Posted by Jerry on July 6, 2007
I just realized that I have been blogging for three years now! And this month, I began on my fourth year of happy blogging! Cheers! 🙂
Looking back at my very first post in June 2004, I was uncertain of what lay ahead for me in terms of blogging; and yet, I was certain that I would make it a beautiful and meaningful experience for myself–and indeed, it is so.
My blog is primarily my outlet for intellectual and emotional expression: it is my soapbox, my podium, my property, my best friend with an ear, my sounding board, my thoughts, my voice.
However, knowing that I was going to be free in my expression–and therefore, possibly controversial and politically incorrect–I assumed an online psuedonym to protect my identity. This is a matter of particular concern for me as I hail from India and am currently blogging from the country–and recent times have shown that India’s commitment to free speech and the rule of law is little more than a shallow acknowledgement. Moreover, perhaps anticipating my blog’s reasonable popularity and my long-term involvement in this activity, I was prudent enough right from the beginning to reserve my true identity from blogging.
You might wonder how these statements are consonant with my posting a picture of myself on the homepage, not to mention the link to all my photos on Flickr! My contention is that if you have already arrived at my blog, in all likelihood, you are either an online reader who does not know me, or you are someone online I don’t know but whom I have revealed the identity of my blog to, or you are someone I do know in real life and whom I have personally invited to my blog.
The people I do not want reading my blog would not find it by doing keyword searches for my name or my personal information (those who know me can check and ascertain this fact). Also, the people I wish to avoid on my blog are also those who are not interested in the topics I write about (philosophical topics) and hence would not bother using key words that would direct them to my blog. Finally, the likelihood of unwanted unknowns finding my blog by accidental surfing and jeopardizing my safety is rather slim.
The basic point is, in anticipation of my blog’s increasing page ranks in searches, I decided it would be best if my blog were associated with a pseudonym and not my real name.
Indeed, when I first started blogging, I did not expect it to be anything more than my personal journal, and as such, I flippantly named my blog, “What I’m Saying Is…” :). However, as I watched my blog gain increased readership, I realized that how I presented my thoughts and ideas reflected upon how those ideas would be perceived by my readers. I also realized that a predominant number of my posts were of an overtly philosophical nature, and some were directly related to the ideas of Objectivism–the philosophy of Ayn Rand. Hence, I came to the conclusion that to be flippant and irresponsible with the presentation of my blog would not only be an embarassment to the activity of thinking and philosophizing but also a disservice to the philosophy of Ayn Rand in particular.
Therefore, about a year into blogging, I changed the name of my blog to “Leitmotif” and proceeded to codify the philosophical theme of my blog. My blog now had a new name, a byline, and a briefly explained theme:
Reason as the leading motive
The validity and efficacy of ideas are most evident in the actions they generate. The dominant idea or theme that motivates one’s actions and dictates one’s choices becomes the leitmotif–the leading motive–of one’s behavior. One’s motive implicates the kind of choices one will make, and thereby, reveals the nature of one’s moral code. Faith, whim, power-lust, emotion, reason–these are types of leading motives of one’s life. I choose reason. I intend to have all my actions, as much as is under my conscious and immediate control, to be motived by a committment to reason and rationality. This is my leitmotif.
This “branding” strategy also helped in giving my blog a unique character and identity in the universe of a million other blogs. Soon thereafter, I conducted another major overhaul of my blog.
One of the greatest improvements I made to my blogging experience was to terminate my blog hosting on the blogger platform. In a free market of numerous blog hosts, Google’s blogger/blogspot was abysmal–and has only marginally improved since I made the switch. I moved to WordPress.com, a vastly superior, user-friendly, and community-driven platform, only about a year ago. I only regret having wasted my precious two years of blogging in the swamps of blogspot, because soon after I moved to WordPress, not only was I able to make my blogging experience truly enjoyable, effective, stress-free, manageable, and attractive, but also was able to garner a wider readership through its many blog-promoting features. For such an incredibly important value, I thank you very much WordPress! 🙂
Finally, I must say that I see myself blogging well into the future–perhaps not quite so frequently, although I don’t yet know. But I enjoy this activity enough to keep me motivated to continue. And if, along the way, my blog provides others with a sense of the same intellectual and emotional pleasure in reading it as I have in writing it, then that is a lovely added bonus!