Yet another landmark was passed recently when I published my 2000th post on this blog. Of course, that also includes the 376 ‘Asides’ posts (now retired). I have blogged on Rediff and Typepad before moving to my own domain (iPatrix). My first post was on my then-regular hangout Starbucks and was a lot shorter than most of my posts I write now. You can browse through the whole gamut of posts dating back to June 2003 in my Archives. In addition, this blog also has almost 8,700 comments and the number would be lot higher if I could have managed to import all the comments from my Rediff blog [used to get lot more comments back then].
If that list is too overwhelming which I’m sure it is, you always use the site search or browse based on categories or months on the sidebar (right dark-grey). Based on the number of posts per categories, this blog has been and still is personal in nature although I still write a lot on society & culture, politics, current affairs, Internet technology or trends, and of course, blogging.
So has all this writing been in vain and just a time sink? Hell no! I’ve enjoyed most of it; writing and interacting with other writers and bloggers. In the spirit of the tag “why I blog”, I guess I can list a few reasons I still continue doing what I’ve been doing for the past four years now.
Networking and Outreach
I have met and interacted with a host of interesting, intelligent, and smart people. I have made tons of friends with people whom otherwise I never would have known. I have discovered people who were interested in the same things I was. I wouldn’t have discovered them if it weren’t for the connecting power of the Internet. In fact, the blog played a significant role in my relationship with Ash.
Being more aware of the world around me
I have been exposed to many issues: social, cultural, political, or economic that otherwise would have slipped under the radar. My sense of awareness about the world I live in has increased exponentially. I have read and blogged about issues that have influenced or affected me in some significant way and the opinions of others either through comments or their blogs have greatly helped me refine my thoughts.
Medium to voice my opinions
Although I come off as a politically correct individual, I have had strong opinions about several matters and writing them down has helped me make better sense of my own perceptions and knowledge. In fact, I have noticed that I’ve changed a lot since I started blogging. In addition, I have shared plenty of personal tales, experiences, and memories which has found a audience and a keen listening ear amongst many of you prompting you to share as well. This blog is also a collection of memories, cathartic or otherwise.
Learning about web technologies and design
If you are hosting the blog on your own domain, I’m sure you have tweaked it somewhat; added few plugins, changed themes, and other hazaar seemingly technical things. In fact, I’ve done lot of it. I have changed themes more than the average blogger and added plugins and knick-knacks more than the reader would appreciate but all that tinkering has given me an opportunity to learn new skills which otherwise my academic education didn’t teach me. Sure, I’ve messed up big time and process has been slow but I’ve always learnt something new from those mistakes. Bloggers are a helpful lot and I’ve received plenty of help too (see Colophon).
Being a relatively popular blogger gets me invites for real-world product or web services reviews. Apart from formal requests, I surf around a lot to try out different Web 2.0 services which we are seeing a lot right now. There never has been a better age for sharing information.
Earning coffee money
This is not one of those blogs that you can retire on although if I have the inclination or the time to do so, I’m sure I can. But thanks to several blog monetizing options, this blog also earns a decent amount of money at least enough to take care of its hosting costs and a bit more (don’t ask me how much!)
Earning money off your blog is not a bad thing and although certain purists scoff at it, adding a few ads and optimizing them to maximum exposure and keeping them less intrusive can help strike the balance between your loyal blog readers and ad-clicking visitors. But hopefully, I haven’t gone overboard. I would recommend subscribing to my feed to have a complete ad-free reading experience.
There are plenty more things I can thank for blogging but these are the five top things that come readily to mind. Please let me know your opinions on your experience on this blog. Brickbats and bouquets welcome. My would-be saali already complains that this blog is no longer fun and too focused on blogging issues. Probably she has a point and now that the Sanjaya is off the radar, let me see what else can I shine my light on.
I am trying to avoid rants hence my silence on many ridiculous events that have been dominating the Indian social scene these days but I guess, ranting is the best part about blogging. And of course, academic commitments are taking a priority over other written material. I’m already reading and writing too many theory summaries but casual blogging shall resume.