In the midst of a piled raft analysis, while gazing through the eerily colourful contour plotting on my eyesight-degrading CRT monitor screen at work, I suddenly thought of my blog, and realized that I have been blogging for four years now. Looking back over my shoulders, it has been a bitter-sweet journey. I have surely come a long way, and many of my fellow friend-bloggers have either decided to quit blogging, or “suspend” their blogs indefinitely. Yet, here I am. Still blogging happily.
What is the point of having so many glasses, if all of them are empty?
I started this blog entirely on my own, with no specific blog-crowd in mind. My initial blog readers were mainly my university friends who regularly took a peek on what I wrote about them, and what spicy stuff happened in my life back then. Slowly, I gained readership from people in Kuching my hometown, mostly also within my circle of existing friends. My blog has never been something designed to attract strangers or new people, and the way it expanded was very plain and obvious; friends who introduced my blog to more friends, and further on to their other friends, and finally I have garnered quite a steady number of readers. At that time, about three years ago, I can safely say, I know almost every visitor who come to my blog, or at least a friend who knows that visitor. Even the comments section on each entry has become somewhat a place to converse and exchange greetings.
It was only after half a year into blogging that I was aware of the huge blogosphere of cool people out there whom I can connect and actually make new friends with. At this stage, my blog has made its turn into something more sociable. My writing style changed from my usual diary of jotting down what I did for the day entries to something more crowd conscious in mind. I started to join blogger gatherings and got the chance to know many wondrous people from Kuching, Perth and KL. Readership on my blog has also increased dramatically, and I no longer can trace the traffic that comes in and out of my blog. Although I was never obsessed with blog traffic, having more and more people reading my blog somehow made me feel more “loved”. What a desperate way to look for attention, you might say, but I did not look for it, the attention just happened, and lots of good things came from it.
Every Cent matters.
It was at one point of my blogging path that I decided that my blog should not change too drastically, and I needed to maintain my identity in my writing patterns, and my contents should reflect of who I am. I believe this truly sets me apart from many bloggers out there. I have always believed in voicing my opinions and pouring a portion of my heart-felt emotions into this blog. Everything I have written came from my own free will, and I almost never fake any words just to please anyone. Staying true to myself does not come without consequences. This distinctive choice of style does not cater for everyone, and it does not have enough “wow” factor to retain long time readers. I do not have “make the readers happy” mindset, and I do not put much effort into making sure everyone stays entertained. I blog what I want to blog, and I tell the stories that I want to tell. Therefore, most of my old readers who first saw my blog many years ago must have forgotten about this place. The growth of the blog is there, though not significantly large, the increase of number in readers was counter-balanced by the number of readers who decided that “hey robinwong.blogspot.com” is getting boring and no longer worth visiting.
Before I go on allow me to clarify that I treat photography and blogging as two separate items. I may stop blogging one day for God-knows what reasons, but that does not mean I will quit photography. Likewise, one day may come when I decide to move on from photography, but I won’t shut this blog down just yet.
Ollie meets itself.
Although I have mentioned earlier that I maintained my stand in blogging, by writing and expressing myself freely without restrictions of fearing what people might think of me, the blogging pattern has evolved to quite a vivid extent. This strongly reflects my growth in photography as well. I have started taking pictures with my compact camera half a year before I started this blog. In the beginning, the photographs were just tools to assist my blog entries, so they will not appear too boring and lifeless even for myself. One of my many purposes of blogging is to remember the life that passes me by, and photographs are important to record visual details that words lack the ability to describe. However, photography has steadily grew stronger in the themes of my blogging contents, and now I can conclude that, photographs come first before I start to write an entry. That was almost a 180 degrees transformation, if I were to sincerely comment.
Someone even lamented that this blog has become a “photography how-to” website, which was not exactly what I intended to do at all. All I cared about was to share my work with people, all the troubles it took me and my experience on how I truly felt when I made the photographs happen. The reason why I put all these forth was so that I can get constructive feedback in order for me to constantly and continually improve further. A few words of encouragement can go a long, long way. On the other hand, I tried my very best not to sound intrusive in any manner or offensive as if I was showing off. I do not see how my photographs have posted “threats” to certain people, but I have NEVER made any comparisons, direct or indirect with any other photographers or their works out there, and I certainly made sure I did not claim which was better. Instead, I have countlessly reminded everyone that I am still fresh in photography and there are many things I need to learn still. I guess, not everyone will see what I see, and I have learned my lessons to care about what people think, but not too much.
Two of the constant questions that people do ask me from time to time would be: What drives me blogging, and where do I get my inspirations from. These were particularly hard questions to answer. I blog because I want to. I blog because I choose to. I blog because I have things to say. I have stories to tell. Writer’s block rarely occurs. I have never had troubles “finding blogging materials”, or purposefully make things happen so that I have something to write here. I just did what I have to, and went on with my life naturally and when things do happen, stories will unfold, and here I share them with you guys. That is why this blog is called simply ROBIN, because quite literally, this blog is simply about me, Robin. I drove myself to blog, nothing else, and from my life and constantly others around me, I get my inspirations.
What is the future of this blog? I find it difficult to answer this. There will always be privacy concerns when people could sheepishly dig out what you wrote four freaking years ago and use it against you and drag you down to hell. If it has come to a point of absolute necessity for me to shut this blog down, I will do so with little hesitation. Fortunately, my readers have been really cool and beautiful people, and I have gone through minimal traumas with negative comments or attacks, which were safely negligible.
A bird macro-fied.
I find it interesting that I do have quite a number of lurkers around, or silent readers. There are also those who have been extremely supportive all these while. Marcus, you have just won yourself the award of leaving the highest number of comments on Robinwong.blogspot.com !! To all of you out there, I am very grateful for your presence here on this blog. Thanks to you guys I do not feel like I was talking to myself. You readers have always made this blog a more meaningful place to write about anything. Thank you everyone. You guys ROCK !!
Happy 4th Anniversary to simplyROBIN !!