Another year of blogging begins. Three years down. Whew! I’ve never managed to sustain any interest of mine this long until now!

Tuna and I had absolutely NO idea on May 10 2005 that this would carry on so long. The sheer convenience of using WP, the features offered, the ease of posting… I guess these are responsible.

My life isn’t as power-packed as Amitabh Bachchan’s or Nandita Das’s or even Darsheel Safary, that I can blog about something I’m doing that half the world is looking forward to, or a chance meeting with Larry Page, or lunch at Aamir’s, or inaugurating the new ride at Wonder-La. So for three years, the odd person (mis)directed by Google to this page when they were searching for ‘Gujarati swearwords’ or information on the odd Bangalorean P3P who I might have fleetingly mentioned as an arbit made-up name, or info on NITK something or AIEEE something else would end up reading on glorious mess food, or the obscure movies, books and songs I’ve watched/read/heard once upon a time and can’t stop raving about, or some total non-incident in my life, or.. well.. Inci and Engi.

Strangely, I’m at a loss for words when it comes to describing what this blog has meant to me. Occasionally a time-capsule, most of the time just a space I use to express myself, my views, my prejudices… oh, I don’t know… it feels like that old cliche – anything you say about this blog, you’ll find some instance in which the opposite is true. Or maybe it’s just an excuse for my woefully limited vocabulary in describing this place.

I once tried entering this page for the Indibloggies or some such blog contest. And hell, it didn’t fit into any ‘category’. It isn’t exactly a personal blog that talks about what my pet lizard had for breakfast, or a political one, or one dedicated to fiction, or a humour blog. Some might say I need to feel proud of ‘unbelonging’. I’ll say Indibloggies has its definitions too narrow. [Or… am I wrong and does this fit into the mold of a ‘personal’ blog?]

It’s been a new experience with bouquets as well as brickbats coming our way. It’s an exhilarating experience watching people searching for my college and ending up here… it soon turns nerve-wracking, coz the profile of the average person googling for NITK, or simply ending up here, remains unknown to us… it could be anyone ranging from my upstairs akka to my maami in Mambalam.. or some casual acquaintance or (as it is mostly) someone who has no idea who we are, and knows us only by what we write and forms her opinion of us accordingly…

The last point was one I discussed with Srav a while back… she said she found the online personalities of people quite different from what they were offline… while I argued that the same basic traits shine through an interaction, be it online or offline…. just the difference in the media changes what we see and how much we see of their personalities. That said, I’ve found that you can’t arrive at a generalization on whether to judge people by their online personalities or not, or for that matter generalize anything about the blogging world… it is stupid to consider blogosphere as a single, homogeneous entity. It is as diverse as the world it spawns from.

I’ve seen a wide variety of blogs, some good, most bad (people who can’t as much as spell are blogging) in the past three-four years (I didn’t much care about or trust user-generated content before that). The bad blogs include popular ones, too, and reading them occasionally has me going “Aiyyooo!” each time. As if that were not enough, their comments sections are rife with “Oh, wow, what a great post, as usual” sort of comments which make me wonder what the world is coming to. But a year or so into this, and you’ll know which ones to avoid. And that leaves us with the godlevel posts and godawesome bloggers. And, the ones that don’t dazzle you with brilliance, but just, say, put a smile on your face, or get you thinking on a new track, or inform you of some nifty trick you find realy useful…

And another thing I had to learn was that everything here is mostly an opinion, one way of looking at things, and by no means the absolute truth; something to be taken with a pinch of salt. The amount of information can be mindblowingly colossal, and you simply need to have filtering mechanisms in your head so that you don’t accept everything you read without giving it a good amount of thought. And if that is too taxing, you need to have thumb-rules to reject bits and pieces. Not every well-written piece is full of sense, and not every ill-worded piece is completely nonsense.

In the past few months, though the number of hits as well as the number of subscribers of this blog have increased, the average number of comments garnered has gone down. Guess this can be put down to Google Reader rising to prominence. Wouldn’t it be great if a commenting feature too was integrated with Reader?

Guess it can also be put down to the increase in the frequency of blogging. It’s been more than one post a week at times… shows what joblessness can do.

All in all, I’ve had a brilliant time on blogosphere, be it writing or reading. The sort of community that builds over a period of time, the regular visitors, arbit people stumbling onto your page, help slipping in seemingly from nowhere over some problem you’d’ve mentioned fleetingly in one of your posts, sharing of knowledge/information – jokes, tips, tricks, stories, feelings… and collaborative work! … all these have never been easier. It’s a wonderful world out here.

And it’s been intertwined with our college life a good bit – and here, I’m not just talking about the blog’s title – … enriched it immensely. I’m quite sure my four years would have been different if it weren’t for me scribbling here. Hmm… so since we’re out of NITK as of now, do we shut this place down? Call it a different name?

We choose not to; the inertia weighs heavily on us.

And… what next? Who knows? Playing it by ear seems the only thing to do. That said, I don’t see quitting blogging anytime in the near future; it’s become too much of an acquired taste, like sturgeon caviar.

I guess that’s rich enough. That’s sufficient for years to come, I hope.

About wanderlust

just your average books-and-music person who wants to change the world.
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4 Responses to Three.

  1. theG says:

    congrats! This does call for a party.

    OK, the online and offline personalities are different imho and the comments frequency has reduced due to two factors, a lot of your commenters (is that even a word?!) are also working now days, and google reader :).

    ok, this comment sucks, but a bit on the lazier side at the moment.

  2. ish says:

    Congratulations! A new year is always a good feeling isn’t it?

    About the online and offline personalities, yes they can be different but then it depends from person to person. Some people are shy in real life but say a lot of things online. Then there are others who pretend to be cool online because that’s the sort of thing social networking does to you. When you are online, people don’t make opinions about you based on your appearance and stuff like that so you can talk to anybody freely. That is difficult offline. So I’ve always found people more exuberant and even more creative online.

    And about the comments declining, yeah, that’s because of them feed readers and the length of posts. The people are lazy, you see. When they see a long post, they usually mark it as read in their feed reader and don’t bother to read it. When nobody reads it, no comments.

    But hey, one happy thing for you. You aren’t as jobless as Amitabh Bachchan is. The guy’s been blogging like shit..I mean like one post everyday. Even I couldn’t do that in my glory days. 😛

  3. wanderlust says:

    guess the difference lies in how much of it is expressed.
    and yes…. commenters started working… and more are going to do so in the next couple of months, so i guess it’s gonna go down even more.
    ah… length of the posts… you have a point there.
    and AB.. think he has a secretary or something for blogging.. maybe the thoughts are his, and he drafts the blogs, but someone’s got to edit them etc… i’ve not found even a single typo.
    and someone like him needs to weigh their words before blogging… dont think he manages the whole show on his own.

  4. Tuna Fish says:

    yeah!! If you don’t write, your point mostly doesnt come out, imho. Its like body language. The same sentence spoken by different people might convey a very different shade meaning…
    And i dont know how AB will handle all those comments… If its a secretary for blogging, a power packed life, indeed!!!

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