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Dastan-é-blogging

17 August, 2013 by Sunit Nandi

If you guys have seen my posts already, you may have noticed I have been blogging here for over 5 years by now. In this post, I’ll be telling you about my blogging journey and how I finally reached to where I am right now.

Back in 2002, I was studying in Chatsworth International School, Singapore. I’d give the credit to one of my classmates there named Hugh Bullen for introducing me to the world of web design by showing me how to write in HTML. He was pretty pesky, annoying and awkward to most people, including our class teacher. But to me and a couple of other guys, he was quite friendly. It’d be right to say he was moody. One fine day, he wrote a basic “Hello world” page on a piece of paper and after that, I gazed at the paper for a few minutes, trying to understand the whole meaning as he explained the tags. Later that day at home, I was looking up guides on HTML and practicing.

I didn’t know where to host the files and I was pretty much confused at that point. Then an ex-student of dad named Parlapalli Madhusudhana Rao “Madhu”, set me up to use Yahoo! GeoCities for the webpages and Yahoo! photos for the photo gallery. After that I spent a lot of time learning HTML and made a simple website for the family.

Back in India in 2003, I finally got bored with the 15 MB storage limit on GeoCities. Then another friend suggested me to try Tripod by Lycos with 20 MB hosting. It was on that host I first started blogging. Now comes the ‘how’ part. I was once going through their CGI scripts section. I saw a ‘web log wrapper’. Curiously, I applied it, and bingo, I had a nice blog with a WYSIWYG editor. I was never serious about blogging then and hardly felt with maintaining it. But the idea was damn fascinating.

During the time 2004 to 2005, Google began to expand, launching GMail, Talk, Google Pages and then buying out Blogger. Someone suggested me to move to Google Pages for hosting the site. There was a storage limit of 100 MB and the WYSIWYG editor with nice templates was very superb. However, I wasn’t really comfy with Blogger in the beginning, so I used Windows Live Spaces to blog instead. I liked their nicely done ‘notes’ feature and used it for almost 2 years. 

While all this was going on, I’d share URLs of my sites with classmates enquiring about their opinion. But, I was often always laughed at and often called nerdy. Some even said I was doing a pointless job.

In the meanwhile I switched to a good reputed free web host (I don’t remember the name now) which then recently began offering 5 GB of space plus PHP and MySQL databases. I was new to the Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP (LAMP) method of hosting websites, so initially I tried to make a basic webpage for family with MS Frontpage and embedded PHP scripts in the syntax.

In 2006-2007, our school started off a Ecological and Environmental club and then they appointed to make their website. While I was in the process of doing so, I came across the WordPress blogging platform for the first time. WordPress had just reached its v2 state. After some initial discussion, we decided to go forward with it. The school, however, refused to grant us hosting on their own server. So we had to buy our own hosting to get it working. I learnt a lot working with WordPress in the process.

As this was going on, the free host I was on started leaning towards bankruptcy. They began asking for donations to run. Soon afterwards, they had to shut down. Then after that, we had Live Spaces deprecating their notes feature, so I moved over to TypePad. I loved TypePad for its simplicity, and back in those days, it beat both Blogger and WordPress with their design. I wasn’t still a serious blogger. I just blogged about life events, few ‘yay’ posts and random stuff.

After days and days of searching on the internet, I finally found x10Hosting. Their free plan gave away a whole LAMP stack with 2.5 GB of space. I thought it was too good to be true, but still signed up anyway. My account took a whole week to get approved. I was at the verge of giving up, but when I tried it, I was impressed. It turned out to be better than the paid host our club was using. TypePad then decided to go paid, making me leave their service. Then I got a .co.cc free domain name and with my hosting account I rebuilt the family website and also installed WordPress 2.2 to serve my blog. And since then, history was made as I never changed this set up ever again.

