I should have put this post quite some time ago. Was it my modesty that kept me away from putting this post, or just laziness, or was it because of inertia set in motion by Delhi’s cold wave? Mampi, the prolific blogger (www.manmahesh.blogspot.com) chose to bestow a ‘butterfly award to this blog. She cites the reason for giving away this award to Himalayan Adventurer for ‘bringing to us the cold of Antarctica first hand’. I really feel priviledged in receiving this award since it has come from none other than Mampi who herself is not only a brilliant blogger, but is recipient of many awards from other bloggers who are fans of her blog. Some such awards conferred on her are like butterfly award, certified honest blogger award, Proximidade award, million dollar friend award, Brilliante Weblog award, etc.
Why do bloggers give award to other bloggers? She offers reasons you can not disagree with. Well, let me quote from her only, “When these same friends remember you on their own blogs for a reason as good as an award, it is not flattery, it is not mere reciprocation. It is merely a way to remember each other on the blogs and to introduce new blogs through the various links that these awards ask you to put up. It is a validation of what you stand for in your blog-and a validation offered by your blog-mates who are the true judges of your words. Nor are the awards givers any celebrities in the regular sense of the term. They are celebrities in their own right. Some of them make us laugh, some make us empathize with them, some jolt us up to the realities of our day and some just share their day-to-day life with us. We know their babies, spouses, parents, friends, friends-of-friends, colleagues, neighbors from their writings. After all we are all just Six Degrees removed from each other.”
When I started Himalayan Adventurer, I did that for a limited purpose only to remain in touch with family and friends. Before going for Antarctic expedition I was in a fix as to how share my journal with others on regular basis, given the limited internet connectivity at Maitri at that time. I had been sharing my travelogues with others for quite some time. It was Kushagra who suggested the idea of starting a blog. He himself had discovered the joy of writing his rock-climbing thrills on his own blog, www.tantrikclimber.blogspot.com, and found it a great experience. He helped in setting up the blog and naming it also. When I was packing for leaving for Antarctica, it was a big problem to decide what was essential and what could be left behind. Once there, you could not buy anything, though we were assured that Maitri complex was well stocked for essential living. In my list of essentials, I included my cameras, spare batteries, blank CDs, pen-drives, and laptop. Carrying my own laptop was a very wise decision. I could practically write my experiences on daily basis on my laptop sitting in the comfort of my living module (heated and with 24-hour power supply) and give to radio room at Maitri for emailing these. All members would send and receive their emails by a common group email id through radio room. Kushagra, sitting in San Francisco, would properly edit my writings to post them on the blog. He did a magnificent job in being prompt and discerning. Ironically, I myself could not view my own blog for five months till the time I was away to Antarctica.
On coming back, I got introduced to other bloggers and was amazed by number of blogs coming from India only. I am also impressed by the range of their subjects and quality of writings on these blogs and learnt that bloggers’ is a dynamic and thriving community. They remain in touch with one another’s writings and offer their comments and suggestions. There is now an association or a directory of Indian bloggers which also holds regular meetings of the bloggers: www.indiblogger.in. So now we have a new term, blogosphere. Several blog search engines are now available to search blog contents, such as Bloglines, BlogScope, and Technorati. Wikipedia now has a lengthy post on ‘Blog’. It defines blog as (a contraction of the term "Web log") a Web site, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
Why do people blog? There are many reasons you can find on Wikipedia or Google. However, let me again quote from Mampi’s blog for this answer: “When we lay our hearts bare before our readers, either as anonymous writers or with our names declared on our blogs, we do or do not crave appreciation. We yearn for sharing our joys and sorrows; we yearn to use the writing as a catharsis. To some, this becomes a compulsive activity, to others it is merely an extension of their personality. Through our blogs, we meet those who live a whole world afar and are yet just a step away from us. Through our blogs, we become the reason for many strangers to meet and talk on a common forum. If nothing else, I feel this is one valid reason for us all to come together through the words expressed on our respective pages.” I do not think I could improve on the reasons given by her.