Why Do You Blog?

March 29, 2008 / Daily Life, Opinion / 26 Comments

EDIT: To read the post above, please request for password, as the post may be sensitive to certain people. All requests from regular commenters will be accepted. The rest will be based on my discretion. Sorry for the inconvenience.

I was reading Mr. Javo’s post on why blogs have taken over the internet, and it suddenly provoked many questions… Why is it that I blog? How did I start blogging? Why am I still blogging?

Come to think of it, I started blogging in 1999 with the advent of blogger.com. I joined primarily out of peer pressure. Everyone who owned a domain at that time started this new thing called blogging. I was never comfortable about publishing my life to the public. And I thought…who could possibly care about the adventures of some 13 year old living in Asia. But I gave in. And I have to admit… I really didn’t like it.

Yet, as much as I didn’t like it, I continued to blog, domain after domain, year after year. Then came Mezza-9.net. The blog was mainly an excuse to learn how to design layouts – to design at the caliber of the best cream of blogger-designers of that day. All my posts were about updates I have made. Nothing from my life was ever revealed. I received insane amount of comments – close to 100 comments per post. I received fan mail. Had insane amounts of visitors. And I was the 6th most important Ivy in the world according to Google and the #1 on Yahoo, beating out the band Operation Ivy and even Ivy League. But I wasn’t happy. What started as a road to be a good designer, ended up as a slave to more comments, more fanmail, more everything to please my visitors – at the expense of myself.

So I reluctantly closed Mezza-9.net. And blogged in low-profile until Nanyate.Com.

Even now, I still don’t fully understand why I blog. And much like Mezza-9.Net, I put my entire soul into Nanyate?!. I spend so much time thinking about what to write so that my entries are entertaining enough for you. I spend almost an hour on longer posts sweeping for errors, so that it will be easily understood by most of you.

Then I would smile when I see my subscriber count hit 50, and frown – even if its for a micro-second – when plummets to 30. I would smile when people leave me comments. Not for the number of comments but for the quality of comments. I would get so happy to see that people actually read my entries and notice the insignificant details I add on. Each and every comment means a lot to me, and as such I try to answer to most of them. Some of these great comments even set the precedence for future entries – Melle‘s question about me leaving Canada for good and Soyuzno‘s request for my Korean kimchee pork recipe. (Both that I will answer next month, btw.)

Not to mention, I would get especially happy when I see my visitors visit each others’ sites and leave comments on each others’ sites. I feel like I’m part of a circle of people.

Maybe that’s precisely why I blog – to be part of a circle of people; people who want to be heard, people who dare to be heard. But most of all – people who yearn to be recognized from the faceless crowd we call society. Because I too want to be heard.

So, why do you blog? How did you start blogging?


Sudden Hiatus until April 10

As much as I love blogging, I have to go to another hiatus. My Chinese professor just told us that the final ‘test’ will include material from all 20 chapters of the textbook, instead the 8 he promised a couple months ago. I can’t believe he changed the exam two weeks before the final exam. So now all my free time is going to be devoted to that stupid exam, as well as a research paper I have due on the same day.

I know I shouldn’t complain, because I will be done with my undergraduate degree in two weeks. But I just can’t wait to see the real world.

Edited: Updated to WordPress 2.5

I found no errors when I updated my new blog at LanguageDiary.Com (surprise! I released the URL, though there’s nothing there just a placeholding theme), so I updated Nanyate.com. Please let me know if there are any errors as Nanyate uses a lot more plugins. Thanks!

  • I started blogging when I needed another outlet to express my thoughts, outside of a written journal. Being as how I was online so much anyways, the thought of opening up an online blog was appealing. Also, I like the interactions amongst other bloggers.

  • Hmm weird, I always thought you had asked this awhile back…?

    But yes, I know what you mean about the quality of the comments!

    Hmm, your explanation of why you blog fits me too. But I also blog to get my feelings out. It REALLY helps to just let it all out! Hehe. But now I have to kind of censor myself, which REALLY sucks, though… But yes, I do LOVE that “circle” of friends/people! It’s nice to be “close-knit” like that!

