The History

I began a journey on the 12th of October 2009. Subhas sir had casually asked in the class – “why don’t you guys start blogging?”. Blogging assignments became mandatory later on. Luckily, I had started blogging way before. Initially, I set up 2 blogs on the blogger and WordPress platforms. I added another one on the same Blogger platform after blogging was made mandatory.

Since I had an urge to start from a somewhat personal thing for the first blog post, I wrote about the tour I had taken in Feb 2008. It got published on the 25th of October.

I had set up multiple blogs on different topics. The first article appeared on my personal blog, followed by assignments on the marketing blog. Some Facebook posts got on the WordPress.com blog. But these 3 kept the traction going. Monthly there was some or the other thing blogged.

I was known back then to be a geeky technologist. I rebranded my personal blog into a tech blog. Santosh suggested this rebranding at the beginning of the 2nd semester. I started off by reviewing Softwares. Later I also did a review of my Dell Studio 15 laptop. After Joining SKDRDP the flavor changed to Analytics and things I did there. Then I joined ‘Asan Ideas For Wealth’ FB group and the blog became a finance blog with a finance post on personal accounting appearing on the 23rd of November 2014.

What blogging made me

Though blogging was way behind expense tracking (Oct 2007), diary writing(Jan 2008) and social media(Mar 2008) habits of mine. It later played as a unifying force for all these. This also cultivated some allied habits, which define me today.

Though my MBA had accounting, I started using it on my personal finances only in 2013. By 2014, I had enough traction to do accounting for capital gains and others. Also, I had my blog hosted on a domain by then too. Though personal finances were a by-product of my MBA like Blogging, they later joined forces. Then my varied interests in Tech, Sim Racing evolved from this branch. I am able to account for my company based on these habits I formed at the beginning.

The Technical Side of Blogging

The blogging introduced me to AWS, and intricacies of the DNS system. I can easily visualize the hierarchy of DNS records because of this only. Linux is a bearable OS for me because of blogging. Earlier I used to uninstall it just days after loading it, due to lack of grounding in it. Though I have developed sites using the WAMP server, I always prefer Linux as the destination. Linux gives me the power like personal accounting gave me.

Blogging also introduced me to need to have a presence on Youtube and have a voice. This leads me to learn video editing via tools like Lightworks, Shotcut. I may move to Blender or Kdenlive sometime later. Tools like GIMP, Audacity, Inkscape made an entry into my life because of this.

The Data:

I have opinions only when I have access to underlying data, Media Articles are just bunch of information not Data.

Analytics

Another important by-product of Blogging was Analytics. Since Analytics is a very hard thing to set up, I am always wary of data I see. I have habituated the use of making opinions only when I have access to data, it is because of Analytics. I don’t comment based on media articles because of this habit only. Without Data it is very difficult to process the Information & gain Knowledge out of it. Media stories are devoid of data, and hence they are bias magnets. For Example, long ago I read in a newspaper about the importance of keeping the car wheels aligned (i.e. toe of 0 degrees). If you are a Sim racer, you know the importance of camber and toe angles. In racecars, the wheels are never aligned.

Perennial suspicion of Information

One downside of analytics is you start suspecting HTTP headers not containing any info. Without the user agent field in the HTTP header, its viewed as a potential hacker, not as some privacy geek. Since you are at the receiving end, you get a front-row view in decision making based on the data world. If you dig deeper you know some of the useful materials of today’s world like WD40, microfiber, polyester, Kevlar, Polythene, etc… are by-products of the oil industry. Now the data is the new oil. This oil has made DNS go encrypted, HTTPS is standard, Javascript makes websites live, borderline creepy advertisements are relevant to your searches. Analytics is the reason why we don’t have pornographic ads filling the Websphere.

The world of Personal Finance:

Uma Shashikant mam (my alumnus) shared an article from Free Fincal once and that introduced me to pattu sir. From Free Fincal I came to AIFW. Initially, members, there were extremely knowledgeable and asked really good questions. This pool of talent cultivated my finance knowledge. With access to a great array of books as well as knowledge is shared freely, I flourished. Also, my accounting habit got a turbo boost, with me getting into capital markets and AIFW.

The risk perception

Though I planned of doing CS in 2011, the foundation laid by AIFW is the core reason why I was able to penetrate it in 2018. Similarly, when I see a series of Debits & Credits happening, I see a big picture of money flowing into a pool. AIFW, as well as blogging, had a massive impact on my risk mgmt chops. The blogging helped me to see the problems a data may have. I was able to see my job security risk and plan for it. Similarly, I see my portfolio risks & plan for it. My goals ignore the portfolio returns and see things in terms of portfolio value. So I work hard to reduce the rupee downside.

The link between writing & learning

Also, my risk visualization skills which had almost a half-decade to grow, help me in reading between the lines of textual content. This visualization is the reason why I can see the pain Vodafone has behind its PR texts making rounds in social media. With AIFW influencing me, I started giving back some of the knowledge I garnered there back to new members. But blogging had habituated me to ‘writing for learning‘ idea. AIFW made it codified into ‘write to make the world better’. The getting started I have written on mutual funds illustrates this philosophy only.

Conclusion

Blogging made an entry in my life as a hobby. But that hobby cultivated allied habits in me which has entrenched my skills as well as bring in new ones. I am able to do a lot of things, talk about a lot of things because the skills for that came from blogging. Most importantly I entered into blogging just because I wanted to do it. There was simply no rational explanation of why I did it. So, listening to gut feelings does help you. My seemingly high strength flows from this gut feeling only.

I became blogger because I felt doing it, not because it made sense or anything.

Me

The seemingly random thing I did back in October 2009 has grown to define me. None of the other things I consciously did like taking HR in MBA, Programming Jobs, define me. These hobbies fell by wayside early. Having a communication channel open with your gut is indeed beneficial.