Brief history of Thai-blogs

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. 🙂

Content transplant

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! 🙂

4 responses to “Brief history of Thai-blogs

  1. Thanks Siamjai for taking the time to write that little history. May I fill in a few details?

    According to my records, we bought the domain thai-blogs.com on 20th January 2005. As you mentioned, once the new domain was running, we backposted the blogs that had already been posted at thailandguidebook.com forums. These had been written between August and December 2004. By that time, Steve had also agreed to write some blogs on the new website that we were planning to launch.

    So, in January 2005 we had three writers prepared to write blogs. Steve Suphan, SiamJai and myself. But, no engine and no domain name.

    At that time we weren’t sure which blog engine to use. It was Stacker (from the forums) who suggested I played with the free b2evolution blog engine as it allowed multi blogs. I did so and liked it very much. BTW, Stacker now works as our IT specialist for the Paknam Web Network.

    Next the domain name. This was quite hard. The obvious ones like thaiblogs.com and thailandblogs.com had been taken. This was a shame and such a waste of good names as even today they are not being used. I think I brainstormed 3 or 4 names. If I remember right, thai-blogs.com was at the top of the list but I was unsure about using the hyphen. I sent the list to both Steve and SiamJai and we all agreed on thai-blogs.com. The domain was then bought on 20th January 2006 and was online a few days later with the blog engine installed. To bridge the gap between the forum blogs that we had backposted for the period August-December 2004, we wrote some new article and backposted them at different dates for January 2005. So, when we launched the site, we already had a quality blog with plenty of articles to read.

    As Siamjai mentioned, we do have new plans in order to keep the momentum moving forward. This started with ThailandVoice.com which has now become the largest directory of Thailand blogs. The next project I will keep secret for the time being. You will just have to check back in the future to see what we are planning!

  2. Well Siamjai, you have great memory about me days of working out on the Big Quiz Project. Geez…i had almost forgotten all about that!
    Just around that time i had written up a couple of popular threads over on the Forums. Richard turned around and advised that i ought to put some of my stuff into ‘permanent mode’.

    Late January 2006, i wrote up my very first blog ‘A New Year Upcountry’.

    A couple of days later, Richard contacted me to say ‘Why don’t you re-post your Do’s and Dont’s of Dating a Proper Thai Girl? I think a lotta people would be interested in it”.

    Even though that blog never ever got onto the front page of thai-blogs, it’s still amazingly holds the record for most comments.

    In those early days of thai-blogs i had loadsa free time with little in the way of family distractions!

    Here’s for another two years of thai-blogs!

  3. hi richard/steve/siamjai,
    i really do enjoy reading thai-blogs since i started having a thai gf, and the topics are all very informative/helpful/enriching and true to the fact, i enjoy reading food, travel related stuffs,religion and traditional practice but most of all, my favourite blog will be ”Do’s and Dont’s of Dating a Proper Thai Girl”!! till today i still occasionally read thru the do’s and don’t so as to keep check of myself! hahah..
    perhaps Steve, you cud come up with a newer version of Do’s and Dont’s of Dating a Proper Thai Girl? hehehehe! i love to see that! 🙂
    thanks all, its been a load of great and hard work put together! keep it going cheers all!

  4. I will introduce it to my friends…