The blogging phenomenon has swept the Internet today. According to Technorati, there are now over 27.2 Million blogs, the blogsphere is doubling in size every 5 and half months and it is now over 60 times bigger than it was 3 years ago. On average a new weblog is created every second of every day. I started blogging (not seriously) on 2003 when my boss wanted to have a blog of his own and told me that Movable Type was a popular software. I remember trying WordPress , Greymatter and some others but finally we stayed with the Movable Type. At that time I created a blog of my own nir.hkisl.net (which is redirected to this site now). I used to mainly post links to the technical news that I found interesting and those I wanted to read in spare time. I would go back to my blog and read them later. It was like my private delicious bookmarks.
RSS changed me
Until 2004 I read few blogs and mainly I would visit them if they were mentioned in some popular sites like slashdot, bbc, cnn, cnet etc…. But that changed from 2005 when I started to subscribe blogs via RSS feed in my Thunderbird. It was pretty cool to read the news/blogs within your email client. I started reading some blogs regularly. The number of subscription started to grow everyday. Just checked my Thunderbird while writing this and found 121 blog/news subscription. Nowadays I’ve started to clean up my RSS subscription (if a blog is not updated for a week, I remove it from my subscription list). I could really read much more in less time and it provided me an efficient way to choose interesting articles. I scan the subjects and excerpt first to see if it’s worth spending some time reading it. Without RSS it’s almost impossible for me to read so much with the same amount of time I spend.
Bloggers make difference
I saw people making difference by blogging. Bloggers really made themselves heard in events like Tsunami, South Asian Earthquake, US Elections and many more. Also I was very inspired by blogs like stevepavlina.com and problogger.net. Steve is out there to help people with their personal development. I find his articles very interesting and powerful. Darren is trying to help bloggers by giving them tips on whole range of issues from how to start a blog, design, promotion, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to how to earn money by advertising.
Turn geekiness to advantage
Yes, I’m a geek and technical junkie. I don’t know it’s good or bad! but since that’s who I am why not try to use it to my advantage? My main purpose for blogging is to have fun and hopefully help others. I think I can help by writing about technology and life experiences. My background in computer networks, system admin and security allows me to share the daily experiences in this field. And in real life I’m trying different things everyday. Currently I’m exploring Yoga, Meditation and Buddhism.
Staying Idle Makes me anxious
I just wish I had nothing to do but staying idle makes me suffer. After completing my MSc I stayed idle for around 6 months. Of course I continued to work but I had a feeling of getting nothing done besides work. So decided to give blog a shot and I’m having a blast till now.
Blogs Make Money
I’ll be happy to have some side income from the advertising that I have in my site and I’m sure every blogger and reader understands how things work online. My main purpose for blogging is solely to have fun, do something useful, contribute and help but since I’m doing this for free some side income don’t hurt :). Creating useful contents is the number one priority. I also have fun creating sites like Nirlog Store (front end to Amazon.com store) and optimizing the ads by putting them in different places in wordpress templates.
I think most of us make our living by working and we work for some organization. Our team play and hard work is helping our customers, our organization and ourselves ultimately. This is very important. But the sad truth is most of us will be forgotten when we change jobs and we’ll have to sort of start from the scratch again. So, how about spending some of our spare time on building our personal brand? And I seriously think that by blogging, I’ll be helping others and helping myself creating a personal brand.
I encourage everyone to start blogging. If you don’t have a blog of your own then get one. It’s easier than you might think. Don’t get into the details of beautiful design, SEO, Advertising, Promotion and Earning in the beginning. First thing you should do is just start blogging. I’m using WordPress for this blog but if you don’t want to install anything then there’s a range of choices available such as Yahoo, where they automate the installation for you. And if you don’t want to install anyting and also want it for free then I recommend hosted services like WordPress.com, Blogger, Typepad, or LiveJournal. They are less flexible in terms of customization but they’re easy to setup and get you started with few clicks.
Update: I received an email from Google Adsense saying that some of the contents in this post contain phrases that goes against their policies. So, I’ve removed them and also moderated Susan’s comment, where she was asking about that particular phrase.