Tag Archive for 'London'

Lauren O’Nizzle in London Ontario

in Blogging, Canadian pop culture, Culture Blogger, niche blogs, Ontario and Personal Blog

Lauren OutLoud blog is home of Lauren ONizzleLauren O’Neil, aka Lauren O’Nizzle is a 24 year old journalism student at the University of Western Ontario. She’s working on her master’s degree, but she’s already the most sophisticated, web tech-savvy pop culture princess we’ve ever encountered.  This girl makes media, and in less than two years she has become an outstanding example of a new type of entertainer, a socially brilliant one girl band on a noble quest to “spew random hilarity” all over the internet.

LaurenOutLoud is the website that hosts her entire menu which includes Lauren O’Neil web journalism portfolio. In addition to this formal magazine like portal, Lauren O’Nizzle’s content is distributed across numerous social mediums including, her LaurenOutLoud blog which is complimented by her twitter page @LaurenONizzle her LaurenONeal Delicious bookmarks account, her Nizzle .Posterous email blog platform, and of course her Lauren ONizzle on YouTube account.

This isn’t your typical marketing student blog, or any form of high brow intellectual content, although her posts are smarter than you might expect from a 24yr old person; the largest search terms in her blog’s tag cloud are ‘funny, muchmusic, TV, youtube’ in that order, and these are followed by ‘jschool, internship, cute’ and ‘dating’.

lauren ONizzle looks shy sad quiet fragile and its an illusion

Lauren O’Nizzle is very creative, and a little nerdy in how she stretches ideas and goes the distance for her followers. She’s been know to scan and post original drawings, and apply advanced photo shop skills to borrowed images. Also impressive is her ability to infuse comedy into her video interviews.

The name O’Nizzle came about organically as a nickname her friends applied several years ago. When it came time to create her Facebook account etc, she decided to go with that handle to protect her future employers from seeing any scandalous photos that may or may not appear in that space. Now, most friends don’t even call her Lauren anymore, to them she is simply “Nizzle.”

When an digital artist named Cameron Stewart cartooned her, she remarked on how the picture was ‘the sickest thing she’s ever seen’,  and she used it on her menu page layout.  That menu is so compelling. This young journalism student already embodies the future of electronic news media and entertainment. She is a great example of how people will soon make media for other people.

lauren ONizzle in the bathrrom with a toothbrush and phone cameraBorn in Chatham Ontario, Lauren moved to Windsor for her undergraduate degree, and now she lives in London.  As a journalism student, her blog is a place where she doesn’t have to worry about journalistic integrity and reporting on hard news. On her blog, she can have the freedom to take sides and write about what ever she desires even if it’s about creepy old naked ladies.

In a way, Lauren began blogging when she was only twelve years old, after she discovered Angelfire.  In that strange space she created a diary web page called “Spaz Central.” She filled this page with animated gifs and pictures of her awkward, frizzy-haired adolescent girls posing like the young models in Seventeen magazine (pictures that had been taken with a disposable camera and scanned at the library, of course).

As a self-proclaimed soul mate of Tina Fey, Conan O’Brien and Lisa Simpson, Lauren colours her stories funny and smart.

lauren onizzle on the radio

Lauren loves to multitask and is always on the go; she’s a little obsessed with always creating content. When she isn’t being viral, she likes watching comedy TV shows, doing yoga, reading fashion magazines, dancing and eating sugar cereals.  She’s an active blog reader and prolific commenter.  And Lauren is not at all shy about having her picture taken, and her face can be seen mugging all over her media empire. Her openness gives followers a big window into the life of a young blond journalism school student in Canada.

Lauren ONizzle AXE contest promotion banner

She also defines herself as being the opposite of Sarah Palin, Jay Leno and Bart Simpson.

Recently, Lauren was named one of the 10 finalists in the in AXE Canada’s Ridiculously, Ridiculously Good Summer Gig Competition. Voting for the Axe Summer Gig ends on March 31st, which ironically is the very day in which her profile here on Canada Blog Friends was posted.

“Success for me is making people laugh. Every time I get an email from somebody telling me that something I’ve posted has made their day or cheered them up, I’ve succeeded. I don’t do this for the money or the perks or the mad groupie hoes. I do it for the lulz, plain and simple.”

lauren Onizzle cartoon by her friend, i cant remember his name

“I saw an episode of Ghost Writer when I was 9, where ghostwriter goes into a computer modem and fights a hacker. I thought that this was the coolest thing ever so I begged my parents for a modem until they finally got me one.”

Lauren’s considers her blog to have no true central theme. Her posts run the gamut. Funny things, weird things, pop culture, web culture, nerdities, schadenfreude and all things karma related and esp things that she observes while shopping. Half the time, she says it’s just brain vomit. Whatever is on the top of her mind at any given time is effortless transmutated into social capital. Lauren’s followers tend to be people who share her wacky sense of humour and have similar interests to her.

For Lauren (Nizzle) O’Neil, blogging is how she brings her humour, lifestyle, hobbies and career aspirations to one place so she can properly share them with the rest of the world.

