Arcane Thoughts: Benefits of Blogging

This week marks six months of serious blogging for me. Nearly every weekday I’ve tried to provide some new piece of information. A couple of important milestones have been achieved, as well. Last week this blog rolled over 50,000 hits, and also got its first day with over 1000 hits in a single day.

To celebrate I decided to give the blog a little face lift, and picked a new look. I thought all the blue looked somewhat Microsoftish. I also liked the 3 column look.

Over the past months I’ve been surprised, pleasantly, by some unexpected benefits to keeping up this blog. I thought I’d share some of them with you, should you decide to take the plunge.

Meet and Greet

Through the blog I’ve met some interesting new people, and it’s made a good tool for introducing myself to others.

Self Documenting

I’m sure you’ve heard the notion that well written source code is self documenting. Well this blog has let me document a lot of the things I’ve done in the past, so I can go back and reference it later. Not unlike a personal wiki.

Self Promotion

Like most folks I have an exaggerated sense of self importance. Blogging just reinforces my narcissistic streak and inflates my ego even further. Seriously, if you have an interest in writing, speaking, etc., a blog serves as an important tool in promoting your skills and desires to others.

Mentoring

I guess the biggest surprise has been the ability to use the blog as a mentoring tool. When someone asks a question, it’s been great to be able to say “oh yeah, I wrote a post about that on such and such date, go take a look”. A real time saver too, and it means I don’t overlook telling someone a critical piece of information.

Education

OK, I admit it, some days I’m just blocked. Not a clue what I want to write about. On those days I pull a book off the shelf, open to a random page, and read something. Try some code, and next thing you know I have a post, and I’ve managed to learn something new in the process.

Giving Back

Finally, but I think most importantly, blogging gives me a chance to give back. I’ve learned so much by reading the contributions of others, I feel an obligation to “pay it forward” (so to speak).

Well, what can I say? It’s been a lot of work, but a lot of fun as well, and quite an education to boot.. Thanks for the nice comments and the visits, I look forward to see what the future has in store.

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41 Responses to “Arcane Thoughts: Benefits of Blogging”

  1. geek ramblings :: Benefits of Blogging Says:

    [...] My brother-in-law, Bob, has been keeping a blog on wordpress.com for a while now called Arcane Code. He mostly writes about software development using Microsoft tools, because that’s what he does for a living. He’s also had some interesting posts lately about installing various flavors of Linux under Virtual PC, and a long series digging deeply into SQL Server. But one of his most recent posts caught my eye and I wanted to share it: Arcane Thoughts: Benefits of Blogging. [...]

  2. James Says:

    With all the buzz about “Code of Conduct”, “Blog Roll Purging”, and “Monetizing SEO Content” this was a refreshing list to read and sums up exactly why I continue to blog. It’s all about me and occasionally you! ;-)

  3. demifantasy Says:

    Giving Back is what I like most in those benefits. Pay it which ward (forward or backward) is a question! Enjoy the blog lives!!!

  4. Richard Burckhardt Says:

    There’s a similar string going around the SEO community on “Why I Blog” that was started a while back. It’s like a game of tag. Someone tags someone else who writes a post about why they blog, then that person tags another to do the same. I was recently tagged myself.

    Interesting your post fits right in. Maybe you should start your own game of “tag” with your contemporaries?

  5. blogan Says:

    It might fit under your “education” heading, but I find that blogging gives me an opportunity to practice writing. Not that I’m getting any better at it… ;-)

  6. Rasmus Says:

    Like blogan, I would say I’m using blogging as an opportunity to practice writing. Hopefully my english skills will improve.
    Right now I haven’t really discovered anymore benefits, since I only have been blogging for a couple of months.

  7. Patrick Havens Says:

    I have to say that your reasons dovetail nicely into some of the reasons why I blog.

    Now I just wish it helped my grammar and spelling errors that I still have to go back and fix from time to time.

  8. KriisP » Weblog nyt Says:

    [...] Og for at få det hele lidt ned på jorden igen har Bob 6 positive ting som han får ud af at blogge. var sc_project=2474366; var sc_invisible=0; var sc_partition=24; [...]

