Why YOU should blog

A Blog: “A personal or corporate website in the form of an online journal”

I recently wrote a post for the blog I contribute to at work called “What’s the point of blogs and blogging?” it highlighted a number of things, a few of which were company specific but a number of points could be applied to anyone whom uses the interwebs.

As I mentioned in previous posts I went to FOWA a couple of weeks back and I asked a number of people if they blogged, I was mostly met with ‘No’ which saddened me as all of the people I asked were intelligent and when in conversation had some interesting points,  great ideas and valuable advice. If only they had a place where I could remind myself of this information when I got home?!  So on the back of this I decided I wanted to express why I thought blogging had a lot of value and why I think YOU should do it!

To me a blog is a knowledge sharing platform, that if utilised in the correct manor can provide its readers with valuable information that can subsequently save them time and therefore  money.

Here’s the senario I gave at work:

A team are working on a project, one member of the team discovers that a small application they saw on the net the other day would help them to increase the rate in which they are able to resolve their part of the project. So that member gets their part finished in double quick time whilst the others are still tackling the same issues. The project is finished sooner than if that member hadn’t used this application but not as soon as if that member had shared the value of it with the other members of the team. Further still 6 months down the line there is a another project where the same application could be used again in aiding the completion of the new project, but the member that used that application has left and left no trace of the application and so no one ever knew they could use it to help move things along. This is time and money (in the form of man hours) wasted.

It’s not just intercompany though, that ‘app’ that the member dicovered could well have been dicovered after reading a blog written by a completely unknown individual.

Okay so there’s my reasoning and here are my answers to the most common issues people point out.

You don’t have time to blog?
The argument for this is a little stronger when talking intercompany: The time you invest in a blog article will set you back in the progression of your days tasks, but that’s on an individual basis. Think of the time you will be saving others by sharing your knowledge with them, blogging in this sense is about the bigger picture.

For personal blogs, to me it’s about giving something back to the community. The amount of times others blog posts have saved me hours troubling over particular technical problems is untrue and so I feel the least I can do is every now and then try and share the knowledge I have in the hope that I too can help others out.

Something I also think applies to both is that a blog can also act as an online library of solutions to problems I’ve had to face in my working career and should I ever have to solve that problem or one like it again I will exactly where to look to find the answer.

You don’t have anything valuable to say?
Of course you do, no matter what your level you do have something to share, I’m not talking about how your weekend was or what restaurants you like to visit, I’m talking about the way you use a certain tool or that awesome shortcut you found that shaves seconds of a task you complete daily that someone else might have to do too.

It’s been said before?
It may well have been said before, but you might be able to add a different perspective on it or just enhance what’s already been said. Maybe you have a different view, tell people – it’s good and beneficial to discuss these things, together you can produce the best resolution.

So please blog, what you have to say might help someone approach a problem or project in a way they hadn’t thought of, and even if it doesn’t you’ll always have an online personal reference for the future :)

Filed under: Debate, , ,

2 Responses

  1. Tweets that mention Developer Dame » Why YOU should blog -- Topsy.com Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by James Hollingworth and Johnny Graber. Johnny Graber said: Great – RT Blogged: Why YOU should blog http://twurl.nl/oo7iz2 ;) (via @SaraS85) [...]

    Posted on October 13th, 2009 at 21:40

  2. Paul Albinson Says:

    Hi Sara,

    I get the value of blogs and I regularly read blogs and forums and find they are an excellent resource of information and am grateful for people who post articles but have yet to blog myself.

    The problem I have is a lack of time or maybe it is more the incentive to use the little spare time I have to blog. I guess it is bad to use blogs and not be prepared to blog yourself. Maybe it should be a social standard which we should feel obliged to blog for blog as such.

    For me it wouldn’t be a quick task to blog as with anything I write it takes a long time and a lot of rewrites to get it right or even that as you may have noticed with anything I have written even after the many rewrites it is not exactly well written. Even this reply has had a many rewrites in parts and still doesn’t read well. Btw your blog posts are really well written, I would never be able to write to the same quality, it makes them a joy to read.

    So basically I would either have to do quick blog posts that would be so badly written or even incoherent or spend a long time on blog posts that I would only be able to post occasionally which wouldn’t make the blog that popular. This brings up another point, to make a blog successful you ideally need to have a lot of articles and regularly post which takes even more time.

    Maybe blogs work best for companies so you can have multiple bloggers and it becomes a promotional thing for the company and you can blog in company time. This also as you say works as good documentation. Blogs and forums do seem to some extent appear to work inside companies for sharing resources, ideas etc. We have found at the college since launching our internal blogs/forums we they are well received and used (mainly by the staff, students don’t seem to take much interest) and are a very handy resource.

    Well that’s my take on it, I hope it makes sense; basically blogs are good but time consuming to write so maybe that’s why most people don’t or won’t blog.



    Posted on December 9th, 2009 at 14:00

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