Thursday, 30 August 2007

Oh No! Not Another One!

Welcome everyone!

This is my first (non-filler) post to my blog, so please excuse the awkwardness. I'm like a small bird learning to fly (and hoping not to ram his head into the ground).

When I first thought of starting my own weblog, I kept having the same thoughts: why should I start a blog now? In a world where everyone and their grandmother is already blogging, why should I expect anyone to be interested in whatever I wanted to talk about?

These worries haven't left my mind I must say. However, the reasons why a blog might actually be something worth starting became clearer with time, and eventually overruled my original thoughts. So I signed up, chose a title, a URL, a template... and found myself in the dreaded situation of the First Post.

I quickly made a small filler post, just to give myself some thinking time. But writer's block was already creeping in. What should my first article look like? Should I start with a presentation of myself? But readers would get just as much information by clicking on my profile, and I would probably look like an egocentric know-it-all (I'm not saying I'm not an egocentric know-it-all, I'm just saying I'd rather have you discover that later on). Should I just start directly with an article on some meaningful matter? But that feels so impersonal. One just can't start a meeting without a bit of informal chit-chat first.

And then it hit me: I should introduce the blog itself, and explain why I decided to start one in the first place. It'd serve as a nice formal introduction, and would help me jump over that first-post block. And who knows, you might even find this interesting.

So here they are, in full glory and in no particular order, the reasons why I started a blog:

  • I already have a website. However, it's in dire need of a revamp, both of the contents and the presentation (which is why I don't link to it. It's just too shameful. To give you an idea, think pre-2000 presentation, backgrounds making the text unreadable, the worst presentational HTML you could ever find on Internet, and more than half the site in perpetual "under construction" state). I've been meaning to redesign it from scratch, now that I've learned things like XHTML and CSS, as well as good web practices, but I never managed to actually start the work. I hope to use this blog as a platform to bootstrap this redesign work. That's also why I chose Blogger to host it. Having the code of the templates available for tinkering is a great way to actually practice webdesign, without having to start from scratch (so expect the site to change shape quite often in the next months).
  • A side-effect of my website's status-quo is that I haven't updated it since 2005. It's just too painful. But things have changed a lot in my life, and the information available on the site is now extremely outdated. Moreover, I know quite a few people who are interested in what I had been writing, and I've been neglecting them for far too long. This blog will give new breath to my online life.
  • I actually was once a journalist... OK, that's exaggerated, I've just been editor-in-chief and article writer of the university newspaper. But it felt like journalism, people seemed to appreciate my work (even when they disagreed with my editorials), and more importantly: I liked doing it. And I've been missing an outlet to write my thoughts and comments. Forums and comment areas on other blogs can only get you so far. I just needed my own place.

So now that things are set, let's get started! I hope you'll enjoy the ride!

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