All good things

September 27, 2011

After writing a weekly column on these pages for over a year, I unfortunately have to announce to my dear readers that this will be my last article. I will have to stop writing this column in order to focus on an important project I am working on.

Writing a fixed column in a newspaper was an interesting experiment for me after writing guest posts in a variety of magazines and newspapers. But more importantly, it was very different from blogging.

I found a lot of differences between writing in a journal and blogging online. First of all, timing is critical when it comes to publishing an article in the newspaper. Although you should always update your blog to keep readers attached, you are not forced to adhere to a specific date or time. You can publish your blog post at almost any time. In contrast, when writing in a newspaper, you must deliver your essay before the deadline.

Meeting time commitments is not the only determining factor. Another one is taking into account the article’s publishing date and topic to avoid any confusion among the readers. For example, if the topic were an upcoming conference which was to be held the night preceding the day of publishing the article, it would be deemed old and not suitable for publishing.

Secondly, the interaction with readers is quite different when writing for the newspaper and in the blog. While the reaction to the article is received through e-mail and the conversation is between only two individuals, commenting on a blog post is open to all, enabling readers to interact with each other as well.

Plus, in blogs, you have the ability to see the number of visitors to each post. If the number is high for a particular topic, you can find out what your readers are interested in, while you won't be able to do so when you get your article published in a newspaper or magazine.

On the topics to write about, I did not really find it difficult to select them, but found it difficult to choose between the ideas circulating in my head sometimes. I never suffered from writer’s block, thanks to the rapid changes in the world of technology

While you can write about anything on your personal blog unless it specialises in a particular subject, the type of topics I wrote about here ranged between the following:

An article on a trending topic mixed with my personal point of view.

A general review of a new device (smartphone, tablet, gadget) or Web service.

Commentary on a particular piece of news or an event that occurred recently.

A response to feedback that I received from readers, such as the one I wrote when a reader asked me about how to attract traffic to his blog.

In the end, I am pleased to reveal the secret behind the name of the column, which many readers and friends asked about. I chose 'Next Technology' as a name for this column for two reasons: First, because technical events take place very quickly, always making us look forward to what is coming in the future.

Secondly, I was inspired by NeXT Computer company, which was established by Steve Jobs in 1995 after he was relieved of his duties at Apple. NeXT Computer has had a huge impact on the computer industry, and few know that this company has invented a lot of technologies that we still benefit from to this day.

The question remains: What's next in the technology world?

Mohammed al Asmar is a technologist and web solutions developer. He has been working for more than ten years in different roles in ICT (information and communication technologies)