    OMG! Good luck with that test! WOW! You’re getting your Bachelor’s in two weeks?! WOAH! I won’t be getting mine’s until 7 exact weeks from now! =P

  • i only started blogging again because my friends asked me to. it’s a good way to find out what’s going on in your friends’ lives if you’re too busy

  • Hey Ivy thanks for sharing your experience πŸ™‚ a very fruitful and meaningful one indeed. Mine is a little boring though – I started off as nobody (and with the pseudonym of teddY, which I still continue to use until today) at Blogger. My friend actually helped me out with the setting up part – I knew nothing about blog before I coincidentally bumped into him at the library on one afternoon. So he helped, and I started writing.

    It was then that my thirst of design skills started. When I wanted to change my Blogger’s template I saw a whole bunch of codes which I don’t understand (except a few, like [head], [body] and [a]… we’ve learned very basic HTML during computer lessons). Then I told myself that I must do something to have these codes make some sense to me πŸ™‚ that’s when I started reading up a lot on HTML (and later, XHTML) and CSS.

    Out of desperation (for more readers, I couldn’t believe how naive I was back then), I joined a handful of blogging networks hoping to milk some benefits out of them. In the end I made a few blog friends. I kept a close track of my comment count, I yearned for more.

    Then when some started to become blog celebrities, I asked myself – is that what I really started a blog? For fame? For a whole lot of friends? For a high visitor count?

    I hated myself a lot when I realised that the motivation behind blogging is no longer the same. I took some time off, corrected it, and I’m back in blogging – sharing about my life experiences and photography (by then I just picked up a new hobby – photography!)…

    I’ve never look back since. I’ve got a few wonderful, angelic friends (like you, Ivy!), a small but steady readership. I don’t need a lot of subscribers or commentators – what I need is just an outlet for my thoughts and creativity, and share them with people who stumble upon my blog.

    I bought my domain after my blog’s first anniversary, I was getting tired of Blogger. Self-hosted WordPress sounded really fun, and I’ve never regretted my decision πŸ˜€ heheh. I felt very insecure with free online storage (especially for my photos) because they get deleted when the files are not accessed for a certain period of time. A self-hosted blog was the best option!

    I still stuck to teddy-o-ted, I couldn’t figure why. I should’ve made it less childish, but it’s a reminder of my early blogging years. So it will stay, most probably, as long as my blog does.

    Blogging has opened my mind – I get to know people who live in cultures so distinctly different than mine. Well, that’s the power of blogging (and Internet!).

    P.S. sorry to hear about the last minute change, I hate it when teachers bring exams forward… it’s like a rude shock. All the best Ivy!

  • I started blogging when I was around 13, as I had a website full of cartoon dolls and blinkies (uggh!). Since then I’ve always kept it up – it was a natural progression from my love of design and the internet I suppose.

  • Cheryl

    Hm πŸ™‚ I started blogging then I was 24, and, although I do not have time enough to blog, I continue blogging when I have time. i write articles, and I think, this is the answer. I like writing and that’s it.

    Cheryl of Research Papers Productions

  • I started blogging way before it was named.
    Flat-file htm edit & upload using notepad and ftp.

  • I wanted to blog about this quite some time now. I started blogging in 2001, when I was just eleven years old. I never knew then why I blogged. I guess my main focus then was on graphics and fiddling around with Photoshop. At present I have no idea why I blog, maybe to escape the real world. =)

  • I blog because I want to write down my thoughts. I used to blog more frequently (and bluntly) at my LJ, which is set to friends only.

    The one I’m having now (the public one) is because for one class, my lecturers requires us to keep a blog, and they check it often.

    I have recollection of mezza-9!
    I remember I used to be like WHOAH when I stumbled upon that old site of yours! πŸ™‚

  • I think I started because I really enjoy designing websites. and having a personal website sort of meant I needed to have a blog? I mean it’s mostly stuff like ah I have a new layout, i added this today … site updates and stuff … at first .. may it still is. haha maybe it’s not a blog even. -_- i don’t know..

    but i guess it’s nice to have something to say and also receive feedback..

  • Iva

    My story is, in many ways, similar to Teddy’s. I don’t know how supersonicsquirrel.net originally became as popular as it used to be (back in the days, 300 visitors a day was quite good for a personal website) and how I realised that a bunch of people were not my friends at all, just people who wanted to gain attention. One girl who was oh-so-cute with me is now the most famous blogging wh0re (pardon my language) in her country, one who was amazingly nice to me is now considering herself world’s greatest CSS artist (and I remember the days when I was teaching her some basic PHP includes!) and…all of them act as if they never even spoke to me; yet recently, I’m seeing them in my Mybloglog widget-thing and that annoys me. Why don’t they say something? Do they only talk to people of their supposed callibre?

