The state of blogs today

I spent considerable time this week mulling over what this blog means and what blogging means in general. Specifically, I refer to the increasingly valid concern about the state of blogs today. They are so vastly different from what they were a few years ago, and almost nothing like they were back when weblogging started, that I ended up with two conclusions: one, blogging in the form that it started is either evolving or dying, depending on how you look at it; two, the spirit behind blogs, the core interests they brought to the table are being resurrected, albeit painfully slowly. Continue reading

A glimpse of the infinite — an interview with Martins Kai

Martins Kai will begin writing a column here on starting this month. Called “Glimpse of the infinite”, this will be a monthly — or occasionally a fortnightly — column. In this tête-à-tête with Mr Kai we talk about writing, his interests and passions, about himself, and then take a look at what his new column will be all about, as well as what plans he has for it down the road. “This”, he says, pointing to stretches of green lawn around us, “is a luxury in my country.” Dressed in a simple red T-shirt and black trousers, his eyes scanning the landscape around, he talks to me enthusiastically about his upcoming article. Continue reading

A new blogging manifesto

About three years ago, shortly after I joined the slow blogging movement for the first time, I wrote down a massive list of fifty points to which this website would conform. It was a blogging manifesto and at that time everyone needed one because blogging spiked in popularity and most of us were looking at why we blog, what it means for us, and how best we could define our style. It was not so much about carving out a niche as it was about setting a standard for ourselves.

Three years later I find the time has come to renew the manifesto, to amend and improve it. Continue reading

Slow blogging reinitiated

Three years ago I wrote about joining the slow blogging movement. Slow blogging is a practise that aims to take blogs back to yesteryears, where a group of people wrote thoughtful articles and the web, by and large, read them. These people were not journalists, but regular folk who had worthwhile comments to make and their blog was their platform. And there was no competition.

Like everything else this soon turned into a business: someone thought of ways to make money, someone else thought of ways to appease Google, still others thought of banding and writing hordes of articles with a frequency individual writers could never dream of matching and we got to a point where people started comparing blogging to journalism. Continue reading

You should start a blog

For as long as I can remember, I have been recommending to people that they start blog; to write as frequently as possible, no oftener, no rarer. And to have the patience to let blogging become your hobby more than your habit because that is when the many dimensions of the craft become clearer, and that is when it starts to have a profound and lasting impact on your life. Blogging, once nurtured as a hobby, has the potential to have an impact as deep as reading itself and all this is simply because blogging is not entirely different from journaling or essay– or diary–writing and the like: a common art that have been around since mankind itself in different manifestations. Continue reading

On writing quirks

We all have quirks. Some subtle, some obvious, others comical. In writing too, like in everyone’s fingerprint, I think there is a considerable degree of uniqueness. One might be able to mimic another’s writing, but never to perfection. Call these writing quirks, but we all have them — one might even be prompted to call them worn floorboards on which we trip, but I take a jauntier approach: they’re my signatures. And I am aware overuse may trip some, but I have, myself, become so accustomed that I do not believe I will let them go anytime soon.

I almost use the tironian et, or what some call the grandfather of the ampersand — but not quite. Continue reading