This year I started two blogs in India that I didn’t have time to finish. They ended up sitting in the drafts folder, unloved and unread. Neither of them had very much to say, or at least I hadn’t said very much by the time they were abandoned.
It’s a funny thing isn’t it? Blogging. Writing your thoughts to an unkown (sometimes non-existent) audience. I never really plan what I am going to say, and sometimes I think I should. I think the best blogs are a bit like amusing essays. It’s always nice when someone makes you laugh. I don’t think mine are very amusing. And I think they’re far removed from essays. But these neglected blogs have made me think about our blog here at Chennai Challenge. Why do we blog?
The principle impetus for our blogging was always to make sure that we informed people at home in the UK of all the things that we were doing. Mums and Dads and friends and family want to hear about all the fun and challenging stuff we’re getting up to with the YMCA and Oasis in Chennai. Not only does blogging give people regular updates, but it also significantly shares the load. When I first went to India I remember writing emails to various different people with details of what I’d been doing, where I was going, and how my stomach was coping with curry and rice at all hours. My hour in the internet cafe was filled to bursting and inevitably someone got missed off the list. With a communal blog it is a bit like everyone we know gets an email from us much more regularly even if it’s not from their ACTUAL daughter/son/friend.
And that leads me on to the fact that we essentially share a team diary (or journal). Every year that I have been to India I have promised myself that I was going to write a diary of my experiences. Of course every year I fail. I think the best I did was about 5 pages (impressive, non?). It makes me very happy that our memories (shared and personal) are recorded. Things I might not have remembered have been set down so that I can reread the stuff we got up to. So thank you Chennai Challenge team 2011 for our communal diary.
In terms of the charity I think the blog provides us with a couple of things. It’s a great resource from which to lift quotes for publicity (I’m scouring them right now!); it is useful for us to write our annual and project reports; potentially it will bring traffic to our website and in the future we might even make some money for the charity via our web presence.
I am glad that I was prompted to think about why we did this. I think it’s really good to ask WHY. Questioning ourselves and what we do is an important part of finding the right path. I always enjoy it when team members question the leadership about why we visit certain projects and why we do what we do… It helps to bring clarity and allows us to find the value in our work.
Which makes me think about why we run Chennai Challenge – now that is a whole other blog!
Maybe question yourself. Why do you do the things you do? It’s a big question and it’s not always easy to answer. Sometimes you don’t find the answers you want, but I still think it’s important. Something to ponder on anyway.