A Blogger’s Gratitude

Quick note: The first half of my previous blog post was not intended towards any specific people or any one certain incident. It was an expression of my overall frustration and disdain regarding the prevalent attitude of gossip in Pakistan.

Its been a year since I started this blog, and in the past 12 months, this little virtual space of mine has been viewed over 2000 times.  It’s a small number when you do the math but, to me, it means the world.  It’s not statistics or quantity or a cost-benefit analysis, it’s my word-filled paradise.

I never imagined anything I wrote on here would ever be read by such a vast majority of people.  I never thought I would have ‘regular’ readers, or that this blog would ever be bookmarked on someone’s browser.  It just never seemed worthy enough.

Lately, I’ve had people say to me in university that they’ve read this blog and they like it or that they find it interesting.  I don’t really know how to respond to this, it’s flattering yet humbling at the same time.  I believe myself to be someone who lives to play with words and string them together, yet when anyone commneds me on my writing, I am left speechless, without any words to express my awe. 

I still don’t think the views I express here are very important or that my words could actually have any sort of real impact on those who take the time to read them.  I know I sound like a broken record because I’ve probably said this over 20 times that I never started this blog in order to become popular or widely-read.  It was for my own self, an outlet of sorts and an exercise that would help me develop the habit of writing regularly.  It’s been beneficial in both those aspects and more; its made me Google-able and distinguished me, it’s given me something to make me ME.

To all those who read this blog regularly, occasionally, or even just when they’re bored and want to kill time or have a laugh over my woes, to all those who have randomly stumbled across this page in their journey of surfing through the world-wide-web, to all those who have read my words, I thank you.

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From blog to business?

Someone suggested to me today that I could make money from this blog.

I felt like a traitor just considering it.  To me, this blog isn’t simply a webpage that I can host from a domain (or whatever it is you call it); it’s like my own personal sliver of the virtual world, a place that helps me get away from what goes on in the real world of everydayness.  I started this blog so I could practice writing regularly, and have an outlet of sorts on the days I need to rant and vent, because taking my anger out on others can hurt them but the blog remains silent and neutral, just the way I like it.

However, looking at it from a pragmatist’s point of view, this person did have a point.  I would have to buy a domain (or something like that) and link it to my blog.  Somehow the number of hits the blog gets per day figures into the equation as well, but I didn’t quite understand how.  There was also something about Adsense, and including little adverts (relavent to the content of the blog) that would earn me money everytime someone visiting the blog clicked on them.  Apparently it wouldn’t make me a millionaire, but it would provide me with some chump change to play with.  I think that’s the gist of it, or at least the gist of what I managed to derive from what I was being told.  I am technologically challenged, anything beyond the basic functions of the web such as IM’ing, opening my inbox, or checking movie ratings on IMDB truly baffles me.  Maintaining a WordPress blog is difficult enough (I JUST learnt how to tag my posts THIS month!) so how do I manage to turn it into a commercial depot?

I still don’t really know if I’ll go for it.  Having this blog is like owning a little, quaint boutique in West Village.  Making all the suggested changes to it would be like turning it into the next Wal-Mart!  I’ve decided to dwell on it during my vacation next week; that is, when I am not sleeping in till the sun sets, eating whatever tickles my fancy without worrying about how much it costs, and shopping impulsively every other day.

Why bother blogging?

For alot of people, blogging is the step that propels you into the real world of writing, by which I mean getting a novel published.  I’ve read a lot of blogs that have managed to do that for some lucky folks:

Stephanie Klein’s blog ‘Greek Tragedy’

An anonymous writer’s blog about her experience as a college call girl in New York

Julie Powell’s “Julie and Julia” which also was produced into a movie last year, and a really good one too, might I add.

So it’s pretty obvious that these people had real stories to tell that many people were actually interested in wanting to know.  So what I’m wondering is, what’s the point of my blog?  Is it just a virtual space for me to rant about the frustrations and trivialities of my life or is it something more?  I know that in some way, it does help me, in the sense that it makes me want to write a little something every day, even if it’s a mundane account of how funny the yoghurt tasted last Wednesday.  But is that really something people want to read? This brings up another question: am I writing this for myself or for others?

This blog has been viewed over 1200 times in the 10 months that its existed in the blogosphere.  It’s not a large number but this is a teeny, tiny blog in the big, bad, online world of blogs, so that number actually means something to me.  People are actually reading this.  Okay, so I have about a handful of regular readers who have even subscribed to the blog and often comment on my posts, which to me is phenomenal, because I can’t believe anything I write here is actually worth reading loyally. So thank you, guys 🙂  But what about the rest?  For example, 16 people viewed my blog today (thank you WordPress stats!).  If I assume 5 of them are regulars, who are the other 11, and how did they even find this blog?  What did they think of it, is it worth another virtual visit?

Its questions like these that cross my mind everytime I open up the webpage to blog some more.