This blog is an unusual entity. As a technology enthusiast, I love surfing the Internet, reading news articles, participating in online forums, sharing on social networks and trying out new technologies. I spend countless hours utilizing my various computers, Android devices and other electronic gadgets. Every member of my household has multiple computers. We have Android devices, smartphones, gaming systems and more.
That being said, I am also an outdoor enthusiast. So, if we were suddenly to find ourselves in a world without electricity, such as the one imagined in the current television series Revolution, I would miss all the toys and goodies I once enjoyed, but I could also be very happy living off the grid.
So, I’m not crippled by a lack of imagination or a social ineptitude that causes me to hide away in an online world, in order to fill a need for companionship. In fact, I maintain a small but close circle of friends, have a happy marriage and a close relationship with my son. My time spent online is a matter of choice and circumstance, not a latent neurosis that many modern psychologists may have you believe.
I know that I am not alone in this approach to technology, either. Sure, I probably spend more time online than I need to and the fact that I work everyday in front of a computer, in the computer industry, you might think I’d get sick of them and want nothing to do with them when I got home, but that’s not the case. I know many people who view their online lives the same way and they’re not all young, unattached gamers, without social lives. In fact, for most of them, it’s quite the opposite.
That brings me to this blog, or blogging in general. You see, I have multiple blogs. I just recently cut the number down significantly, in order to simplify things. However, I still maintain several. You can see my other blogs at the bottom of this page. I have one for humorous anecdotes, another that acts as the photo blog of my life, the main technical blog I maintain as part of my Schvenn.net domain and you can even see the comments I make on any of the various Gawker sites. If you look at my About page, you can see a list of all the other sites on which I have created an online presence. Some I visit frequently, others not so much. I’m a bit OCD, which is why I like to keep track of all of it. I’m also a bit nervous about what types of details I share online. So, while you can see many aspects of my life and piece a lot of it together, I still protect a lot of who I am from the online world.
In fact, Schvenn isn’t even my real name. It’s a name I invented more than a dozen years ago and have used exclusively as my online persona. If you do a Google search for Schvenn, you will find that the vast majority of links point to my sites. Others have taken up the Schvenn monicker in the many years since I first created the name and I consider that flattering, because as I’ve said, the name didn’t actually exist until I created it. So, the other people you see using it are essentially, imposters. In some manner, they have seen my name and adopted it as their own online persona. That is very rare though and when I sign up for a new web service, it’s rare that I can’t use the name Schvenn as my alias. I digress.
So, I’ve created an online persona that is relatively unique and I’ve taken some steps to protect it. My main site has a small following, but fills more of a personal interest than anything else. I know though, that some of my friends and family occassionally visit it in order to find software and website recommendations. I also have troubleshooting guides on there that I and others have used when providing technical support in our jobs, or at home. Sure, I use the same social networks that everyone else uses; Facebook, Google+, Twitter and others. However, I like to write and none of those networks really lend themselves towards this end. Thus, the reason for blogs.
My expertise lies in the technical field, though. So, what do I have to share other than that? Not a lot. I love photography, but have never had the time or opportunity to take it up. Someday, I might. Until then, I use my Tumblr page as my online photo album. I prefer it over Facebook. Not everything I want to write is technical, so blogging exclusively on my wiki, doesn’t make sense. Therefore, I started this blog. How many people read this blog? None. No really, I know that nobody does and frankly I don’t care. Yes, I’m writing as if to an audience, but I know that the vast majority of anything I’ve written will never be seen by anyone but me and yet, that doesn’t bother me. I write because I enjoy it. Once in a while a friend or a stranger stumbles across something I’ve written and likes it and that’s great; but if they never do, it won’t change the fact that I will keep on writing.
So, why am I writing this particular entry? Well, I’ve been researching blogging a lot, lately. I have tried out most of the large blogging services, decided which ones I like, which ones I don’t and which ones have the best features. While I don’t like that WordPress.com is the only one of the many sites that I’ve tried which I cannot point to a sub-domain on my own site like LiveJournal.Schvenn.net or Blog.Schvenn.net, without having to pay for the service, it still has some of the best features. What I found in my travels though, is that there are a lot of really strong opinions about blogging. The general consensus is that blogs have only two main purposes, to generate a large following and generate income. Advice about blogging is therefore tailored towards those ends. I challenge those assumptions. I blog because I feel like it. I blog knowing that there is a very high likelihood that nobody will ever read my entries, nor do I care. I blog because it’s fun, its a creative outlet and relaxing. It’s like some form of therapy, like an online journal. So, if you’ve ever thought about blogging yourself, start now. Don’t let the detractors influence you. You don’t need a specific purpose. You don’t need a following. You can do so because you want to do so.
Who knows, if you keep at it long enough, a pattern may develop. You might refine your linguistic and literary skills. You might find a topic about which you may want to frequently explore and someday, you may even develop a following. If that time ever comes, you can look back on your fledgling blog and thank yourself for not having given up. That’s why I blog. It may never lead to anything, but until then, I’m still having fun doing it.