Thursday, May 11, 2006


Why Do I Blog?

A friend asked me this question the other day. While I had an answer at the time, I've been mulling it over since, and I've decided it wasn't quite the whole story.

The simplest explanation of why I blog (and the answer I gave) is that it started because of work. We attempted to have an internal R&D blog at TOWER - the idea being that everyone could keep everyone else informed of what they were up to. The experiment failed miserably - after the first few weeks, nobody bothered to post anything and a few months later the box it was sitting on got used for something else (I'm not sure if anyone else even noticed). It did get the idea of blogs into my head though, and thanks to the prompting of some of the TOWER bloggers (mostly Mikal, who suggested Exceptionally Uncaught), I decided to give the idea a go.

But that's really only half the story. The other half is why I kept blogging. I'm pretty good at finding a new toy to play with, and then totally forgetting about it a couple of months later. I've decided there are a few reasons.

Stephen King describes in On Writing how he has to tell these stories. It's simply not an option to stop writing. While obviously no where near as extreme, I definitely have this fundamental desire to write. It seems to at least go part way to fulfilling this basic need I have to create - to turn ideas into something more than just flashes in my head. I (as I'm sure most bloggers do) often find myself mentally planning my next post - "ooh, that would make post", "I think I want to talk about...", "A friend asked me...". It's something that keeps me thinking and keeps me writing.

Everyone's Listening
One of the most fantastic things about blogging is that anyone - anyone in the entire world who has access to the Internet - can come and read my blog. I get a real kick out of knowing that because I had a problem, solved it and blogged it, I've made someone else's life a bit easier. I'm constantly amused by the number of people who discovered where silk came from because of me. I realise I'm a very tiny blip in the blogasphere - I'm certainly no Scobleizer or StillHQ or even an Over The Falls, but hey, I'm there!

No-one's Listening
I can' t be bothered to look up the actual number, but there are a lot of bloggers out there. So many that I don't have to worry about who might be reading my site. The day I ever meet someone for the first time and they say "hey! You're the guy who writes Exceptionally Uncaught!" I'll probably have fallen into bizzaro land. I can write reasonably person stuff when the mood strikes me, and not have to feel worried.

Blog Family
Probably one of the biggest reasons I've been at this for almost 300 posts is because of my blog family - Mikal, Gordon, Ian and Lindsay in particular (there are others, so don't feel left out). These were the guys who commented on the stuff I wrote, hassled me when I hadn't posted for a while and wrote interesting stuff I wanted to comment on. It also gives stuff to talk about in the real world. Thanks to blogging, I've gotten to know the members of "my family" better then I probably would have otherwise.

Keeping In Touch
I've been doing this for over a year now, and in that time I've circled the globe and seen many of "the family" move on to new cities and new things. But where ever I am in the world, I can stick a post up and know that my friends and family can read about what I've been up to. It beats email because I don't have to worry about sending it to everyone or spamming people I like.

That's why I have a blog and why I still blog. So come on then, why do you blog?

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