At best, it’s another one of those “Why I Blog and What I Think About It” requests with a research-like twist. I seem to be doing a whole lot of that lately, like the one I wrote for Blogherald. There isn’t really any point to doing all of this when you get a certain age in blogging, save for still trying to tell other people that you’re a blogger and it sounds good rolling off your tongue. It’s the kind of narcissistic quality that (personal) bloggers are made off, but it’s far from being that defining essance that sets us apart. Still it’s nice to do a couple of these every once in a while, if only to remember why you still do it.
1) Your first experience in blogging:
- When and How was your first experience?
I lost that virginity when I was 19. Or was it 20? Yeah it was 20, 19 was…something else. It’s been more than 3 years since I put down those first posts back in the days when blogging was still at it infancy. In fact you can still see that first post right here. What I thought of it then? Nothing at all, it was a first post and blogging to me was just another way to write your diary. I was pretty bad at writing diaries so I didn’t expect it to last very long.
- What inspired you to start blogging?
A close friend who has been blogging slightly longer than me. Actually I used to hang around various forums a lot speaking my mind like there was no tomorrow. She recommended I had just the thing to start blogging. Eventually I did and the rest as they say was history.
- Are there any specific purposes to blog?
Aside from the original one of speaking my mind, recording my thoughts and reflecting upon my life? Not really…I mean there was the “be well known and respected so I will be admired throughout the blogosphere and get lots of money from people in the long run” bit during a certain blog fad period, but I kinda outgrew that eventually.
2) Difficulties faced when blogging:
- Are you able to express yourself fully without consequences?
Everything has consequences. I think the more suitable question here is that “Was I able to express myself and face the consequences?” To that I would say, I pretty much faced up to it. Trolls, extremely depressing and hateful posts…mothers. You just learn to deal with it all one step at a time and eventually realize that no matter what people say, blogging has the power to affect those around you, so be careful on how you choose to word your posts. You really never know who might be reading.
- What are your concerns when you blog?
It used to be that nothing at all. Then it degraded to being the puerile concern about how many people actually read my blog. After a while, I picked myself up from that. Now my only concern is whether people actually bother paying attention to some of the more important insider posts I write about WordPress. Other than that, it’s back to not bothering about much of what I write.
3) How has blogging influenced your life?
- Is it a top priority in your list? Or have nothing changed at all?
Blogging is important enough that I can actually blog everyday without breaking a sweat, but it’s not important enough to waste my life for. It’s basically one of the expendable parts of my lifestyle given the limitations I may have with both time to blog and money spent on maintaining my site.
- How does people around you (friends and family) react to your blog?
My mother, like a lot of mothers who find out that their children blogs, is no doubt very very concerned about the way I express myself to the public. I’m learning that sometimes it’s hard for the generation gap to see the same things the other side sees that includes us trying to see what our elders see. Sometimes my posts don’t leave without a warning or a serious misintepretation from my mother, but that’s to be expected. We learn to deal with that eventually. As for friends, a very few of my real life friends actually keep blogs that I read, the rest are friends that I have are people who I have met online and for the most part, through blogs that they keep. So for them at least, blogging is a normal thing.
4) What do you think of the Malaysian blogging community?
- Do you know any bloggers other than the people close to you, i.e. family, friends, colleagues etc?
As I said, the people close to me generally do not blog, except for a close few who I met through blogging. It would be a dangerous game to know the blogs of people close to you. But yes, I do know a lot of bloggers in not just the Malaysian blogosphere, but the rest of the world as well.
- Are you part of any blogging groups/community such as Project Petaling Street?
Yes I am, but it’s not local. I am affliated with WordPress as an Alpha/Beta tester for their Subversion and Nightly Builds and occassionally participate in the testing of some WordPress plugins like Bad Behavior. Recently, I have become part of the 9rules Blogging Community who’s purpose is to improve and showcase the best of blogs out there. I can only hope that I can improve on where I am with the help of others to bring out the best that I can be as a blogger. There are other groups, then again, why make it an official title if they are the niche amongst fellow bloggers who you call friends?
- If your answer is yes, what are the pros and cons of joining such a community?
Naturally you get to know more people in communities like this. It helps you build relationships with people who can otherwise help you in the future even when it’s not related to blogging at all. But in communities like this, I guess the only con if you see it as a con is the responsibility that you gain with these communities like that. Yes, I am in these communities because I love to blog, but at the same time, part of these communities is to have a certain standard when it comes to blogging. For WordPress, it is the blogging platform that it develops. For 9rules, it is the quality of content and web standards which it strives for. The responsibilities gained from being a part of these communities help shape the future of blogging for many, but only if its members do hold the torch to keep that flame lit. The only con for me at least is whether or not I’ll be able to carry that responsibility without burden for what I love. The rest I guess, comes with the territory.
Wow, that was pretty confessional even for me. Then again, like I said, sometimes it is good to do something like this and let it all out. If only to remember what it is you blog for and why you keep doing it. Sometimes the goals for what we do may change as we grow along life, but as always, the reasons why we do them never ever change. At least, they shouldn’t at all.