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Whiter Than Your iPod

Technology is changing so fast, even the world of blogging has evolved to the point where a writer doesn’t even need a laptop. Armed with only her iPhone, serial blogger Caitlin Bergmann posts everything from harrowing true tales of commuters on the LIRR to play by play updates of the New Kids on the Block concert, while she witnesses them, as well as critiques and commentary on the world of web content as a whole. This native of the “Island of Long,” as she calls it, has been writing and producing content for the internet for years, but just last year launched a space all her own called Whiter Than Your iPod. “Blogging is what makes the world a hell of a lot smaller,” Caitlin says. “People are learning about things faster than people can even post it. The possibilities are endless, and you’re a fool if you don’t want to get in on that.” So get in on the many insights Caitlin has to offer at whiterthanyouripod.com.

Tell us about your blog: As a web producer, I love the Internet and writing, so I’ve had many, many blogs over the years. I literally had a four-block year of my life with (at least!) one post for every day. This is great and pathetic, simultaneously.

I was so busy writing and blogging for other people, I didn’t have time to write everything I wanted to as often as I’d like and was looking for a way to get my thoughts out without having to make time to write.

One of my first real Internet paying gigs was when I was 18 or 19 years old. I was one of the youngest staff employees there, except for, quote, the youngest intern ever. I think he was 14. (Yes, years old.) But, no joke, the kid was a seasoned web veteran and impressed the pants off everyone in the room. Segue to now, this intern is David Karp, the founder of Tumblr–an amazing blogging platform (tumblr.com) which solved my problem and got me back into blogging on my time. It’s intention is to get small, digestible bites online quickly and easily–even by phone. You really have no excuse to not update it, and I’m so happy he’s nerdy enough to bless us all with his genius. (He has an amazing pants collection by now to prove it.)

“WhiterThanYouriPod” is really an ode to my paleness. I’m almost the whitest person alive, I’m sure, and I needed a clever way of describing it since it was the quintessential “white” tech item at the time. Since then, Apple’s busted out some bold chrome colors and discontinued the ffffff (Hex color for white), so I guess I should really change it to WhiterThanYour3G16GiPhone, but I’ve already branded myself.

What do you love about living in New York?

New York is an amazing place to work. Unfortunately, I haven’t made the jump to living in the city yet, so I spend some quality time on the Long Island Rail Road pondering when I should stop torturing myself already. This, however, lead to me blogging constantly via iPhone about all the crazy events that happen on the train (i.e. hitting people, conductors from hell, passengers who fall asleep on me, guys who follow me two blocks post-train exit to awkwardly ask me out on a date). I had so many posts, I started my own tumblog dedicated to all things train: http://lirrdrama.tumblr.com. It’s kind of like Overheard In New York, but confined to railed mass transit.

What surprises you about New York or New Yorkers?

What’s funny about NY commuters is that it’s not our commute that’s awful, it’s each other. One day I will blog about how someone got shot in the face for talking on their phone, I swear. Throw a bunch of different people living their blue and white collared lives into a small space and insanity occurs. I’ve witnessed people open the door to the restroom to yell at the passenger occupying it for not locking it. Who DOES that?

The worst is when people sit in the aisle of a three-seater with the intention of blocking you from getting in there. I don’t know what it is, and I’ve even found myself doing this: No one wants to make anyone else move. We would sooner stand in the aisle than sit in that middle seat or ask Lawyer McLawyerson over there to move his affidavits and suck it.

When you leave New York, what do you miss the most?

I’ve been to London three times in the past couple months and I don’t think I’d be as good at my job there. Seriously. I think New York just gets into your bloodstream and affects everything that pours out of you. But, I must say their subway system is cleaner, carpeted, color coded and filled with the sounds of hot British accents. They also have a lot less free Wi-Fi.

Best tips, tricks or insider info?

I think everyone should have a blog, or at least try it on for size. Very few people are truly good at blogging, cause at the end of the day, you do need to have writing skills and a keen understanding of the web. Embedding things and posting links does not a blog make, but it’s something anyone can do, especially with the bevy of applications floating around out there. Look at Perez Hilton. The dude gets more traffic than Jesus, yet his site looks like he bought it at a used-blog wholesale outlet. It’s all about the content. You don’t need slick graphics if you have a point of view, and everyone surely has that.

Find some blogs you like. Ask yourself, “What is it you like about them? What keeps you coming back?” Use that as a starting point and you’ll be surprised with the results.

Another tip: Google yourself. You’ll find embarrassing message board postings defending the Backstreet Boys’ honor circa 1998 that you can’t do jack about now.

Last cultural thing that you did (movie, museum, theatre, etc…)

I blog a lot, and that means in some seriously random places. I live-blog award shows as I’m watching them. I’ve blogged at concerts and posted pictures in real time. I’ve even blogged in a bathroom once, which is seriously worse than it sounds, but I assure you I was only waiting in line and it was funny at the time, I swear. No, really.

www.whiterthanyouripod.com

What would your blog focus on? Post a comment below!


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