This is a good time to look at the highlights of 2009, and share some thoughts about the future.
Highlights Of 2009
This has been a busy year. 75 posts on An Unquiet Mind in 2009 with about 1,500 comments! 46 posts at MakeUseOf.com and 30 on my newly started tech blog, Skeptic Geek, both of which involve several hours of work. Have I become a writing machine? I hope not.
The biggest news was of course, setting up two blogs on my own domain here.
The most popular series of posts here was undoubtedly the A-Z of Films Meme, now enshrined on its own page at Favorite Films A to Z. Thanks to all of you, for your participation, critique, suggestions, and involvement, that made it so memorable!
Unlike Krish Ashok and Asuph, I am not a good writer of humor. I did take a stab with my own attempts at satire, with Virtues of Politicians, Rulebook for Indian TV News Producers, The Straight Dope FAQ on Indian Elections 2009, and How To Become A Spiritual Guru.
There were two serious ethical inquiries that garnered a lot of feedback and commentary. The look at Religion vs. Gender Equality and Feminism remains one of the most popular posts. In Mentally Challenged, Raped, Pregnant. Abort?, we confronted difficult moral and legal issues surrounding the trial about an unfortunate victim.
Outside the blog, some of you have approached me via email occasionally for technical assistance with blogging, while I have had the fortune of meeting some of you in real life. Blogging has now permeated my real life. Some of you have placed trust in me, and I hope that I have respected your privacy despite solicitations for contact or other information.
The Social Networking Challenge
Blogging may be getting increasingly popular, but among my network of Indian Bloggers, it faces challenges from micro-blogging and social networking. From my blogroll, outstanding bloggers like Gauri (42), Rambodoc (A Twist of Word and Mind), Paul (Café Philos), Shefaly (La Vie Quotidienne), and Ruhi (Time and Again) have become sporadic. Some are active on Twitter, while others don’t use it at all. Some spend a lot of time inside Facebook, while others have recently started using it. Nita (A Wide Angle View of India) who is not into social-networking, is the most regular on her blog. Others, like Amreekan Desi, Priyank, Gauri, Atul, Prerna, Harini, and Poonam are fairly regular at blogging as well as online social networking in one form or another. Very few, like Asuph, seem to be able to strike A Fine Balance between blogging, Facebook and Twitter.
At present, I am pulled in multiple directions online. Apart from my two personal blogs here and my writing for MakeUseOf, I am active on two Twitter accounts (professionally as @ScepticGeek, personally as @Palsule). I also try to keep up with friends on Facebook, and now spend very little time on FriendFeed, once my beloved network.
I read all blog posts from all of you blogger friends, but I don’t spend time commenting on each of them as much as I’d like to do so. One of my goals for 2010 is to seek that elusive balance between my online activities, though I suspect it will always remain a struggle.
The concept of the blogroll held different meanings for different people, and now it has largely become meaningless. There is no point in me having you on my blogroll if you don’t read my blog or engage with me online and the same applies the other way around. There is no point in me sending visitors to your blog if you don’t blog regularly. I actually wonder if there are any such people who come to your blogs via mine. So, I am thinking of doing away with it altogether. Let me know your thoughts.
In my initial blogging days, I was an active blogger with Indian Mutiny, which has now gone into print media. Harsha, who introduced and pulled me to that network, no longer blogs himself. I had put a lot of effort and time into serious blogging for Indian Mutiny, particularly with my posts surrounding the Indo-US Nuclear Deal. Once bitten, twice shy, I have stayed away from networks like DesiPundit, DesiCritics, and BlogBharti.
However, current trends indicate that blog networks will play an important role in acting as a platform to take your blog to a wider audience. Some of you are active on these networks. I confess I am largely uneducated about these Indian blog networks and will appreciate your thoughts in this regard.
Subject Matters That Don’t Matter
Looking ahead to 2010, I see cynicism as one of the challenges for this blog. In my first two years, I wrote substantially on current affairs and politics. I have now realized that blogging about Indian politics doesn’t make an iota of difference to anyone in real life. Why take the time to write about it at all? Hence, at least at present, I don’t see myself writing much about current affairs and politics on this blog, except with satire.
I will continue to engage myself and my readers in fundamental issues within the spheres of society, ethics, democracy, psychology, and law. Writing is a means towards clarity of mind, and these posts and your comments help me refine my understanding of such issues.
A Time For Gratitude
Finally, I would like to express my gratitude for taking the time to read my blog posts, comment on them, disagree with my perspective, teach me new ways of thinking, and sharing your thoughts.
This blog is where an unquiet mind has shared itself, and you, my friends, have often made it quiet again. Thank you.