Welcome to my Bloog / On Building A Website
Welcome to my bloog. It's like a blog, but with one more o.
We live in a world where the tools at our fingertips and the streaming speed of content demands that we constantly engage in virtual space to maintain relevance and, dare I say, existence itself. The website is indeed one of those tools.
I studied numerous websites for inspiration, encountering a wide range of approaches, objectives, and values. There is, of course, something inherently self-involved in this process, of gazing upon the self in order to define, present, and broadcast it. Approaches vary, anywhere from humble and straightforward to ostentatious and self-aggrandizing. Some souls write REAMS about themselves. It's remarkable. One walks away from such experiences pondering how the world could possibly have so many woes in the presence of such demigods? These are young people, no less! Not even 30. What's going on here? Torrents of pride? A need for validation? Unadulterated insecurity? Unicorns galore? Genuinely remarkable individuals? All of the above? The Internet has created tools for mythologizing the self in the name of consumption, invincibility, and more. In the name of self-promotion, sales, and status. In the name of posterity, love, and hope. It's a murky stew, friends. And here I am...what to do?
Imagine if smartphones and selfies and the Internet existed during the creation of Greek mythology? What would Narcissus as a character look like? Probably very similar to 75% of our social media feeds. FEED! Now if that term doesn't evoke problematic imagery -- the swine feeding at the trough (of content), for example -- I don't know what would!
Most stunning is that we're all guilty. I suppose it's a matter of degree.
But none of these existential musings would motivate action, though they certainly enthralled delay. I had to forge ahead, mindful but not dwelling upon such existential angst, and create a website that defined and presented a portfolio of my work. To help achieve this, I found inspiration from storytellers like Vahe Berberian and Steve Martin, humans who express themselves through multiple forms of art and are really good people. Well, to be fair, I can definitely say that about Vahe, though I've never met Steve. I've found that it takes a lot of guts to declare one's multi-dimensionality, especially in the face of a market that seems to demand that we define ourselves as ONE THING ONLY -- marketer, musician, actor, doctor, lawyer, academic, CPA, and so on. Why is it like this? Why shouldn't we proudly declare, share, promote, and engage the numerous dimensions of ourselves? I can feel career counselor's eyes rolling. Back to websites...
This ain't my first rodeo.
I started my first blog in 2008 immediately after graduating college. At that time, I focused on living through the Confucian aphorism a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. From 2008 to 2013, life presented incredible surprises and opportunities, and Single Steps, my first blog, offered a space to share words, images, and sounds that came from some downright unforgettable journeys. Highlights included volunteering on a farm in Portugal, walking across Spain on the historic Camino de Santiago, cycling across the USA to help fight cancer, living in Armenia (and elsewhere), and creating art -- poetry, short stories, music, acting, and so on -- inspired by these adventures. The platform I used was Blogspot, which I believe has now become Blogger. I wonder how much longer they'll be around.
Then, I launched a second website in 2012 to track the creation and dissemination of Pushkin Street, my debut album of eleven original "gypsy zest" songs. This time, I upped the ante and went the way of Wordpress. Fancy!
Now here I am -- a third website, with a blog inside of it! I hope to offer reflections on this blog within a website within a web browser within an Internet within a screen within a universe (within the brain of feral Border Collie named Soma who's obsessed with squirrels?), and allow for this website (Squarespace no less!) to be a venue of sharing, honesty, and progress.