HOW I TAKE MY COF­FEE

[www.how­itake­my­cof­fee.com]

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Briefly de­scribe the evo­lu­tion of your blog.

I ini­tially started writ­ing out of frus­tra­tion. Frus­tra­tion be­cause I was go­ing through a per­sonal phase: the ’20-some­thing seden­tary stuck in a state im­posed by our dys­func­tional coun­try” phase. This per­sonal phase turned out to be a public one. That’s how the blog’s evo­lu­tion started; it came from the com­ments I was get­ting. No mat­ter how neg­a­tive they were I took them as con­struc­tive crit­i­cism, which al­lowed me to un­der­stand what peo­ple wanted to read. For ex­am­ple, af­ter the out­rage that spun when a Le­banese re­al­ity show aired, a lot of peo­ple were say­ing how they wished to know more about ‘in­spir­ing’ young Le­banese, that’s how I cre­ated a new sec­tion named ‘How They Take Their Cof­fee’.

How did you first de­cide to launch?

At first, I wasn’t plan­ning on mak­ing the blog public. It started as more of an online di­ary (hid­den some­where in a drawer on the World Wide Web). I started writ­ing what is now ‘How I Take My Cof­fee, be­cause I felt that the Le­banese bl­o­go­sphere didn’t have any­one who shared my opin­ion, or talked about what I wanted to read. The ma­jor­ity was ei­ther too ‘cor­rect’ or rarely for­mu­lated a bi­ased opin­ion that doesn’t con­form to that of the gen­eral public. You could say it was for self­ish pur­poses. When I even­tu­ally sum­moned up the courage and shared a cou­ple of posts I re­alised that some were go­ing vi­ral; I got more love than hate mes­sages, which in­di­cated that I am not crazy and some peo­ple do share my point of view.

What makes your con­tent unique in your opin­ion?

In to­day’s world I think the word ‘unique’ no longer means what it once did. My posts are not one in a mil­lion. Le­banon is a small coun­try where news spreads fast, host­ing too many tal­ented blog­gers! So I con­stantly try to have a dif­fer­ent point of view on things, whether it’s sar­cas­tic, funny or se­ri­ous. I don’t re­ally like to bank on bad news or scan­dals to post, so I mostly share my point of view about a cer­tain sit­u­a­tion based on its topic, tack­ling the topic it­self and not the story that hap­pened. Most im­por­tantly, I stay true to my­self, con­tro­ver­sial or not, I aim to al­ways be as trans­par­ent, straight­for­ward and as hon­est as pos­si­ble.

What mo­ti­vates you to keep go­ing with your blog­ging af­ter all this time?

At first I was blog­ging on and off. Just like go­ing to the gym, it takes a while to com­mit. Hav­ing cho­sen a ca­reer in copy­writ­ing, it’s not par­tic­u­larly easy to write all day for work, then go back and write online. But once I started get­ting feed­back from peo­ple, I en­joyed post­ing even more. Now my posts have be­come the public ther­apy ses­sions that I can never get enough of. It’s a Le­banese lifestyle blog, so there’s no limit to what it can be, since ev­ery­thing in Le­banon changes rapidly, even if a lot of things stay the same un­for­tu­nately.

Founded by Blog­ger and copy­writer Na­dyn Chal­houb, How I Take my Cof­fee of­fers a unique in­ter­pre­ta­tion of so­ci­ety and so­cial phe­nom­ena.

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