Revisiting My First Few Blog Posts From 2002

Revisit your very first blog post and reflect on how you’ve grown

Well, I have to go back all the way to 2002 and check my first few blogs posts to look back at them. So yeah, back in the latter half of 2002 I had moved temporarily to the city of Calicut and being away from my family and staying in the lodge and joining my first proper company – I thought the best thing would be to have some sort of record on that. Having spent a few months before that reading a few blogs that I enjoyed, I decided to start one of my own.

Even though I moved to Calicut by the end of July, it took me till October to actually start the blog on Blogspot. And initially it was more like updates of what I did, if I bought some shirts or cds or anything like that or if I watched a movie. It was sporadic at best and so it was like “hey guys, this is what I did during the last few days, I am back in Cochin or I was in Cochin and now headed back to Calicut”. The rare party with friends – yeah, I’d mentioned that and what we ate/drank.

If there was a function that I attended I would write about that. You get the picture. It was like a note taking thing, which I sort of enjoy. When I have a lot of free time I do go back and read some of those old posts just to see what I was thinking back then, what did I watch on tv or movie theatre and what was I listening to at the time. I read about old friends and it makes me smile and wish for the old days to be back. It is fun to reminisce.

Prompt from 31 JANUARY BLOG POST IDEAS at Bloggingherway.com

What Is A Digital Nomad? And What Are The Pros & Cons Of Being A Digital Nomad?

Digital nomads are remote workers who usually travel to different locations. They often work in coffee shops, co-working spaces, or public libraries, relying on devices with wireless internet capabilities like smart phones and mobile hotspots to do their work wherever they want. With 34% of remote employees working 4-5 days a week out of the office, the digital nomad lifestyle could be an exciting possibility if you’ve caught the travel bug and want to break free from the shackles of 9-5 life.

Living as a digital nomad, you’re able to see incredible places, learn from different cultures, and work when or where you want to — true freedom. There are many types of digital nomads out there. Some people travel around their own country by campervan or RV. Some live on sailboats, working from different ports of call. Others stay in backpacker hostels or rent Airbnb apartments while flying from country to country.

There are many upsides to the location independence that digital nomads enjoy. Who wouldn’t want to check off their ultimate bucket list while working from a laptop anywhere in the world? Here are some of the benefits:

  • Save money living in a low cost-of-living area
  • The flexibility to live where you want
  • Ditch the toxic environment of office politics
  • Experience new cultures & make new friends
  • Learn new skills or languages
  • Broaden your mind through travel experiences
  • Set your own schedule and take time off when you want to
  • Spend winters on the beach, and summers in the mountains!

Working from anywhere is a dream for many people. But like all life choices, there are both pros and cons to a nomadic lifestyle. Here are some of the downsides:

  • Moving constantly is exhausting
  • Your productivity can suffer
  • Digital nomads often battle loneliness
  • Finding stability is difficult
  • A general lack of private space
  • Travel loses its luster & wow factor

If you like to travel and move around from place to place, enjoying new experiences then this line of work can be really worth it. However knowing the drawbacks is also a good thing to keep in mind.

Recommended Specs For A Bloggers’ Laptop

As a long time blogger, I have been asked for recommendations for a laptop for someone who is mainly going to blog and ofcourse browse the internet. Since I am not a techie, I had to dip into some websites to find a proper recommendations for specs that a blogger can use. Here are some tips that you can look at before finalizing on a machine for your blogging purposes.

CPU
Avoid anything with the labels: Pentium, Celeron, Atom/Arm, AMD E2, AMD A9, A6, MediaTek unless you are going to buy a ChromeBook. However it is strongly recommended to get Intel Core i3 CPUs from the 8th gen upwards and AMD Ryzen 3 Chips. Core i5 Chips and AMD Ryzen 5 chips might be useful if you want to do some heavy photoshop+light video editing a walk in the park. Core i7/AMD Ryzen 7 chips and up are only useful for heavy video editors, most bloggers rely on simple cuts/transitions.

RAM
2-4GB is fine for ChromeBook/Linux/Windows 10 in S mode/MAC OSX set ups. 8GB is a must for  Windows 10 Home. 16GB (though that is what I have) is wasted unless you’re going to do some pretty hardcore video editing.