    However, my second try , when Mira and I made resolutions to try and make our sites what our old sites used to be, almost immediatelly introduced me to some lovely people, like you, Michael and Sigge, so I think that’s one of the things that motivate me. Yet, I wish I had much more time for my personal site. I admire you for being able to blog that much, that often.

    Good luck with your test…your professor doesn’t seem to be a person who has understanding for his students.

  • I had a journal since I was ten and then blogging came out and I moved all my thoughts to my site. I had an opendiary and I was also just editing an html file on my site. Then I installed greymatter and then b2 and finally wordpress last year, lol.

    I like having a record of my life and hearing what people have to say about my entries and reading their entries. I guess it’s a way of making a mark on the world and communicating with people I’d never would have met otherwise.

  • I actually quit blogging for a lot of times already but keep on coming back. maybe it’s true, when you get in, you will never get out. :p

    i started in 2000 btw with geocities. eww.

  • gimmie password!

  • “…to be part of a circle of people; people who want to be heard, people who dare to be heard. But most of all – people who yearn to be recognized from the faceless crowd we call society.”

    Powerful yet touching words. I can’t say it any better.

  • I’m very much impressed to know your attitude towards blogging. Also, it was interesting to read what you’ve gone thru since 1999. I didn’t even know blogging was available since then. I’ve started blogging since Feb.2008, because I wanted to explore what’s going on outside my country. Blogging is a best & most convenient tool to do that. That’s why I chose English blog, while I could have chosen to do that in Japanese in my country. Blogging is fun, as I can get connected with people over the net. But on the other hand, it’s time taking, especially for me, I have to look up words in the dictionary in order to understand properly what someone’s saying or to express something by myself almost all the time. Your posts, for example, I really enjoy when I get started reading it, but I cannot do that without dictionary, which is tiresome(>_<).
    But I gotta be patient. So please be patient with me. I’m learning by blogging. Blogging is another way for me to learn English (^_^).

  • A Years ago I started blogging because of curiosity what is this blog people talking about everywhere πŸ™‚

    I did open a free account at blogger. The topic i aimed was about small business.

    That time i learned in depth how to start my own small business and i think maybe i can share my idea to people who are also starting their own small business.

    Time goes by, i can’t find my way to write a post. Writing in English is a reaaaaaaaal problem for me. I can’t even start a paragraph.

    Than i realize, i am not going to success in this blogging activity without proper skill on English and i simply quit from blogging in just a few days.

    As far as i could remember, I never like writing. It is a nightmare when it comes to write.

    Writing in my own language is already a nightmare, you can guess what about writing in other language? πŸ˜€

    I once went on IELTS as one of pre requirement to apply for a college in Sydney Australia.

    I passed the Lingual and Listening test successfully, but almost failed on Grammar test. And guess what…
    Yes TOTALLY FAILED on Writing test!

    That justify me to stay away from writing, including not continue my account on blogger.com.

    So, why do i started henbima.com and blogging again. Didn’t i say, i already knew that i am not good at writing?

    Well, i don’t like writing, but i do like talking and sharing ideas and though with people.
    Giving motivation and inspiration to my peer is what i used to do in school and college.

    Entering 2008 i see a light that someone could actually make money online, especially by blogging.

    That idea tickles me. Can i make money too?
    Why not start writing, inspire other and share what i learn about ways to make money online?

    No, not that i really need the money, my small shop already earn me enough money for me to live on my own.

    But who would reject an extra money that come just by sharing something you learned?

    Next i know, i started henbima.com and writing what ever comes from my head.

    I know my grammar need a heavy load of correction here and there, my spelling is not that perfect.
    I need two too three hours to make a post.

    But hey, as long as somebody could read it and understand what i write about, why do i have to stop writing?

    I believe if i keep on writing time to time, i’ll become a better writer and more people will visit my blog because they like what i write about.

    If people like to visit my blog, maybe i’ll have a chance to make money from there.

    That is the reasons i blog.

    PS, Ivy thanks for keep on visiting my blog and your kind comments there. Really appreciate it!

