One of my favourite timepass is to randomly 'google' search for names and read the blogs of those who maintain blogs in their own name as domain name. Eg.krish.com, harishankar.com, senthil.com etc. It is always intresting to go through the blogs of individuals because of an inherent honesty in it. There is nothing written to appease / get approval from some editor, so 99% whatever they write is what they feel from their heart. Many of them have been actively continuing blogging where some have slowed down considerably over a period of time. But irrespective of the frequency of the blogs, a reverse / chronological reading of the posts gives an idea about their growth as individuals. Surprising part is that most of them have started around 2005 (including me). Try this for yourself!!!
While some of them are serious in expressing their views, some of them had just created an index page or gallery and left it without maintenance. Some others make an intresting perspective in writing things what we see as trivial or mundane. Infact those writings make me feel "Why I am missing these funny view of life?". In a way these kind of reading personal blogs have some influence atleast in a small way. May be that could be the reason I am always biased towards the friends who blog. Once during a fight, my wife asked "Why the hell you hold blogging as a measure of the aptitude of a person?". Certainly I don't consider a blogger as higher aptitude person than the one who doesn't blog, but I love the way how the bloggers are expressive in their thoughts.
Sandhya once commented that she could see my growth as individual when she read my blogs at a go and recently she said that "A killer / power packed blog or post is missing these days" in my homepage. I agree with her fully. The reason could be that I have exhausted all my opinions or have started becoming insensitive to things around me over the years coupled with a hectic professional life. Another reason is that I am now trying to maintain a professional website that should be a visiting card sort of for me. So the blogs & thoughts are diverted towards the technical writing & aspects. The blogging also follows a life cycle - the curve starts you start blogging, the tendency to put everything in blog makes the curve reach high and due to other factors like personal & professional engagements reduce the frequency and finally the curve flattens with a sporadiac posts then and there or becomes an abandoned blog. The very perseverance of many people who keep blogging for about a decade continuously deserves a special mention.
Unfortunately all my friends in the close circle, who used to blog, are no more blogging or writing rarely. Ananya akka and Annamalai were having a definite style of writing and they have stopped blogging almost an year ago. While Annamalai (literally) stopped blogging after his marriage, Ananya is too consumed by the erratic working shifts and other daily chores. Another reason for the blogging menopause is their thoughts and opinions are immediately vented out through the status messages in Facebook, that it doesn't have enough analysis to be written as blog. A blog post definitely needs more time, attention and energy than a FB status message posted in a spurt of a moment. So it is a sort of consoling feature by subscribing to their status updates in Facebook. I hope that my friends like Ananya akka, Annamalai, Sandhya return to blogging soon in the near future.
When the personal websites were catching up, the celebrities were joining the bandwagon by setting up a website for themselves. There were instances of cyber squatting where the names were taken up by the squatters and demanded a ransom from the celebrities for giving their (domain) names. Recently when I tried to see how those celebrities homepages are maintained now, I could see most of their domain names are for sale. Stars lost their intrest in the websites and because of that the squatters too lost their job. Seems that the trend now is making their presence in the social networking site - twitter.