Unintentionally Blank

Phil Nash on the Internet, Web Standards and Accessibility

I Used To Say I Would Never Blog

Mar 13, 2007

by Phil Nash

There was a time when I thought blogging was only about angsty teenagers venting their frustrations over their "miserable" lives. Blogging was the last thing I wanted to do, there was nothing wrong in my life (nothing as terrible as the trials that affected every blog owner that I had ever seen anyway) and there was no way I wanted to moan at everyone and no-one because that's what teenagers did. Blogging is so much more than that, there is a whole other world hundreds of times more interesting than moans and rant and most importantly, I'm glad that I found that out too.

A Short Path To Blogging

Towards the end of my university life, when I was avoiding work/sleep, I took time creating a couple of websites that I hoped people would like. As I was trying to find out how to improve my designing or my code, how to do certain things with a webpage I happened across a number of archives of material that seemed to be in a journal form. Where I had looked for this information before I was used to searching through static tutorial sites, sites that were purely information. Now I was coming across articles that contained personality too. As I read and learned, I grew to like some writers, finding that I'd come back just to read what they were writing, whether it was relevant or not. I continued to learn what I wanted to know, but the element of personality inspired me to read more and do something about it.

This really started in my final two terms and discovering a love of reading blogs and articles online before university finals didn't help my revision, but it did give me an idea of what I wanted to do once they were done. My first aim on leaving was to set up my own blog and use it to learn more about what I was beginning to love; coding and the web, the intricacies of the current standards and how to keep it all together in the available browsers, accessibility, usability, even design and typography (but I'm learning that I'm not a designer), I wanted to learn more and make my own opinions known too. From despising blogs and bloggers to not being able to wait to start my own was a surprise to me, but it's a year on now, since I started reading online, and I feel as though it was a great choice to make.

The Story So Far

Now I have had this blog for more than 6 months and I feel that things are going well, better than I could expect really. I don't know what my aims were for traffic or subscribers, but I am learning and creating opportunities for myself. I am flattered to find that anyone reads this blog, but it drives me to improve my writing, my content and myself. I know this is going well because I put even more effort in to produce interesting content that pushes me and interests or helps others. I know it matters to me because when I can't produce something everyday, or every other day, I have to re-double my efforts. This last weekend I haven't produced anything, it was a busy weekend, but even though I was visiting family and friends and I enjoyed every minute, some of the time I was thinking about how I wasn't furthering myself and this blog. This weekend won't be different either, but I will be putting in the effort to finish up my MyBlogLog piece and maybe something else after that.

Why do I know this is going well? As my post count increases and I manage to produce more interesting, more useful, (hopefully) more insightful writing and code I know I am getting better at what I want to do. Then when important people, like Eric Marcoullier of MyBlogLog and Paul Walsh of Segala, leave comments I feel as though I'm getting somewhere.

I blog now to make a difference to myself and hopefully to others. If you are a regular reader, thanks for encouraging me, even if you are just part of those all important metrics that Google analytics provides me with. If you have commented, then thanks for joining the discussion and I hope you stick around and learn with me, or teach me a thing or two.

If you blog as well, what made you get into it? Why do you keep going?

I used to say I would never blog, changing my mind was the start and from my first post I have never looked back. Here's to more in the life and growth of Unintentionally Blank.

Unintentionally Blank is Phil Nash's thoughts on web development from 2006-2008. Any code or opinions may be out of date.