One Year Of Blogging

It was this month, last year (March 2003), when I first began blogging. At the time, I did not know what I would be writing about, nor had any idea of how much I would be able to write. So I made a small beginning, writing one post a week, striving to maintain the pace, in spite of a hectic work schedule.

The first few months were tough. Installing Movable Type – the publishing tool I started with – took its own sweet time. Finding server support for it in India was also not easy. But I persisted, like I always do, and got it up and running. And then began the long hours each weekend trying to make my website look and behave exactly like I wanted it to.

All through this time, I also continued publishing posts on the blog. At first, my posts were the usual link-and-comment type followed by many blogs: When I found something I wanted to share with others, or opine on, I would blog about it. And very soon, a pattern started emerging. I found myself reading more and more blogs, every day. And learning more and more with each day that passed by. And every once in a while, I would find something interesting and blog about it.

Soon, the blog began to grow, still averaging about one post a week. Not bad, I told myself. (Especially when I came across a survey that said that a significant percentage of blogs were found to be abandoned after just a week or two of writing!)

Link-and-comment were not the only kind of posts I was publishing. I soon discovered that I can use a publishing system like MT to archive any thing I wanted to, and make it available to myself online! This was an idea that first came to me via Rajesh Jain of Emergic fame – unquestionably, the most prolific Indian blogger today. And it made so much sense. So I started a personal blog (URL known only to me) where I archived all such articles so that I could access them from any where I was.

I also extended this concept to my published blog. I began posting stuff that I would otherwise send by email to friends and family. I figured: Why not? Might as well publish it in one place and have every one access it from there. That way, I could also look it up at a future point in time, if I needed to.

After about 10 months of blogging with the fabulous MT platform, I shifted to the out-of-this-world TypePad system. Having beta tested the software, I already knew it was the best thing to happen to blogging. And so far, there have been no regrets. TypePad makes it so easy to manage my blog, that I can devote any available free time to actually writing (instead of worrying about server support or CSS code, as I had to earlier).

Earlier this year, I changed the name of the blog from “Open Mind” to “Uncommon Wisdom”. The new name was a much more accurate reflection of what I was ending up writing about, most of the time. (And I have a special place for it in my heart as I once used to run a small enterprise by the same name.) I also added a subscription feature to the blog, and found that the blog actually has a few subscribers ! (No, I am not paying them any thing. It’s all voluntary.) And finally, in Feb of 2004, the number of comments on the blog actually surpassed the number of posts – a sure sign that at least somebody was reading what I was churning out week after week!!!

So that’s the story of my blog, so far.

I have made many friends through this medium, and learned much through this past year. There is also the hope that, through the blog, I can hone my writing skills to some day become the “writer” I always wanted to. May be that dream will also come true…

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  1. Although i had seen this word ‘blog’ in the print medium and the electronic medium earlier I had not visited a blog let alone participate in it.Towards the end of last year(2003) I directed the browser to your weblog.With an avid interest in reading and a high threshold for tolerating good writing I have been able to sustain interest in this weblog not only because of the interesting and varied selection of themes but also due to the elegant and colloquial style of writing devoid of pomp that can induce somnolence. On learning that a number of weblogs are hosted on the net i wondered how these could continue to remain online with a low level of participation from the growing number of people getting on the net.I realise that many authors stay committed to this movement out of a strong passion for something whatever it is.As for my active participation I enjoy reading and reflecting on the themes.While i stay in awe at the enormousness of the content available online I ponder over why people spend little time exploring and making use of the rich resources on the net.Perhaps I base my opinion on the preferences in usage of the net by people i know.It is probably a characteristic of the life styles we lead that we have little or no time to pursue activities that are nourishing.One needs to set aside time to read and write regularly as a discipline. We may have lost that instinctive urge to read.The proliferation of websites and channels on TV may have numbed us into inaction.we are spoilt for choice.The expression of thoughts and opinions on this medium provides a voice to speak to an unknown audience.In a sense it has cathartic effect.Congratulations on keeping this blog alive and growing.May we have more active participants and infuse greater enthusiasm among them. I ask the author whether issues that affect us as people,be they in governance or health,have a place on this blog.Must we continue to discuss only those uncommon issues anymore ? Please share your vision for this blog

  2. * Editor’s Reply *Thank you for your feedback, Anand. I am glad you have enjoyed the posts published on this blog this past year, and only hope that the list of readers and participants keeps growing, as the days go by.As far as coverage on “issues that affect us as people” goes, I should mention that many posts on the blog already speak on such topics. It’s not just “uncommon issues” that this blog covers. In a category called “Reflections”, I have periodically written of issues that affect me as an individual – be it the death of Satyendranath Dubey or the stance of the Indian government on primary education.The vision for the blog is the same as the one I started with : In the words of Martin Luther King, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” And I don’t intend to be silent.

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