walk a-musing

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Get a name NOW!

Advice from a new blogger to future bloggers: Get a name for your blog NOW!!

Deciding on starting a blog was the easy part. (it took me just a few months to make up my mind). Getting a name for it.... well, that was a whole different story. My blog was not going to be on one particular subject, and I obviously intended to write about my thoughts, a little bit of this and a little bit of that...... so I thought of various names to suit the idea.

I soon found that I was not the first one with this idea. I tried "thoughtgallery.blogspot". It was taken. Then I came up with "loudthoughts.blogspot". That was taken too. "loudthinking.blogspot", "openmind", "thoughtalbum" and then "knickknacks", "miscellany", "potpourri", "patchwork", "mosaic", "mishmash", "hodgepodge"..... all taken! Some of them seem to have been long abandoned. I found that the last entry in one was 4 years ago, and in a couple of others, there was a solitary entry, made ages ago. Anyway, they were not available. Just for fun, I tried "newword.blogspot", and found a blog of that name! Then, "latestblog".... Taken! Finally I tried "Sigh.blogspot"....... but siiighhh!!, there is a blog even by that name!!!

As a next step, I thought of coining a word by linking a number of words together, like they say the German language allows. The first attempt was
"newtoblogging". But....you guessed it.... there is already such a blog. And, believe it or not, there are blogs whose names are "nonameavailable" and "bitsandpieces", and also "abitofthisandabitofthat"! . I was infact quite surprised that "cannotfindagoodname" was available. One would expect thousands to have tried that. Well, it was not a good enough name for my blog.

I then hit upon the idea of a blog name in kannada, which is my language anyway. The very first name I tried, "Tunukugalu" which means "bits and pieces" was available!! I hung on to it, ....for a while. As I went on my walk that day, I mused about all this...., amused by all this. I also reflected on how walking was always a good opportunity for musing. It was then, that another possible name occurred to me. I came home and tried it. Bingo! "walk a-musing" was mine! When I start a kannada blog, I will call it "tunukugalu"!

Now my advice to all those who are "thinkingofblogging" - this name is available, by the way, so hurry if you like it! - get a name today. Reserve your space. With about 100million bloggers already, and the number growing steadily, there may not be many words in the English language still left for you to use as a name for a blog. You can start writing in the blog at leisure, even a decade from now. No hurry there!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Here goes!

It was soon after the Indian Ocean tsunami. I then lived in Singapore. The contributions made to tsunami relief funds did not bring much relief to the mind. I was looking everywhere on the net to see if there were any first hand reports on relief work in India. It was then that I stumbled on a 'live' discussion amongst a group of people, who informed each other about what kind of help was needed, which voluntary agency worked in which region, what kind of relief material was being collected where, and so on. I felt I was trespassing on somebody's private conversation. Everyone addressed each other in familiar first names. I was sure it was some private group, and assumed that they had made their discussion available on the net so others could also benefit from the information exchanged. The heading on top of the page said it was a 'blog'. It was the first time I had heard the term.

On my trip home, my better informed niece educated me about blogging. She suggested that I start a blog, I could write about my travels. I said I already spent too much time on the internet. I should be doing other things. She shrugged and left me alone. But the look on her face clearly said, "What other things?"

I have now moved to the UK. Further away from home. But thanks to emails and yahoo chat, I have always been upto date on everything that happened near home. Till recently, that is. A few months ago, another niece started her own blog. She, who used to mail regularly, almost stopped mailing me and I saw her having roaring conversations with various Ashoks, Arathis and Anons! I once mailed her commenting on her blog and she asked me why I didnt put it on the blog itself! I felt like a perfect fool. Soon my brother got a blog, a nephew got himself a blog and I got a bit panicky. I was being left out! I had been forgotten!! So, blogging is the new mode of keeping in touch with people! No SMSs, no emails. In the good old days, I checked my mail every morning, to see if anyone had anything to say to me. Now, after checking my mail, to find the inbox full of articles and magazines I have subscribed to, (thankfully, they have not stopped sending the articles and asked me to visit their websites instead!) I visit half a dozen blogs, to see if there are any new entries. And if one of them hasn't been updated for a few days, I wonder, "why hasn't S been going to the office the last few days? She must be very busy...." or "why hasn't A written anything?...I better call and find out if all is ok...."

I could make phone calls ofcourse, but I would go bankrupt considering how much I wanted to share. If I wanted to be in touch with all these loved ones, I should comment on their blogs. Now, what if I want to initiate a conversation? I cant possibly leave a comment on their blog about some subject they havnt written about! Ohho...! There is only one thing to do. I HAVE to start my own Blog! And keep my fingers crossed that they will leave their comments there. Also, the next time I am introduced to someone, if we hit it off well, I maybe able to say, "Let us keep in touch, here is the name of my blog!"

So here goes! This doesn't mean non-nieces and non-nephews are not welcome to read what I write. Ofcourse, anyone passing by is welcome to read and comment. It would be lovely if I can make a few extra friends along the way. I do intend to update it regularly, but you see, I am neither a student nor a software engineer....I am a stay at home mum! So I may get very busy at times and not have the time to write!. And if I have to have a real private conversation with my nieces and nephews, there is always the phone.......