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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Why blog?

Focusing on reading and reviewing books off my #MustReadin2014 list instead of my main page has generated a list of draft posts that's rather startling to a fledgling blogger. So, I began to wonder, why have I become so enamored with blogging over the last few months? (The library blog 1.0 is on my district Google site.) What has blogging done for me, and what can it do for you?

1. Blogging focuses ideas.

With constant social media bombardment (self-inflicted), working with four buildings' worth of great staff and students, taking graduate classes, reading #kidlit and books for personal interest, and indulging in the occasional Netflix series binge, I need a focal point to help me filter out the nonessential. As I have an idea for a post, I create a draft and sort and sift new ideas into the appropriate post. That sorting and sifting helps me to bring together similar and disparate ideas. 

2. Blogging improves synthesis. 

See point #1. Now mush everything around, rest and let things connect. When I read and listen to information with the idea that I will likely use it or pass it along, I tend to see more connections than I would if I were just looking for the idee du jour. What is not directly applicable is easily forgettable. If I'm keeping my blogging options open, I'm more likely to try to find ways to fit new ideas together with each other or with older ideas. And synthesizing is one of the best ways to internalize new ideas.

3. Blogging promotes communication.

I know that sounds silly, because a blog is for communicating, but if you devote yourself to the care and feeding of a blog when you know someone may possibly read it, you tend to spend more effort on it. If you spend more effort, you want someone to read it, so you advertise it. If someone reads it, you've made a connection with someone (hopefully in a positive way). And ideally there's interaction so you have more ideas, more synthesis, and more communication, and everyone gets a little better in some way.

The biggest benefit to blogging for me, though, is it's rekindled my passion for my career. Blogging has provided a focus for my restless surfing, a way to organize my thoughts, and a forum for sharing them. I guess that's what I needed. So, interact. Comment on blogs, create a Twitter account, write your own blog (even if no one reads it), curate a Tumblr. It's worth the time invested.