Recently, two prominent bloggers emailed me. Somewhere in her email, Gayle Goh wrote this sentence - I have respect for your work. Somewhere in his email, Mr Brown wrote this sentence - I love your work.
No, the purpose of my present post is not self-congratulation. What strikes me is that both Gayle and Mr Brown used the same word to refer to my blog posts - work. Presumably, they would refer to their own blogging in the same way.
Work implies something to be taken seriously. Something to be done with diligence, skill and care. I believe that as a medium, blogs will continue to matter, because many people out there strive to blog with diligence, skill and care. Of course, how exactly they strive to do it will vary.
When I left my old blog and set up this new one, I did a couple of things differently. For example, I no longer use the Extreme Tracker program. Also, I no longer have a quick, convenient hyperlink to my own page on Technorati. What are the consequences?
I can no longer tell how many readers I get each day. I don't know where my traffic is coming from. I've become much less frequent in checking who's been saying what on the Internet about me.
I deliberately chose this state of affairs. Why? Because unlike Robbie Williams, I'm not a pop star. I'm not an exhibitionist. I'm not here to tickle your imagination nor entertain you for entertainment's sake.
By refusing to track my blog traffic, I will avoid being tempted, even subconsciously, to write things just for the sake of gaining more readers. Unlike TV or newspapers, I will have no incentive to sensationalise for the sake of sensationalising.
So instead I will write only when I think I have something worth writing about.
Which is the way I've decided it should be. For my blog, at any rate.
As I had mentioned, I don't monitor incoming hyperlinks that frequently anymore. I must confess I was a little slow to realise just how much blogospheric debate my non-appearance on BlogTV.sg had generated. See for instance, this, this and this. I would say that Elia Diodati came closest to reading my mind.
The best commentary on this matter, however, will remain unknown to the public. In his long email to me, ex-TODAY columnist Mr Brown made several very perceptive comments about media & politics in Singapore. Mr Brown is indeed a clever man. But I think he intended the email to be a private communication, so I shall not discuss the details.