I agree that blogging has got in lots of significance in my life. Of course, it helped me in making my life less boring. I started blogging at a time when people didn’t know the definition or perhaps the idea of a blog. In fact, when someone asked me about my hobby, I would smirk and find out ways to get rid of this question. Blogging was my hobby. I would research during my leisure time and find interesting stuff to read. It was during one of those leisure time that I discovered the idea of blogging. I agree it was no fun but yes I saw the emergence of new blogging communities that tried to build up a model conceptualizing blogs. Of course, many of these communities grew big and minting good money. For once, I never thought that blogging would be a good business for many in future. I come across people compiling stuff from multiple websites, changing the verbiage and constructing a brand new post out of it. That is the new world of blogging. Some tag it plagiarism. Originality is something that has gone for a toss. No longer people love original stuff.
Talking about the good old days, I really didn’t know how and why I started this blog. This question perturbs me even after 11 glorious years of blogging. WHY? I had no intentions of making money out of it nor I did want to impress people or may be transform into a big writer or make a living out of blogging. No, I had no such plans but still why I chose to blog? It was a random experiment. Just that I was good at writing essays during my school days and kids (my schoolmates) used to nag me to write compositions and essays. Since childhood, I never had this habit of saying NO. I am learning to say NO but I simply can’t. That is one of the strength that I mention during my interviews when the Interviewer asks about my strength. Well, the idea is simple. I write for myself. I love it, so I do. Isn’t that simple enough?!
By the time I stepped into my final year, I saw an unusual trend. People who used to mock at the very idea of blogging started creating blogs and I even know many who are successful at it. Brands started approaching these so-called Online Blogging communities and started paying them big to make the bloggers write about topics. I somehow believe that the blogging started to get commercialized during this period. I witnessed a healthy rise in the number of active blogger participation in these contests. Some of them even crossed boundaries and limits to ensure they won the contest. I remember the days where whenever I logged into Facebook, I would get chat messages on the messenger asking me to write nice comments on their blog posts and share them on my profile. I admit I did this for some but eventually, I got irked. It was during that time that I, with my two other friends started an online community blog named ‘The Writers Lounge’ that advocated collaborative writing and it was created for the love of writing. People who loved writing and reading good articles were always welcomed. Our doors were always opened for them and Sandeep Balan and Asbah Alaena played a vital role in it. We grew up into a good team but as they say that everything has an end. Our dearest Lounge faded too quick. I have many fond memories associated with that web space. Be it the creation of Sandeep Malan or the StepMan, a spoof series based out of co-founders Sandeep Balan and yours truly (StepMan for Ste) or be it Excellence in Writing or any other creative writing, we loved it all. I would find the opportunity to come online and visit that place even if I had a limited internet access. Oh, Wait! there was fun too.
But I started abhorring the idea of writing for brands then. It felt like dictating terms and conditions but yes, I stay guilty too. Even I have participated in many of those contests and even won some. My first even blogging victory was some Surf Excel contest where I won a consolation prize of a wireless mouse that I still have! The idea of genuinely writing comments on blogs dimmed. I gradually started growing into a butterfly from a caterpillar as I stepped into the corporate life that welcomed me with lots of challenges. I understood that this was a different world and to make most of it, I had to focus less on blogging. But still, whenever I had an opportunity, I did write and made the most of it. With each passing day, I started getting more chat pings on Facebook, with people asking me to write comments, like and vote for them. Some would even tag me on their facebook posts. Many unknown strangers would send friend requests on Facebook and the very next moment they would send invitation to like their Facebook Blog page. Amazing, Isn’t it? Some would get more creative and tag a bulk of bloggers on Twitter. Thanks to Twitter for lifting the character limitations on images and some bloggers make good use of it. Some bloggers do have their own Bloggers broadcast list on Whatsapp where they would regularly update by sending messages whenever they posted a new blog story. I should agree that bloggers get more creative. We, as bloggers, should learn to explore opportunities whenever available.
The entire essence of blogging as an area of improvement for writing has collapsed. Blogging may fit into a category of media but remember that blogging is something that is going to be the best thing in future. Brands will keep flooding, looking for bloggers, shelling out money. That’s how blogging has evolved from the early 2000’s till now!
Never stop pinging me to like your blog posts or read it, I admit I’m busy these days but that doesn’t stop me from reading your stuff. When I look behind, I laugh at myself that something I started as a random experiment has earned a lot for me in these years. I have met the best of people, best of writers, earned great contacts, made best friends and what not. It’s all because of blogging!
Written as part of Indispire