This month we celebrate the second anniversary of our Thai-blog community. What better occasion to recall the past and pay a brief visit the story of how it all started. We have to go back quite a while ago… please follow me.
Where it all began
Once upon a time there was a forum as part of a website called thailandguidebook.com. On this forum, some members started to write regularly about their Thai experiences. It was a diverse bunch even back then: temporary teachers, backpackers, and some expats like yours truly. Even Richard found some spare time and shared language study tips he gained while teaching his students at Srinai.
Shortly thereafter, these stories were moved outside the forum, so as to not look like posts. This was the first time they started to resemble today’s blogs – but they were very, very basic. Just plain text paragraphs, that’s it. Things like the calendar, RSS, blog-search – basically all the bells and whistles that we take for granted in today’s blogs, were nonexistent at that time. Writer profiles were those of the forum; comments were also collected as forum posts. I remember, each of us writers had their separate subforum for blog comments, and we responded there.
The lonely blogger
This highlighted an obvious problem: readers had to be forum members in order to interact with the bloggers. Since at that time the forums had yet to gain their own entity to be the popular ThailandQA we know now, the interest for our blogs was sparse. Most writers became disillusioned about this and have left. There was a period of time when I was the sole blogger on the site!
Thai-blogs to the rescue
Around that time, Richard got this brilliant idea to get a proper blog engine and run the blogs on a unique site. This became Thai-blogs that you are reading now. I remember, we had a problem with the name. Richard wanted thaiblogs.com at first, but it was (and still is) reserved by a cybersquatter. And then we vacillated whether having a hypenated URL will cause confusion amongst readers in the future… apparently it didn’t. 🙂
So, we had a site, we had a name, we had an enigne. But if it started empty from scratch, we would have lost valuable time waiting for content and readership to build up. Thus all of Richard’s and my previously written material has been painstakingly moved to the this new place. The timestamp has also been tinkered with, in order to make the intial posts appear as if they had been written for this site gradually over time. While that was a good idea back then, now it’s simply impossible to find our very first blog entry. Oh well… 🙂
With time readers and writers started to come. Another important milestone in the history of Thai-blogs was when Richard started to construct the Big Thailand Quiz and Steve helped out with that project. It was through their discussions about devising the questions that got Steve started out here at Thai-blogs, giving another enormous boost to this community. 🙂
Plans for the future
In this ever-changing cyberworld one has to keep up with the latest innovations to maintain a quality content presentation. The improvements to our blogs did’t just stop here. Richard told me about future plans to further improve Thai-blogs, and without dwelling on them much, let me just tell you that they can take the community to exciting new directions! 🙂
I’m glad to see that during these years, Thai-blogs succeeded to preserve its friendly and informative nature, making it an isle of peace in the sea of thai-related sites gone bad. Couldn’t have gone this far without writers giving quality content, and readers giving inspiration to the writers. Here is hope that we’re going to see Thai-blogs doing great for many years coming. Thanks to you all! 🙂