Well folks, it’s official. I have been blogging for one year! Actually the year lapsed on 10th May (last Thursday, but I didn’t have the time to type out this post) Yaani I have graduated from a newbie in the game, to a ka teenie. I’m not an old school blogger, yet.

And for today, I’d like to take a trip down memory lane to remember how it all started, and to reflect on the experience that has been so far.

I didn’t know what a blog was until I read an article in the Daily Nation online some time in March last year that sought to find out what makes Mad Kenyan Woman tick. The article provided a link to her blog, which is officially the first blog that I ever read. I remember staying up for most of the night reading her blog on my cellphone. I thought it was so cool that someone can have a personal website where she can write out her thoughts and opinions on things. In her comments page I came across a few other “old school” bloggers who can now be classified as veterans (a.k.a fossils!)

The second blog that I discovered was Guessaurus, whose blog I got so engrossed in and ended up reading in entirety including her old one at Blogspot! I admired Guess’s writing style, she has a way of describing delicate things so effortlessly, in a way that you can actually envision it in your mind. I bet that she can describe an aroma so well that you can actually smell it as it wafts into your nostrils.

Through her comments page, I found the other old school crowd yaani guys who have been blogging since the typewriter was invented. Kina M (whose blog I’ve read in entirety as well, mpaka blogspot, mpaka ye olde thinker’s room. Dude, now toss me your diary!), Acolyte who was the very first regular commentor on my blog, the ridiculously hilarious Milo, Ms Kipepeo (who I still maintain is KBW’s sweetest), KenyanMusings who really impressed me with her bluntness and her don’t-give-two-sh*ts-what-you-think-about-me attitude (chic, you got balls as big as church bells. Haki ya nani!!)

Others include Nick & Tato the two hemispheres of the same brain, Dangerously Shy (though I didn’t have the pleasure of reading more of her stuff since she just went off the radar bila warning), Movie Buff (alias Groupie Numero Uno) who made me realize just how little I know about the movies and the small screen, Nakeel (after seeing her kisogo in the papers in the same article with the interview with MKW) Kenyangal, Girl Next Door, the kind hearted and ever thoughtful Farmgal, Bankelele, the blunt tell-it-like-it-is Udi, Kabinti, Ms K (what happened to her?), Shiroh, Mocha, the hilarious Mutumia, Medusa, Prousette, Stunuh Jay, Chatterly, Supaflyshi, Gishungwa (kwani where were the dudes back then?)

I greatly admired the close, mature, sometimes childish, yet cosy relationships that most bloggers had at the time, considering the fact that most of them had never met before in real life. Every blog was like a different cosy uptown café where old friends would meet and have a nice chat over a hot mug of cappuccino and black forest cake.

After getting a lot of inspiration from reading all these fantastic blogs, I decided to see whether I could rekindle the spark of writing talent that I once had many years ago. I was scared coz I didn’t know whether I would somehow fit into the crowd or whether I would be booted out. I didn’t know whether I’d be able to churn out quality posts regularly.

So after two months of deliberating over it, I decided to start a blog, and it came to life on 10th May 2006, and I joined KBW the very same day. The name Midnight Frisco came from the fact that I used to type out my posts after midnight, in the privacy and serenity of my room, over a mug of Frisco coffee and a couple of cigarettes (like those old school newspaper editors slumped over a typewriter).

I thought long and hard about a pseudonym, and I juggled with quite a few, but I settled on Archer one night as I watched Face Off for like the ten millionth time on TV. (John Travolta’s character) Back then it was really hard to get noticed as a newbie, and one had to literally force his way into the older generation bloggers’ comments page so that somehow your blog could get noticed. So that’s how I found myself malayaing over at Aco’s and Guess’s blogs until finally I was able to get some much needed traffic onto my blog. I can’t remember whether the aggregator was up at the time.

Over the months, I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with several bloggers either on my blog or on theirs. I remember the late night sessions over at Aco’s e-pub huko sides of August/September 2006. Most times the comments had absolutely nothing to do with the topic that Aco had blogged about! The procedure was to first grab your position (I remember the battles for top spot with Kaggz, and the numerous heated debates we had. Anyone remember her?) And somehow a conversation would develop and most times it was nothing but pure nonsense! One night the comments got to over 125! I miss those days.

That’s about the time I began flirting with the foxy Devious one. We had a ka thing for a while and just when I thought things were honky dori, the neighbour’s shamba boy Aegeus who I had caught eyeing her from across the fence on numerous occasions, overthrew my government and took off with my ka-wife!! (Shameless! The shamba boy?! How could you?!) Consequently, the position of e-wife has officially been declared vacant, and interested parties are welcome to apply. (Criteria: You gotta be female!)

