Leslie Lamport said
“If you think you understand something, and don’t write down your ideas, you only think you’re thinking.” I agree wholeheartedly. I often think “Oh, I get this” and then go to write it down and find all kinds of holes in my understanding. I write to understand. Consequently, I write my blog for me. But I hope you get something out of it too!
I started blogging in May 2002
, twenty years ago today. I’d been thinking about blogging for about a year before that, but hadn’t found the right tool. Jon Udell
, who I didn’t know then, mentioned his blog in an InfoWorld column. He was using Dave Winer’s Radio Userland
, so I downloaded it and started writing. At the time I was CIO for the State of Utah, so I garnered a bit of noteriety as a C-level blogger. And I had plenty of things to blog about.
Later, I moved to MovableType
and then, like many developers who blog, wrote my own blogging system
. I was tired of the complexity of blogging platforms that required a database. I didn’t want the hassle. I write the body of each post using Emacs using custom macros I created. Then my blogging system generates pages from the bodies using a collection of templates. I use
to push them up to my server on AWS. Simple, fast, and completely under my control.
, another good friend who I met through blogging, says you can make money from
your blog or because
of it. I’m definately in the latter camp. Because I write for me, I don’t want to do the things necessary to grow an audience and make my blog pay. But my life and bank account are richer because I blog. Jon, Dave, and Doc are just a few of countless friends I’ve made blogging. I wouldn’t have written my first book
if Doug Kaye
, another blogging friend, hadn’t suggested it. I wouldn’t have started Internet Identity Workshop
or been the Executive Producer of IT Conversations
. I documented the process of creating
my second startup, Kynetx
on my blog. And, of course, I’ve written a bit (402 posts so far, almost 10% of the total) on identity
. I’ve been invited to speak, write, consult, and travel because of what I write.
After 20 years, blogging has become a way of life. I think about things to write all the time. I can’t imagine not blogging. Obviously, I recommend it. You’ll become a better writer if you blog regularly. And you’ll better understand what you write about. Get a domain name so you can move it, because you will. And you don’t want to lose what you’ve written. You may not build a brand, but you’ll build yourself and that’s the ultimate reward for blogging.