I love blogging.
I really do.
I’ve been an active participant in the online community for as long as I’ve been on the internet. Believe it or not, I began blogging before blog became a word. So yes, I have a deep connection to it.
My first time publishing online was a website dedicated to the legacy of Tupac Shakur. I launched that website in November 1996, two months after Pac’s passing.
I don’t remember the initial publishing platform I used, but I remember quickly switching over to GeoCities. This was a few years before Yahoo’s acquisition of the pioneering WYSIWYG editor.
There were dozens of 2pac fansites online at the time, but the one thing that put me in a league of my own was that I had a dot com!
Back then, dot com registration cost about $100 for two years. I was a kid without any money of my own though, so there was no way I’d be able to afford that. The one thing I always had though was the hustle to find a way.
I found a website offering dot com registration—free of charge—with the caveat, that it would place banner ads on my homepage (sidenote: the banner ads never loaded).
A few steps later, and lo-and-behold, young Mohit registered his very first domain + launched his first website: 2pacaveli.com.
Since then, my love affair with the online community—and my passion for web publishing—never waned. I’ve launched dozens of websites and email newsletters, using a multitude of platforms, through the years.
By no means is this intended to be an exhaustive list, but a few that come to mind at the moment are:
[website, year, platform(s)]
- 2pacaveli.com, 1996, GeoCities
- Wu-Tang fan site, 1997, GeoCities
- Music magazine website, 1999, Custom using Macromedia Dreamweaver + Flash
- Artist websites (for myself and others), 1999-2013, Custom using Dreamweaver + Flash
- Various personal blogs, 1999-2018, Custom > Blogger.com > WordPress
- 514HipHop.com, 2005, Email newsletter
- Various tumblelogs/microblogs, 2006-2017, WP > Tumblr > Posterous > Tumblr
- MakingTheMogul.com, 2008, WP
- Various pseudonym blogs, 2012-2016, WP > Ghost > WP > Grid > WP
There are more, but this is the highlight reel. Notable to mention that being an avid experimenter and notorious early adopter, I’ve experimented with replicating the functionality of a blog on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a few other social media platforms that came and went. Despite initial hesitation, I’ve even experimented with vlogging, podcasting, and audio-blogging.
I’ve been publishing as long as I’ve been online. The problem is, I got distracted for a while. Not because of the medium, but because I grew frustrated with the amount of noise that came as blogging became mainstream. I felt like most bloggers (including many of my peers, tbh) made blogging… corny. It had become overtaken with buzzy “personal brands”, vanity metrics, flame wars, and truthfully, uncontrollably inflated egos.
I chose to distance myself from everyone and everything in the blogging world as much as possible. I held on to this idea of what blogging was to me. The thing I enjoyed doing. And if my idea was no longer a part of what I believed blogging had evolved into, I didn’t want to be a part of it.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was making the same mistake I was hating on everyone else for. I allowed my vanity to overshadow my passion.
That was my misstep, but I don’t want to blog anonymously anymore. I enjoy this too much.
I started blogging as a kid in 1996 because I wanted to celebrate Tupac Amaru Shakur and offer a resource for others with common interests. Since then, every iteration of my blogging journey has been based on this core idea of sharing and community. That’s what blogging means to me.
Although I never stopped blogging, I’m choosing to stop posting anonymously through secret projects. Trends, metrics, and all else can take a back seat to my genuine love affair with blogging.
I’m blogging with no expectation other than outputting what I choose, when I choose, and how I choose. I’m blogging as myself: Mohit Arora.
Young me sat in front of my computer screen all night while my family slept, learning to build websites, learning to build community, and learning to put together graphics and write posts. It taught me that curiosity and passion will always lead to something great. It taught me to treat everything like a playground and experiment without expectation.
So, with all that said: welcome to my website.
It’s a playground here, but please, take off your shoes.