An important piece of this answer is related to the word “Again” – poke around hard enough on the website and you might find blog posts from a few years ago.
Blogging is something I flirted with for a while back in the early 00s, and it was even a big part of my internetting. I saw it as a normal outgrowth of how integrated I was with technology. I had an email address very early and what was cooler than having an email address? Having my own domain name for that email address, of course! I taught myself websites and server hosting, and I suddenly had a computer running 24×7 in my house and a very boring homepage. Remember when they were called that? Not content with the world of static web pages (even ones that blinked and had under construction gifs!) I implemented my first blog software that was based on slashcode, the content engine behind Slashdot.org. Maybe you remember that. Maybe not. Some things are lost to antiquity. I called it “graffiti” and ran a blog site there for me and my close friends including a biweekly column and many reviews of movies and tv shows and… “Why are you not linking it?” I’m not linking to it because if I remember correctly (and this might also be lost to antiquity) slashcode had a pretty bad SQL injection exploit back in 2008, and I decided rather than risk my server being compromised and turned into a spambot zombie, I disabled my entire blog.
Kinda sad, right?
Shortly after I built a new blog using wordpress, and that’s still running– depending on when you read this, of course. Greetings future readers/Reptilian Overlords! I hope your experience of this blog via virtual reality/smell-o-vision/cerebral-download is at least as fun as it was back in 2016.
Well That’s Fun, But Why Again?
Those that can find the posts back in time will see them quickly give way to the lion’s share of the posts: pictures and haikus. That’s for another time, but the short form is blogging is hard work. It requires a big amount of investment, and I was falling into a different pattern with social media – i.e. short facebook updates, 140-character twitter posts, and generally sapping away any time and creative energy for longer form writing.
Because of a recent employment change I suddenly have a lot of free time and free creative energy again.
So That’s Explains “Again”, But Why Blogging?
First off, I have a lot to say. I really do. I’m a tech-junkie, and I love the interplay between tech and people maybe the most. I say a lot of this with my co-host Brendan on our weekly show, the Not A Thing! Podcast. As that’s only 45ish minutes per week, there’s a lot more to say and I like to say it. I have a strong point of view, and writing that stuff down is important for a lot of reasons.
A big reason to write things down is accountability. Even if it’s just for oneself, accountability is very important in growing towards (or away from) things. Benchmarks and progress aren’t just for business processes. I had kept a blog when I was first losing weight, and it was great to look at that progress. I am sure nobody read those posts about my food and exercise logging but me, but I needed to see that to start feeling good about it.
History is very important to me. I joked about things being lost to antiquity, but they really can be. Even with things technical within just a few years. All those posts I made for my graffiti blog are still buried in a database running on my webserver somewhere. I should really spend a few hours and write a script to dump all of those posts if only to preserve them for myself. It’s really fun to look back at stuff I’ve done or worked on, and one can’t do that if they’re not available.
Externalization is a good thing. There’s an oft-quoted study that people can only keep so many things in their head. One study said it’s 5 +/- 2 which is why US phone numbers were 7 digits… until you started to need to use the +1-areacode making everything 11 digits… and then promptly forgot all of that because who even dials phone numbers anymore? Anyway, keeping the mind less cluttered with extra thoughts means it’s free for more interesting and on-topic thoughts. I take this to further degree by keeping a small physical journal. Blogging just lets me externalize bigger ideas.
A lot of those bigger ideas come in the form of “Why?” questions. When I jump right down to it, the reason why I’m blogging again is the “E” in my Myers-Briggs type of ESFP motivates me to do things to make you to want to get to know me.
Why Do You Want People To Know You?
The internet is joked to be made of a series of tubes, and I think that’s actually close. It’s just I think those tubes are telescopes. Like telescopes, you can see people and things that are very far away – probably further away than you can just walk up to and see without the internet. I think that’s cool! Also like telescopes, the internet has lenses and foci (I took 4 years of Latin and an AP test), and that means that one view is often different from another depending on the viewer and the telescope. This can cause problems.
Almost every website and app has a profile page that’s about you. The aggregate of your interactions with those sites makes up a picture of you, and maybe that’s one you want and maybe not. My blogging is meant to provide another lens, but at least this one is one that I can control some of the messaging and maybe even tell a few stories or two.
So I’m going to blog again. I’m going to answer a lot of those “Why” questions and I’m hoping you’re going to ask more of them. I’m going to cross-post to Medium and Linkedin. I’m going to use the blog to help me form my ideas and thoughts in an interesting way.
I am betting the people coming to look at this blog are going to know me in some capacity – friends, family, coworkers, and potential coworkers and employers. Maybe not a lot of complete strangers, but who knows. For all that are reading, I hope this blog adds some depth to our relationship and makes interacting with me a little more interesting.