Further thoughts on “Why write a blog?”

Dear Internet,

TL;DR, so, in summary:

As a result of writing this post I’ve clarified to myself further, reasons why I want to write a blog. These reasons are:

  • writing helps me clarify my thinking about and around an issue or topic (do you see what I did there?! πŸ˜‰ )
  • I’m an Open advocate, keen to share many things openly, not just so others can use them, but to experience what it feels like
  • maybe this way I meet some other people interested in similar things, which I enjoy (meeting such people, I mean).

Thanks! More details below,

Best wishes, Aidan

----

My first thought with this post, was to write about some communications work I’m doing at the moment.

But I found that, to write this, I wanted to begin by reflecting, again, on why I “choose” to write at all. And then that section got so large I thought – better write it as a separate post. So here it is…

One reason I write is that it often helps me build a clearer picture of my understanding (and gaps in my understanding) of a topic or issue.

The act of “writing down” my thoughts – making them more explicit and clear – helps me order them and understand better assumptions I’m making, gaps in my knowledge, and issues I want to collect further feedback from others on.

This why my emails are often in the form:

Dear XXXX,

TL;DR so, in summary:

- point one
- point two

Thanks! More details below,

Best wishes, Aidan

----

Lots of text describing the details...

Most people won’t, I assume, read the “details below” – but I needed to write those details, before I was able to understand and clarify for myself what the key points I wanted to communicate were. I then leave the details in the communication in the interests of transparency and as potential clarification of the summarised points.

Thus, reflecting on this, I suspect that another reason I’m interested in writing a blog, is to use it as a tool for clarifying my thoughts and opinions on a set of issues. The act of composing a post, helps me bring clarity to what I think around a topic, and a context to go and do (limited…) further reading/learning to address gaps that I discover while putting the text together.

But why not just keep that private?

I guess it’s ’cause I find it interesting to experiment with different forms of Openness and transparency – key values for me, particularly in my communications and community engagement work. It’s one thing to talk about these things, but I’ve learned that by actually doing and experiencing the impact of doing them, I learn things in a different, also valuable, “experiential” way. And that there’s almost a thrill I feel at the knowledge/experience I gather in this way.

Linked to that, I’m also interested in providing Open records/evidence of how ideas develop, data that, who knows, might be useful for people interested in studying related processes and artefacts, so for me it’s interesting and maybe maybe valuable to share the process of me understanding what I want to write, and how, Openly.

On top of that, there’s also the chance that maybe someone else might find it interesting to read, and thus be an opportunity to engage with other people who find these things interesting too. Something I’ve learned from community engagement work is that many people enjoy hanging out with and discussing with people who have similar interests and values as them – I suspect I new this subconsciously before but the community work really brought it home (as one of the reasons people come together into a group in the first place is that they share common interests, values, and goals). Thus, by making it public, maybe I find some more people I’ll enjoy talking with.

So that’s it.

No need to summarise again here, ’cause of the TL;DR above. Neat, eh?

Have you noticed that self-reference, self-reflection, doing a thing to illustrate a thing to myself and others, using the process of doing one thing to learn about it, and other things, is something I’m into?! πŸ™‚

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