Near Yellow Mountain

Saturday, February 26, 2011

to blog or not to blog - why am I still doing this.....????

I started this blog based on a cross cultural consultant's suggestion that I "write articles" about my repatriation experience. Writing an articles for publication isn't something I am familiar with so I decided to blog. Setting the blog up took literally less than five minutes and I was off. My goal was to have a written record of my transition back to life in the US that I would have in case my wife and I ever did write that book on ex-pat life we seemed to discuss about once a year.

I found posting on the blog to be a good outlet but as I think back, I would have to go re - read my posts to remember more than a couple things I have written about.

After a few posts, I stumbled on the part of the site where you can see how many people read your blog and what country they access the Internet from. I was surprised to see I had dozens of hits from several countries. I wondered how people found me so I typed in several differently worded attempts to find my blog via Google - no luck. It wasn't until I put the URL in that I found the blog. If you can't "Google yourself", how can you be found???? I seemed the blog equivalent of the invisible man.

 It remained a mystery how anyone from Malaysia or Belgium found the blog. Yes, I had told family and some friends that I was blogging. I also put the URL on Facebook but almost all my friends on Facebook are extended family. I could not account for the hits from Singapore or eastern European countries I have never had the opportunity to visit.

As time went on and the page views exceeded a couple hundred from 9 countries, I found the situation more and more curious. I re-verified the fact that my log-ins were not in that stats - it had occurred to me that I might be chasing my tail.

I am currently writing this from a hotel in Tokyo on a Sunday morning nursing a mild case of jet-lag. Today is the unusual day when I have almost nothing to do. Buy a ticket and take the shinkansen (bullet train) to Osaka and have dinner tonight with two colleagues. Customer golf was yesterday.  It is dawn and I am trying to motivate my self to run around the Imperial Palace before the streets are closed for the Tokyo Marathon that will pass by the hotel in a few hours. As I approach the half way point in a two week trip which will take me to 4 countries, 6 hotels and three overnight flights in 14 days. Writing this (or any other activity) is infinitely better than listening to Suze Orman - who was the talking head in my room when I turned on CNBC Japan this morning. One of the downsides of globalization is that CNBC re-runs in Asia are the most boring and locally meaningless fare they can find. My second best TV option was a month old LPGA golf tournament. "Blogs away"!!

I don't "tweet" but I have been horrified by the thought that writing this blog shows at least as much self absorption as an hourly "tweeter" or someone who feels compelled to voice every stray thought they have on Facebook. I am not anti facebook - it is great for posting pictures, keeping in touch with family or finding old friends but I think it is bizarre when I see a "news" feed with multiple posts everyday from the same people. To each his own I guess.

So why I am still writing this? I enjoy it - plain and simple. If anyone else enjoys reading my thoughts, so much the better. If you are reading this, come back in a week or two - likely there will be another post to read. In a competition vs Suze Orman re-runs; I like my chances and no, I don't know my current FICO score.

By the way...  "Pakistan Today" just came on CNBC. Certainly the final push to take my morning run.