Saturday, October 29, 2005

Why blog?

Here is my shortlist for blogging reasons:
  • To remember (links, ideas, photos, memories).
  • Develop ideas through systematic, critical thinking. You can come up with solutions while writing down the problem.
  • While writing I do google searches, look the subject up on wikipedia and become more informed about the subject I am writing about.
  • Improve writing skills: Other people should be able to understand what you say. Good writing is very important both socially and professionally.
  • Share ideas.
  • Market yourself.
  • Hone observation skills: Once you start to blog, you look out for things to write.
  • Improve English.
  • "When you get an idea, go and write. Don't waste it in conversation." --Kenneth Koch
  • How to Write Without Writing:
The difference between a tolerable programmer and a great programmer is not how many programming languages they know, and it's not whether they prefer Python or Java. It's whether they can communicate their ideas. - Joel
The important thing to realize here is that you can save work by blogging. Many people have figured out that this is true of Wiki: rather than explaining the same thing over and over, you put your explanation in Wiki once, and you're done. From then on you can just point people to it. Some of the stuff you write as part of your ordinary workday will be interesting and useful to others. All you need to do is keep an eye out for things you've written that might be worth publishing. Then the "I'm too busy" argument just evaporates, because it's almost no effort to dump some document or email rant or whatever into your blog. can't please everyone, and you won't please everyone, so focus on making yourself happy. ...practically nobody will read your blog. Unless it's good. Even then, it'll be a very long time before lots of people have read it. Don't worry, though. If you put in the effort, and you write honestly, people will eventually find their way there.
The people who can write and communicate effectively are, all too often, the only people who get heard. They get to set the terms of the debate.
...writing stuff down is a great way to make information scale… because you don’t
"It also encourages you to capture 'fringe-thoughts': various ideas which may be byproducts of everyday life, snatches of conversation overheard in the street, or, for that matter, dreams. Once noted, these may lead to more systematic thinking, as well as lend intellectual relevance to more directed experience."
Every time I wrote, I got a little better at writing. Every time I wrote, I learned a little more about the topic, how to research topics effectively, where the best sources of information were.
  • ...and the last reason is to know myself:
"We must not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time." -- T. S. Eliot

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