This entry is by popular request. I also always like a “making of” video or commentary so I’m happy to fulfill it. The request was brought on when I posted a link to a blog that I became aware of when someone commented on mine. That was was titled Why One should Have a Social Media Blog.
First off, I’d been considering writing a blog for a while before I sat down for the first entry. I had a lot on my mind earlier this year related to work, family, and extracurricular things in general. I was trying to broaden my horizons some in how I thought and also be introspective. Some of what I did was watch TED videos while cooking and becoming more aware of different aspects of social media. In March, I happened to be at a conference where I was working a customer pavilion. Normally I don’t get to attend conference sessions at these events but this time I did. I caught the keynote from Seth Godin whom I’d seen on TED. His final call to action was to do a blog if you’d considered it. I also sat in on a few other sessions that had to do with marketing trends and customer dynamics.
So I decided to write a blog and was very tempted to do something professionally around software or marketing. I was also very tempted not to. I realized that (A) there was already plenty of that out there and (B) that wasn’t going to help me explore anything about expanded horizons or introspection. In fact, it would probably get my brain more active on things buzzing in my head that I wanted to quiet. On this trip, I also saw Susan Cain’s TED Talk on The Power of Introverts. That was more the kind of topic I wanted to explore. And yes, I do load up my iPad with TED talks.
Now, I mentioned I was thinking about writing a blog. I wanted to explore some personality traits and share some observations I’ve had on what’s worked in my life. Social media in itself seemed inadequate. Twitter, at 140 characters, is way too shallow and also speeds by too fast to share philosophies on. It’s better as a train to have people hop off of at key moments and take in something more fleshed out. Facebook is a good place to have discussions but isn’t really a place to keep the thoughts themselves. A blog is the ideal place to capture the thoughts themselves and expose them across those social mediums, LinkedIn, work colleagues, and the world in general.
What am I getting out of the blog? Firstly, it is a release for me and that was its original purpose. When I write, I don’t revisit it or revise more than a sentence or two. The posts are organized streams of consciousness and that’s freeing to me. I’ll keep notes about topics but never more than a couple blurbs or hyperlinks. There has been more than one blog that ended far differently than I thought it would when I started.
Secondly, I’ve had some very good conversations with family and friends. This was the other main purpose of the blog. It’s enabled me to explore myself and also spark some thoughts for other people. I’ve got two engineering degrees which does not make me a psychologist. People have lived different lives and have different perspectives. A couple of friends have discussed some things they’ve really struggled with. I feel liberated by discussing my inner workings and while it takes guts, it’s not the courage I’ve seen in some others.
Lastly, blogging has expanded my online presence and helped me be more aware of the digital world. That’s an area I continue to investigate for personal and professional reasons. It amazes me that in two months of doing this I’ve gotten hits from nine countries. Most of those have come via social networks and WordPress itself. This just goes to show I have more to learn about generating search hits.
There will not be entries titled “7 Things You Need to Stop Screwing Up” or “The 1.2 Traits I Have That Make Me Better Than You.” To me that sounds too much like self promotion and marketing. This is not the purpose of my blog. The introspection is genuine and if people like it then they’ll read it. In my opinion, that’s what makes the content worthwhile.
Thanks for sharing this blog, commenting on it where you have, and for using it to stimulate your own thoughts. Recently, a friend of mine pointed out that I’ve reached a good balance talking about my professional and personal observations and breadth that would apply to anyone. That’s what I’m striving for.