My blog’s been through a number of phases. Between 1996 – 1999, it was just a website with a few facts about my and some of my juvenile ramblings. Inspired by robotwisdom.com, I converted it into a blog – except that I didn’t know what blogging was and just called it “updating my site every day.” It was mostly a link blog.
In 2006, around the time when I moved from Mumbai to London, I reduced my link-blogging and started writing longer articles talking about my experiences. This was a fairly productive phase, and I was churning a few dozen articles every year until 2012.
In the UK, I didn’t know many people, and wasn’t comfortable going out of the way to interact. My blog was the primary means of sharing my thoughts and work.
In 2012, when I moved back to India, that changed. I started speaking at various events. (Some of my talks are recorded.) I’ve been speaking at one or two events every month, which is roughly the volume of blogging I was doing since 2006.
So, effectively, my output medium has changed. Instead of writing, I speak. Correspondingly, my blogging has come down.
How does it feel? Well, on the one hand, there’s a lot more direct feedback when you’re speaking to an audience. You can interact with them, ask questions, play games – all of which I can do on a blog as well, but this is real-time. When my audience laughs, I steer my talk more towards funny insights. When my audience claps, I steer it towards more impressive techniques. When my audience reacts like dead fish, I switch to Q&A. When my audience is lost in their own conversation, I terminate the talk early.
Effectively, my content is often shaped in real time. And that can be (usually) an exhilarating experience. I used to worry that the talks didn’t have the permanence of blog posts. But like I said, many of them are recorded. I also worried that the audience response would not be permanent, like blog comments. But Twitter fills that void.
For example, yesterday, I was speaking at the Great Indian Developer Summit. Here are the tweets going out as I was speaking.
Kashinath Pai. P.: #GIDS visualising data by Anand »
Naresha: Looking forward for a cool ‘Visualizing Big Data’ presentation from @sanand0 #gids »
ARAVIND CHEKKALURE: #gids watg for a solution in visualizating bigdata..woww »
Raj: Analysis of big data and visualization of big data is very different #gids »
Sundarraj Kaushik: Now to visualize data with Anand at #gids »
Raj: Anand’s session on visualization of big data surly interesting talk of day. I attended previously #gids »
UK Gupta: Another Excitin &Interestin Session “Leveraging #Cloud Services2Build & Integrate Analytics in Ur #IoT Solutions” by @Ragural #IntelDZ #gids »
Siva Narayanan: Doordarshi party is the worst loser in Indian politics #gids »
Siva Narayanan: Very cool viz about Indian Elections from gramener #gids »
ARAVIND CHEKKALURE: Examples for visualiztion that anad took is rally imprazv #gids »
Siva Narayanan: Margin of victory for winner isn’t affected by number of candidates. Affects runner up. #gids »
Goutham G: Enjoyed every bit of information on xls by vinod #GIDS »
Sanaulla: Very interesting facts and presentation by s anand in visualizing big data #gids »
THIYAGARAJAN.R: #gids Hi everyone, Anand session on Data visualization is interesting… happening on Main Hall »
Sanaulla: Visualization helps grasp huge amount of data quite easily #gids »
Vignesh Rajendran: Sanand might be called @NateSilver538 of Indian politics analysis #gids »
45hw1nk5: By far the beat talk so far, visualising data by S Anand from Gramener. #gids »
Rahul Sharma: On the Everest of knowledge with S Anand.. Courtesy – ‘Big Data’ 😀 #gids »
Sundarraj Kaushik: A very pertinent subject visualization of election statistics at #gids. »
Siva Narayanan: UdayKumar has 1600 cases against him #gids »
Rishi Raj Srivastav: Great Indian politics (data) visualization by Anand. #GIDS »
Siva Narayanan: Singh has been most popular last name in Indian elections every time #gids »
ARAVIND CHEKKALURE: Big data visualization is this much easy..like anand speks #gids »
Sundarraj Kaushik: A very colourful presentation without actual mention of big data or visualization. Wonderful presentation at #gids. »
Govind Kanshi: Gujarat, Maharashtra have longest names fighting in elections #gids powerful story as usual by @sanand0 »
Venkat ramanan v: Data visualization at it’s best. #gids »
Kamlesh ®: RT @govindk: Gujarat, Maharashtra have longest names fighting in elections #gids powerful story as usual by @sanand0 »
brntbeer: Talk about last names and regions of India. I’m definitely an outsider! #gids »
Sundarraj Kaushik: Is the dropout of girls the cause of better results of girls. Anand at #gids »
Sanaulla: Best session of the day: visualizing big data #gids »
ujwala: Visualizing big data session is very very interesting. Nicely done. #gids »
Siva Narayanan: Sun sign has a big impact on exam performance #gids »
Venkat ramanan v: Intriguing session on visualization #gids http://t.co/sezeRP48BM »
Siva Narayanan: Almost nobody is born in august in India! #gids People are fudging birth dates. »
Raj: Thanks #saltmartch for invite such a good speaker. #gids »
ujwala: RT @K2_181: Almost nobody is born in august in India! #gids People are fudging birth dates. »
Vinod Srinivas: @greatindiandev #gids #Anand was at his best in his session on #Visualisation »
Kiran Bhat: Lets get people to SEE data #Gramener #gids »
Sonali Patnaik: #GIDS “lets get people to see data” good session @sanand »
Amol Khanapurkar: Easily the best session at #gids for me by S Anand from http://t.co/1lVuBMpPlW »
isha jain: Amazing facts and awesome session on data visualization by Anand… #gids »
Kashinath Pai. P.: Absolutely mind blowing presentation by s anand #GIDS »
Sundarraj Kaushik: Thanks to Anand S for a marvellous and pertinent presentation at #gids 2014 »
Naresha: @sanand0 Those were amazing visualizations of data. One of the best sessions of #gids. »
Amol Khanapurkar: Data visualization can provide insights that no amount of analytic processing can hope to provide. #gids »
Vijay Singh: Session on big data visualisation was a joy ride #gids »
Mrugen Deshmukh: @Gramener Most entertaining talk yet. by S. Anand #gids »
Kashinath Pai. P.: Wonderful work @greatindiandev . inviting @sanand0 was absolutely amazing. #GIDS »
Sachin: That was an really awesome session on big data visualisation.. Had fun… #gids »
ARAVIND CHEKKALURE: Its reLy gd session by anand on visualizatg Bigdata..but never touch any tools and technologis. DisAptD #gids »
Harpreet Singh: Great session by anand Add visualisation to data to make it information #gids »
Raja Guru T: #gids thing of awesomeness visualization of large data. Lovely session by Anand. Way to go Saltmarch. Loving it. »
Raja Guru T: RT @ujwala: Visualizing big data session is very very interesting. Nicely done. #gids »
Prashanth: #gids data visualization session was amazing »
Subhashish Dutta: At #gids today, awesome visualization of some big data in the Indian context by Anand of Gramener. »
Japesh Thyagarajan: An impressive and fun session from Anand on Visualising Big Data, amazing illustration of Election and Education system , Hats off #GIDS »
Raj: I must say visualization of big data best session of #gids »
Apart from being able to preserve comments, I get to hear of this feedback a lot quicker than on a blog.
What I miss, though, is discoverability. When I blog, search engines index the content for anyone to find. I still get relevant comments on 15-year old blog posts. That, I suspect, will not be the case even for recorded talks.
But in any case, I’m afraid I will continue blogging less and speaking more over the course of the next few years. Please bear with me until then!