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This website is completely funded by Doug Knell. It's his time and energy, blood, sweat, and tears that went into this, and he'd like to damn well be rewarded for it.

There are two ways you can reward him. The first: visit the site and delight in his amazing content. The second: pay him outright, as a client would pay a prostitute.  Let's make everyone feel better and call it a donation. Don't worry. It'll go to a good cause. Doug has yachts, planes, and fancy sports cars he wishes to buy.
It wouldn't hurt the house to have a 60-inch flat panel television. (50-inch plasma set recently obtained).  Luxury vacations and silk toilet paper would also be appreciated.

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Doug's Republic

Doug Knell


The Blog Herald estimates over 100 million blogs in the blogosphere. So what makes up a popular blog or a well read travel blog? Doug Knell almost didn't start Doug's Republic because he knew he was no Paris Hilton -- he had no built in audience to frequent his wonderful site. Would you read the blog of Paris Hilton? Do you think The Blog Herald is the be all and end all of all blog rankings? Do you frequent the blogosphere much and would give you Doug's Republic the chance it deserves? How about a hand to Doug Knell everybody? Starting a blog is fun, babies!

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Doug's Republic:  Why Litter The Blogosphere With Yet One More Blog?  
Doug's Republic

With over 100 million blogs out there and counting, why should you waste your time visiting Doug's Republic?

Just before I left the United States for the last time in October 2005, my father suggested I start a blog.  His 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 action.   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 information.  His guess was that the United States had 15-30 million blogs back then.   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 video?  You delete it.   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.  I'm realistic.     And my competition doesn't just come from other blog sites.   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? 

The 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 Saigon cafĂ©.   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."   Asleep already?  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 pictures.   People stood a better chance of reading what I'd written if it came right to their inbox instead of having to go to another site.

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 restaurant.   My 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 Hilton's hangouts. 

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.

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