Why do I blog (again)?

That’s an interesting question and indeed the kind of the first one I was asked when I relaunched my blog yesterday.

I am using various social platforms for years now: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, Youtube, Foursquare, WeChat, LinkedIn, Xing, BBM, Reddit, you-name-it. They all have the certain purpose — though, there are some that I really don’t quite get (Foursquare and Snapchat for example). Anyhow, none of them fits all my needs.

I’d like to share content in various formats. I like written content most, often accompanied by photos or maybe video, but sometimes it’s really just text. With other posts, there might not be any text. I want all my content to be accessible on the world wide web by everyone. So exclusively publishing it inside a walled garden like Facebook, is not that good IMHO. Audio is also a media I’d like to get into some day — though I still feel really awkward hearing my own voice.

Some content may be of more personal nature, some content maybe of more business / work-related nature. So context-related platforms like LinkedIn and Xing are not working all the time either.

As you can see, it is not that easy to choose a main platform to publish content on — if the requirements are as loosely defined as I defined them.

Furthermore, by posting my content on my own blog I retain full control over it. That’s not that much of a concern to me, but it’s a nice thing to have. I am happy to share my content and I truly hope it may help people in their life. One way or another. I have benefited in various ways from a lot of other people who shared their insight – may it be personal, business, tech or otherwise related. Perhaps someone might find some of my new content useful in future.

One of my greatest stories is that of Juergen who commented on my blog post Hong Kong ID Card – Fingerabdruck und Biometrische Gesichtsdaten inklusive, which I wrote 10 years ago in July 2008. A few years later, we actually met and became friends. He even ended up renting a room in our office in Hong Kong when we were renting out “serviced offices” there. Only then I realized it was actually him who commented on my blog post – way before he actually came to Hong Kong. That’s the kind of online content that brings people together. That’s what I want to share and how I want to build relationships with my readers with whom I then hopefully become friends as well.

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Change is Good – Life in Germany Launch

It’s been almost 4 years since my last article and 13.5 years since my very first article here on kozen.de. Things have changed, priorities have shifted and life just keeps changing.

To celebrate and document that change, I’d like to revive kozen.de and publish a few more updates here for my friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances and everyone else who is looking for what I have to say. As usual, it might not always make sense to everyone, I might not be very logical (though, I try to be) and some topics might be boring to some of you. Yet, I believe, I have some interesting stories to tell about our new life (back) here in Germany now and everything that’s happing around that and around the world, where ever I am involved or interested in.

In the following weeks, you can expect to see:

  • Visual relaunch of this blog
  • Stories about building a house in Germany
  • How it is like to live in Germany
  • Thoughts and articles about cryptocurrencies, startups & ventures, property, tech and projects I’m interested in

If you want to stay up-to-date, you should subscribe to this blog or like my page on Facebook.

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Are personal blogs dead?

Kozen's RSS Feed Reads
Take a look at my RSS feed reader list on the left. There is a lot of stuff I read on a quite regular basis and for not being bothered to visit all those websites manually, remembering what I last read and then finding new interesting stuff — I have a feed reader. While for professional web sites like news, webshops or developer blogs, RSS / Atom news feeds are inevitable, personal blogs have those too. A couple of years ago most of my friends started blogs and so did I by writing my first article.

High blog death rate

Like many others, from time to time I neglected my blog for a while, pickup up writing again, got lazy again, picked up again and so on. Most of the friends blogs I subscribed to appear to be inactive. The ones in ocher on the left did not get updated for ages which means, their authors don’t write any new articles. I guess that’s life!

To be honest, it take a lot of effort to write a blog and constantly maintain it. For those of us who have it even running on their own servers you got to think about all the technical stuff like software updates and so on. Despite that, the most painful part for everyone writing blog articles is the actual act of sitting down and hammering a couple of lines into the keyboard. It takes a lot of time and creativity to come up with a topic that people might actually read and you are willing to write about. I could write about my sex-life which would probably be interesting to one or two, but I am not quite comfortable doing so — especially as it doesn’t just involve me 🙂 Anyhow, those who keep writing articles on a more or less frequent basis deserve respect.

Writing is relaxing

Knowing how hard it is to do so, for me this is also about focusing one thing and one thing only: this article. During my work week (which is usually Monday to Friday with little patches during the weekend and public holidays) I tracked the amount of tasks I am working on, thinking about and dealing with at the very same moment over time. On average that is currently something between 5 and 7 and I often get distracted by people popping into my office asking questions. Well, on weekends it is a bit more quiet — sometimes too quiet when my better half has to fly Shanghai and interview another Formula 1 driver. But well, that leaves me time to write an article, right? No distractions, me sitting on the terrace (when there is good weather) having a fresh beer or like today an ice tea, and just trying to write some lines that are not totally bonkers.

That being said, I also consider this a learning process. The more you write, the better you become and may be one day I will develop a writing-style that’s actually worth reading. In the meanwhile, please bear with me and provide feedback by leaving a comment.

Advantages of personal blogs

I have seen a big migration from personal blogs to micro-blogs like Twitter or the Facebook Newsfeeed. Indeed, those sites are very convenient and they made our digital life a lot easier. I am using those as well — mainly from my phone because it is quick and easy to share something that’s happening right now with everyone I know and I can even selectively share certain kinds of information with people I think it is relevant to. Still, personal blogs have advantages which I treasure sometimes: (virtually) unlimited size of posts, images, videos to embed, full control on availability like scheduled publishing, full control over the layout and the possibility of monetization. Right, I said it out loud: I make money with my blog – not much, but it pays for the server. I doubt anyone could blame me for that (but feel free to try :)).

Kozen’s blog allows me to write a little longer articles like this one and giving a bit more context to all of this. Like I mentioned before, I won’t give a promise I can’t keep, but I will post my thoughts about whatever I think might be interesting to you. This time we had a rather plain article with lots of text and a question at the end. I reckon most of you skipped the top paragraphs and jumped right down here. You are still welcome to leave your comments, though.

Twitter version of this article: “Are personal blogs dead? I don’t think so, what do you think?” (please RT or @reply)

P.S.: I got distracted while writing this post as well. An Easter Sunday parade was going on somewhere nearby and they performed a part of Schiller / Beethoven‘s Symphony No. 9 “Ode to Joy” which is my favorite — even though I had to sing that one in school and not even our music teacher could stand listen to those “tunes”.

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