As you look around the internet, you’ll come across posts telling you why you should post blogs – if you found this through a search engine hoping for that perspective, apologies. What this post is about is why I blog
I accept this might not be of huge interest to many, but it might just explain a few of my reasons and who knows it may encourage a few others.
Speaking out loud
OK, so I like talking – for those who know me, this might sound a bit strange as I think most people might class me as a slightly introverted but one aspect of that (at least for me), is that if I find something I’m interested in, I’ll quite happily chat about it.
Blogging gives me that voice, that ability to stand up and give my opinion (although there’s no guarantee that I’m right) – more than that, it gives others the ability to let me know what they think about those thoughts and for me, that’s important. It’s a two-way process, hopefully more like a conversation than me just standing on a street corner mumbling incoherently.
Given that this blog has a bias towards learning, there should definitely be mentioned – many have said that reflection is the most important part of the learning process; without it, we can never really understand the information we take in – we can memorise it, but not digest. For myself, writing these posts rarely involves just blurting out a stream of consciousness – rather it’s an iterative cycle of drafts, editing, re-writes where I try to find the best explanation or words to get across my ideas (not that I always succeed). As I try to make sure that the reader can take away some idea of what I mean, it helps me meet the same goal.
Reflection isn’t a single ‘point-in-time’ activity either – I have a strong tendency to re-visit my writing and to amend (I generally try to make it clear if this happens), or to give more information – as an example, I strongly suspect that I’ll be adding extra points to this post over time.
OK, this one is a little mercenary – and maybe a better description would be ‘self-branding’ or ‘networking’. But at the end of the day, as a technology freelancer/consultant my livelihood depends on being able to show my ability. When I started to work this way, the interview was the most valid way of demonstrating this, but in a more ‘social-media’ aware world, visibility gives reputation (of course, this works two ways).
The art of actually putting words down on paper (or in this case, electrons somewhere), is something we do less and less these days. There’s a particular tendency today, where we do make take that action to forget those rules we were taught at school around grammar, punctuation and spelling and like any skill, it degrades without use and improves the more we practice. I’m a great proponent of media as learning content and will often find myself tending to create video clips, animations etc. but sometimes for clarity, there’s nothing better than good old prose.
It’s been argued that with the advent of Google, YouTube and other such sites, we no longer need to remember information, only how to apply it – which is great as long as that information has been stored somewhere. Sometimes that nugget of knowledge isn’t recorded on the internet, or at least not in the form I need it. This site gives me a space to jot down some of that information so I can access it later – see the quotes as an example of this.