For years I’ve been wanting to take on blogging to catch the most important ideas and thoughts that seem to speed by me in the fast-paced, increasingly collaborative and communicative world around me. Yet, until now, I haven’t been able to comitt to starting a blog.
I’ve adapted my gathering of information through many media flows or side streams, such as Twitter, Feedly (Google Reader) Google+, Facebook, and various other sources. These flows of information have even been instrumental in helping me switch gears professionally from the ‘hard science’ classes I took in undergrad and graduate school as a horticulture major (i.e. soils, mycology, biochem, landscape restoration) to understanding more of the ‘soft science” or how people learn, interact, collaborate, communicate, and change behavior.
While I’m learning things from amazing people who share in social networks all the time, understanding how that information fits into my own goals and direction, and then being able to retrieve or pool that information through a blog, where I can organize, manage, control most of the settings, and then to choose to share with others when needed is more valuable to me than ever. I now realize blogging as a routine practice is more a necessity than ever to “pool” what I am learning so I can make sense of new information and experiences and how they connect to my existing experiences and knowledge.
Reasons motivating me to commit to blogging (this time)
So, at this point, sort of like exercising, I need to commit to myself to incorporate blogging into a routine reflection and workflow process. In doing so, I’ve realized the following list include reasons that seem valuable enough for me to shift my work habits to include blogging on a regular basis:
- Understanding the “Why” behind my like – I’d love to meaningfully curate or reflect on my “favorite” resources to understand why I chose them. It’s one thing to click the favorite, or like button, but another to know why I like it or how it could be useful.
- Keeping on top of understanding and communicating complex ideas – I need to think, write, and discuss complex topics more frequently. Thanks to @hjarche and @indalogensis for this recent interaction on complex knowledge on Twitter that made me realize this was yet another reason to blog.
- Reducing ‘crunch time’ – I need to be able to pull the information together for presentations and discussions more readily. By blogging about great examples, resources, ideas, insights, I hope to spend less time finding great examples when it comes to presentation ‘crunch time’.
- Getting better at writing to connect and learn– I want to get better at writing to connect with people, not just to write. I’ve already experienced blogging (for other blogs) has helped me write more direct, shorter sentences, and to be more focused or concise. I find most long articles, with many ideas and options, make connecting and relating to people more difficult. If I want to write to connect and learn with others, having practice to be more concise seems like the way to go.
- Stop (unintentionally) hoarding knowledge. The goal in using social media is to learn by exchange, thus it’s hard to exchange if there is no action on my part to share in the first place. Through blogging, I’m going to do my best to share the kinds of examples and ideas I find valuable, hoping that someone else may have that idea or experience, too, and perhaps maybe even lend additional insights.
- Leave a comment not a dissertation – In certain cases, I would like to be able to leave a comment with a link to my blog posts on other people’s blogs rather than consume several paragraphs of real-estate in their comments sections. Because these exchanges are often very meaningful, I’d also like to retrieve them on my blog for future reference.
So there it is, some of the main motivations that have pushed me over the edge to go from thinking about blogging to starting a blog. When I first thought about blogging about 5 years ago, I was thinking of blogging as more of a way to promote or distribute information. Now, I find it motivating to think of it as a tool and process that will help me focus and gather information in a way that is useful to me, rather than creating just one more thing to do.