During the last year I’ve witnessed two major blog wars: Poigate and Acogate (if I can call it that) And that’s when I realized that there can be beef in blogland! You thought everything was easy breezy until battle lines were drawn, then you’d know who was pitted against who. There have been a couple of other minor incidents after that, the first was the plagiarism incident starring DM, and then there’s the current shenanigans going on. I don’t know what to call it, Hackergate? Upuzigate? Archergate? (Seeing that the previous ones were named after the victims)

A lot of exciting new bloggers have entered the scene since then and helped create a new, younger generation of bloggers, and I watched as everyone found their own niche and new online relationships were formed. The likes of our resident photographer “Every Girl’s Man” EGM (word has it that he’s opening up a branch of Ramogi Photo Studio, Boston edition complete with tubs of vaseline for that shiny effect for family portraits)  Half ‘n’ Half, “budaa” Kirima who only joined us the other day and fitted in so perfectly (I hope now you drive with your eyes on the road…and not salivating over the neighbour’s goats), Alexcia, the calm and sober minded Mama Shady, Jadekitten, The Hanyee, Princess, Man Bantuts who I can say had the highest single amount of influence upon us all with his sheng posts and unique nicknames for everyone, as well as being the originator the name of my WordPress blog, the brilliant Gathara, always full of logic, the insanely uproarious Kenyanchick, wherever hole kina Mwangi and 3N  crept out of juzijuzi despite being around for a while, Bomseh (the days he used to blog about orgasms pekee!) The laughter incorporated duo of the two lunatics Ichiena and Modoathii, how can I forget the man who sliced me, Aegeus alias Methu himself, Unyc, Klara, StackofStiffyz (na wewe ulienda wapi dadii? Rudi!)

(Eish, kila mtu anapata high five leo!)

What else happened between then and now? Oh, I outgrew Blogger and moved on up to WordPress. Actually, the idea was to prep up the WP site in preparation for a big move on 10th May 2007.

Now for a polite vote of thanks. I bet you have all realized by now that blogging is not a solo effort, and it’s a good thing that we have each other to turn to for usaidizi on this and that. I can’t say that I’ve made it this far by myself because without the assistance and encouragement from my fellow bloggers, I’d have retired a very long time ago and opened a kiosk to sell ball gum and Patco…

First, big ups to my man Aco, who not only taught me everything that I know about Blogger, including teaching me pretty easy things like how to upload an avatar, he gave me the motivation to keep on blogging even when I was getting very disillusioned with the slow growth and lack of traffic on my blog. Dude also taught me the art of blog ho’ing so as to attract that traffic, as well as hooking a brother up with a nice cosy sofa up in his e-pub.

Big ups to my man Methu and EGM who have taught me everything that I know about WordPress, and I’m still their loyal ka student, learning new things by the day. You guys are the best.

To all the bloggers that I have had the pleasure of meeting in person and making friends with, kina Aegeus, Ichiena, Farmgal, Gish, Kipepeo, Kenyanchick, Shiroh, Bantuts, the main man M, Guessaurus (for me that was quite an honour) Nakeel, Big ups to you all. Lakini Guess, si you make a comeback like this? Even Hulk Hogan is sujui 75 but the mzee keeps making comebacks!

 

I have learnt quite a lot from reading your blogs. You’ve shaped the way that I think about a lot of things, and I’ve become very open minded as a result. Y’all have enriched me intellectually (Ok, SOME of you, hehe! Nick don’t flatter yourself!) Others have provided a well deserved escape from reality with your humour. I may have not done the best job possible by visiting your blogs to drop a line or two.

There are those blogs which you just read and go like “Ahaaa!” then you shut up. If yours falls under that category (eg Bankelele, Potash and Gathara) then you’ll understand why my comments rarely land there. That’s because I’ve learnt to zip it, look intelligent and absorb the knowledge rather than open my mouth and prove otherwise. I once asked a silly question on a post somewhere (can’t remember who’s blog it was, but it was a genuine question) and I got abused so thoroughly yaani….anyway, that‘s that.

  

To everyone else out there, bloggers that I may have left out, other readers who may be Kenyan or non-Kenyan, bloggers or non bloggers, who have taken time to read this 5 bob blog of mine and to leave a comment, the likes of James (where did you disappear to my kind sir?) And Amber (where are you?) thengiu very many.

I hope that this is just the beginning of things to come.

What’s on my playlist

Manifest Destiny – Jamiroquai