“This is a baby step for me in blogosphere ... So in humility, let's start the ride together.”
The date was Sep 30, 2006, and the above are the starting and ending sentences of my first blog, aptly entitled Maiden Blog. One year since on the very day, it seems an opportune time to reflect on my virtual journey, and to project what the future holds, both as an individual and as a member of the digital commons.
First, some statistics. In the past year, I have written a total of 288 blog entries here and a companion blog here. At the beginning, there were some common entries, then subsequently each going on its own way following a rather loose division of musings on my personal/family setting in the other blog and beyond to the global dimension in here.
Sometimes the division may become blurred as exemplified by entries on Buddhism in both, driven by my personal desire to share the Buddhist edicts, and also at times dictated by the need to ensure that the duration of inactivity between blogging does not become glaring. That yields an average blogging frequency of about 0.78 per day. This fractional number of course is merely an artifact, because blog articles are counted in integers: you either write one or none. But it does give one some satisfaction as regards how engaged one has been in an endeavor, a surrogate of sort for commitment.
That's from a very personal viewpoint. A more objective assessment of the impact can also be made based on the number of comments, in my case mostly from personal acquaintances, and also the hits as tracked using StatCounter. I keep tab of the former as I treat them as valuable feedback that warrants my response and acknowledgment, at best I could. I can say that the number never goes beyond double digit, most of the time staying within the grasp of one hand (hint: count the fingers on one hand).
On the other hand, checking the StatCounter on a daily basis lies within the purview of wify. Sometimes, she would inform me if there has been an unusual spike in the hit histogram, exceeding 50, say. At times, she would let me know from which “esoteric” location my blogs have been accessed in an attempt to assure me that my messages, if there are, do reach far and wide.
But I take all these in my strides, writing my blogs as the urge arises in me, not seeking gratification. Since I have a regular income from employment, there is no need for me to resort to Google Adsense that pays on a per click basis in exchange for displaying targeted advertisements in one's blog.
Personally, and this is my personal view, these are distractions that I can do without in spaces that I can control, such as my own blog. Just like I'm free to decide on the format of my blog, within reasons, others can equally exercise their discretion to do likewise. No rationalization is needed, and nothing is imputed. One does what one is comfortable with, no horde mentality, no false sense of aloofness and sublimation, or rising above the materially driven masses, self-professed or otherwise.
The problem with taking a too personal approach to blogging is that one tends toward spontaneity, breeding haphazard topic selection (practically anything under the sky), seemingly hopping from one spot to the next without any attempt toward categorization. I have seen blogs with articles grouped under topics on the side bar, which is a boost to readers enamored of methodological searches. The best I have done is to provide label tags, filling the need in a somewhat more detailed fashion.
But one constant in my blogs are the hand-drawn pictures of nature (mostly parts of plants and flowers), the handiwork of wify. Some of the entries are also heavy on the pictorial side, another attempt at heterogeneity to promote a varied appeal to the blog design. But most of all, I try to vary my writing style, sometimes experimenting with words/phrases that have just entered into my lexicon.
These I will continue to do, as I look forward to the second annual anniversary of my foray into personal journalism in the cyberspace. I hope you have had a great ride, at least not a bumpy one on account of my “free-wheeling” style, and look forward to your continued patronage, to borrow a cliché.