The following entry narrates the evolution of Hilmi’s blogging life since 2004. It was written on May 14, 2008 - the day when he decided to migrate to the current domain in WordPress. Yeah, he’s just growing old and weary.
How did I start blogging?
It all began in 2004 when Jimi Wiser popped up the word blog for the first time to me. I thought the word blog sounded so weird and funny. What the hell was that? Some kinda food or something? I was clueless. With sheer passion and enthusiasm, Jimi paved the way for me to this wonderful land of blogsphere. I became more curious. Then I thought, for a person who was so into words, the idea of writing an online journal would be just perfect for me. Why not? So, on July 3, 2004, I made my very first debut as a blogger. The exciting journey had begun.
Yes, that was how I anonymously introduced myself to the blogging world – Danny Hussainy. Wasn’t it too ambitious? With that ‘big’ name, who would’ve thought that I was a petite man? Haha. Oh, my first entry was titled Friend, where there was only one line – “I am a man with an excellent professional life but a miserable personal life.” Looking back, I had no idea why I wrote that way.
I was innocent and immature.
Then, there came amazing people who unlocked my dark prison and showered my solitary soul with unexpected light. They were ordinary-turned-heroic people who were with me during my hard times when I was trying to get my templates right, who were listening patiently to my workplace grumbles, who were consoling me kindheartedly when I received the shocking news of my mother’s death. Their presence added some vibrant colours and melodious music in my gloomy life back then. I was lucky.
On February 28, 2005, I proudly launched my Budu Ship that marked the beginning of my colourful career as ‘Captain Danny’. I was not steering the ship alone since I appointed (by force) my own ‘crew’ who then managed the ship together. They were my fellow bloggers who were among the early readers of my blog. With these ‘crazy’ people around, the journey in the blogging world afterwards had always been full of fun and joy. The Budu Ship was a vital symbol of our Friend-Ship. It is amazing that most of the crew members are still keeping their ‘loyalty’ intact and are still with me up to these days, even though I have ‘retired’ from my captainship, haha. (We are currently known as the Invincible Blogsahabats).
So, how did the ship crash into the ocean? It happened on the day when I brought my business communication students to a computer lab and taught them on how to write a blog. I was so delighted to see them writing that I started thinking of connecting them through blogging. Suddenly, I had an epiphany – I shouldn’t be anonymous anymore. I shouldn’t be hiding behind that ship. I should open up myself to the world especially to my students. I want to be more than a captain. I want to be Cekmi.
On December 19, 2005, my blog went through a massive rebranding process. I wanted to be called Cekmi – a simple budu man. My university friends and my own students have been calling me ‘Cik Mi’ and it never occurred to me that I could respell this name until I came across Cekya’s blog and I was like…. Hmm… Cekya? Cik Mi? Cekmi? Hmm… Yes, Cekmi!
That was how I got the name. Haha.
Being able to connect my thoughts more openly with my readers, I felt more satisfied and fulfilled. While part of me was happy with what Cekmi had done to the blogging world, part of me wanted to bring Cekmi to the next level. I somehow felt inadequate. Cekmi was still half of me. I needed to be totally free from any masks and show my true self, in a sense that I would be more responsible for my own real identity. As I moved to Johor Bahru with a new mission, I needed some changes in my blog too.
Then, on one fine day, as I was listening to Dr. Daniel Churchill’s speech on Web 2.0 Tools, it occurred to me that I should just refer to my real name in my blog. I was impressed by the way Dr. Churchill embraced the world through his blogs using his real identity. I thought I should do the same. I wanted to be there with him, among the professionals who have blended the virtual world through their noble professions.
So finally, I have come up with my own domain that reflects my real self. There are no more catchy names, no cheeky masquerade, no hide-and-seek games. By having my father’s name next to my real name, I not only honour my family but also return to my root. I now see my real name on MyKad with a different look. My name is no that bad, huh? I should not be playing Hill or Hell or Heel or Heal with my first name. I am HILMI. Just like that.
Besides putting my name in its right place, this transparency somehow reflects my cravings to belong to the powerful hands of bloggers that could influence the way people think, work and live these days. With fast advancement of technology, these invisible hands could indeed rock the world. I believe bloggers would soon become a dominant community that governs the grid of human civilization.
“It is phenomenal to realize that there are more responsible bloggers out there than the bad ones,” said Dr. Daniel Churchill when asked about the possibility of being hacked or attacked in his blogs. Bearing this in mind, I hope I could find my own voice in this amazing online-land as I am being more responsible for it. This is the platform that could bring me there.
With the new addition of this domain, I am on my way to the top of that hill – Hill Me.
May 14, 2008