Then came the blogging buzz in India in 2008-2009. Bollywood stars like Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan began to blog. It was heavily publicised in the media, with articles on how to start a blog being printed on every other newspaper. Blogging was on everyone’s lips. The people who once dissed me for ‘pointless efforts’ began creating their own blogs like there was no tomorrow. I had one of the greatest LOL moments of my life then. It just seemed that the public memory is just like a beach. You make a mark on the sand, very soon its washed away. However, when the tide comes up, it stays there a while before leaving, making the beach appear like it isn’t there. Here the beach is the public, and the sea tide is the media. People only accept what the media says, not what you as an individual say.

Soon enough Twitter took the world by storm. In India, it was more of a hurricane. Again the media went maniac over it. Then our nation’s honourable ladies and gentlemen joined Twitter. The common man made his account to follow them all. I watched the whole drama unfold itself like a poor joke. News and music channels began to display those ‘elite’ tweets on their scrolling tickers. I laughed at the whole stupidity of making a mountain of a molehill. I wasn’t inclined to join Twitter because I did not have a proper reason to actually use it. It’d have just been another unused account, like most old Twitter accounts that were created by humans of our nation.

I finally got the message that the people around me were just trying to be hippie kewl dudes and babes by keeping up to the trends, and they weren’t the right guys to ask for any sort of opinion. I realised I needed to find the right people to discuss with.

Its year 2011. My friend Farhan Hussain, a senior at school, was very much into web design and web application projects. His activities were quite popular, and got immense support from numerous friends. His only problem was that he never did anything for long terms. He used to start a project, develop it, maintain it for a month or two and then move on. This attitude of his was rather irritating to me, and we often had ego clashes and exchanges of harsh words took place. To be really honest, we never looked like friends to everyone else. Even though we had differences, we still started Techno FAQ with couple of other friends, and it turned out to be quite successful. Then Farhan left school and within a year, joined a college in Bangalore for a course on Mass Communication. Finally, according to his nature, he wanted to shut down Techno FAQ saying, “Dude this is just a technology group, the fact that has progressed this far is something significant. Now I think its time we move on and deal with more important things in life.” I vehemently refused to let it shut down when it had already come this far, and that I had made a whole new circle of friends because of it. Plus, I had my own plans of extending Techno FAQ. We again had fights over it. He first made me quit the group and asked me to build my own. But a week later, he asked me to join it back and he himself left it for ever, for reasons I don’t even know till now.

This is year 2012. Now that Techno FAQ was in the care of the remaining members, we added a whole lot of new members in the management to take the group forward. As it was expanding, we decided that a website was necessary. To fulfil the requirements, I upgraded my hosting plan to premium paid hosting. The web host promptly moved to my account to their premium servers. technofaq.org was bought and started our site and began some serious tech blogging. We also joined Google+ and Twitter to make a presence.

A few months later, I decided it was time to resume building my personal websites too. So I bought nandifamily.in and moved all my sites from the old domain to the new one. Then I imported all old posts from the older blogs I once had and imported them here. Finally I shut down all other other blogging accounts. After a little bit of touch-ups, this blog was ready, and I was finally ready for some serious blogging. Also a point worth mentioning is that I finally have people around who love blogs and are willing to read what I write. I hope to maintain this blog for as long as possible, and make it close to a personal diary as far as possible. Hope you guys continue reading it.

I also joined Twitter as I had enough friends to tweet to and enough topics to tweet about.

In case you want to read my old posts, you are free to do so. This blog has posts dating back to 2007.

With this I end my post. A few words I wish to tell everyone is: No matter what anyone says or if anyone stops you, do what you love to do. Any good activity that is going to benefit you or people around you is worth doing if you love doing it. Don’t listen to negatives. Remember that all people will not be able to appreciate your work. Just carry on and find people who will actually love doing things with you. The world will seem much better and happier.


2 Comments »

  1. Pradyumna says:

    It is a long post but worth the read . Keep up the good work . Particularly like the last para because i lived though that phase and now i look at myself and i am proud of myself .

  2. Mompi says:

    Hey…. your work is highly appreciable man, although I couldn’t get half of it about switching to your hosting sites again and again :p but every thing else was cool. Keep it up.

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