Interview: Jacqui — CouchAvenue (Blog)
One of the most amazing/inspirational bloggers out there !
Jacqui, one of my personal favorite blogs..I finally had the chance to interview her..and got to know a little more about her and her outstanding blog. Its was quite a long but amazing interview..
What Inspired you the most about blogging?
I started blogging May 17th 2004 after I received an invite from a friend of mine back then to check out “Blogspot/Blogger” at the time blogging was such a new thing that not many from Kuwait were on it. I didn’t get any comments, I don’t think I had many readers but I slowly told my friends in University about it and got some of them to start blogging. Eventually I found other blogs in Kuwait such as Q8hate.com, Nibaq’s blog, 248AM (back then tho it was different), Rampurple, Purgatory, and so many more. We were a small community, Nibaq created an aggregator much like Botamba nowadays called “Safat Kuwait Blogs” it was a way to discover new blogs and old ones. I got on board a couple years later and worked there adding new blogs so I pretty much saw the blogging world in Kuwait being born. I’m mostly inspired by the fact that as an individual you can share your thoughts, emotions, feelings, knowledge with the whole world with just a click of a button.
Why & When did you start Couch Avenue?
So as you know I started blogging in 2004 with a Blogger/Blogspot domain, however in 2005 I received a domain as a gift from a friend and chose to go with “rubduckie.com,” later on in 2006 I moved on to “couchavenue.com“, because I wanted to have a more ‘adult’ blog name and not live forever with the childish one. I mean I had an obsession with rubber duckies back then but 2006 I graduated from University and pretty much wanted to start a new phase in life. I started blogging as a way to document my personal life, at one point I used to write daily that if I wanted to know where I was on a certain date or what I did, all I had to do was search my archives and find it. It was always a “me” place one where I can share what I like, what I hate, what I thought with the world. I never got behind the “business-y” aspect that blogs nowadays take and therefore I might not have many readers now as the brand new blogs specializing in writing about the latest products and all. Eventually however I started to move away slightly from my daily life to writing about my favorite gadgets (not advertising them really) just sharing my passion with the world. Nowadays you will think Jacqui from Couch Avenue = Apple Addict.
Why “Couch Avenue” and what started that name?
I chose the name “Couch Avenue” because it was a recommendation from a couple of my closest friends (Marzouq from ZDistrict.com, and Ananyah from Ananyah.com) we were brainstorming and eventually we agreed upon the name because well I am sort of a couch potato. I love to watch TV Shows and I’m lazy to the bone therefore what better way than to create a whole avenue dedicated to laziness.
If there is anything you would change (add or remove) in the blogging world what would it be?
I would really remove the impersonal blogs, the ones focusing on drumming up business by just copy-pasting press-releases and sugar-coating everything. I would like to remove the people who impersonate bloggers/blogs and just copy/paste a post without giving the author any recognition. I would like to bring back the personal aspect of blogging (I want to know about what other people are feeling/experiencing!) I don’t really need to read a thousand posts about “Google updated its doodle to celebrate so-so day.” Nowadays when I read through the blogs in my Google Reader all I see is a million posts giving me the same bit of information. If you were going to do that then give it your own personal spin on it, be creative.
What do you love mostly about blogs and blogging?
I love reading the experiences people go through, I love the sharing aspect. I also love meeting new people from the blogging world because you know that Kuwait is so small and with companies giving some blogs recognition we are starting to meet each other more often and establishing a more face-to-face relationship. The more personal/individual/creative/awesome a blog is then the more amazing it is in my books!
Tell us more about yourself:
Well as most of you know I’m a 20-something (okay okay you dragged it out of me I’m 28!) Gadget freak. I love everything and anything that is technology and gadgets, specifically Apple! I recently converted to the Light side in 2005 and well ever since it’s been an amazing ride I’ve become though more and more obsessed and that kind of shows. I love TV Shows, some might say I’m an addict because I follow more than 70+ TV Shows (some get canceled and new ones come on the horizon). I love reading, but haven’t been doing much of it lately. I guess it goes without saying that watching movies is also awesome. Because I was raised in a house where my father was a fine arts major and my mother a computer major I got the best of both worlds. I am the geek in my house, the eldest of my sisters and the IT Technician of everyone else (if there is a computer/iDevice problem I’m the one they call). The social media world is a new passion that I have stumbled upon especially Twitter and Instagram which couldl be a reason why I am a lazy blogger and have taken more breaks than ever. Not to mention, my new part-time at a newspaper is something I’m falling in love with, because you see I prepare the Technology page for the Al Watan Daily Newspaper (English) and I’ve even started a new column “App of the Week” which is awesome you guys should check it.
Word of advice to new bloggers: Do not start a blog in hopes to get free stuff (not everyone gets them), don’t piss off older blogs by trying to advertise yourself on their website because well they don’t have to always write about new people introduce yourself nicely to them and they might surprise you and do what you ask, please respect others and treat them the way you want to be treated, and most importantly be polite and nice, something I haven’t been seeing lately is ‘if I go and comment on your blog and spend the time to either share your opinion or grant you with mine; you as a blogger don’t even bother to do so’ in my books if someone new follows me on Twitter I follow them back granted they are not psychos or bots. So why not read the other persons blog and comment establish a relationship with them because being nice to people will make the world a better place.
Otherwise, stay true to yourself and don’t get caught up and start hurting others.
http://scarletlights.com [A Kuwaiti Stories Aggregator which let’s people find those who write stories in Kuwaitn more quickly]