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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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Phronk in London Ontario

in movie reviews, Ontario, Scholar and Web Designer

Phronk banner

Phronk is an innovator and has been since June 2000.  He’s friends with Dead Robot, Mod Superstar and Raymi the Minx; these four bloggers are the Southern Ontario social club. They link to each other in their blogrolls, and comment on each other’s posts, and share unflattering pictures of Stephen Harper…

But Phronk has the most colourful and compelling voice. His blog is surprisingly original, and very readable, and most of the art on display is his own. It’s true Raymi and Dead Robot sometimes borrow his artwork to spice up their posts.

Mike PhronkPhronk writes this about himself,  “I’m a guy who lives in London, Ontario, doing various things, such as going to school (I’m a graduate student in psychology), going to work (I teach people and do science) and many other things. I really enjoy doing activities that are fun and eating things that taste good. I have a wonderful family, friends, and a dog. Bees make me nervous. That’s all there is to me.”

Actually there’s a whole lot more to Phronk than that. A quick scan of his domain shows that he has boundless passion in multiple genres. For example,  last fall he detailed the London Zombie Walk and his comment box was full after profiling the most listened to albums of 2008,

Google superconductorPhronk.com is good for funny cat photos, and ‘ugly cakes’ especially ‘toilet cakes’ which are edible cakes shaped like toilets (with yellow jello and candy bars in the center). And let’s not forget about the vanilla chocolate cake that looks like overflowing cat litter boxes (my personal favourite).

Phronk documents lobster flavoured potato chips and good Google daily logos, exceptional movies that went straight to video, or straight to awesome as he puts it,  and look at this early masterpiece Halifax Holiday photo post. Here he writes, ‘I snap a random vacation picture, post it on my blog, and one of the people in the picture manages to find it. It’s made even more incredible by the fact that everyone involved is as anonymous as can be.’

You get the feeling he’s just goofing around, but writers know its a lot of hard work. Pretty much everyday this author explores something new. Most frequent topics include “life, music, movies, TV, psychology, philosophy, science, parapsychology, skepticism, technology, video games, horror, books, writing, news, stupid internet stuff, and whatever else comes into my head. It’s all pretty self-indulgent, really.” 

There’s a lot of Phronk to read – visitors should journey back to the year 2000 just to see how it all began. Phronk artAfter a post listing his favourite movies, and another promising to make his new blog the repository for all his best stories, readers are treated to a very unusual sasquatch thriller wherein the monster appears on the highway and rear ends the car Phronk is test driving with a car salesman…

Some final wisdom from Phronk:

Contemporaneously should not be a real word.

Only semi-retarded emo kids post their crappy art to their blogs. Do you like the art? Check out Phronk’s scrapbook, phronk.tumblr.com

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Five Blondes in London

in Fashion Blogger, niche blogs, Ontario, Personal Blog and Photography

Five Blondes header

Erica grew up on a farm in western Ontario with four younger sisters – they are all blondes. Throughout their childhood, they’ve always been ‘the family of five blonde girls’ and that fact defined them. Today things are different. They don’t live together in an old farm house and share one bathroom anymore. Now Erica, Micaela, Kate, Leah and Lauren share their lives online. This is how they stay in touch with each other.

Erica BlondeFive Blondes was born in July 2007 in a Facebook message from Erica asking her sisters if they would like to contribute to a collaborative blog. Over the course of the next two days, the clan picked a project name (that wasn’t hard) and registered the domain. Erica promptly installed a WordPress engine, and in just over one year they’ve all worked together and built a terrific portal that’s both entertaining and informative. The writing is as diversified as the authors, Kate might post about assembling a new barbecue, while Erika describes innovative cell phone marketing strategies. Michaela and Lauren might write about fashion and new social trends in university, and I wish Leah would update us on her life in Calgary more often.  The comment box echoes a chorus of questions and opinions, and evidences a wide readership – sometimes mom and dad chime in to offer insights and support.

I read in Micaela’s First Week of School where she describes her anxiety at the prospect of starting teacher’s college in Windsor, alone.  But she goes on to describe how today that loneliness is mitigated by the popularity of Facebook.  Imagine that – now its easy to hook up with old friends on a new campus. How has Facebook changed Frosh week? The internet keeps all the girls together. Sometimes the group meets in chat rooms to play Cheeky Bingo, or other games of skill, with strangers. There are 12000 winners every week on Mecca bingo in the UK.

The five sisters’ blog contains a wonderful flickr widget that showcases some genuinely proud moments in their lives. Readers will notice engagement rings, fiances, lemon blueberry muffins and hay bale athletics. The Flickr photos contain descriptive text. Each sister has a slightly different writing style, and it takes a while to figure them out and put them into perspective. Flickr helps, and here’s what I get:

Erica is the oldest and the leader of the pack. She has a degree in film theory, and is scheduled for marriage in Spring 2009. She lives in London Ontario and rides a bike to work everyday. You can find her on Twitter.

Five Bloneds familyMicaela just entered teachers college at the University of Windsor.

Kate is the middle child. She went to the University of Guelph and studied agriculture, following in her mom’s footsteps. Kate married her sweetie Scott in October of 2007 and together they bought a farm. Kate is also on Twitter.

Leah moved to Calgary with her boyfriend and relies on the blog for updates on her sisters back in Ontario. She works in the non-profit sector and has a degree in Gerontology.

And Lauren, the youngest of the five is a criminology student in Ottawa.

Five Blondes is a fascinating look at the lives of five farm girls filling a technological conduit with fragments of the Canadian female experience.


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