Display
Size: get the biggest one you can handle. Obviously, if you’re going to be on the move, you can’t go for a 17”.
Resolution: This is the most crucial part of the display.At  least a FHD resolution, the higher the better. Pair that with a 17” display you’d have an insane amount of free space to multitask. A FHD/Retina Display will also make a 13” display have enough space for you to work with.

Storage
Size isn’t important. The type of storage is. Now that HDDs are almost obselete, pick an PCIe NVMe SSD if you can. It will make your laptop soar through the sky and perform tasks several seconds faster which will add up to minutes then less hours spent blogging.

Coffee Or Tea? Which Do You Drink While You Write And Why?

Coffee. Usually hot & black with sugar but many times I do add milk as well. As long as it is coffee I am pretty happy about it. It gives me energy and the caffeine is the kick I need to keep me awake and alert. Or so it feels. I also love the taste of coffee and it is more or less an addiction. For many people, coffee is the first beverage consumed in the morning and can be relied upon for energy to help them get through the day. For some, the smell and taste of coffee are comforting.

If you are deprived of sleep, having a cup of your favorite brew can help you feel more relaxed and ready to be productive. Many of the nutrients in coffee beans make their way into the finished brewed drink. Packed with antioxidants and vitamins such as riboflavin, magnesium, and potassium, coffee can help to lessen depression, promote a healthy heart, and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, liver disease, and liver cancer.

Overall I like to drink a beverage while I do write and though I also like to have a Coke or Pepsi or maybe some fruit juices (apple or orange for instance) coffee is ever present in my home and cheaper to have more of. But even if I had the same amount of juices, cola and coffee, coffee is gonna win most of the time.

Prompt from NOVEMBER BLOG PROMPTS: NANOWRIMO EDITION at Living A Sunshine Life

Instagram Display Widget For WordPress : WPZOOM

Formerly known as Instagram Widget by WPZOOM,  WPZOOM Social Feed Widget is a simple and lightweight widget for WordPress to display your Instagram feed. This is the one that I use currently and the one that you see with my Instagram here.

This plugin lets you easily display your Instagram feed via a WordPress Widget. Installing it and setting it up is a breeze.

FEATURES

  • Lightbox
  • Add your custom avatar and bio
  • Supports Lazy Loading
  • Lighweight plugin
  • Works with the new WordPress 5.8 block-based widgets screen

Using the widget pretty simple as advertised. You will need to setup a Access Token for your Instagram account to give access to display your feed. Finally you can change the look of the display but changing the nos of columns and rows you want to be displayed. Give it a try.

URL Locked For Yet Another Year; Till Nov 2021

The url for my website has been renewed and paid for till November 2022. This URL was the one I selected for way back in 2006 when I finally decided that I wanted to get my own server space for a new blog and run WordPress on it. At that time I got an offer than a company that was offering and was able to get this URL for just Rs.100! Yes just a 100 bucks.

Since then I have seen the price go higher and higher. It became Rs.400 then Rs.550 and Rs.700. Last two years and this year it has been Rs.950 and I guess it will go up in a year or so. That seems to be the way that things go, isn’t it. So anyway, I use a different person now, a friend of my cousin, and I informed him that Nov 14th is the due date. He messaged me back in 5 minutes after renewing my URL for me.

I then went ahead to pay the invoice he sent via a phone app. It was all done within 10 minutes. So easy to get it done. Anyways, that’s this website title saved for yet another years.

How Has Blogging Changed You?

Looking back on my blogging experience, from way back in 2001 when  first started reading blogs to starting my own blog (not this one) in 2002, it has given me a lot more than I bargained for. I did not think that I would be blogging as much as I have or that I would still be blogging to this day. Starting a blog from scratch, building it, growing it, and maintaining it is hard work and it has been a labour of love.

Blogging can help you build friendships and grow your community and help you in building relationships with people and have a genuine thirst for personal connection. I never would have expected that sitting behind a computer blogging could offer me that. I have made a few friends from blogging who are now Facebook, Instagram and really good friends of mine. Along with all the networking you can do through a blog, you also have the ability to connect to all kinds of people that you may have otherwise never met. You’ll be surprised by the people who stumble upon your blog and reach out to you.

