12 years online
Not only 12, but 20 I´d say. I got my first Acer computer in 1997.
However, it was not until 2007 that I started writing online. I remember I had a great summer in the south of Chile and when I came back home, all of my friends were away on holidays. I wanted to share my experience so badly that I decided to try this “personal online journals” thing that I saw somewhere on the newspapers.
I created cristiano.bitacoras.com as a personal journal and I remember that for months, I thought no one was reading my posts. I thought I was the only one writing and my audience was equal to zero. Wrong I was when I saw my visits metrics and I had people from Spain, Argentina, Colombia and the US coming in! I felt embarrassed and vulnerable when I saw that actual people was reading all the unfiltered stuff I was publishing online. But I also felt encouraged to keep posting now that I had this faceless audience.
After a few years and a lot of time invested online, I decided to stop publishing. I remember I was choosing a movie with my friends in Blockbuster and when I told them I was not writing any longer they told me “how come?”, "don´t do that!". They were reading me1
My second blog was lavozdecristian.blogcindario.com I went deeper in html and I created a logo. I was stepping up and discovering a new platform to connect with whomever was reading me. I decided to go with another Spanish product (Bitacoras and now Miarroba) since it was the best service I knew back then.
During those years, I got a lot of visitors. So many indeed, that I decided to create my first “.cl” domain and create a custom made website on wordpress. www.lavozdecristian.cl was getting over 1k unique visitors a day and I was reviewing books, movies and videogames. I got free tickets to film festivals, the movies and so many cool activities. It was a lot of fun but at some point it became a part time job. And then it got boring.
When I left to Italy I stopped writing altogether. But when I heard about the independent platform -Ghost- I created 5561.cl, my home online. For 1 year I wrote my experiences abroad in that page. It was quite similar to my first blog, but not as candid and “naive”. This time I felt compelled to write again. The joy came back and I had so many things to share living in Italy. It made perfect sense to blog again. My audience was my family and friends.
In the meantime I tried Medium (still online and loving it), Linkedin blogs and Blogger (my least favourite).
For over a year, I have been using Squarespace and I created my first professional domain www.cristianguajardogarcia.com Now I write for the pure joy of it and to cement my professional and personal presence online, with "me" branding the whole thing and a partner (Squarespace) that makes everything look elegant and mint.
Why do I keep doing it?
After 12 years, I have discovered the happiness in writing. That solitude and personal experience is unlike any other. I write for myself. I could have literally, zero readers, and I'd still do it. I also write to showcase my professional self; it has helped me tremendously to build an international career and expand my network. Now I have solid visits and interactions from India (my current country), the US and Europe, my other key markets.
I think is also a good mental exercise. I write on my Moleskine pen and paper and then I'll write here. I can slow down to put my thoughts together, think and then write. I put my mind to work and by doing it I keep it sharp and active.
Now that we all have an audience, I write about work, personal life and mostly my travels across different geographies. I truly enjoy the depth I can get on my own website and after a decade, I know how I want to come across and why I do it.
For the next 10 years!