I have always liked to write. During 1995-97, I wrote a fortnightly print column (about 1500 words) for Express Computers. I stopped when I realised that I was starting to repeat myself since the Internet wasnt growing as rapidly and I had already said much of what I wanted to say! Perhaps, the format wasnt that interactive which enabled me to get feedback which is very important for spurring new thought and breakthrough ideas. I started writing again in November 2000 with the Tech Talk series on Tech Samachar. That was a time when I found that my broader technology industry knowledge had atrophied over the years as I had become more and more focused on the portal business. The writing was a way for me to start reading again. The blog has just helped amplify this effort.
When I started, I was clear about one thing: that the blog would be updated daily. And except for two weekend days just after I started, that has been the case. It is a lesson I learnt from the IndiaWorld days: you have to become a daily part of the life of your readers. This is also what I tell every person who I recommend blogging to have something new everyday. It is not difficult; it just requires a discipline and determination. It daily blogging is a commitment we make, our readers will reciprocate by making a daily visit. Given that there is so much happening everyday and our minds are constantly active and thinking, it is not a very difficult thing to do. Near-ubiquitous connectivity, even when one is travelling, makes posting a trivial exercise.
What has spurred the writing revolution for me is the ease of the blogging tool. Using MovableType is very easy. I am not dependent on any other person for posting to the blog. Once the blog has been set up, no technical expertise is needed. This simplicity of the blogging tools has laid the foundation for the two-way web that we are seeing emerge around us.
RSS and the Info Aggregator have been tremendous productivity enhancers. In the beginning, I used to go to various blogs via the browser. There was a finite limit to how many I could visit. Now, with the Aggregator, I am processing 10x the quantum of content in just about the same time. This is why I believe that RSS is where HTML was in 1994 at the cusp of a revolution, and why it holds great potential to become the foundation of the new Publish-Subscribe Web.
One of the by-products of blogging has been the new friends and connections that Ive made. I have met a few of them personally during my rather infrequent travels. More often than that, the interactions have been via email. I do try and respond to every mail or comment and feedback, often asking for some details about the person. This is why I believe that the weblog is a non-linear way to make connections we can only meet so many people during our life, but via the weblog we can build an exponentially increasing network. For me, the blog and its readers are the social network.
Tomorrow: Some To-Dos
Tech Talk Two Blog Years+T