I was interested in Mike’s ten minute blog post about why he blogs. I can relate to a lot of what he has written. In particular I find these paragraphs describe exactly how I feel:
I blog because it helps me explore, self-assess, reflect and document my current intellectual state. This includes concepts I’m grappling with, ideas that I’m exploring, research I’m conducting, or support I’m attempting to lend to others.
As wierd as it sounds, when time passes and I’m not able to do this I start to grow out of touch with my own intellectual state. Ideas start to fade, continuity becomes disrupted, concepts to explore rise and then disappear unresolved. The end result is I feel less on the ball, more reactionary, and more cognitively disquiet.
I have always seen blogs as a tool for reflection and I define reflection and reflective learning as ….
…the process of thinking about my own thinking, actions or learning, with a view to gaining a deeper understanding of them and improving them, so that I can see the evidence in changed behaviour. To make this reflection significant, I need to mark it in some way, by talking about it or better still recording it in written form. Finally, I need to revisit the marked events at some later stage and note whether my learning has improved/moved on.
But in a public blog the reflective process can be compromised by writing for an audience. This thought has a arisen because today I met my brother in-law for lunch, who for some reason had Googled me and of course, as you will know, he came up with pages of my blog posts. I find this a really embarrassing aspect of public blogging. My brother-in-law thought that anyone who needed to blog, must also have a need to be noticed! This line of thinking was a bit of a shock to me. Is it true and even if it is, does it matter?
I do find the whole ‘exposure’ aspect of blogging difficult to deal with. In this post, for example, are my concerns about blogging and the related exposure of interest to anyone else but me? I don’t think I ever make a post without wondering whether it is too trivial, or will it be of interest to anyone, or whether I should just keep my thoughts to myself. And when I think about these things too much I get writer’s block and can’t write anything.
But I do enjoy blogging. Actually, it not so much the blogging, it’s the reflective process that I enjoy. And having tried blogging both ways, privately and publicly, public blogging does have its rewards in the connections you can make to others and the discussions that you can engage in. It’s difficult in private blogging to move your thinking on, when there is no-one to challenge you or promote further thinking.
So, for now, I’ll keep marking these random thoughts, in the hope that from time to time they will amount to something!