Just got through another year of cyber-rendezvous, and if my memory could still takes me back to the days of 1997 I am sure I would be able to remember the day when I first created a website. The purpose then was about connectivity and to recreate those friendships and happy moments gained while at the Insurance School of Japan (ISJ), class of 1997. Vividly, those were the days of tripod and geocities…. platforms which I utilised in a first-hand feel of the cyber-world.
I gave up when the 1998 Football World Cup started (I could still remember Ricky Martin singing the world cup theme then)…. and by now I would have felt I should not have abandoned what I had started.
I actually regretted for not having gone further if you had seen how Jack Ma of the fame Alibaba.com having gone through those rough and difficult patches of the dotcom. The rest was history – Jack Ma made it when I was still drinking and blowing up both my mind and liver in the pubs, and gambling away as the World Cup games progress. For a moment… I could have made those successes of YouTube with my ISJ web-Portal site! Boy… was I dreaming?
BLAME IT ON THE WORLD CUP
ANOTHER ATTEMPT INTO THE CYBER-WORLD?
After a hiatus of almost 10 years, I was back at it again (sometimes in sept 2008) with “malaysianinsurance.com” – was very much an adventure into website building that utilises the Macromedia Dreamweaver, WS_FTP pro and Adobe Photoshop software tools. Those were tough times when you have limited understanding of codes involved in HTML, CSS and PHP languages…. especially with limited time being a major obstacle.
A CHANGING GENERATION AND A BLOG THAT INFLUENCE OPINIONS
In June 2009, I have decided on blogging as the most viable platform for me to take my cyber-adventure forward….. thus http://malaysiainsurance.info was launched within the bluehost’s hosting server. Sometimes you felt funny in the inside, I am not the sort of person who would want to open up and write my stuff and then parading them to the whole world, which could expose my inherent weaknesses – liken drying dirty linens in public places! But the world and the generations that be, have in a dynamic way moved to a different realm and of behaviour – they no longer hide their diaries in the closet!
On the other hand, I thought it would really make sense if I could share my thoughts with the younger folks out there and also to help me better improve on the way I think and enhance capability in any form of written expression. By doing this I may get a shot at influencing practitioners to the way that I think through those opinions that I have had parlayed….
FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN
In the blogging process, opinions given can be a subject of ridicule as well as prospect of being sued for something which may either overcooked or perceived by third parties as being malicious…. There is always something over your head, especially where this blog is dominantly about freestyle expression of opinion on various developments within the Malaysian insurance industry. I may incur the wrath of the various authorities and regulators… which may have ended my career prematurely. But, I hope NOT and sincerely, I hope the authority should encourage (by having a platform) for practitioners especially those younger ones to write down their thoughts without trying to be protocol or politely enough…. doing it
A STEEP LEARNING CURVE AND THE GROWING PAINS
Living off the cyber-world is no easy matter although my young friend at www.liewcf.com – Malaysia’s first pro-blogger somehow managed to work things out nicely for himself going full time. Being a programmer and IT trained person makes it less painful going into blogging or web creation… and this was what I found out as I spent the last one and a half years tackling the cyberspace and its invincible nature. While using WordPress blogging platform made the whole process a lot more easier but you will quickly discover that this may not be so simple after all, especially when you push your blogsite to a higher level, hacked by some bastards…. some plugins or applications did not work with the theme but yet screwed up the whole blog over a period of time…. and blah, blah and blah… so not to bore you readers down. “Plugins that are incompatible with the main theme can be a pain in the neck…. and by the time this is discovered, the damage may be substantial!”
Very soon and fast-forward abit, you will quickly learned that you needed a higher dosage of HTML, CSS and PHP scripting in order to stay competitive (at least from the traffic generating and commercial value perspectives), and sometimes to help save you from unnecessary troubles while manoeuvring the cyber-space.
THE TRAFFIC COUNTS……….. Along the way, you would have to struggle working on your audience base for without enough audience or repeating traffic to your site, your blogging means nothing, nothing to the world over! Thus, picking up capability and also enhancing skills working with Google analytics, Google pagerank, Alexa traffic rank, optimisation of SEO and Google Adsense and Adwords, including successful signing up into traffic driving directories are just too important to ignore. Some good understanding of RSS and feedburner and how they operate did help.
COMBINING OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKING TOOLS
I am sure facebook and twitter are those common ones, but Ning, Posterior and Blogger.com are also making their marks in the cyber-world.
MASTERING THE CONTROL PANEL……. is important as this is about your controls at the back end of your site. Backup, backup and backup of your works is all the more important as I learned the hard way back in December last year.
CONTENTS OF YOUR BLOG POSTING……. This means alot to the readers, and therefore to the future of the blog itself. Good presentation certainly helps and if it is entertaining, would provide a whole world of difference for your audience and tendency to draw in more potential traffic. If the posting is written in English, it is best written in an orderly manner, BUT then, it is really difficult for part-time blogger like me…. it is extremely difficult to write, check and then rewrite and check to ensure the posts are perfect. Sometimes some of those scriptings can cause you heartache making life difficult to accomplish those high quality write ups.
MOVING FORWARD TILL THE NEXT ANNIVERSARY
I must say, the first year was a real challenge and has opened up my eyes a fair bit…. and it was like I just completed my first year of university degree and still have another three good years to go through. My focus for this second year would be on mastering HTML, CSS, PHP scripting (which may also necessarily takes me to some understanding of MySQL and JQuery) where at the end of the day would enable me to be more prolific in the area of insurance eCommerce web-portal development.
MESSAGE FOR THOSE ASPIRING BLOGGERS AND eCOMMERCE PRACTITIONERS
While there are alot of internet gurus or coaches out there, claiming that these things are as easy as ABCs….. honestly, NOT TRUE! There are a lot of paths leading to success but whichever way you take, they lead you to the same thing – ALL ABOUT HARD WORK but not necessary about CODES as I am embarking on! But necessarily, it would be Harder if you are not an IT savvy guy….
THE INEVITABLE TOOL AND PATH…… You may have guessed it correctly….. these are paths you may have to take, it is a matter of how hard or how easy your embarkation is going to be depending on how hard you are pushing them!