A pile of trash left on a beach inspired Julie Gelfand to finally start a blog and air her grievances on the web.
“I had been thinking about starting a blog and was searching for a framework or topic I could wrap my head and heart around, and presto!” said Gelfand, a 20-year Long Beach resident. “I found it!”
Some guests who were staying at the Allegria Hotel had left the garbage and Gelfand was offended, not only at the litterbugs but also at the hotel workers who came to survey the trash after she made a call to the hotel.
“But instead of cleaning up,” Gelfand wrote in her first post last September, “they about-faced and left the mess to bob on the incoming tide.”
Gelfand’s blog, Lovin’ Long Beach, turned into a place where she would come to voice her opinion on things she believes needed changing in the city, as well as to share her positive experiences.
“I just love our city and can't stand some of the things I see that could be so easily avoided or simply rectified,” she said. “If only someone in City Hall were paying attention.”
Blogging isn’t new to Gelfand. As a public relations specialist, she has ghost blogged for her clients to show them how the medium can be used to enhance their businesses.
Hilary Topper, owner of HJMT Public Relations and president of the Social Media Club of Long Island, said that for some blogging is a tool to unwind and relax.
“A lot of people use blogging as a way to release stress and pressure similar to an offline diary,” said Topper, a Lido Beach resident. “Except, now potentially millions of people can be reading your diary.”
Topper uses her blog to promote her business, share personal thoughts and stories, and talk about her journey as a new runner. Because of the public nature of blogging, Topper said, there could sometimes be a backlash when writing about controversial topics.
“And you have to expect that,” she noted.
Gelfand said she hopes that someone notices her blog with the ability to make a change.
“I wouldn't be averse to serving on a local committee or in some other way partnering with those in power to either implement some of my ideas or come up with better ones,” she said, adding that she hopes her friends and neighbors read it with some amusement.
Gelfand shares her blog on her Facebook page and finds it gratifying when someone clicks the “Like” tab.
“Sometimes people post comments on my wall about the blog posts,” she said, “so I know people are reading.”