Today, we are pleased to invite you for a seat under our baobob tree to read interview with Martin Lindsey -- creater of MartyBLOGs. I hope you enjoy it!
Martin ended his interview by saying, "Thanks for allowing me to participate in your interview series, Villager. This has given me a chance to think on some subjects I haven’t had the opportunity to focus on in a while. I appreciate it."
- What were you like when you were younger? - As a child I was happy-go-lucky, but kind of introverted too. I wasn’t always comfortable being the first to approach other people to make friends but when I got to know you I was the life of the party. The silliness and jokestering always came out in the end.
That degree of shyness kind of continued into the high school years. I could be a laid back wallflower type some times. I was basically a homebody but I learned to break out of my shell as I got older.
I loved sports and couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to be anything other than an athlete when they grew up.
You’d never know from my early years that I’m now a hard core networker and as an adult I go out of my way to meet a new face.
- Name a famous historical figure, living or deceased, you would like to meet and tell us why. - If he were alive it would be really cool to meet Jacques Cousteau. He was one of my favorite scientists when I was a kid (Marlin Perkins of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom fame was the other) and is a major reason I pursued a technical career. I loved watching Cousteau’s National Geographic specials on PBS (pre-cable T.V era). If there was ever a field of science that seemed exotic and cool it was oceanography the way the captain of the Calypso could portray it. He is the reason scuba diving is #1 for me on your bucket list question.
I always wanted to join the crew of the Calypso and travel all over the world shooting film of sea animals, ship wrecks and ancient buildings fallen into the sea. I’d still like to pat a whale on its side and get a fin ride from a dolphin before I leave this earth.
And who knows? As a digital cinema grad student I may yet get the opportunity to do something cool like that.
- Name a person in your community who is relatively unknown to the rest of the world, who you believe is significant in some way, and that you would like the rest of the world to know more about. - For me that unsung person would be Mr. William Slayton. I’m not sure if he’s still around now but Mr. Slayton was our block unit president when I was a kid in St. Louis. I think the block unit dealt with safety or neighborhood politics. Maybe both. I’m not sure because while I tagged along with my mother to the meetings, the adults met in the Slayton’s living room and I watched T.V. in their kitchen.
However there was one time in particular when I went to an actual neighborhood political meeting of some sort with Mr. Slayton completely unrelated to the block unit. To this day I have no idea how I wound up hanging out with him but he drove us over to some storefront in the neighborhood and it was packed with a room full of people. The best I can recall is that they were talking about serious issues and that’s only because I remember all of those adults having serious looks on their faces and really getting into the discussion at hand. That was my first exposure to grass roots politics in action.
That’s what made Mr. Slayton a significant person, that he put his concerns for the well being of our neighborhood into action. I couldn’t appreciate it as a kid but I remember those events vividly and I have all the respect in the world for him to this day.
- What are two items in your 'bucket list' ... things you want to do or accomplish before you kick the bucket? - I want to go scuba diving and see with my own eyes many of the interesting animals and oceanic environments that I watch on National Geographic and Discovery Channel.
I want to travel into outer space on one of the civilian versions of spacecraft that are under development by various corporations. All the NASA missions are the yet another reason I fell in love with science.
- Describe your first experience on the Internet? - I learned about the Internet in 1995 when it first went public. I was a young engineer who discovered something way more interesting than engineering (LOL). I knew even back then that I wasn’t going to be in that profession the rest of my life.
The most exciting thing about it was finding a web page that taught basic HTML. I learned the basics in an hour and started creating and editing some bare bones pages with sections, colors, radio buttons and all the other now rudimentary features that were new and fascinating back in the old days at the end of the 20th century.
That’s how I entertained myself after work each day, by learning this new technology. It’s interesting seeing its evolution over the years. Some online applications that I imagined have come to fruition and many others that never occurred to me have been transformative in the way business is done and the way we live our daily lives on a personal level.
