#meme15 – Why Do You Blog?

Jason Strate (blog|@StrateSQL) is starting a new blog meme: #meme15.  The overall topic of #meme15 will be social networking, obviously something that’s getting a lot of attention these days, so there should be plenty to write about.  For the inaugural #meme15 post, the subject is blogging, specifically: why do you blog and why did you start blogging?

I created this blog back in February, following SQL Saturday here in Cleveland.  One of the sessions that day had started me thinking about my career, where it was going, and the role I was playing in it.  Up to that point, I’d been more of a passenger, rather than the driver.  That day, I decided to change all that.

I had tried my hand at blogging before.  I’d frequently felt a desire to write, to vent really, whenever something outrageous was going on in the world.  But I was never able to sustain that kind of fervor, and I was usually left staring at a blank screen wondering what to write about now.  To be honest, I had no idea what I’d write about for a tech blog.  It all seemed so dry.  And who was I to present myself as some sort of “authority” when there were so many others out there who knew much more than I?

I forced myself past those two hangups for a couple of reasons: blogging would help get me “out there”.  It would help me build a name for myself.  I’m not a Twitterer (Tweeter? Twit?).  I don’t have the social ability it takes to use that medium effectively.  I’m the shy kid standing in the corner at the party.  But blogging, that I could do.  And, more importantly, it would force me to get in the driver’s seat.  You can’t be a tech blogger without taking an active role.  You have to be curious, always curious.  You have to read, test, learn.  You have to understand, because if you don’t you’ll never be able to talk about it in a way others will understand.

So why do I continue to blog?  Because I enjoy it.  I enjoy the process of research, learn, test, learn, write, learn.

But the big reason I blog, the thing that keeps me writing: I’m a teacher at heart.  I started out as an elementary education major in college (until I realized that I didn’t want to deal with kids all day).  Then I almost became a trainer (until I got my first job supporting databases).  I like explaining things.  I like taking complex ideas and breaking them down in a way that everyone can understand (without the techno-babble jargon).  And I like sharing knowledge.  It makes my day when someone leaves a comment on one of my posts saying that I helped them.  I love that feeling.  And, let’s be honest, a little part of me gets a kick out of the idea that other people care what I have to say.

Deep down, I’m a teacher.  And that’s why I blog.

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