Today is the 2nd anniversary of the creation of Ramblings of the Bearded One. So in honour of this auspicious day I thought I’d answer a few questions about this blog that no one has ever asked me, but somehow seem pertinent on a day like today
Why is your blog called “Ramblings of The Bearded One”?
When I was at university “The Bearded One” was as an in-joke, hinting at the idea of wise men, religious mystics and hermits contemplating the universe. I had a beard and was studying philosophy so that was a good enough reason for some of my friends to label me with it. The “Ramblings” is due to the fact that I knew any blog I wrote would struggle for a central theme and ramble all over the place, much in the way my thoughts do.
What was your first post?
My first post was simply called First Blog and was written to see how posting worked. And although it’s dated in April 2005, it was in fact written on August 11th 2005
Why do you have posts dating back before you started the blog?
*cough* ... er… I tend to feel wary about looking like a complete newbie, even when I am, so thought I’d establish a bit of fake presence with a few things I’d written before I started blogging.
Why did you start blogging?
After selling my web design business I decided I would try my hand at being a writer. I figured that if I had a blog then it would force me to write at least a couple of times a week and so drag me out of the natural tendency to procrastinate. I also thought I could do with the practice
How did you find out about blogging?
El-Branden Brazil is an old family friend. His parents and mine were close friends so as kids we would play together when they came to visit. We kept in touch over the years, then one day Branden started referring to his Blog, Mystic Traveller, in his emails. It took a year for me to start thinking it was something that I could do myself
What site did you first comment on?
Once I’d set up my own blog I went in search of others to enjoy. Unfortunately I discovered there's a vast amount of crap out there on the web. In among the angst-ridden, self-obsessed teenagers writing in text speak, non-English speaking sites and blogs trying to sell me holiday insurance, porn and viagra, there are only a tiny percentage of blogs worth reading.
The first one I found that I thought was worth the effort was Boobs, Injuries and Dr Peppers. There were aspects in her writings that I found really funny and engaging, but others that were irritating too.
As a complete neophyte I was also intimidated. She seemed so confident and her commenters all seemed so part of the in-crowd - I didn’t want to feel like the one who walks into a room, laughs too loudly at the host's joke and everyone stops, goes quiet and stares at the unwelcome intruder. So my very first comment was anonymous.
Not getting lynched or humiliated, I got braver and started commenting under my own name. However, eventually the irritations outweighed the enjoyment - I found other blogs I preferred spending my time reading, and I stopped visiting.
Which was the first post to get a comment?
The first post anyone commented on was Down’s Syndrome is not an Issue. Interestingly (for me anyway) it continued to get comments for about a year afterwards
Who’s your longest standing blogging buddy?
While Branden introduced me to the concept of blogging, without doubt my longest standing blogging buddy is BStrong from Down Syndrome Life, who was actually the 2nd person to ever comment on my blog. From the outset we realised we had much more in common than both having daughters with DS. Unfortunately his blogging is much more sporadic these days but there are few posts over the past 2 years that either of us has written that the other hasn’t commented on.
How many blog entries have you posted?
275 including this one.
How many visitors have you had?
At the point of posting this - 34,105
Which post has the most comments?
That’s a tie between If God has a message for us then He is an incompetent communicator and Do you still love me despite my...? which both received 41, although Do you still love me despite my...? actually just takes the lead as less of the comments are my replies.
What’s your favourite post?
Being an egotistical maniac, I have a certain fondness for all my posts. In the end, however, I think my favourite is one that is quite unlike any of the others I’ve written – And I’m not looking forward to the journey home, which chronicles my experience of a delayed train journey.
As well as being one that still puts a smile on my face, what it did was make me realise was how lifesaving blogging could be. Normally being stuck in Kilmarnock Station for 2½ hours would have had me screaming from the rafters, but being able to document little details of things going on all around me, while thinking of the potential blog entry I was going to get out of it, helped me keep my sanity.
Here’s your chance to ask me anything you want about this blog. If you have any questions related to Ramblings of the Bearded One that I’ve not addressed here, then post it in the comments and, if appropriate, I’ll add them in updates to this post.