“What does blogging mean for you?” That’s one of questions many people (even journalists) frequently asked me. For me, blogging means a lot. I will tell you why.
I left Tempo Daily on March 1, 2007, and started to be a full-time blogger: write tech posts for some established sites and blogs like CNET, SlashPhone and PhoneMag; and then run a Jakarta-based Asia Blogging Network. Two years and half later, I joined an Internet giant company, Yahoo!. As Country Editor for Yahoo! Indonesia, one of my tasks is working with bloggers and online communities.
Talking about the professional blogging’s opportunity, there are two models that you can choose if you really wanted to pick blogging as your main job: As a (1) publisher; or (2) freelancer. The first one requires knowledge and skills to monetize your blogs — you should be an expert on online advertising, referral programs, SEO and so on. Another one just need your skill as a writer– just write for some sites or blogs and you’ll get paid.
I preferred the second one –since writing is nothing new for me. But I need to know the nature of blogging’s tools and communities. That’s why I should start blogging. It’s a new world and we can’t understand it just by relying on our common-sense. I believe that blogging is a kind of “science” –that’s why we need to learn its methodology, theory, medium, community and so on.
I just started to blog [seriously] since the beginning of 2006 when I started to write for my own gadget site called 3GWeek. Written in English, the blog mostly discusses about telecommunications and mobile technology.
Why did I choose technology as a major topic for my blogging? It’s simple. I love everything about technology. I was also conducting a small research and noticed that even the big tech blogs were still fighting to seek good writers and bloggers for their publications. That’s a big opportunity, right? I became more convinced that my preferred topic (technology) and medium (blogs) is a good decision…
And blogging is not only about content, but also about community. I found that writing for blogs is a bit different than writing for printing media –in term of interacting with readers. I already wrote a bunch of newspaper’s articles for years but I don’t know whether the readers like it or not. On the other hand, with blogging, I could get readers’ response quickly. That’s amazing. I learned a lot from them. I try to talk with them, instead of to teach them.
Just about a few months after I started blogging, CNET, the world’s leading tech news portal, invited me to blog for them about Indonesia’s technology scenes. Then a U.S. based online publications also offered me to write for SlashPhone, PhoneMag and iPhoneBuzz.
As a blogger, I was invited to some tech events and conferences in Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong, Stuttgart, Barcelona and Amsterdam. I was also invited to be a jury member for the Deutsche Welle Blog Awards in Berlin (November 2008) and April 2010 (yes, I am now here in Germany to attend the meeting).
So, if you again ask me, what does blogging mean for me? “It means a lot. Blogging has changed my life!”