- Tell us about your current blogging career and how you got into it. - I got into blogging about four or five years ago. I don’t recall where I first read or heard of blogging but I used it as the subject of two of my early Toastmasters International speeches. It was quite fascinating to me and I knew it would be an eye opening subject for my club. The focus of my research for the speeches was on corporate blogging mostly. Of course as it turns out it’s individuals who have been the most popular and widely read bloggers and not the corporations.
It was around that time that I started my first blog. I have rehashed it in a couple of different incarnations since then as I discovered platforms that seemed easier or more advantageous for one reason or another.
- Who are the two bloggers you read the most and why? Include their links and tell us why we should subscribe to their feeds. - This one is hard to nail down to two that I read most so I’ll take interviewee’s privilege and reclassify the question as two that I really like and respect.
First I’d recommend a blogger I've discovered on Facebook over the last few months. His name is Mason Jamal and his site, Mason Says, with his irreverent brand of humor is always good for a laugh.
To take his tagline, he writes about "style, substance and sensibilities for men (and sometimes women)". His sarcastic, yet thoughtful observations and analysis of life makes you think while cracking you up. I like his writing style and as a blogger who regular tries to include humor in my writing and public speaking I admire his skill with the craft.
Secondly I’d recommend you oh great attendant of the baobab tree. The Electronic Village is one I can’t miss. Neither should anyone else. I’ve gotten to know you virtually over the last few years as we’ve both worked on improving our blogging skills. Your range of content covering matters social, technical and fun makes for interesting and different reading each day.
I like the way your layout shines the spotlight on other bloggers or people of interest in your side columns. You’ve gone beyond the blog roll with your AfroSpear Voices link featuring individual bloggers of color. And your Village Heroes link gives us a consistent dose of Black History. The other linked sections are cool too but those are my favorites.
- Where are you taking your blog over the next 2-3 years? - I’m working on expanding the scope of MartyBLOGs over the next couple of years. I’ve begun focusing the subject matter of my posts into a consistent set of categories over the last year. I have been doing more on social networking and music for instance. Sometimes I’ll write about principles to live by and other times I’ll write about my spiritual perspective as a Christian in particular.
I also want to begin learning how to monetize my site. I’ve always had good intentions and made small scale attempts at it but I’ve never focused on it as a feature in order to make it effective.
- What is your 'killer post' over the past year ... the post you are most proud of? - I don’t have one that qualifies as a killer post in my eyes. The last year has been filled with school work. Classes haven’t allowed me the time to dig as deeply and as consistently as I like to in my writing. So most of my subject matter has been shorter and to the point.
- What is your 'biggest noise post' over the past year ... the one that you took the most heat over from your readers? - I never hear big noise over any of my posts but I really seem to know how to fire people up when I comment from time to time. So how about a biggest noise comment?
As a person who is seriously conservative when it comes to applying timeless standards of morals and spiritual values to everyday living I get a lot of flack about one subject only, for some reason, and never for anything else that I might take the soap box for.
Everybody seems to want to raise cain with Marty when it comes to discussions of homosexuality. I don’t go for the “rights” excuse that is so popular and that some are trying their best to make mainstream. I’m trying my best to fight against this trend that threatens the social fabric of our society. I believe in the “what is right” line of thinking and living. People can continue to be upset with me, try to justify immoral lifestyles and pass them off as social issues all they like. Doesn’t matter to me because I’m going to continue saying what’s right anyway.
Martin was one of the first Black bloggers that I discovered in the afrosphere. I think that the thing I most appreciated about Martin is his action-oriented blogging style. Oddly enough, we have never met face-to-face, however, we have worked together in a variety of online activism efforts and within BDPA Education and Technology Foundation.
I enjoy publishing interviews of bloggers. I hope that I can do some more of these over the coming weeks and months. Let me know if you have a blogger you would like us to interview. Also, share some love with Martin for taking time to participate in this Q&A process.