Sometimes I think it absurd to myself that this blog exists. That blogs in general exist. That blogs can be a means via which to reach people. Somewhere in the back of my head, I realise now I never thought people would actually read my blog.
I just wanted to write.
I needed to. To find something. The reasons are hazy now. I feel I have come a long way. I just remember I was, looking to adapt? Scared of change? I don’t know. Anyway, I wrote. (Previous musings on my writing here.)
I had written before. Trust me, this was not in anyway serendipitous. I did not just wake up, start a blog and achieve instant chemistry and success.(Not that I even have these things now, ha ha, but I like my blog and I am still writing so that is something.)
I had started several other blogs before. Several WordPress. A Blogger perhaps. They now lay dormant, somewhere in the cyberspace of the Internet galaxy. Lost. Faded. Passwords forgotten.
I had tried before. I had failed before. I had not held myself accountable. I had been lazy. I had lent my thoughts and efforts to other things and not concentrated on the writing. It had shown. I had dead blog after dead blog. They were just three. I think. Still quite a number.
This time I bought a domain. That was me promising myself that this time would be different because I just really wanted it to be.
What to call the blog? I decided I would be enough. No gimmicks. No word play or fancy alliterative stunts, just me. As I had been known. If you know me, you will know that it is also as I have always fought to be known. Lord knows when you give Kenyans all 3 of my names, they can be quite creative.
I went ahead and splurged on a domain. Okay, so it is maybe about 2000 bob. A year. But I had never spent so much…on a whim. Not on something physical that I can touch. Not on something experiential, that I could live through. On a future!(Distributed Computing engineers in the house?) Promises and Futures. I made a promises to myself that the future would be of my making. Not that we always have that much control over how things turn out, but I wanted a non-dead blog in my future. To write. So I went out on a limb and decide this would be the beginning of that making.
When I started, I was the only one that read my blog. The only other person to read my very first blog post right when I had written it, because others came to learn of my blog much later, was my big brother Alex. He had been the little random spark that gave me my first direction.
I am fascinated by words, I cannot tell you why. Or how. Certain combinations, arrangements, words sometimes simply occur to me as having an inexplicable “Je ne sais qoui” about them. I cannot tell you how. I marveled at how certain conversations and their beauty, their honesty, their simplicity, left me with so much joy. For this conversation with my brother, it was coming from a place where we only half communicated through speech. We had half a conversation and fully communicated. It was very entertaining.
I wondered how often little things like these happened. I wondered if other people were excited by them. I wondered if I could keep a record of these. Given they are so fleeting and sometimes may be missed. I wondered if anyone would care. It was enough that I cared. So I made the theme of my blog ‘Conversations’ and the first post was that half conversation I had with my big brother.
Most of my subsequent musings over conversations featured encounters with my classmates. The people I spent the most time with. Ethel and Njeri. Ha ha. Musings about how people in tech are a little bit strange. Just a tad bit though. Our opinions and experiences are valid please! Others captured how effervescent with emotion I am inclined to be sometimes. I am an uber-sentimentalist guys. My friends have wonderful problems like complaining about how much and how often I proclaim to love them. Alex, Jeff, Fred, Sarah, Linda, this refers to all of you as well.
When Njeri was the only person reading my blog. She was its biggest fan! She commented on every single post! Mostly reiterating something I said in the post. I liked the idea that my thoughts resounded with someone. That they could relate. I must have been doing something right.
When Ethel became my blog’s second biggest fan, she went back and read all my previous posts and commented on all of them.
I wrote and wrote about conversation. Then I tired of that. Time to pivot. I wanted to drop the ‘front’. I had been using other people’s voices as they spoke what seemed to me a small truth. A nugget that needed to be captured in it’s context where it seemed ever more mightier…am I babbling?
I dropped the front and started using my own voice. Writing from my own perspective about things that I knew and had experienced came more naturally.
At the time, I really don’t think I knew that is what I was doing.(I am still not sure I do at this point.) I did little blog suggestion ideas. Topics that were supposed to be interesting and relevant, to someone of my target market. Those were never where I felt most comfortable. Sometimes I noticed that the blog post suggestions I adapted from the Internet brought some unlikely visitors to the site. Those posts definitely baited and hooked some unlikely fish. Perhaps occasionally I will still do those.
Those posts were never my cuppa tea though. I never enjoyed them as much. As much as the ones where I heard my own voice. Conceited? Ha ha. Millennial. (Are they still not all in my own voice? See, I am still not sure I know what I am doing.)
I however know that I must be doing something right. Besides the people who take the time to comment after reading, thank you, there’s those that come and go and I may never know about them.
There’s Bree. I bumped into Bree 2 weeks back. Bree and I, and Genevieve, spent 2 weeks in Uganda together back in 2014. Such wonderful memories! Life took us in vastly different directions after but occasionally, as she is now working in the tech space as well, we bump into each other. 2 weeks ago, when I bumped into her for literally 5 seconds, she mentioned that she is an ardent reader of my blog.
*sniffles* *heart melts* Bree! Who would have thought!
There’s Emmanuel, who, whenever a post resounds with him, will whatsapp me immediately and tell me I am his Biko Zulu. Emmanuel, can’t I just be Kathleen Siminyu? *ahem ahem*
There’s Shadrack who I met at Biko Zulu’s masterclass and we swapped blog addresses and promised to always read each others’ work. I wonder if he still reads.
There’s my aunt I, who was over one morning recently as I was leaving for work, and said to me, ‘Have a good day Madam Data Scientist. I read the blog, you know.’
There’s Patrick who was my French language buddy. We were catching up recently and he, in passing, mentioned that although he may not have accomplished as much as Sadiq(remember Sadiq from my last post?), he would not mind an honourable mention. There you go Patrick!
There’s Cliff, who proofreads all my work before I put it up. Who also pushes me to write when I have been silent for a while. Cliff, I feel like the continued life and health of this blog is a team effort!
And Elvis and Kandie. And Marylynn. And many more, more than I could possibly list. 🙁
Ha ha. You know, sometimes it gets unnerving that people actually read my blog and then bring things up in conversation elsewhere. I kinda like it though.
I followed what I loved. At least I tried to. I am trying to. I am trying to see if what I like can have some sort of definition. If it can grow into something.
Shall I get to the point?
I am starting a Facebook Page. Yup. As simple as that. I am trying to be data driven and the numbers say most of my traffic comes from Facebook. I am therefore working on creating a somewhat greater presence on Facebook. I have asked some of my regular readers why they haven’t subscribed to the blog and they always say that receiving emails is somewhat off-putting, so they avoid platforms that could add to those emails they likely never read. So, guys, since you won’t subscribe, will you like the Facebook Page? Increases the chances that you won’t miss out on a post. 🙂
With creating a greater presence on Facebook, I’m not sure what that means yet but I definitely would like to create more content beyond the blog posts. Remember when the blog’s theme was ‘Conversations’? You probably don’t. You have to take my word for it, it was a long time ago. The blog has come a long way since then. Take a chance, like the page and let’s see where the blog and the page will be a year from now.
Click Here to go to the Facebook Page!
Kindly like it!
Fun fact, it is a little over a year since I started the blog! I know this because I had to renew my hosting account last month. So let’s say this is my blog’s belated first birthday celebration post!
You liking the page would be the perfect gift.
P.S. I should have included a link to Sadiq’s blog in the last post, so that you all also awe at his awesome.
Here it is! If you haven’t read that previous post yet, feel free to.