Saturday, 4 June 2011

Ranting and Raving

Christiana Mbakwe is a lady who is not afraid to speak her mind which is evident from her opinionated posts on her blog, Christiana Rants as well as her ever so entertaining tweets. She has been blogging since 2008 and covers topics such as friendship, relationships, politics, self esteem and careers. However it was her epic blog post Growing up African which has really caught the attention of Twittersphere where she discusses the perils of growing up in a Nigerian household and all the quirks that come with it. When she is not blogging, Christiana she is working on her other baby The Tip Online which is an online lifestyle magazine that covers fashion, beauty and celebrity news. Her day job is as a social media manager so it seems that social networking is a huge part of her life. I caught up with her to find out about blogging and ranting.

What made you start blogging?
My cousin from LA was over in London for the summer and we'd spent much of our time together debating and me winding everyone up with my opinions. He challenged me one evening to chronicle my thoughts and start a blog. So I did. It was a bet that spiraled out of control, initially it was just for my family and friends, but after a few months it began to expand.

Describe the concept behind Christiana Rants?
Essentially it's a blog built on discussing ideas, challenging concepts and gaining something from going through that process. My mantra is 'Engage. Entertain. Educate', I try to keep the posts as intellectually rigorous as possible, but still quite light. It's a difficult tightrope to walk, but I don't want a lowest common denominator blog. I figured if my blog is filled with stupidity, I'll constantly have to engage with stupid people. So I deliberately position my blog in a manner that forces myself and my readers to wear their thinking caps when they read it. I started blogging at 21, now I'm 24, so my readers are following me on a journey and in many ways we're on a journey together.

Over the last few years bloggers have really made their mark in blogsphere, how do you think they will continue to push the boundaries over the next few years?
I think the rise of the blogger has been a predominately western thing, as it's occurred in regions where there is mass internet access . In our cultural space it's pretty much the norm to see bloggers begin to penetrate the media and to a degree exert influence in the media and beyond. Though this influence is often overstated it's an interesting phenomena. My feeling is that there won't be much boundary pushing from bloggers in the West. However assuming that there's is economic growth in the developing world and internet access begins to spread south of the equator, I suspect the real innovation and boundary pushing will come from the bloggers that come from the developing world. Their addition to the blogsphere will make it more pluralistic and interesting.

How do you get your inspiration for your posts?
Honestly? My (overly) complicated love/dating life. LOL! And the love lives of my friends. On a serious note I find inspiration in a variety of places. I read obsessively and like hearing what people have to say and analysing why they behave in the manner they do. I try and find inspiration wherever I can.

What do you do when you are not working on your blog?
I'm probably reading, writing or playing my piano. If not that spending time with my family and friends.I spend a lot of time looking at shoes on the internet.

Describe a typical day in the life of Christiana.
I work as the social media manager of an international humanitarian relief organisation so from 9 to 5, they have my time. I'll get home and then work on The Tip Online whether it's organising features, shoots, interviews or general research. If it's not The Tip, then I'm editing or writing a piece for Christiana Rants or whatever writing project I'm involved in at that time.

What are your favourite glossy magazines?
I've always preferred books!

Name five blogs that you read religiously.
I only check three blogs religiously. Leftsetz Letter, The Awl and Karla's Closet. Any others I dip in and out.

How do you see your blog evolving over the next two years?
I can't predict the trajectory of its evolution. However I hope whatever the blog is and whatever space I'm operating in there will be a significant improvement in my quality of writing and a lot of progression.

You can read Christiana's blog here.

You can follow her on Twitter.

1 cool comments:

Ebunola Adenipekun said...

I enjoyed reading this, inspiring.