Motivations for Blogging

The time has come to follow up on the whole The Blog is the New Resume meme. At SxSW, the final panel was though-provoking for me in many ways. Kathy Sierra spoke a lot about how to treat your blog readers—be grateful, humble, patient, brave, respectful, generous, and motivating. It really made me think about what I was blogging for. I have a lot of self-serving blog posts (about Ella, getting a new computer, etc.). Is that crap that my readers have to sift through? Would my readers WANT to read that to get a better idea of what I’m about?

Do I have readers?

I wanted to run through a few motivations for blogging that I can think of. If you have more, please comment. What I intend to do is list a few and comment on whether or not that is one of my own motivations.

1. To serve as a personal notebook.

Traces of Inspiration was started as a personal notebook to collect thoughts while researching a project (called TRACE). It has evolved since then into more than thought storage—there actually are some thoughts I want to share. But a blog is a great way to archive what you are thinking about and dealing with at a given time.

2. To add to your resume.

Okay, maybe the blog isn’t LITERALLY the new resume, but it certainly adds to it and puts it in context. What types of posts help pad my resume? When dealing with new technologies like Microformats (for example), I post when I implement some… post when I have questions about testing some… post when I have ideas about how they could run into issues, etc. Why do this? I don’t just code. I think about the implications of code I write.

An employer won’t just look at a resume and say, “Holy crap, we need this person.” The employer likely will have some more immediate questions before even knowing if the person should be interviewed. The blog can help answer these and save time for everyone.

3. To serve as a portfolio.

A far more formal approach to the blog-as-resume could be to simply use it as your portfolio. You can store case studies/visuals here in a more calculated manner. To me… I’d rather see the juice that led you to the solution, though.

4. To be a thought leader.

One of the “blogging tips” I see the most is taking one topic and sticking to it. I would only advise certain bloggers to follow that. Among those are the bloggers that are aiming to be seen as thought leaders. Take my buddy Jeremiah for example. You head to his blog and you know immediately what he’s about. My blog? Not so much. But my goal is not to be known as a thought leader. I have way too many interests for that. I write about social media, web standards, community marketing, design, and heck—even baseball. I’m not THE expert on any of these, so I don’t feel I need to bother slimming down my blogging topics to any one of them. Besides, I’ve always excelled at being a jack-of-all trades. I am interested in every freakin’ step of the process.

5. To be internet famous.

No, this does not go hand in hand with #4. Some people want to get known, plain and simple. They word blog posts to get read. They link recklessly. They have one thing on the mind—stats. This is totally not me.

6. To keep up with friends and family.

I’ll tell you. I can’t wait until blogging is more and more prominent. I get so tired of people asking “Hey, what are you up to?” Dude, just read the blog. If you had one, I’d read yours and we’d just skip the small talk. Why is it that I have to explain to friends and family what I’m up to, but I meet Brian for the first time and we already know exactly what has been on each others’ minds lately?

I’ve seen pictures of Brian’s youngest, Ivy, getting her first hit in tee ball. But I have family members that will complain about not having seen photos of Ella in a while.

Hello? Flickr? And if you really were wondering, there’s not much GoogConfusion about who Adam Darowski is.

So, have any more?

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