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The Blogerati Files: Richard Cleaver

This week in the Blogerati Files, richardcleaver.com .

Describe your blog in 10 words or less.
Technology, recording, music, photography, business, science, family, faith, and leadership.

Why did you start blogging? What's your blog's birthday?
I started the blog April 4th, 2004 as a way to stay in touch with friends and family. Since then, the blog has received over 100,000 visitors with about 5,000 or so regular visitors dropping by each month.

How long have you lived in Toronto?
I have lived in the Toronto area for 9 years.

What's the funniest/strangest thing that has happened to you in Toronto? Did you blog about it?
I was leaving the Bloor/Church area of town when my brand new BMW suffered a complete systems failure. I was stranded in a very awkward location blocking half of a busy street as well as the driveway of a particularly nice house. It took some time for the tow truck to arrive and, in the true spirit of Toronto, I received a number of helpful suggestions and comments on my difficult situation from numerous rush hour motorists and other interested parties. I will share a couple of them with you.

The owner of the house, upon seeing that I could not move my vehicle, came up to me and said: "A BMW eh? You know, I've owned a BMW. A Mercedes. A Jaguar. They're all no good. I have a Subaru. Great car. That's what you need. They never break down. Not like those BMWs. You really should live downtown anyway. No need for a car. I can walk to the subway in a couple of minutes. And from there I can go anywhere. Sell the BMW and buy a place downtown."

The tow truck operator, upon arriving at the scene, provided me with this insightful and technical perspective: "You know that the computer in these BMWs run Windows right? What you got is the Blue Screen of Death! Time to Ctrl-Alt-Delete!"

I did blog about that one.

What are some of the changes in Toronto that you have seen in your lifetime?
I first lived in Toronto about 30 years ago. At that time there was really very little in the way of urban growth in areas like Markham and Richmond Hill. Although the highways were busy, rush hour did not take up most of the business day. Toronto was definitely not as vibrant and diverse as it is today.

What era, day or event in Toronto's history would you like to re-live and why?
I love the present. Life is a gift and I enjoy the moment.

Who's your favourite Torontonian?
He has passed away now. Moe Koffman. Amazing musician.

Do you have a favourite free WiFi spot?
I am usually plugged in at my office and when I roam, I use my Blackberry for Internet and email.

Do you have a favourite post from your blog? Do you know your blog's most visited post?
I did write one particularly personal post about my father. It was difficult to write and it generated a surprising amount of support. The most heavily commented post was a quick item on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. The post generated about 150 comments and still gets a lot of traffic. I have also written a few posts that criticized the lavish lifestyle choices of a few evangelists. A lot of traffic and some pretty interesting emails.

Have you had your 15 minutes yet?
Maybe even 30 minutes :-)

Ever met a stranger who already knew you through your blog? If so, how did it go?
Yes. I often highlight books that I have enjoyed. And a number of authors obviously check on Google to see who is writing about them. One author made contact with me through email and then suggested that we get together for lunch. We did and we have stayed in touch since then.

Who are your favourite blogger(s)?
The ones I frequent most: Jordon Cooper, Warren Kinsella, Colby Cosh.

What's happening in Toronto right now that the rest of us should be watching?
The Toronto Maple Leafs!

If your blog were a food, what food would it be?
Apple pie. The perfect way to end a meal.

Speaking of food, do you have a favourite Toronto lunch spot?
I am a regular at Matisse which is situated on Bloor and Park.

If you could gather all of the bloggers of the world together into one room and tell them one thing, what would it be?
Use your voice to make a positive difference to your family, friends and community.

Have any advice for would be bloggers? What do you think is the best route to raise a blog's profile?
Blogging takes time and patience. And a blog has a surprising impact on people. I have learned that a personal blog has to balance expression with impact. Consider whether your words will be well received and try to be positive where you can.

Anything else you'd like to add?
Enjoy the journey and take advantage of this special time where we can gain insight without barriers.


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