"Never settle for less than your dreams.
Somewhere, sometime, someday, somehow, you'll find them

- Danielle Steel, Bittersweet.

Get more Insight, Inspiration and Self Discovery at The Walkabout.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Blogs we Loved... and Miss.

"A man must be made of steel so that when the fires of life come, he emerges stronger and without defect. These are the chronicles of my time in the flames. 
I am the Acolyte now but will not be so for long........"
- Acolyte

On November 8, Complitly Connect Magazine will publish an in-depth feature on the state of blogging and other online user generated content with respect to the emergence and growth of social networks such as Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Facebook.

In preparation, we look back at those bloggers and blogs who shaped opinion and kept readers entertained, those who made sure there always was something to look forward to on the Internet besides Email (YahooMail or Hotmail, there was no Gmail then).

It was in 2005 when I started blogging. I initially had a WordPress.com blog, then migrated to Blogger. Eventually, upon registering ComplitCommunications.com, I used self-hosted WordPress for my Greening Kenya, The Walkabout and Complit Design blogs.

So, what exactly is blogging?

I find it irksome when government officials keep referring to guys who post hateful or silly stuff on Facebook and Twitter as bloggers. Does the ability to post on forums, online newspaper articles and on social networks make one a blogger?

A blog is an abbreviated word used for weblog, which is a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.

A blogger is simply someone who posts on a blog.
It should be noted that bloggers do not only produce content to post on their blogs, but also build social relations with their readers and other bloggers.

Blog Discovery

As earlier mentioned, there was no Twitter or Facebook where you could share links to your new content.
To discover new blogs and share content, there was Feedburner, RSS and ATOM feeds, readers such as Google Reader (defunct), and blog aggregators.

The South African Afrigator, the US-based Mashada and the Kenyan KBW were very popular in Kenya.
It is these aggregators that inspired the current Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE).

Favorite Blogs
I had and still have a good number. Some are no longer available e.g. Intelligensia's blog and Darius's Stone Cold Haven. Some are seldom updated, either because the blogger passed on (such as Idd Salim), decided there are better things to do than blogging, or succumbed to enduring writer's block. Occasionally, a blogger makes a technical appearance after years. Both SisBigBones and Bomseh recently did so after a 4-year absence!

Some bloggers, such as Our Kid, simply stopped writing without as much as a goodbye. Others have been kind enough to let readers and the blogging community that they'll no longer post online.
For instance, this was Kahenya's last post on Friday, May 04, 2007:

Last night I got a Lost One. Its a very difficult time for me, so blogging goes to a minimum. I need some time to work and be alone. So sorry blogging world.

Following are just a few of my favorite blogs:

And many, many more.

The above 21 blogs represent the 21 reasons writing is far more than a labor of love. Some are regularly updated, others are not. Some of the blogs, even the bloggers may be long gone but the words shared in them continue to endure, and to make a difference.

For each and every person who once blogged or continues to do so, and the many others who share the links or extend dialogue through comments.. you simply set my world on fire over and over again. Kudos!

What are your favorite bogs or bloggers? Let us know in the comments below.