The Ideas of March

The oldest post on this blog is from April 16th, 2001 – archive.org has older articles going back to the 12th of February that year from my first proper blog, which ran on a very basic platform I wrote myself in Classic ASP. So I’ve been speaking my brains in this location for over ten years.

Chris Shiflett posted today encouraging a revival of blogging, challenging us to:

  • Write a post called Ideas of March.
  • List some of the reasons you like blogs.
  • Pledge to blog more the rest of the month.
  • Share your thoughts on Twitter with the #ideasofmarch hashtag.

When I started blogging I wrote about anything and everything. This blog wasn’t self-promotional, it was just me, as a young, working mother writing down my thoughts. If you dig deep enough you’ll find me whining about our broken boiler in 2004, pondering turnip lanterns in 2003 (a post which is still popular every Halloween), and recounting Christmas shopping experiences in 2001. Would I post this sort of thing today? Probably not. I’d post them to Twitter and Facebook.

As I stopped posting trivial stuff to my blog, without any conscious decision, the blog then became the place I posted important things. My recent posts tend to be about business or web issues, and take the form of short essays rather than the short posts of the past. Again, this hasn’t been a conscious change of direction for the blog, however the more I post things I feel are important, the less I feel able to post the trivial. I am undecided as to whether that is a good or a bad thing – let me know (in the comments – or on Twitter to @rachelandrew if you prefer!)

Why I like blogs

Without further ado, here are the reasons I like blogs, and why I think it is important to keep blogging.

  • This blog is somewhere I can write in my own style, with freedom to say exactly what I want to on a subject. On my own blog I can speak plainly. I like having that outlet.
  • The comment threads on a blog post are often as interesting as the initial post. It is harder to get that level of discussion on Twitter.
  • Twitter fragments and breaks up our use of language. Shortening and removing words to fit the space. Some topics need more space to be explored.
  • It is often only by writing that I can really unpack a subject. Sometimes I delete a draft post when I realise I’m talking nonsense – yet it took actually writing out those thoughts to discover my own folly!

I pledge to blog more in 2011 than I did in 2010, and I’ll also enjoy reading posts by the other folk joining this revival. Why not join us?

Pete Clark on the 01 Apr 2011:

Hi Rachel, I’ve been wrestling with the personal post vs professional post issue a lot myself lately. I started blogging about 7 years back as a student when most of the posts were tagged ‘drinking’ or similar. Recently after a lull of a few months I set up a new blog and discovered that my posts have become more in-depth and focussed to the point where this week I decided that I needed to just section off the personal stuff which I now post to a subdomain. As I read my old posts they bring back some great memories, there are things in there which I know I’d have forgotten had I not committed them to the Internet, but whether the world at large needs to know about my failed plan to make a pirate treasure map is debatable. Keeping things tidy seems the best bet to me.

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