I’ve come to use this blog more in the past couple of weeks, a fact that should be obvious to anyone who reads it (I wonder if I have regulars?). There have been several key factors behind this resurgence in my blogging, behind this renovatio in my interest for posting my thoughts on the internet.
This factor? Having something relevant to talk about, something, anything really, which causes a slight itching sensation in my fingers until I’ve written something about it. First, it was a horrible, tragic event that sparked it (no need to elaborate further). Then, it was my inner dismay at Russia’s antics over the proposed missile shield in Eastern Europe (On a side note, Putin’s aggressive, nationalistic behavior became further evident at a regional summit for development of the Black Sea region. The Russian president was quoted as saying, “The Balkans and the Black Sea have always been a sphere of our special interests. And it is but natural that a resurgent Russia in returning here.” See previous post for my opinion on Russian actions). Now, in this blog post, I will simply examine this social craze called blogging.
If you want to see my axioms of blogging, just skip down to the bulleted section; the rest of the post turned into a tale of my blogging history.
I was bitten by the blogging bug a long time ago, probably five to six years ago. Back then, WordPress didn’t exist, there were few website building tools, and I simply thought that having a website would be ‘cool’. I had been against the idea initially, partially having been swayed by Robert Silverburg, who says that “setting up a web site for oneself strikes me [him] as a rather emphatic act of self-promotion.” Nevertheless, I wanted my own website, preferably one that looked sleek and professional, and my purpose wasn’t to boast about myself.
My initial website failed pretty miserably, and, except for one or two half-hearted attempts a few years later, I pretty much stayed away from having my own website. Only after discovering and being tremendously impressed by Phil Crone’s blog (where is he now? He seems to have disappeared) did I once again consider having a blog. His posts were informative, yet humorous, and the wide following that he had created for himself was quite remarkable.
Consequently, I started an online journal. Being picky and cheap (not a good combination) led me to GreatestJournal.com, a LiveJournal clone which had many of the sleek styles reserved for paying members of the latter. I started writing entries, but I found that I neither had the style, nor the wit, of Phil Crone. (I shortly discovered why. Phil hesitates less than I do when voicing his opinion, despite who it might hurt or anger.) My journal looked like the crazed writings of a three year old, despite all of my efforts. Granted, I was going through some personal issues at that point, but that should have given me more to write about, and not served as an excuse for sloppy blogging.
I abandoned GreatestJournal (what a horrible, pretentious name!) in favor of WordPress, the lovely blogging software that I still use today. However, all of my troubles were not over, I still did not possess any semblance of the blogging art. I used my blog to sulk, really. When Phil attacked me on his blog (we had a bit of an off period), I used my blog to attack him. When I was feeling down, I would write pointless entries to pass the time. In fact, most, if not all, of the entries were pointless. In a word, the blog was fake. Phil actually said at one point (after we had become friends again) that if he ever blogged like me, he would throw up. I’m not sure if those were his exact words, but that’s close enough.
I gave up again, for some months, and picked it up again with the intention of being a somewhat serious blogger (to that end, I dumped the database with the previous entries, and started fresh). If I wasn’t going to write to inform others about critical issues around the world, I was at least not going to make a fool of myself and a sham of my personal life. Have I succeeded? I guess that’s for you, the reader, to decide.
Anyway, I don’t claim to be as good a blogger as Phil. I don’t even claim to be a good blogger. However, I have found some tricks to help me maintain this home on the web. I’ve also found that they can be applied to many other endeavors as well. Here are my axioms of blogging:
- Never force yourself to update; if you have something meaningful to convey to others, you will want to write an entry.
- Don’t limit yourself; if people are reading your blog, they want to hear your opinion.
- Write for yourself and for your audience; forgetting that a blog is inherently a public pulpit and a diary can lead to incoherent entries.
- Maintain your blog; keeping your website looking professional makes you want to write in it. (Besides, you need to keep your blog up to date to keep it secure.)
- Read the blogs of others and the news; you might get an inspiration, and at the very least you’ll be forming opinions on subjects that others are interested in as well.
- Don’t dwell on your blog; live a little, otherwise the number of your valid opinions approaches zero, and you won’t have anything to write about.
I sure wish Phil would update his blog.