Due to a whole series of events, chaos, etc, I have been incredibly lax in blogging this month. Last month I averaged about 4-5 posts/week and this month I'm at about 1/week and it's mostly been discussing a new product we have available… not exactly exciting stuff.
Over the past week, I've spent a bit of time thinking about why I blog. Sure, blogging helps my searching rating for terms like dotProject, SugarCRM, and even vtiger which works out conveniently as we do quite a bit of work with dotProject and Sugar. Sure, the Google Ads are another source of revenue, but that's… well, let's just say I should be able to get dinner and a movie at this point. Blogging gives me a chance to be famous. Right. No, I blog for three fundamental reasons.
First, it's a great chance to practice my writing skills. I spend quite a bit of time working with customers to figure out exactly what they're looking for and attempt to capture that on paper. Blogging forces me to attempt to communicate just one or two points without a great deal of blathering. One of my former teachers called it “precise but concise” and I think blogging focuses on this.
Second, it forces me to practice communication in general. I believe most blog readers don't have the time or attention to spend 15 minutes reading an article. It's not from a lack of intellect or anything like that, it's simply a matter of time/attention available. Therefore, I figure I have about 15-30 seconds to draw people in and give them a reason to continue reading. This has caused me to think even faster on my feet in person and give someone a reason to continue the discussion.
Finally – and most importantly – it gives me an outlet for my thoughts. Running a small software shop where most of our customers are remote can be a lonely experience. I don't always have a technical or business person handy to bounce my thoughts off of. Blogging is my chance to put my thoughts in front of the entire world – or atleast the three of us 😉 – and see what people think. Some may call me a moron, some may harass me because of my opinions, but others will actually say “wait, have you looked at this” or “wow, I hadn't thought about that” and hopefully we both walk away with something new.