Blogs To Wikis
It was early 2001. Sebastian had come from Kolkata and was temporarily staying with us in Pune before joining Tata Technologies. He had bought a tech magazine (Chip/Digit) from the station to keep himself engrossed. I lunged at it as soon as he came home and that’s how I learnt about blogging. A few service providers were mentioned and I tried them all at the cyber-cafe right across the street. Based on the description in the magazine and personal user experience, I chose Blogger.com. It was to prove the correct decision.
Though it seems incredible to me now, I really didn’t understand what blogging was supposed to accomplish. To me, it was just an easy but restricted way of creating web-pages quickly. Confusing me further was Blogger’s archive feature, what on earth was it for? It took me some time to figure out that blogging was essentially a way to log your daily experiences on the web, a kind of personal diary was wasn’t really all that personal. Purists would find this over-simplification sacrilegious, but that’s all blogging meant to me before it went on to become a global phenomenon few could have envisaged.
Next came the question: what do I write? The first dummy post was nothing more than a placeholder, a way to make my message visible on a publicly accessible webpage. It was also a rather shamelessly overt way of seeking attention from search engines. I got the attention I sought, it felt like I had attained world fame.
Posts were infrequent for quite some time and blogging wasn’t yet an important entity in my life. I even deleted many posts (mostly online litter) before I gathered enough steam to attain steady momentum. It’s been this way ever since, although I often fear running out of steam. I’m too petrified of looking into the boiler.
Wikis happened along the way. Wikipedia became an astounding success that changed the way the world perceived the power of collaborative thinking. I became a small-time contributor and began referring to it (like the rest of mankind) almost daily. In many ways, blogging and wikiing are essentially the same tool manifested differently.
For long I’ve felt the need of a web-based notepad and wikis fit the bill perfectly. I’ve finally created my own wikis to keep my mental jumble from evaporating into oblivion. Hyperlinked with my blog, I now have a powerful arsenal at my disposal.
The web has assumed a whole new meaning for me.