My blogging journey

Last year, Strawberry Singh posted her “Why do I blog?” meme, to which I responded (albeit a bit late). This Monday (April 28th), she continued on that theme and, seeing that my April in RL was much more hectic than I wanted and thus kept me from blogging as much as I wanted, I decided to get on with this post a bit earlier. So, Berry’s meme for this week is “My Blogging Journey”.

My blogging journey

As is the case with all of her blog challenges/memes, this one also consists of several questions for the participants to answer… So, without further ado, here goes:

Which electronic devices do you use to blog with? I have a strong preference for PCs – laptops, desktops, Windows or Linux… It’ll do just fine. As long as it has a nice, responsive physical keyboard, I’m a happy bunny. I do sometimes use the WordPress app on my Lenovo A3000 tablet to update posts, respond to comments or correct typos while on the go, but really, on-screen virtual keyboards are no substitute for a real one, and there’s no comparison to a tactile keyboard like an IBM Model M (my favourite keyboard of all time).

Do you have a mission statement for your blog, if so, what is it? Well, I have set certain pages that might provide something like that (“About this blog”, “About me”, “Policies”), but my main aim is to write earnestly and honestly about whatever topic I choose.

How do you feel about blogs that use their platforms to spread negativity? That’s a can of worms, really. I know very well that some people (some of them actually organised in certain cliques) run blogs and forums dedicated to mean-spirited and petty gossip, name-dropping, and organising bullying and harassment campaigns – and even have the audacity to invent neologisms to present their antics as something morally and ethically acceptable. These people are nothing but lower forms of life and complete drama whores. Thus, I have made a conscious decision to not promote, read or otherwise acknowledge them. Then, there are people who, especially w.r.t. Second Life and its parent company (Linden Lab), are negatively predisposed  and, of course, biased – the underlying causes vary: negative experiences with the Lab in the past, misconceptions, etc. I do read their blogs, because some of the posts there may contain useful insights. Of course, this doesn’t apply to out-and-out conspiracy theorists; these I have chosen to ignore.

Are you a grammar junkie? Do you thoroughly check your blog for errors before posting and/or do you judge other people’s posts if they contain errors? Since English is not my native language, I have reasons to be self-conscious about my own writing. So yes, I check and double-check my posts for errors (albeit without the aid of a spell checker) before they’re posted, and then, once they’re posted, I read them again to see if there’s something I missed. As for other people’s posts… No. I prefer not to do that, because I don’t like being a smartass. Only rarely, and if the meaning of a passage might be changed due to an error, do I point out a typo, and I prefer to do that privately. That said, I enjoy and appreciate a well-written piece of text as much as everyone else.

If you could switch blogs with another blogger who would it be? Switch blogs? No. I wouldn’t do that. It’d be like playing someone else’s guitars through their own amplifiers, effects racks etc; you’d still sound like yourself and you wouldn’t magically become a better guitarist. Or driving someone else’s car; you’d still drive like yourself and you wouldn’t become a better driver just because you sat behind a different car’s wheel; in fact, its idiosyncracies may even expose (often in a rather painful manner) some weaknesses you never knew or admitted you had. What I mean by this is that, even if I were to switch blogs with anyone else, I’d still write like I do. However, there are certain bloggers I especially admire and respect: Honour McMillan; Inara Pey, who has taught me so much; Botgirl Questi; Bryn Oh; Tateru Nino. All of them are blessed with excellent insight, great talent and an excellent command of the language, offering us poignant, informative, captivating and – above all – understandable articles. I also wish I had even 1% of Honour’s, Ziki’s, Loverdag’s, Ricco Saenz’s, Miles’, Berry’s, and so many others’ photographic talents.

Has your blog/blogging style evolved over the year(s)? How? I suppose it’s still a bit early for me to say, but I hope it has. I started blogging on SL matters back in 2012 and, well, the more I learned, the more aware I became of my own ignorance, so I keep trying to learn more and understand more, in order to improve not only my own comprehension of things, but also – hopefully – offer opinions and posts that provide useful information rather than misinformation.

What is the most extraordinary thing that has happened to you because of blogging? I wish I could tell. I’ve been retweeted a few times by Glyn Moody, and I’ve had the opportunity to acquaint myself – to varying degrees – with bloggers, creators and commentators (both SL- and RL-focused) I admire and respect. Also, Torley Linden has mentioned one of my posts favourably.

When it comes to Second Life blogs, there are different styles: Fashion bloggers, Lifestyle & Travel bloggers, Informative bloggers, and more. Which style do you prefer and where do you feel your blog fits in? As a reader, the categories of bloggers that attract me more are informative, art and travel bloggers. I rarely read fashion blogs, not least because I don’t feel at ease with the female beauty ideal and the fashion styles promoted by certain fashion bloggers, but also because I’m not really one to follow the latest trends; in both RL and SL, I have my own styles and I’m quite happy with them. As for my own blog… My aforementioned stance has pretty much dictated that I have made a conscious decision to not write about fashion. And I also don’t do product reviews; if I ever decide to write about a certain SL product (be it a garment, a gadget, an accessory or an avatar component), it will only be because I like the product in question, have considerable experience with using it, and want to share this experience. From what I’ve posted so far, I guess my blog is more of an opinion/informative blog, with the occasional posts about art and travel destinations in SL, although I’m not entirely comfortable with writing about art, as I don’t feel I’m the best-qualified person for this.

What has blogging taught you? Forethought (I hope) and having the courage to write what I think on a specific topic, rather than just follow other people’s opinions.

Share your top 3 tips for new bloggers. First of all, write about what you love, and about what you are interested in. Second, be honest, open-minded and sincere, and don’t be afraid to admit your mistakes; we all make mistakes, after all. Third, before you write about something, make sure you’ve understood and researched the topic.

Acknowledgement: I would like to thank Alina Lyvette for allowing me to use the setting and props for the first image.




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