TITLE: Why I Blog, Ten Years On AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: July 09, 2014 12:35 PM DESC: ----- BODY: A blog can be many things. It can an essay, a place to work out what I think, in the act of writing. It can be a lecture, a place to teach something, however big or small, in my own way. It can be memoir, a place to tell stories about my life, maybe with a connection to someone else's story. It can be a book review or a conference review, a place to tell others about something I've read or seen that they might like, too. Or not. It can be an open letter, a place to share news, good or bad, in a broadcast that reaches many. It can be a call for help, a request for help from anyone who receives the message and has the time and energy to respond. It can be a riff on someone else's post. I'm not a jazz musician, but I like to quote the melodies in other people's writing. Some blog posts are my solos. It can be a place to make connections, to think about how things are similar and different, and maybe learn something in the process. A blog is all of these, and more. A blog can also be a time machine. In this mode, I am the reader. My blog reminds me who I was at another time. This effect often begins with a practical question. When I taught agile software development this summer, I looked back to when I taught it last. What had I learned then but forgotten since? How might I do a better job this time around? When I visit blog posts from the past, though, something else can happen. I sometimes find myself reading on. The words mesmerize me and pull me forward on the page, but back in time. It is not that the words are so good that I can't stop reading. It's that they remind me who I was back then. A different person wrote those words. A different person, yet me. It's quite a feeling. A blog can combine any number of writing forms. I am not equally good writing in all of these forms, or even passably good in any of them. But they are me. Dave Winer has long said that a blog is the unedited voice of a person. This blog is the unedited voice of me. When I wrote my first blog post ten years ago today, I wasn't sure if anyone wanted to hear my voice. Over the years, I've had the good fortune to interact with many readers, so I know someone is listening. That still amazes me. I'm glad that something you read here is worth the visit. Back in those early days, I wondered if it even mattered whether anyone else would read. The blog as essay and as time machine are valuable enough on their own to make writing worth the effort to me. But I'll be honest: it helps a lot knowing that other people are reading. Even when you don't send comments by e-mail, I know you are there. Thank you for your time. I don't write as often as I did in the beginning. But I still have things to say, so I'll keep writing. -----