Exploring the Blogosphere
Well, I’m taking part in Blogelina’s biggest Commentathon and am at a bit of a loss on what kind of blog post to write. Participating in a blog event is a mixed bag – you have a deadline to meet , you have a prompt to adhere to and basically there are rules you have to follow. These can sometimes be restricting because you have a strict format while on the other hand they can make blogging easier as you have guidelines to help blow the cobwebs away. Today I thought I’d write a post on my blogging journey so far, using some of the tips that I’ve picked up from Blogelina.
The first step – the Newsletter
Like Johnnie Walker in the famous ad, the journey of a 1000 miles always begins with a single step. My first step on this journey began so long ago that I’ve kind of forgotten what it was. I do remember, however that I began writing a blog on MSN and I had called it chowmiaow, a play on the words in my native language Marathi which translated as tidbits. I thought it was a catchy and humourous title that would encompass my topics of interest chow as in food and miaow as in gossip. Sadly, no one appreciated the pun or the humour and least of all remembered the spelling. After trying to get all my friends and relatives to visit my blog, I stopped trying to remind them especially when all of them expected me to send them personal email links to every post, everytime. This was frustrating because every other week I’d put up a post since my primary aim was to let my friends and family ( particularly my daughter) overseas know what was going on in my lifewithout having to write to each of them individually.
Step Two – Reaching out
I then moved on to Blogger which was a better blogging platform. I increased the number of followers by joining a bloghop called Skywatch Friday. I didn’t know any better about bloghops and automatically assumed that this would be a great way of interacting with other bloggers and increasing my followers and following. It helped that I was interested in photography. What I didn’t contend with was the number of followers who I didn’t really feel comfortable with – some were downright weirdos ( so I thought) who came from a very different demographic to what I was comfortable with but I did make some wonderful friends along the way – bloggers whose photographic contributions I looked forward to like Sylvia whose wonderful skies and inspiring quotes always made me wonder how her skies were so brilliantly coloured while mine always varied from bright spotless blue to dull murky grey- very rarely did my skies show the variation in colour and texture with cotton wool clouds and gorgeous sunsets. But what was amazing was that through Sylvia’s headers I came into contact with another blogger living just 25 km away from me and who till date I haven’t met physically. Suranga Date is an enthusiastic blogger who blogged under the name kaimhanta which I thought was Spanish or some exotic tongue till I realised it was my native Marathi which translates as “what are you saying!” Suranga used to design Sylvia’s interesting headers and I tracked this designer down to my own backyarard.
Discovering gems – making friends
I actually called Suranga one day and found that we had many interests in common and that there were several times when our worlds collided though we still haven’t come face to face with one another. However, my quest for improving my blog let me to other friends I’ve made like Corinne, Vidya and many more. I found bloggers overseas like The Aran Island Girl whose stories of her life in faraway Ireland are fascinating. Chicinitie, a blog capturing the life of an American living in Italy reminds me of my brief but all too enjoyable stay in Milan. I look forward to wonderfully heartwarming stories of Stuart M Perkins and Anamika Agnihotri, Sakshi Nanda to name just a few.
Along the way – spreading wings
I’ve diversified into niche blogs like foodities.in where I talk about food memories through recipes and restaurant reviews and nappytalesandme where I share my experiences as a newly minted grandmother.
In my quest for improving my blog I’ve met many bloggers, heard of many developers and blog designers, intereacted with “Blog Doctors” who did nothing to improve my blog, some who’ve ripped me with their advice and left me in more of a mess…..
I’ve made lots of mistakes and booboos along the way, ruffled many feathers, upset many apple carts with my frank and unvarnished accounts so that I’ve learnt to temper down my opinions and be more gentle on my reader. I’ve learnt to write not only to write for myself but to write for others who come to my blog to read, be amused, learn or just accidentally meet another soul in the blogosphere.
The path ahead – more mystery
I wonder where the path ahead will lead me? I’ve joined blogger’s fora like Blogadda and indiBlogger, attended their meets and interacted with other people like Keerthika who first told me how I could take my blogging from a plain and simple blog to another level – one where I could actually write, be published and develop a fan following. I’ve won several cash prizes and discount coupons and even gone to Malaysia as the winner of a competition arranged by Blogadda! I recently attended Blogadda’s mega event where I saw the potential of future that could be mine but I wonder if will I reach there yet?
In the words of the famous American poet
I’ve had a wonderful journey so far- one that’s taught me new skills, introduced me to new people, new ideas and is an every changing road map that keeps the explorer in me thirsting for more.
What has your journey been like so far?
p.s. I’d love your comments and critiques on my other blogs and blog posts too!