My daily readings 01/30/2012

  • tags: UX UE

  • tags: Focus browser extension

  • tags: Quotes clipping

  • tags: quotes

  • tags: blog motivation habit

    • One of my favorite, unexpected benefits of blogging is it’s like a time-machine/memory dump for your brain.

      I’ve had this experience too, albeit not in a coding sense. I will say, however, that I use Devonthink Pro according to Steven Berlin Johnson’s scheme:… to archive my own posts, as well as other quotes, writing, and so forth, and DTP’s “see also” algorithms often find material I wrote years ago but that’s relevant to what I’m doing now. It helps me get to this: “Over time, you develop some deep insights which are the result of several “me”s collaborating on the problem.”

    • When I blogged, I was popular but felt like a scammer. When I stopped blogging, I wasn’t popular but made some pretty nifty stuff. I’m not saying it’s like that for everyone, but I’d rather be building stuff than become yet another talking head on a soapbox.
    • I think the clear delineator for me in this space is:

      “Am I writing to get on the front page of HN, or am I writing this because I think it needs to be said?”

      I haven’t had a piece on the front page here, but I could see how someone could get addicted to that.

      I’ve often thought about writing one of those opinionated pieces as my entry back into blogging, but decided it wasn’t worth writing.

      So I agree with you 100%.

    • For my blog, posts are generally spun out of something that has been helpful in my own work and warrants a write up.

      For instance, my recent post on optimising Django’s SQL query generation was a collection of useful tools and approaches.

      Seen in this light, a couple of the benefits are: the sharing of useful knowledge, and exploring things I encounter in daily development in more detail. As well as building things, it’s nice to be able to work on my written communication.

    • If I hadn’t blogged personally 10 years ago, I’d not have been approached to write a book for Apress. Without that book I wouldn’t have launched the professional blog that was my main source of income for several years (more than the book was!). Without that professional blog, I wouldn’t have got the podcasting gigs or launched the weekly newsletter which has now turned into 5 profitable newsletters and has just helped me become co-chair of an O’Reilly conference.

      This is not to brag but to show the “chains” that can happen by putting yourself out there. It’s totally unpredictable but increasing your “luck surface area” has amazing outcomes. Also, consider Jeff Atwood, a similar chain arises.

    • I’m not so sure.

      Maybe every professional should hone their writing skills, but blogging is not the ideal exercise. Typical pop blogs spew out thoughts with regularity, even when the writers haven’t thought about the subject carefully, they write just to write, to make the blog look up to date. That’s ok as a writing exercise but it’s not in the interest of readers who’s attention they’ll inevitably try to attract.

      You can blog out many quality posts if you have some big yet narrow theme to write about. But most people don’t. If you want to keep a diary of thoughts, it will work much better as badly edited short braindumps, not writing exercises.

      If enough professionals blogged, it wouldn’t be a good way to improve your career and make professional connections, since there would be a multitude of terrible blogs and it would drag down the current reputation of blogging, which isn’t so hot already.

      That’s why every professional should treat the separate aspects of blogging like writing exercises, attention whoring or leaving braindumps, as separate aspects.

    • Most of these benefits can be achieved from being a contributor to popular forums or support sites (StackOverflow etc). I think blogs suffer way too much fragmentation, are too difficult to find and require a lot of effort just to keep people coming back. However if your contributions are in a popular, well visited place they’ll get more exposure and things like karma make it easier for users to access how valuable your contributions are.
  • tags: blog tool Note

  • tags: Research tool

  • tags: Research tool

  • tags: Research tool

  • tags: clipping

  • tags: education

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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