fredag, november 17, 2006

The obligatory meta-blog post.

So, this is post number 100, since I started blogging. And that's almost exactly one year ago. Isn't that interesting? I've been writing something here each 3.65'th day. Often it's been uninteresting, very often indifferent, but sometimes I have manage to write something that people liked. So, I'm happy about this small anniversary.

So, I plan to do what almost every blogger do at least once: turn the writing process inwards and investigate why people blog, why the person in question blogs, and perhaps, if we are really META, why the current blog post is actually written. Hopefully I'll know why I've written this by the end of this post. Otherwise, it'll probably be something indifferent or boring.

Let's begin. "Why blog?", the general question. When I started out, I had no real goal. I knew that I wanted to get better at technical writing and that was largely it. I hoped I would get some new contacts and interesting discussions but the base reason was for the writing ability. As such, I wouldn't have to write public; I could hone my writing skill in my basement and never publish anything to the (sometimes scary) scrutinizing eyes of the public. But that's the problem. If I didn't publish it, I wouldn't have as much incentive to become better. Now I absolutely have to get better at writing, otherwise I will feel ashamed about the filth that will for all time be remembered by Google.

That's reason number one. The second reason, that I've come to realize this last year but didn't know when I started out, is that I learn by writing about a subject. If it's a technical topic I basically have to research the topic quote thoroughly, so I won't look like a fool. And that is really good, that is incredibly good. I have learned very much by writing about things I find interesting. The first learning when I research and think about what I should write, and the second learning when people read it and comment and correct me.

Reason number three can be thought of as hubris. I believe that some of the things I know can be useful for other to know, and I believe that some of the problems and bugs I uncover in open software should be documented somewhere so others won't have to go through the same bug finding escapades as I did on that subject.

And here's where we come to the point. The point is that if you're working with software (or with anything where information sharing is important, really), you should write about. Because the writing benefits you and it benefits me. If you find a problem, write about it. Doesn't matter if someone actually reads it or not, for the most important aspects of writing is about yourself.

Steve Yegge wrote about this in his "Blog Or Get Of The Pot", and also in one of this older blogs ("Why you should blog" I believe it's called).

Coda: Why did I write this post? To make it clear in my head why I blog. To make it obvious and explicit why I do it. So that's what this post is about, and it's a recursive post since it talks about itself. I'm satisfied.

2 kommentarer:

Mr. Funk sa...

I'm in the process of learning both Ruby and Rails, and I keep finding my way back to your blog. Just wanna say thanks, and let you know that it's definitely a great resource.

Erik van Oosten sa...

That's a nice self-reference and recursion. Hofstadter would be proud of you! :)