.  See Gary Vaynerchuk Loves Canada!

KeriCDN Quests for the 2010 Olympic Games

Keri’s short term dream is to attend and chronicle the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. As a true Canadian explorer and premium blogger, she believes it’s her manifest destiny to be at this international event, sharing the experience with the rest of the nation. This single cause has coloured her blog for months. She entered contests, wrote letters and collectively schemed right along with her readers to get herself over to the other side of the continent in February.  And then finally, it worked.

Keri had her hands on the torch in January 2010.  She photographed it, wrote about it, and was questioned about it on national television.  Before that, Keri charmed contest mavens with her Samsung mobile explorer video entry and issued repeated requests for votes. Her quest for Vancouver goes all the way back to September 2009 when she reviewed the Olympic apparel at The Bay, and fantasized about her wish list of events to cover.  Later that month while bike riding with her friend Jody, the Olympics Games are back on her brain. She interrupts her explanation of the difference between an Inukshuk and Inunnguaq and gets completely sidetracked by a point about the Nunavut flag being associated with next year’s Olympics.  Well all the obsessing finally paid off…

Keri has been contracted by Canoe.ca and Sun Media to cover the Winter Games as official press.

In addition to her blog, you can subscribe to KeriCDN videos on YouTube and follow her on Twitter  @KeriCDN.

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Rebellious Arab Girl in London, Ontario

in Activism, Blogging, niche blogs, Ontario and Personal Blog

Mona, profile picture, Rebellious Arab GirlMona is the living manifestation of her rebellious blog; she’s a strong female personality in the Arab world, and that’s rare.  Although core values are slowly changing, Middle Eastern culture still seems to discourage female participation; Mona’s blog is rebellious, because it exists.

Rebellious Arab Girl is emotional and writes her caustic journal to promote change. It’s a complaints blog from a girl who began blogging because she had built up a lot of anger toward “certain issues with the mentality of certain people within my culture. My message was to tell the world that I am just an ordinary girl who happened to come from a very conservative culture.

Mona will be 29 years old in December. She started blogging on her 25th birthday because that’s when she became a rebel and really felt alienated from familial and cultural expectations. Apparently being a 25year old unmarried Arab girl is not an easy existence, and the blog was an outlet for Mona’s feelings. This girl is single and complicated, and these realities give her blog colour and purpose.  She’s not using her domain to look for love, or at least not overtly, but rather to complain about not finding love, and to comment on the structure, traditions and expectations of Muslim Canadians.  She writes, “I didn’t want to fall into the following category: if you are 25 and not married, then you have to or else you are screwed for life! I rather find myself first and know what I want from life, then feel committed to someone who is not willing to accept my ideologies and beliefs. Hence, my blog is a very big part of me, and many men don’t accept it. So, it is either the blog or them, and obviously I chose the former!”

Mona's amazing digital artComputer Science grad from the University of Western Ontario, Mona now works as a computer programmer in London. “I love my profession since I create web applications that so many professionals out there can make use of. No more using a pen and paper, and everything is just a click away and processed in the background. I love it. I make life simple for so many people with my skills.” Earlier in 2009 Mona was unemployed, and she blogged about job hunting and complained about the process. In that time however she created some terrific digital art. Now that she has a job, I’m sure readers hope she finds time to continue creating her masterpieces.

Mona likes London’s diversity, “It is a very family oriented city with a very diverse population. Moreover, I believe the diversity is the main reason why London is a very unique city.”

Rebellious Arab Girl likes to speak out about issues within her culture that won’t work if you “live in this side of the world”.  She really believes people should keep their core values but try to change the way they perceive life and interact with the rest of the society around them. When she heard about Barack Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize for his campaign platform she created and published one of her own:

Rebel Arab Girl for change!Vote for the Rebellious Arab Girl today!

1. She promises you peace in the middle east!
2. She promises you democracy in each Arab country with 4 – 6 year election time frames with citizens voting new leaderships!
3. She promises you a separation between religion and the state!
4. She promises you no more visa requirements for Arabs to visit other Arab countries!
5. She promises you Palestine to return to its rightful owners!
6. She promises you government funding for each Arab University to allow and contribute their scientific research to the world!
7. She promises you equality in the work force between the sexes!

Also along these lines, in June 2009 Mona wrote I Think its Time for Change about which she confides, “This is one of my favorite posts actually, because I created promotional fun banners because I love to create digital art. Also, I wrote this post because I always wondered when will there ever be a female leader of the Arab World?”

On Blogging & Writing
“I became a better writer over time since I exercise it almost daily though my blog. Also, last year, I decided for fun to take a couple of advanced writing courses at the University to enhance my writing skills for online publications. I wanted my writing to be convincing since I do enjoy it more than a hobby.”

Surprises?
“My biggest surprise is the size of the audience I have been receiving. It is quite extraordinary to be just another girl with hardly anyone to listen to in real life, to having such numerous amounts of readers who love you for being you, and are willing to take time out of their day to read what you have to say and comment. It is a great indescribable feeling having a blog.”

Two more of Mona’s favourite posts include, The Positives Outweigh the Negatives, of which she says “I really like this post because I wanted to tell the world that Arabs are great positive people, because they have great family values that distinguish them from other cultures.” And another on the subject of Arabs Marrying Non-Arabs, about which she writes, “I wrote this post because I receive several emails a day from people asking me if it is right or wrong for Arabs to marry non-Arabs. So I tried to explain my point of view, and I stirred a very long debate regarding this issue.

Rebellious Arab Girl in her own words,“I don’t believe my site is targeted only to the Muslim community or even to the Arab community. My site is targeted to everyone who is willing to read the life of just another girl who happens to be an Arab and Muslim. I wanted people to realize that I am no different than them.”


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