Saudi Arabia: When Did American Bedu Begin Blogging

American Bedu

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This post is dedicated to Jay Kactuz who initially asked when did I start blogging on a post from 2009 about Islam and blogs!  Instead of responding to his query from that post, I decided his query merited its own separate reply.

I never intended to blog or have a blog that was opened up to the world.  It really was happen chance.  My (late) husband and I were starting our preparations for the move to Saudi Arabia during the summer of 2006.  My son was the one who came up with the idea that it would be fun for me to journal and log my thoughts about the move and life in Saudi Arabia.

In September 2006 American Bedu was officially launched with the post “Hello World.”  Pretty original title, huh?  (LOL)  Actually “Hello World” was the introductory post of American Bedu blog to WordPress.  American Bedu’s first postings were on MySpace.  July 2006 I introduced myself to the blogosphere with “When It All Started…”

Somehow I just started writing daily blog posts about the move, saying goodbye to our first home together in the States and before I knew it, we were on our way to KSA.

American Bedu was meant to be for family and very close friends about my experiences and perceptions of life in Saudi Arabia.  But then my family and friends kept urging me to make my posts public and open to the world.  I was not very technical at the time (actually that remains the case today too) and it was my son who had set up my MySpace page.  However, with perseverance I was able to figure out how to change the settings to public.

MySpace had limitations for me.  So I started corresponding with my old friend John Burgess from Crossroads Arabia blog.  On his sound advice I switched my blogging platform over to WordPress.  In October 2007 I spent several days copying 314 posts from MySpace over to WordPress in order to keep all of my blogging posts together and intact.

It’s not that I intentionally started with the idea of writing daily posts.  It just started to happen and became part of my routine.  I started (and still have) a file where I always jot down ideas I wish to write about.  I found it was easy to write daily posts since each day in Saudi Arabia was so different.  It was not only about the experiences and observations but also the customs, culture and tradition which are vastly different from the Western world.

It’s been and continues to be a surprise to me how American Bedu’s following has grown.  With the growth I take further responsibility to keep posts coming which I hope are interesting and on the mark about life in the Kingdom.

Of course I now wish that I had organized and categorized my blog better.  With so many different posts on hundreds of topics I want readers to be able to find the kind of posts that are of most interest to them.  As Jay highlighted with his comment about using American Bedu in search terms, you never know what posts will come up!

Jay’s query has also put me in a state of nostalgia.  While all of the American Bedu posts are available in chronological order if one chooses to start reading at the very beginning of October 2007, I do find myself wishing that I had a hard copy of all the posts (and comments!).  Maybe one day…

In the meantime I plan to continue writing daily posts which I hope are enjoyable and interesting.  Please continue to give me your queries and suggestions that will allow me to make American Bedu a better blog.

Thank you!

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13 Responses

  1. What surprised me when going through the 2006 archives was how few comments were posted to each early on. I think that at times maybe the cats were your only readers. Many posts about issues not very different from those today would have no comments at all then but dozens now. I am surprised that you didn’t give up blogging.

    By the end of 2007 we see a very dedicated bunch of ‘beduists’, a nucleus of what would become the Carol Flemming Fan Club Unlimited, reading and posting sharp, perceptive, highly intelligent comments (yeah!). By 2010 the readership had exploded and the blog’s influence had grown so much that few world leaders, or at least policy experts on the Middle East, would finish their morning coffee without reading American Bedu.

    OK, I exaggerate, but still I doubt if there is any Arabia-themed blog anywhere that approaches the popularity of American Bedu. Thousands of people come here everyday to learn and to share feelings and experiences. This blog has enriched all our lives.

  2. Jay – I think the reason the early posts received so few comments was due to the platform (MySpace) I was using. Unlike with wordpress, those posts seldom got into search engines.

    hmmmm…..should I start selling American Bedu coffee cups? (smile)

  3. Carol, you can turn your blog into an e-book:

    http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2010/08/03/bloggers-publish-your-book-ebook-or-your-blog/

    I recommend this blogger because she is one of the WordPress volunteer support folks (there’s about 8-10 of these special folks who are faithful and supportive) that have been providing support to WordPress bloggers on wordpress.com forums for past few years.

    She gives great advice to all bloggers.

  4. Thanks for sharing Carol. Your blog is really interesting, informative and brings subjects out into the open that might never be discussed where non Arabic speakers.

    Lots of people have been telling me I should tell my own story, but I’m just not thick skinned enough to stand up to people writing nasty things to me, and as you well know, there is no shortage of ugly people in the world. Is there a way to shut “comments” off?

    So, it seems as if WordPress is free, and I have looked for ads and see none, so how does WordPress support its self?

    Much peace

    Gwendolyn

  5. I would buy a coffee cup. Especially if it was green, red, white, blue or pink.

  6. Loved this post and that it was dedicated to Jay, our resident sweetheart. 😀

    Glad you shared!

  7. I’m so thankful that your blog has turned into something bigger than planned. It has aided me in my crash course of the country as I live and work there.

    Best wishes and many thanks!

  8. Yeah, jean is right. Categorize it – strip out some comments – and publish it as a guide to SA and Islamic culture in SA.

    By ‘strip out’ I mean comments like many of mine – that, while true or honest, have little to do with practical aspects of life in Arabia.

    Gwend, but the ‘comments off” feature is a killer. It murders freedom of expression and attracts only like-minded, uncaring, indifferent individuals. The only thing worse is the ‘Your comment is waiting for moderation’ thing.

  9. Yes, well Jay, in my case the Islamic admonishment that women should not argue with men seems really true, because I am relatively thin skinned, and in fact some women can hurt me worse than men.

    Still, I have to think about the comments aspect. Perhaps you are right…

  10. Gweend, I can see that you are beginning to see the light about men. My wife never argues with me.

    Of course, I am not that stupid. Besides, after she finishes telling me what to do, I really don’t have either time nor energy to say much in reply.

  11. @Jay
    Once my mom has some note paper made that said at the top,
    “List of things Jill wants Bob to do”

  12. AB,
    It has been very interesting (so far, at least) to hear your perspectives on Saudi Arabia. It’s hard for me to believe that it’s been about 1 1/2 years since I first came across your blog. Even though I am no longer with my Saudi ex, I am still very interested to learn more about KSA and the region.

  13. Bedu,
    I’ve been following your blog for over a year now, I never comment though. I do love your blog and love learning about the real KSA from your perspective. I finally started my own little blog, nothing as exciting or interesting as yours, but I’m excited to finally have joined the blogosphere!

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