Disconnected, Distracted and Directions

February 28, 2010 / Daily Life / 11 Comments

This is terrible! This is my only post for the entire month of February 2010! I was dormant on Twitter as well. Allow me to explain.

(By the way, if you came here via Twitter in search for the “are personal blogs still relevant?” bit, scroll down to Direction.)

Disconnected: Plagued by a slew of illness

Since my last post, I’ve been sick for a whole month. I suffered a week of flu, half a week of food poisoning. Then I decided to shoot hoops at the arcade and then pulled a muscle. (What a loser!) So I’ve spent most of my time bed-ridden.

Distracted: The boyfriend stopped by

The boyfriend also stopped by Singapore for a month before moving to China for work. I wanted to spend as much time as I can with him before our lines of communications get blocked thanks to the Great Firewall of China. For those who don’t know, people have no access to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Posterous in China.

Direction: Are personal blogs still relevant?

Personal blogs are increasingly being replaced by niche blogs. I only need to look at my Google Reader as proof; my subscription to niche blogs greatly outnumber personal blogs.

Nanyate.com started as a personal blog where I write about anything I’m interested in. But over the last few months I realized that it’s not that personal after all. Whether it’s about culture, gadgets or life lessons, I write with one guiding principle: what can my readers get out of this. I spend an insane amount of time brainstorming original topics, fact checking and crafting my words to make sure it’s easily understood. It’s really become more of an opinion column than a log of my daily life.

In an effort to stay relevant, I’ve been thinking of re-branding nanyate.com. Perhaps I should go the Dustin Curtis route, where my entries are more like articles. Or perhaps I should start focusing on specific topics.

Since my guiding principle—that I write for my readers’ benefit—will never change, I’d love to hear what you guys think instead.

  • Should I re-brand nanyate.com?
  • What would you like to see me write more about?
  • Why do you read personal blogs (aside from your friends’)?
  • Are personal blogs really a dying breed?

With that said, to make sure my March 2010 archive isn’t as pathetic, I bought a 20$ voucher to a coffee chain near my home to commit myself to blog. (I can’t seem to write at home for some reason.) I’ve also written a few entries in advanced with the next one scheduled to be published tomorrow. πŸ™‚

  • Firstly, glad to see you back! Hahas.

    Honestly to me, every blogger should have his/her own style of writing. I think ur style of writing is fine as it is, and I don’t see a reason why you should adopt another style of writing. For me, when I started my blog, I was very clear on what kind of posts I wanted my readers to read, and I chose the article route.

    Rebranding ur blog is a great idea. Change is good every once in a while. Breathe more life into blog, not that it’s dead, but make more well, vibrant πŸ™‚

    As for ur second question, I think I would like to see you blog more about why people should start blogging and using social media. I think ur views on these two topics is fantastic πŸ™‚

    Personal blogs are boring. Period. I stopped reading personal blogs cos firstly, I can’t stand the music and then I find reading about how they fed the cat and why they decided to wear flip flops to school so mundane. I don’t think they are dying though. Cos almost usually, a blogger starts out blogging with a personal blog.

  • Yike, sorry to hear about you being sick. O_O; I hope March proves to be a better month for you. I had no idea China blocks all of that. Jeebus X_X;;

    As for your blog . . . I think it’s fine the way it is, but if you want to add or change stuff, go ahead! It’s your blog! I like what you write, and as long as remember to write for yourself, that’s all it matters in my opinion.

    I think personal blogs have changed over the years, definitely, but I don’t think it’s a dying breed per se. I just think a lot of us bloggers from the old days have changed our routes a bit or whatnot, but I still think personal blogging is a good way to connect with others and to relieve my stress somewhere else. XD

  • In my search for twitter social media bloggers a while back, Nanyate.com stood out the most because of the ‘Social Media is like Dough’ topic.

    I believe there’s always a way to inject a little personality into each blog post, especially if you write about what interests you πŸ™‚ .

  • JJ

    I’ve seen the evolution in my own blog–instead of writing about my life, I tend to write about books and publishing. Possibly because my own life is uninteresting. πŸ™‚ In the years I’ve had my blog, it evolved from being purely personal to being more of a niche blog as well.

  • Glad to see you back and blogging πŸ™‚ I had no idea Facebook and Twitter were banned in China, I can’t imagine not being able access those sites.

    I do agree with you on some aspect, that I find myself subscribing to more and more niche blogs than personal blogs. But I find that I actually enjoy reading personal blogs more because I can relate to the the entries (to a certain extent at least) and I like the wide variety of topics. However, my idea of a personal blog is not what it was 5 years ago. I still consider blogs like yours (and many others) personal ones because to you still relate whatever the post topics are to your personal life. They are informative yet personal at the same time, not stiff like the niche blogs.

    I’d actually prefer if you kept your blog the way it is now, since one thing I like about it is the wide array of topics. I don’t think personal blogs per se are a dying breed, but they are definitely changing to be more reader-oriented than before.

  • I still read personal blogs. I like reading about peoples’ daily lives and getting to know them, though sometimes posts can be boring. I read all different sorts of things online. My favorite blogs are the ones written by good writers. The better someone can write, the more interesting they can make even the most boring topics. Or if they can’t write, short blogs are good too πŸ˜› You fall into the good writer category btw, so I think you can write about whatever you want and people will read it.

    btw, for some reason, old blogs you’ve written have been showing up in my google reader lately. Any idea why? Didn’t really bother me, just strange.

  • It all depends, really. If you write a personal blog it should be for personal reasons. When I first started blogging on my own (I first wrote a web log for my rock band), even before the word blog had arrived (I subscribe to the Weblog crowd – GET OFF MY LAWN!), it was to provide a place for people (RL family and friends mostly) to keep tabs on my whereabouts and what I was up to.

    And it still is. I don’t care if I don’t have anyone’s stamp of approval or get listed at the top in my country or internationally, because I’m not writing for fame. Fuck that. I write for me. That’s why you see a whole range of bizarre posts from photo mashups to technical documentation and HOWTOs. That’s my life in nutshell and a jar of pickles.

    With that in mind, let me just add that I often feel that you are in fact writing as β€œNanyate, Inc.” because you often focus on gadgets and use a lot of buzzwords. Not that I don’t appreciate it, but I appreciate more your personal thoughts (such as this post) where you give us some tidbits from your life.

    But this may be because reading reviews and tests are a part of my paid job, as well as testing and crushing devices..

    What I’m failing to say is that this is more like a work blog than a personal blog.
    Feel free to join the 3 comments together. I hit enter before I’m done:)

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  • Ivy

    Thanks for all your great feedback! It’s quite a difficult topic so I think this warrants a dedicated entry instead of my usual individual responses. πŸ™‚

  • I think lines between personal and professional (or niche) blogs may be increasing blurring with the convergence of lifestyle activities and work interests. Like you, I adopt a mixture of special interest posts interspersed with occasional bouts of self indulgent natterings. While my vacation and leisure outing posts do generate a fair amount of interest, most of my readers know that its the marketing, social media, PR and business perspectives that I focus more attention on.

    • Ivy

      Thanks for sharing! Good to know that there are other “mixed” bloggers out there. Unlike you, I haven’t got the experience to write well about professional matters…yet. (Gimme a few more years!)