A place to put random occurrences in my life...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

What is this blog here for?

Last week, this blog was "outted" on Twitter by @michaelwalton. To my knowledge, this was the first time, someone other than Thien had read my blog - or at least given me feedback - and more importantly, now all 100 (don't laugh at the small number - we all have to start somewhere) of my followers knew that I was writing a blog. Judging from my Google Analytics account, traffic had spiked 5x - from two viewers all the way to 10!

Since I now realize that others may actually stumble across my public blog at some point, I think its a good time to address why this blog even exists.

First and foremost, this blog is for me. As a kid growing up, I always received good grades on my written assignments - and I believed that I had above average skill in putting words on a piece of paper. Through the years, I've discovered that its become harder and harder for myself to express myself with the written word. I think the reasoning is similar to why my handwriting has gotten worse and worse (if that's possible, given how bad my handwriting has always been) - its simply a lack of practice. So in effect, this blog serves as a challenge to myself in writing on a consistent basis with the hopes of actually improving my writing.

Second, I'm a technologist. This blog gives me an opportunity to play with some cool web technologies in a bit of a sandbox. So far I've played with widgets like the Nike avatar (although I've clearly got some expertise with widgets already), Google Friend Connect, Facebook Connect, blog authoring tools (ScribeFire, Flock, and Zemanta) and Google Analytics. GA is one example of a tool that I can truly begin to understand with a smaller set of date than a larger one. On this blog, I can specifically see how traffic flows, how it's impacted by referrals and searches, etc. I can do the same thing on larger implementations, but I find it simpler to understand new pieces of the puzzle with smaller data sets.

Third, there are certain things that I'd like to keep a record of. That may be big moments in my life, interesting experiences, progress at the gym or even solutions to technical problems. Call it both a personal and professional journal.

That said, I could accomplish all of this with a "private", invitation only blog. So why do I have this public blog? I could say that the public nature gives me a voice that I wouldn't otherwise have when I want to vent about something, but I don't really expect it to resonate quite as loud as Jeff Jarvis' now famous "Dell Sucks" post. I think the answer is actually the same reason that so many of us now share our entire lives online - vanity. I suppose that since I've chosen to document some things in this public manner, essentially asking to be discovered, I can't really be "outted", can I?

So although this blog is really for me, I realize that some may stumble upon it, and I'll try to keep it mildly entertaining for you...

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