    Your comment and also teddY’s off course, Pushing me to keep on writing posts even though it take two hours or more to work on one πŸ™‚

  • THANK YOU SO MUCH for the Nokia N810 suggestion! I really want to get it now if I can find it locally, but I don’t know if it will be worth is b/c not everywhere has wireless to use to Wifi. I’m on a computer all day at work and when I’m at home anyway.. but it’s so sexy… and it’s a Nokia!

    Great idea for a blog post. I rememeber Mezza-9 too although I didn’t visit it regulary, I just knew that it was one of the popular blogs and I didn’t know it was you who owned it. =P I started blogging because I LOVED graphic design and when I first saw the blog scene, I thought it was fun and joined, plus I could incorporate my artwork. …And boy was it fun! LOL. I never made it really “popular” because I never really kept up with posting regularly but that doesn’t really stop me from blogging. Having a lot of visitors is nice and satisfying but having only a couple was fine with me too.

  • I had the same experience as Larrni, quited a few times but I always keep coming back, but never actually bought a domain to host my blog b4.

    Until I was actually forced to open a domain for my portfolio site back in school. Then after I left school, I found my site is just rotting down there in the www, so I turned it into a blog. Since then, my site has become slightly more active and I received incoming commission artworks requested from other peeps.

    Why do I blog? Honestly, it’s for fun. =D
    That’s what blogging should be about I think. Fun and have fun with other bloggers. =)

  • Toni

    ohhh the days of mezza-9!! I think I USED to blog for the same reason. Wait….isn’t that how I met you?

  • Back in those days, not everyone called it “blog” yet. It was just journal, diary, maybe weblog. I just started to do it so my website was updated often. Couldn’t think of anything else to update it with.

  • That’s fairly great, and awesome… thanks for sharing your history. Now that you mentioned it, I began to question myself as well. Though I’m not going to blog about it now, I think eventually in a couple of days I will blog about it. I agree, back in those days, I called it my weblog. I began when I was 13 as well, started out in the coding field and learning about html. But now, who knew we travelled with WordPress?

  • Yeah there is no Forever 21 in Vancouver! I’m kinda glad though or else everyone will have stuff from there. I shop at Forever 21 online and make bi-monthly trips to Seattle or Portland so it satisfies me enough.

    Ooh what are some good Asian brands of make up? Are there any you can buy online? I’ve always wanted to try Asian brands but I don’t know what they are and can’t read them so I’ve always been skepticle.

  • I started blogging when I was in 9th grade. Years ago! I don’t know why I did it. I think it was because everyone else was. And I’ve gone through many websites. All of which have been stolen by pr0n sites. LOL But I guess I do it to learn how to design well and also to make friends I guess. Being an at home mom and unable to drive kinda…gives me nothing else to do. LOL

  • I have to start by saying that I love your site!!

    I started blogging in December of 2003. The love of my life had just broken up with me and I needed an outlet. I feel at home when I blog. I’m gonna add this to my list of things to post about.

  • I discovered blogs in 2001, and enjoyed reading them until I decided to start my own sometime in March 2001. (Or maybe even earlier.) I still have the old URLs with me so you can ask me if you’re curious – although my language use in there was aTrOCiOuSlY badzzzz. (Hahaha, you get the point.)

    Anyway, what spurred me on to blog was my curiousity. What exactly is so attractive about blogging that will make people share details of their lives with all and sundry? I got to realize that soon enough. Keeping in touch with friends (and likewise, them keeping updated with my life) was one. Second, I get to hear the opinions of strangers and interact with similar people as well.

    My existing domain was then born in September 2001, and I’ve been blogging there since then.

    In the past, I used to blog for attention. ‘Attention’ in the sense being that I used to be rather obsessed with the amount of comments I received. Additionally, I used to write only about what I thought people would find interesting or like to read.

    Now, things are different. I now view blogging as a form of therapy. It allows me to share my joys and vent my frustrations and whatnot, whether or not anyone is reading. After all, it is the action of just letting everything out that provides immediate relief. Not the comments. Not the attention or concern that I receive. (Although they are a plus, and are very much appreciated.)

    In the span of seven years, I’ve developed my own writing style, improved my English tremendously and found my true-self. Those are my main takeaways from blogging – in addition to the enjoyment I seek from doing so.