In keeping with my tradition of a Friday feature, I give you the thinking alien! No, not me (though I suppose I am a thinking alien...). The one that graces this page and whose image marks the 'Thinking Bloggers Award"; the same one which sagely oversees Ilker Yoldas's "The Thinking Blog".
The tag line reads: "The Thinking Blog, fuel by ikler yoldas". When I first stumbled across this site (without benefit of any search engine or link network, I might add), I was intrigued and compelled to read more. This blog is a cornucopia of succinct and well-written random thoughts: a stream of conscious expose of eclectic, varied well-thought out posts, succinctly and well-written and reflecting the edge of authority of a person devoted to sharing erudite facts and issues. Although, like a few other bloggers who have shared their thoughts with me, I'm not certain where Ilker's major themes lie (I don't think there is one--does there need to be one?), I admire her devotion to her blogging craft and her integrity (she always provides references and sources for material not of her own creation).
Ilker's posts are as varied as their titles are compelling, like these recent posts, ranging from personal issues to marketing:
- support topless women
- Blog Promotion
- 5 addictive games
- Intelligence can't be measured
Ylker is also an accomplished artist and, besides the wonderful thinking alien illustrated above, Ilker has painted landscapes and other portraits; you can see a gallery of her works here.
One post that struck me was on the Aurora Borealis by guest poster Jennifer Hitchcock and accompanied by incredible images collected by Ilker. I was particularly transported by the videos. You'll have to go check them out. This phenomenon is truly one of Nature's wonders.
What did it for me, though, was Ilker's thinking alien. The one perched on her blog, from whose brain emanates a fiery conflagration that flames her blog. I'd seen the thinking blogger award on someone else's site and thought it a marvelous idea. Of course, at its root the award is just a meme that serves as clever marketing (particularly given that the rules of award acceptance hinge on a link back to the originator of the meme, Ilker's thinking blog). But, I have no quarrels with that right--Ilker deserves recognition for not only the idea but for the attractive design of the widget.
Clever marketing aside, the idea of the thinking blogger award is a good one. The concept of striving to make things better (in this case by promoting thoughtfulness) is an elevated one. The more I blog-surf, the more I am convinced that the entire blogging community is a thinking community; that is why we blog. The majority of bloggers are thoughtful writers with something to share, whether personal feelings or information on the world. We are all writers and there lies the rub: because invariably we want to share that writing (I"m a professional writer; I should know). So, we walk the tightrope of promotion and content daily. Ilker has a great post on this too, incidentally (sorry, Ilker, I can't find it). In any case, I refer you to my previous posts, "The Faithful Blogger" and "Is Blogging Clogging the Internet" for more of my thoughts on this.
I like to quote my blogging friend, Joel of Fearless Dreams, who writes an incredibly insightful post on "thinking blogs" and "Why we need blogs that make us think and feel". Says Joel: "I enjoy blogs that help me think in new ways, even when they don't challenge me. But to me, the most interesting blogs are as much about emotional courage as they are about great thinking." Here's his complete post; very worthwhile to read!