Blogging was about connecting finding someone interesting and reading about them, becoming invested in them and their life. It is so much more personable than Facebook or Instagram. My blog is me on an HTML format and I mostly bare myself and my emotions on it. Like minded people can always see that and connect with me if what I write about speaks to them and especially if they happen to have had similar experiences Some of my best blogging friends were made that way.

Chances are, you’re passionate about whatever you are choosing to blog about.Blogging may also lead you to other passions as well. I also want to always explore opportunities for me to express my creativity. Blogging is such a great avenue for this! And it can lead to monetary benefits – of which I am eternally happy & grateful. But even if I didn’t make any money from all of this, I would still be blogging on a daily basis. Sitting at my laptop with a fresh cup of coffee next to me is a great way to spend a day.

Prompt from OCTOBER BLOG PROMPTS {12 MONTHS OF WRITING IDEAS} #BLOGPROMPTS at Food Fun Family

How My Blog Is Different Than Others?

How your blog is different than others?

My blog is different from other blogs because……none of them are posted by me. Ok dad jokes aside, let me try and tell you.

My blog is different because I blog about anything and everything that I like, love, hate or interests me. You will find the most varied of subjects in my blog that you may not find in other blogs. Ok – you will never find them. I have so many categories, much, much more than any that I have ever seen in any other blog. And that is because I don’t limit my blog to particular things or niches. I dunno how it happened, but it happened. When I started blogging, way back in 2002, it was supposed to be a journal of things that has happened and things that I did, especially since I was staying in a new city.

I moved back in less than a year and my blogging still became like a journal of what I did, some of my thoughts of events, what I saw on tv or listened to. Eventually I started writing more and more about my feelings, my dad out, so many more things. I kept adding category after category once I started this blog back in 2007 and it just kept going. In fact, in the past year I have added two new categories. Isn’t that weird? But I realize that it’s  because my interests are varied and I write mainly about what interests me. Therefore the various categories since I am interested in a lot of things.

I also try to be as honest as I can on my blog. I don’t hold back – well maybe I might tone down the language a bit, even though I have thrown in a few choice words many times. Yet it is still very tame when I compare it with what I say when I get angry or think. I also try to post as much positive things as I can and keep it varied.

Prompt from 121 LIFESTYLE BLOG POSTS IDEAS TO WRITE ABOUT IN 2021

Why do you need a blog planner?

I do not really keep a planner and I honestly do not recommend keeping one yourself. Unless you are planning to write about certain topics that you get paid to do – in that case by all means, do keep a planner with notes or bulletpoints jotted down on a small notepad/scribblepad or even on Word/Notepad on your own pc/laptop. What I usually do is, if I get a few ideas about the topics that I want to blog about, I create them on WordPress and save them as drafts because I know that I will come back to them later. This way I don’t forget said topics and also I have my set of blog posts all mapped out for the next couple of days.

The main reason why I say that a planner isn’t something I recommend is because it looses spontaneity. When I do plan these things it seems a bit forced for me and I kinda lose a bit of the excitement as I already knew a couple of days ahead what I was going to write about. Now the exception is for paid/sponsored posts which either I have the list of topics (depending on what the client wants, it can be a set of 5 to 10 per month) already emailed to me, so I do know in advance what it is I will be blogging about.

However the stuff that I write just for me because it is what I enjoy writing about, am passionate about or what interests and intrigues me is always more spontaneous. The best thing is to get the idea or think about ideas or search for ideas and the moment one clicks, I go to my blog’s tab and open up a new post blog – the button that says “Add New” – and I start typing. Depending on how easy it is to write about it, I may spend from 20 minutes to a whole day on it.

My Blog Writing Process & Preferences – Music, Videos Or Quiet?

Tell us about your writing process – do you like music or quiet, is there a special place

I wish I had more space to do things but for the moment I usually only use my bedroom as the place that I blog/write from. And although I have a desk (not much larger than a laptop plus mouse and a couple of speakers size, think minimum surface space) which I bought for keeping my pc and then, from 2010 onwards, my laptop on I currently have my work desktop on it. Since it is very large (21 inch screen) and clunky (separate CPU) I do not have much space for anything else other than a coffee mug or maybe a pint glass.

