Note: I can’t assume to speak for Aye, so I will try to break the ‘we’ habit and only focus on “I” in this post…
I don’t think anyone really noticed, or cared, that our gotpassport(dot)org blog went offline recently. We (as a team) decided, after many discussions, to let go of the URL, and web hosting our 3 blogs as well. It wasn’t an investment worth paying every month, and it wasn’t a trivial amount, either. Now the old original free wordpress site, yeah, this one, is what we have saved. Content from the self-hosted sites were imported into this one – so financially we are saving a good chunk of change by not paying for a website name and hosting. But what did we lose, if anything?
We started blogging as a means to document our family adventure, living overseas, and somehow got lost in the travel blogging fog along the way. Sure, blogging about travel stories was great for a while, it allowed us to meet interesting people, and for them to find us. Though in hindsight social media would have been sufficient, not sure if we needed a blog with stories to accomplish that. Many folks today only use their social media channel as their microblog, or web presence. A blog feel archaic and inefficient by comparison.
We started off journaling our experienes, you know, like what a family journal should be. Then our posts became less of our inner experiences, and more about sharing “how to’s” and “what to do here and there…” informational type posts. I wrote about buying a motorbike in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and suddenly when anyone Googled, “buying a motorbike in Thailand” my post would end up on the first page of the search. I received numerous messages from mostly would-be tourists, about where to rent or buy a motorbike, etc. That digression in purpose hurt us, I believe. I was no longer writing for and about us, the family, my inner thoughts and emotions, and the content became more about the audience, and how we can get more traffic. We never had a monetary strategy when it came to blogging, and to Aye’s credit, she was so active on social media that her engagement was enough to draw followers, i.e., an audience. But we didn’t pause to examine why we were sharing these types of stories, and who does it benefit?
The fact that we haven’t blogged for a year tells us something. We’d rather share our experiences in small chunks, more or less privately, via a closed instagram account, than to put together a blog post. Now a blog post just feels so cumbersome by comparison. On Instagram, Aye can write freely, share a video or photo quickly, often in real time, of a meaningful experience, shared to mostly people we know.
Aye and I often talk about feeling the need to write as a form of self expression. I often dabbled in audio podcasting, but never got into a groove to make it meaningful. It all boils down to, “Why are we doing what we’re doing?” as it relates to our digital life.
I personally feel that when it comes to writing, we don’t have to expend energy to ‘get it out there,’ for others to read. I want to write because I believe it benefits me, first. That sounded a bit selfish, but I mean writing can be a healthy outlet for the writer, which is me, dammit! See? I’m still writing from the perspective of speaking to an audience, and I need to stop that.
If a friend, acquaintance, or stranger stumbles upon my post(s), then fine – I can’t expend my mental energy to write for someone else, or a preceived audience of some kind. This isn’t about profit. It’s about my mental well being, my spirituality (wherever that went), and brainstorming about life, out loud…
So for me, I won’t turn on comments, as in recent years I noticed most comments are spam bots anyway. I figure if someone wants to reach me, they will find a way.
There are many things I want to write about, from the trivial geeky things I obsess about, to the struggles I have, still trying to find myself at 49.