19
Jan
09

Blogging for nothing, but the kick’s for free

Nobody likes to do something for nothing at all for very long, so it’s no surprise that most blogs peter out and die after a while.

I started this blog exactly two years and nearly 250 posts ago on January 19, 2007. Back then I had vague ideas of writing posts as if they were the letters back to my family, something to replace the emails they’d for one reason or another stopped responding to over the years.

If you subscribe to this blog in a reader, by the way, that’s the sub-heading you’ll see. :-)

Because I quickly realised how confining that would be, after about six weeks I dropped the letters and simply started writing about whatever I was doing, thinking about or had an urge to let loose on,  occasionally indulging my wildest fantasies of being chief editor of The Onion and posting a photo or two to gussy it all up a bit.

So given the format change I suppose I should follow all the how-to sites out there and re-do everything, give it a punchy name and graphics and monetise my blog, but that whole thing just seems too much like work.  I’d just rather concentrate on writing about what interests me and perhaps a few others out there.

The thought occurred to me only a couple of months ago, but in the process I hope to have built up something that one day mybritannia-beach-sea-to-sky-highway-howe-sound-lettershometoyou daughter will be able to read, so that she can learn about her old man in a way I never got to know mine.

Still, there are times when I ask myself why I keep doing this.

And, once in a while, the answer just lands like a bird on the balcony railing:

So Ian isn’t particularly hidden.  But if you’re a fan of satire, irony, beautiful photography, a world-view wide as the horizon and occasional posts as poignant and touching as could be found,  expat Ian in Hamburg’s  point of view may be exactly what you’re looking for.  His Desiderata for Bloggers, 20 Blogging Commandments and What If the Buddha Were Just Some Guy in His Mom’s Basement are as inspirational as a 2×4 to the head.  Read him.

That comes from Linda, a most under-rated blogger who in the past nine months has not only rebuilt her life in the wake of Hurricane Ike, she’s kept her blog going and is now starting to get her writing published in “the real world.”  Linda, it really touches me to know that my writing has been an influence on you, and I hope you keep at yours as far as you can take it.

In a comment a while back the author of Deutschland über Elvis needled me as usual: Now, 2009 is the year that both of us get published thanks to our heroic blogging efforts. What’s our plan?

Good question, HB8.  We’re already getting published, aren’t we?  Or did you mean for real?


9 Responses to “Blogging for nothing, but the kick’s for free”


  1. January 20, 2009 at 7:33 am

    I envisage writing my blog for nothing for a long long time. can’t bear the thought of hosting ads and I don’t want to review sex toys though I do get asked that quite a lot…

    for me, blogging is its own reward

  2. January 20, 2009 at 7:54 am

    Same for me, actually, though it does come and go.

    You could consider doing those reviews off-line on your own time, of course. ;-)

  3. January 20, 2009 at 9:00 am

    Happy Blogiversary, Ian. You’re five months older than me, dude! It is amazing how some blogs come and go. I often read some hot new blogger that up and fizzles within a few months. Glad you are sticking to it! And I have paid you often! (with compliments in my head). I like Linda’s description of you/your blog. Right on.

  4. January 20, 2009 at 10:41 am

    I must be really old fashioned – as I don’t read blogs using a reader. I just drift by from time to time. And I do wonder sometimes, what will happen to all these blogs in 80 years. Will they still be out there? Should we leave our blogger password to our children in our last will and testement?

    Did you hear this song:

  5. 5 lilalia
    January 20, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Happy Anniversary! Like most travelling logs, blogs, serve a purpose in the present, as well as the future. I just recently read a log my father wrote while on an Estonian research ship going from Alaska through the Northwest Passage to Greenland. Even though the daily observations do seem mundane at times, the document as a whole is wonderful. What I am trying to say is that it is the same, hopefully, with our blogs. In the future, our children will have an opportunity to get to “know” us at this time in our lives, in a manner they can not because of their age or absorption with their own lives.

  6. January 20, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    How amazing that I unknowingly offered a blogaversary gift. Congratulations! Perhaps someday we’ll all end up together as an archived collection in the Wayback Machine. Let’s see… Asian Tsunami Web Archive, Election 2000, Web Pioneers, Really Cool WordPress Bloggers…

    Speaking of really cool, your title qualifies. I’m sure Mark Knopfler is honored, and I’ll never listen to one of my Dire Straits favs without thinking of you!

  7. January 20, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Yes, Linda – that came along at just the right time. And the title – do you think MK would be a reader? :-)

    @indie – that’s a funny song! …and I hope it embarrasses your children!

    @lilalia – I wrote a lot of travel journals as well, only now I sometimes cringe if I read them. It really shows how very young I was.

    @muse – keep going, and do something special for your second. :-)

  8. January 21, 2009 at 10:00 am

    I view blogging as my personal journal that happens to be shared and read by others… I’ve been at it for almost 5 years… I’ve never thought about having ads put on it, or trying to otherwise profit from it–and quite frankly I revel in denying profits–you might remember when I posted the email from some guy who wanted me to post ads at the end of old blog entries…

  9. January 22, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Happy (belated) Blogiversary! :)


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