Why Blog?

Posted 2009.07.26 10.23 in Computers/Internet/Technology, Pointless Blather

Here’s a meta-type question that has rattled around for a while. Why am I doing this? That is to say, why do I write this blog? And that could be extended a bit more to include, why do I even have this website? Obviously a lot of work has gone into it, and continues to go into maintaining, updating, and adding to it. So… why? What’s the point?

It isn’t for money – there are no ads or affiliate links or anything of the sort here. There’s no hidden pay-to-access section. It’s not so much that the idea of monetizing the blog/site hasn’t occured, but I mostly don’t like ads and haven’t felt the need to monetize anything. It isn’t for some kind of self-aggrandizement. To be honest, I’m actually a rather shy individual and sometimes get embarassed at the thought of people actually reading all this stuff.

I think ultimately there are a few reasons why I do all this. It really boils down to the fact that I like to learn and share knowledge; I like funny things and like to share the funny; I sometimes forget things and the blob is a good place to save information so I can find it again later. Finally, I like to create, and writing is an inexpensive way to be creative. In some cases, it’s also somewhat theraputic for myself, this writing stuff.

Learning & Sharing Knowledge: I’m always onto new and interesting things. I always want to learn more stuff. Whether it’s watchmaking, lasers, some computer stuff, whatever – I am compelled to continue learning, and the knowledge that I accumulate, I want to share with anyone else who wants to learn it. Sometimes there’s some challenge that I spend hours trying to solve, and I want to make sure it’s easier for the next person so when I solve the puzzle I post it here, or on a forum or whatever. Like the thing with Grub2 – esoteric and probably useless to most folks, but if you needed to know it, I’ve figured it out and published the answers.

Sharing the Funny: I’m no comedian but I’ve been told that my wry wit and sarcasm are sometimes humorous. I’m a big fan of Douglas Adams and Dave Barry, and occasionally try to write like them. So when things strike me as odd, unusual, or ironic, I frequently find amusing angles. Like TV commercials that are so insulting as to be jokes. Or fish acting suspicious. Or trying to learn something that looks simple but is much more complicated than you’d ever believe. There’s funny stuff in most of everyday life, if you let yourself notice it.

Being Creative: Hand in hand with always learning, I’m always itching to build or create stuff. I’ve done visual arts, I do knife making, I enjoy building electronics things, and even started to learn to sew. Everything costs money though – materiels, equipment, and so on. Writing however, is cheap and easy. Pencil and paper will get you started. Or if you already have a computer, you can write forever without needing more supplies. The blog is a great outlet for this, in that I can be creative and write stuff, without it seeming futile and pointless as it would if I were just throwing the stuff out afterwards, or leaving it permanently archived on some hard drive somewhere, never to be reviewed.

Remembering Stuff: Memory is a wierd and unusual thing. (For one thing I almost forgot to add this paragraph!) If I remember something, I can usually remember it in near-photographic detail. I remember not only the conversation, but where it occured, where I was standing, what the environment looked like. (Everything but the face of whomever the conversation was with.) I can remember stuff I’ve read, not just the gist of it but frequently the exact words, and often even the image of the words on the page, such that I could tell you where on the page the stuff had been printed. Back in the party-days, I was the one everyone would come to, when they needed to ask what the hell happened last night. On the other hand, if I don’t remember stuff, it’s usually a complete and utter blank. There are articles I don’t remember writing (I once googled for information  on epoxy, and when I found the answer, it was a post I had written on a forum. Not only could I not remember how the epoxy worked, I had no idea I’d written about it explaining it to someone else.), situations I don’t remember being in, things I don’t remember doing. I’ve had entire days, even a whole week once, erased from my mind. So, if I keep a regular ‘log’ here, hopefully I will be able to keep track of things.

And finally, Sometimes its Theraputic: I don’t hide the fact that I suffer from depression, I’m on mind-altering drugs, and I’ve got some other neurological problems.  Face-blindness, aka prosopagnosia, has a huge impact on my life. Though I’ve lived with it forever and it’s not something I think of every moment, but it does have an ongoing impact. I’m probably at least a little bit Aspie too, though that may be part and parcel with the prosopagnosia. Anyhow, writing about this stuff is sometimes theraputic for me, it can help me come to terms with things.

It does seem a bit funny / ironic that many private things I will share with the whole internet, yet am reluctant to discuss them with my own family. I guess it’s an issue of anonymity – I don’t know the internet so it’s safe to talk here…

So — this is why I blog, why I maintain this website.

Cheers!

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