Blue-blooded blogger

Eric Ariel Salas

Eric Ariel Salas

When I started blogging at the end of January three years ago, I never had any great expectation at all other than to write my daily ranting in a fashion different from what I used to when I write my newspaper columns. Frankly, I never thought it would be exciting and challenging. Exciting, because I cannot wait to be online every day, write a post, and feel in my heart the effect every entry has to every blogger/visitor/online wanderer reading it. Challenging, since even in the early stage of my blogging existence, I had changed layouts thrice and learned HTML and scripting to somehow compete with the rest of the impressive designs around.

I do not know the percentage of SDSU students that blog; maybe a lot, and secretly doing it. But why do I blog? A few reasons. There is fun to it. If you are a persisting writer, the blog can be your emotional outlet. Since a blog is interactive, you know what others think and their opinions, most of the time, matter. Blogging lets you get in touch with the lives of friends who have started the online journal as well. In my three years of blogging, I gained virtual friends – blogger friends I met through blog forums. They are real people who interact with your every entry, leave comments and give you inputs. They are your regular visitors who love what you do online, but oftentimes critique your posts. They complete your blogging life. They also maintain blogs and write crazy things about their crazy lives.

Once you get the feel and excitement of blogging, many at times, you would find yourself in a situation where you do not exactly know what to blog about. It is called a “dry moment.” Should you post an entry about the sexy lady neighbor who steals a mysterious look at you while you mow the lawn? But you just could not seem to organize your thoughts for a worthy girl-next-door blog. You wish for her to do more serious flirting before you can create a good story for a daily post. That moment you are simply left wishing and thinking blank.

During dry moments, do some random blogging. It is just like running your finger to a book article and whichever word your finger stops, blog about the word. Random selection for your confused mind is the easiest solution. Write about the best bloggers of the century, or the longest-running Weblog on the Internet. Online browsing would also reveal facts that would lead to other interesting information.

Pause. Warning – blogging can be very addictive. The Mercury News blog writes, “What starts out as a hobby for some can end up permeating their lives and minds. Some of the diarists post repeatedly throughout the day and juggle several blogs and feel anxious if they don’t write. Most dedicated bloggers say the endeavor has enriched their lives, but some worry about finding balance and keeping their obsession in check.”

Therefore, once you feel these blog symptoms: you have more blog friends than ‘real life’ friends; you cannot sleep without writing a post; tracking back blog comments is your medium of knowing family whereabouts info; you cannot stop pinging; you visit Digg or Technorati countless times a day; you monitor numbers such as feed counts, Twitter followers, blog rankings, blog unique visits and pageviews, and then you worry when you see them decline; or once you feel you are already out of touch from what is ‘real’, stop. Blogging should be fun and not control you. In the blogosphere, everyone is equal and you can even stay anonymous. This does not mean isolating yourself.

There are more things that you should know about blogging that would make you sign up for a domain name and get a hosting service. I will share my thoughts about it in my coming articles.