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Looking Back: Blogging in 2008

Another year has whirred by, and let’s look at how the blog fared.

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How were these modest improvements achieved?

1. Publicity

Among the new subscribers to the free, monthly e-newsletter more than half (57 members) joined in January. This was the result of a publicity blitz by Syam Nath (2007) via Orkut and e-mail. Also, during School Day 2007, I met old boys of recent batches, introduced myself and the blog, and distributed visiting cards of loyolites.com. It was humbling to learn that very few had even heard of loyolites.com or this blog. Syam too was there to distribute the cards.

2. Activity

Asif Kalam (2005) and I tried out a short, fixed-deadline campaign in connection with Teacher’s Day, unlike the long-term, open-ended Great School Campaign, begun here in 2007. The Teacher’s Day Campaign attracted a lot of interest — on this blog, there were 400+ pageviews each on September 4 and 5. That’s usually the number of pageviews we see in an entire week. Voluntary associations, I have heard, use activity as a tool to energise volunteers, keep the flock together, and assert relevance in society. This year, I learnt that activities have a positive effect in blogdom too.

My blogging goals for 2008 were met only partially.

  1. Deliver good content and regularly. 4 out of 10. Two mentions at Desipundit (on career choice, on policing) suggests that I was able to deliver good content once-in-a-while. But I tripped over my fortnightly posting schedule, and skipped posting more than once. Worse, I once skipped sending out the newsletter too.
  2. Build the great school campaign and spark a few more ventures. 7 out of 10. In my view, the school’s current leadership is quite regressive and adheres to a completely different set of values. Rather than continue to curse the darkness, I am trying to build the Great School Campaign by rejuvenating LENS. Action, not just talk. The Teacher’s Day campaign and Loyola Hangaroo (an online game) were the other ventures sparked off in 2008.
  3. Make the blog self-financing, at least to pay the webhosting charges ($10/month). 0 out 10. When I last checked, I had made $19 via GoogleAds. So, I removed the ads from the site. A few old boys offered to host the blog at their webspace, but I was not looking for webspace — I just wish that somebody would pay my webhosting charges, so that I can focus my energies and money on delivering good content.
  4. Do all this more efficiently, i.e. in less time. 3 out of 10. For sure, I spent less time writing blogposts. But offline activities consumed a lot of time. Since I enjoy doing this, I am quite ok with the overall time I spent in 2008 on the Loyola front.

This year’s vote of thanks go largely to the Commenters for reminding me that my blog is being read with interest, Syam (2007) for bringing in new subscribers, Karthik C (1999) for putting me on the Desipundit radar, and Asif Kalam (2005) for infusing tech-talent and humour into the running of loyolites.com. Vishnu Dattan (2001) not only helped to organise the Teacher’s Day Campaign but, like my brother Roshen (1989), also cautioned and encouraged me privately more than once.

Rather than set fresh blogging goals for 2009, I’ll try to improve the score on each goal I set for 2008.