Hello world!

2020-04-18 · 6 min read

Blogging is admittedly kind of old-school nowadays.

I might as well be writing notes on punch cards or uploading files to a BBS! Despite being passe there are definitely still a lot of benefits to putting my ideas on the internet. My main motivation is that publicly documenting things tends to mean that I do a better job in comparison to more private notes, and blogging makes it easier (for me) to stumble upon via future searches. Yes - it feels weird to make content on a site so I can later find my own content via google, but that's the way it works out best for me.

Why blog? #

why blog? Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash

There are alternate mediums that I could have used, and I considered many of them.

  • Medium seems like a horrible version of a blog that inserts friction between your readers and you. A newsletter feels like I would have to care far more about people reading my words than them simply being published.

  • Twitter seems to be a great wealth of info for programming trends, but only as long as you have your face in the firehose. Searching twitter is a hot mess, and I never have good luck finding anything unless I remember exactly who wrote it. Even then I often hit a dead end.

  • Newsletters don't have the benefit of beign indexed and require way more interest in people reading my thoughts than in me just documenting them.

  • A text file on my desktop is actually the strongest second-place winner here, and the main reason why it fails is that it's yet another place to look for things and it also doesn't provide pressure to finish my thoughts. I currently have a few files like this and they are scattered with trailing sentences like "This is this way because (TODO figure this out)" and questions that haven't struck me as important since I initially wrote them down. If there's no specific reason to answer the question like a deadline or a mostly-finished blogpost there is very little reason to put effort into polishing my internal notes. On the other hand - no one wants to be wrong (gasp) on the internet!

  • That leaves me with the humble blog. A place for me to put my thoughts, and hopefully other people find them useful. If nothing else it is a great way to show that you are interested in the ecosystem, you are curious enough to ask questions, and driven enough to find and document your answers.

    • More generically - in the past I've found that documenting anything has great benefits:
      • The mere fact that I'm writing it down means that I am forced to ask more questions (and answer them) about WHY something is the way it is.
      • It's very rare that one question finds its answer without another question coming up along the way. These chained questions can be great motivation to keep digging and as a result end up building a more powerful mental model.
      • Having a place to put my answers means that I want to ask more questions (or rather find more answers)
      • The mere fact that I've written what the problem and the answer are mean that I will likely use very similar wording if I ever search for it again.
Ross Daly

I have almost limitless enthusiasm for relentlessly trying to put things together in different ways. Some of those ways might include duct tape.