So I have this laptop table that I got as a gift from the office a couple of years ago and I keep it on my bed and I use it for my laptop. So I can type and browse and play music off. But I wish I didn’t have to use it this. If I had more space then I would have a bigger desk or another desk which I can use for this laptop as it isn’t the best thing for my back when I sit like this I tend to have to lean forward and that cause my back to be stiff after a while.

I don’t mind music or even a podcast playing on Youtube. Like perhaps an interview or something like one of the channels that read Reddit stories of Entitled People, Entitled Parents, Choosing Beggers or I Don’t Work Here Lady stories. Those don’t need me to watch the video so I just play them in the background and blog about things. Or I have atheist discussions on Youtube. I don’t like too much noise other than something like this or music so I can’t still easily concentrate on writing.

Prompt from 30 Days Of September Writing Prompts at The SitsGirls

What Blogging All These Years Has Taught Me

What is something blogging has taught you about yourself?

What blogging a lot – I’ve averaged 2 posts a day for over 14 years with the only exceptions being the days I am really sick – is that is I really love blogging. It’s more than just a hobby or a creative outlet for me. It’s like a release from the day to day life and a way that I also let my frustration out. If I didn’t blog and use it as a therapy for myself, I might actually go a bit angry and nuts at things that happen to and around me along the week. Even sometimes at home, when I get pissed off because of family, even if I may not blog about that exact incident, I do find that blogging keeps me from acting out.

Sometimes that is more than enough and sometimes it’s not but it is akin to therapy. Another thing I learned is that this hobby of mine can and has made me a lot of money. When what you do during the downtime and as a hobby makes you a bunch of extra cash on the side which you can use to buy some things that you have been eyeing but maybe couldn’t buy at the time until you save some money, it is an awesome feeling. It’s a feeling that is so sweet that you cannot but be proud of yourself a little bit. Ok, I lie! It’s more like you cannot but be proud of yourself a lot.

Other than that, I have also found that I can write about a few things over here that I may not want to talk about to others face to face or otherwise. It also helps to write it down or type it down in this case.

Prompt from 31 Days Of Writing Prompts For August at The SitsGirls

On This Day : August 6th

On this day, August 6:

What Is Your Dream Job?

My dream job is an extension of what I am currently doing and have gotten paid for. I get paid for blogging and sponsored posts in which I add links to various business. I would love to be able to quit my job and make money just by blogging about the things that interest me. I would also like to have a Youtube channel that takes off and gets a million plus subscribers who view the videos I make but blogging is my main thing.

I have made a nice chunk of money online but it’s nothing that I can chase as a full time career. But I wish I could do that and nothing else. Just get paid a lot of money each month to write about things that I like, love, observe and ponder. Even things I hate and do not agree with. But that’s the dream. That I can stop worrying about the rat race and earning a salary and instead play some music and tap on the keys about the things that I want to blog about and make money that way.

Sometimes I do wonder if I could write a book, a novel – a work of fiction – and make money that way. If only I could bring in the images in my brain about this futuristic world onto black and white or better yet make that into a movie series or tv series – man that would be so awesome!

Prompt from 31 Days Of Writing Prompts For August at The SitsGirls

Launching A New Blog? What Should Your First Post Be

Personally I think your first blog post should be an introduction about yourself or what you led you to start a blog and about the theme you want to focus about in your blog. If your blog is a personal blog, like mine, you could make the introductory post about what your blog is about, who you are, what you plan to write about in your blog, what led you to start a blog and why your readers should keep coming back for more and read through. This will let people decide if they want to continue reading and add your blog to their lists of must reads. Oh and also include links to your various social media posts and email.

Instead if you plan for your blog to be about a particular niche or topic, then you could go the route of telling your readers about your expertise in that subject. And you could probably include a photo of something related to your blog’s niche, for example food, computers or coding or a travel destination. You could “announce” your topic, introduction, style and theme in one post by carefully using keywords that you have searched on other similar blogs and creating an appeal for your readers as to what your blog is going to focus on.

No matter what your first post should be about you and your writing style so people can get to know you and get an idea of both the content that is to come as well as the blogger. Do not rush; take your time as you will only do a first blog post once. Your identity and personality should shine through in your writing. It’s what makes your blog unique.