Saturday, March 26, 2005

Max, the Mini Schnauzer: Blogs as tools for Social Networking and Expanding Learning Capacity

This post by olkgal reminded me of this early photo taken of my dog, Maximus (a Miniature Schnauzer ~ NLBLink 9425982).

Max looks nothing like the immaculately groomed dog from the AKC site. Two years ago, he looked like this:

Didn't he look like Stitch? (Disney's Lilo & Stitch ~NLBLink 11792394).

And this is Max, about 2 years later. He looks less like Stitch now and more like Chewbacca ~ NLBLink 10145356

I joked with my wife that Max looks like the offspring of a.. ahem... drunken sexual union between an Ewok and a Wookie ~NLBLink 12270570!

While thinking of a name for our dog, my wife and I surprisingly came up with the same name, but for different reasons. I was thinking of Maximus, the Gladiator [NLBLink 7821448/ NLBLink 10127342] played by Russell Crowe. My wife too, came up with the name, Max. But she was really thinking about main character in the cartoon series "The Transformers" [NLBLink 11795414], Optimus Prime, except that she mistakenly thought the heroic robot was called "Maximus Prime".

Here are some names we've called this dog of ours:
  • Maximus Fartalot (he really did fart a lot when young, probably because of the diet)
  • Smelly Boy (we still call him that sometimes, usually after a week since his last bath)
  • Donkeyboy (his ears are unusually perky for a Mini Schnauzer, making him look like a Miniature Donkey really)
  • Rabbit Dog (one time, my wife was walking Max and overheard a young girl arguing with her Mother if Max was a dog or a rabbit. With his ears, I don't blame them for being confused.)
  • Monkeyboy (we call him this when he sees food or something he wants to grab but can't quite reach, and starts hopping in a manner that only he can)
  • The Endangered Lesser Asian Bear-pig (we regularly bring him out for short midnight walks. Under the dim amber lamp lights, with the crickets singing in unison, the way he sniffs so intently at everything -- makes me think of David Attenborough [NLBLink 11636463/ NLBLink 11636463] narrating the some wildlife film for BBC).
AN ASIDE OF THIS BLOG: In blogging something as personal and as mundane as the name of my dog, what I'm trying to demonstrate is how blogging can be used as a tool for social networking and expanding the readers' learning capacity.

Consider the following:
  1. The post was inspired by something I read from another blogger. I left a comment and a link for olkgal's readers to connect to my blog.
  2. I've also enabled my readers to be connected to another fellow blogger (who they might not know of).
  3. If people google "Miniature Schnauzer", they might get directed to this post. So we're now connecting people with a common interest in Mini Schnauzers, and they are not necessarily bloggers.
  4. I intend to send this blog link to my friends and colleagues. They might learn something new -- that I have a dog. And perhaps some of my colleagues are dog owners, or they might forward the link to another person who owns dogs. More social connections.
  5. The hyperlinks to websites makes it easy for the reader to learn more about the topic (without cluttering my post with lengthy explanations).
  6. Notice the [NLBLink 12270570] tags in the post. These are simply hyperlinks to specific items in NLB libraries. The links will show the item availability as well. It's a way to promote usage of our libraries.
  7. In searching for those websites and library items, I'm learning along the way as well.
Of course what I didn't mention was the time it took for me to search for relevant links, and to compose this blog. For now, it takes a while but it's something I like to do. A little journey of discovery for myself.

And who knows, Blogger (and the many free Blog Tools developer out there) might collaborate with local libraries (like NLB) to incorporate a "Library Linker" add-on or something.


  1. Zahra5:28 pm

    Very interesting blog! Make me wish to meet Max although I'm more of a cat lover than a dog lover. Max reminds me of my mom's cat whom we called Ho Yam (the name of my dad's contractor 'cos he came to our house during the house renovation). Ho Yam was a darling cat although he was quite "old" for a cat when we adopted him. What he loved to do most was to "massage" my mom using his front paws. He would moved his paws up and down, left paw followed by right paw, along my mom's thigh. My mom would reward him with gentle strokes along his back. Ho Yam had long gone but all of us would never forget him. This memory of my mom's cat is more precious to me now especially that my mom is bed-ridden with Alzheimer and she doesn't even recognize her own daughter....

  2. Ho Yam the cat! You didn't like your contractor or what? :)

    On a more serious note, I'm sorry about your mother.

    But the intellectual part of me can't help but reflect that there's something subtly poetic about all this -- your memories of the cat now being the bridge being you and your mother. Perhaps that's what they mean by "Life is but a dream"... Sorry, I'm rambling again.

  3. Ivan, I like this particular posting of yours over your other postings, becoz it shows the (for lack of a better word) "human" side of you, and not just the professional side where you're always talking about books and libraries! :-P

    I told my charming husband (CH) that we will get a dog if we still don't get a baby by this year and I've set my heart on a really tiny toy-like dog. I'm not a dog-owner but I like dogs. When you're blogging about your dog, you seem almost warm-hearted. :-)

    Well, I know who to talk to if I'm going to get a dog.

  4. So you're saying I'm like, cold-hearted the rest of the times... hmm... ok, I'm kidding. Just demonstrating my brand of dry-humour.

    We blog what we are passionate about. And I LURVE what books and libraries stand for.

  5. Wendy6:10 pm

    I like this entry ...not quite unlike you but unlike the rest of your posts. Glad to see that Max made his way into your blog :)


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