Just before I left the United States for
the last time in October 2005, my father suggested I start a
girlfriend's nephew had started one on one of the
omnipresent free blog sites where you can setup a link like
I think I did go through the setup process on a free
site but just never bothered logging any entries.
It wasn't laziness that kept me from
I've typed a journal on the computer since 1987.
Some of those journal entries span 10 single-spaced
typewritten pages or more.
Writing a blog entry should take less time than that.
Why I let that free blog site age online with no
entries was for a much better reason:
I didn't think anyone would show up, and who wants to
look for extra reasons to feel rejected?
The Blog Herald
lists some stats for the number of blogs active right
around the time I was setting up my free blog.
Who knows exactly how this guy tabulated his
guess was that the United States had 15-30 million blogs
Even if he overcounted and there were 20% as many blogs as
he estimated, there were still at least 3 million American
blogs in existence in 2005, not to mention the millions of
blogs hosted in other countries.
With the way trends spread like wildfire across the
internet, some web 'expert' is probably proclaiming we're up
to a billion active blogs.
Everyone's got a blog nowadays.
It's like having an
iPod, a cell phone, and a shrink.
My cat is pawing on the computer next to this one and
setting up her own blog, and rodents won't be far behind.
It's safe to say that though no one knows exactly how
many active blogs there are, there are a lot, too
many for you and me to skim.
There's just so much information on the internet
today. Most of
it is crap, but you still have to wade through it.
'So why does the world need another blog.' I
thought back in 2005 and still think today.
The only people who might visit my blog are
people I already know, and I honestly didn't put any great
stake on that.
The internet has made it so easy, too easy, for us to
share jokes, photographs, and news with our friends and
family, too often.
It doesn't take much to be information overloaded
just from the people already in your social network.
Receive yet another link on Photobucket to glimpse at
baby Joey's latest photo album?
You don't bother going.
Get cc'd on an e-mail about checking out a nature
It's gotten to the point that some people in my address book
never send me a genuine personal communication.
Everything I receive from them is a forwarded
message, sometimes worthwhile, but most times not.
If I'm experiencing this, I've got to assume so many
others are, too.
Therefore, why would I truly count on my friends and
family to regularly visit my blog if it were just something
more to hog up their limited attention?
The competition is even more intense today
than it was in 2005.
Celebrities and well known journalists have now
flocked to the medium.
If Paris Hilton decides to sample the remodeled
toilets at the Red Devil Lounge and writes about the ultra
white smooth toilet seats, she's going to get a ton more
hits on her blog than if I write a brilliant entry on how to
solve the world's energy problems on mine.
And my competition doesn't just come from other blog
Anything that demands people's attention is competition.
Competition could be Facebook or Myspace or a video
on YouTube or a web site asking viewers to rate if a person
is hot or not.
So why reconsider, why start up a blog
now, when getting eyeballs to come to the site is tougher
than it ever was?
first reason is that the 2005 aborted blog project would've
started out as, more or less, a travel blog.
I was on my way to Australia.
Travel blogs are a different animal.
A good travel blog (and I've come across very few)
demands specialized travel writing.
Most read like this:
"Today, I got up and had a wonderful coffee at a
They really grind the beans fresh here, and I paid
just $1! After
that, I picked up a prostitute for $10 and then had a
delicious lunch of pho along the waterfront."
I felt that all I'd have time to write were short
snippets about where I last was and include a snapshot or
two, the same kinds of things which put me to sleep.
I figured I'd be better off writing an e-mail
periodically and sending those out with a few attached
People stood a better chance of reading what I'd written if
it came right to their inbox instead of having to go to
The second reason is more relevant.
In the last year, I haven't been as diligent about
recording my thoughts in my computer journal.
There are a lot of things I've mused over for years,
always telling myself I'll write them down later.
Later can quite easily turn into never.
I felt if I set up a blog, even if my cat was the
only one to visit it, it would force me to be assiduous
about organizing and writing up the various topics that have
been sifting through my mind for the last few decades.
And if no one winds up coming, one day, perhaps, they
could be translated into an obscure language like Albanian
or Dzongkha and make a big splash in those language
blogospheres with little competition.
I don't kid myself that I've got anything
important to say in the grand scheme of things; and if I do, that anyone else will think
it's important enough to read.
I have the right to express my opinion, and you
reserve the right to let my opinion go right into the
blogosphere's equivalent of a landfill.
I think going into
this project without thinking I'm G-d's gift to the
blogosphere is a bonus. I'm
actually banking on my
girlfriend's blog to get more hits than my own -- and
she's writing in Korean!
There must be fewer blogs in the Korean blogosphere
competing for attention on the topic of a Korean hotelier
adjusting to life in Thailand.
Doug's Republic boasts to be the frontier for Doug
Knell's unique state of mind.
Will that be a frontier most internet web surfers
wish to cross with me? I
can't even convince most people to come with me to an Indian
girlfriend and I have a wager going.
Whoever surpasses a million unique page views last
has to run around our swimming pool nude.
What Doug's Republic promises to you, the
visitor, is entertaining-to-read entries with spins you
aren't likely to find on any other blogging site.
I assure you I'm not going to include blogging
entries on how to obtain six pack abs, improve your self
esteem, make a million dollars without working, or seduce a
bargirl for little or no cost.
There are plenty of other places on the web where you
can locate this information.
I will pride myself on including only original
content that has something somewhat original to say.
If I'm doing my job
right, my entries should provide more food for thought than
the quality of the refurbished toilet seats at Paris
All I humbly ask from you is this:
if Doug's Republic delivers the goods, if it proves
to be an amazing visit, then let someone else know about it.
Please, please don't insure I'm the one who has to
run around the swimming pool naked.