  9. Mosey Says:

    I’m a newbie blogger but I really have enjoyed making new posts and getting feedback from visitors (even if its quite rare it really brightens up the day to receive something back :D) For some reason it takes me a long time to compose posts though so I’m not sure if this is me being newbie or just not using the best tools at hand.

  10. Mosey Says:

    Dougal sent me :)

  11. Sharon Says:

    Great list. Mentoring was an unexpected by product of blogging for me, too, but it’s one which I get a lot of satisfaction from.

  12. Richard Trautmann Says:

    [...] Click here to read the article. [...]

  13. Benson Says:

    Dougal sent me, too.

    The new blog I have is my fifth blog, I believe. I’ve tried different blogs, wrote on different topics, got bored, and in between composed some really good work. I agree with your 6 points and would add that blogging helps you think through your thought process- be it a day, week, month, or year later, it definitely helps with personal growth and self-reflection.

  14. Mark Spence Says:

    Great post bro… I really enjoyed it and will be writing a post about it and send anyone who wants to read it your way.

    Oh yeah…. Dougal sent me…..

    Peace
    Mark
    aka
    The Tampa Pirate

  15. The Benefits of Blogging at TAMPA PIRATE Says:

    [...] comments I try to find some motivational post to keep me going. I read an awesome post called The Benefits Of Blogging from Arcane Code. It was written by the brother-in-law of one of the WordPress gurus Dougal. I now [...]

  16. ikram Says:

    Thats an interesting way of looking at “why to keep a blog”. And very eleganty put, i might add. I may have to quote your entry soon :)

    PS: Was sent here by Dougal, from his blog

  17. sylv Says:

    Dougal sent me =D
    in a midst of the growing number of affiliate marketing or whatever-the-thesaurus-is blogs, I’m glad that there’s a blog like yours. Like, really blogging, not making money.

    Keep up the good work!

  18. Peter Says:

    Interesting post! I started writing a blog when I was in hospital an in isolation. The procedure had one or two unpleasant side effects, and the blog initially was to publish updates on how I was without them having to ring me or relatives to find out. But it took on a life of its own, and during the recovery (and subsequent set backs) it became quite therapeutic for me.

    Even better though were the comments from other people in similar situations who felt that it helped them. Quite humbling.

    And yes, as others have pointed out (and in the original post) it does fill a narcistic tendency – to stand on a soap box and say your bit! :-)

  19. Jaki Levy Says:

    i initially thought blogging would encourage poor writing. i still think this is the case, but it also does encourage lots of writing. and there are many blogs out there that have superior writing.

    mostly, i have enjoyed watching the blog world explode in the world of politics. it really has changed the political landscape and allowed for people to really organize much better.

    i started writing on my blog as a documentation process, but now I blog for others and have begun using it as a CMS.

    i feel like it’s becoming an online connected version of Dreamweaver.

  20. Mark Says:

    I suppose for me, setting up a video blog, was a means of getting my work out there and hopefully making some money out of my all encompassing hobby.

    I have always held the belief the internet would become a distribution channel for filmmakers who maybe dont make ‘mainstream’ films, particularly of the documentary genre.

    I still hold true to this belief and, just as blogging has uncovered some ‘star writers, online video also has their own ‘weblebrities’

    I have been involved in video production for the last ten years. And I really think youtube and the like have changed the way videos are made, people now expect honesty and opinion in a video. Hopefully the day of the smiling celebrity selling us some pap is behind us (but I doubt it)

  21. The benefits of blogging - John Baker’s Blog Says:

    [...] 29, 2007 in computers, quotations, blogging, asides Over at Arcane Code there is a list of six fairly obvious benefits to [...]

  22. Lee Says:

    I originally used my blog to get my work out there – though I was recently told by a publisher that the internet is the very worst place for a more-or-less literary writer, since online readers are allegedly unappreciative – but more and more I’m finding how much the ‘meet and greet’, both of other writers and my readers, means to me.

  23. papajoneh Says:

    Before i say anything, DOUGAL SENT ME! ;)
    and i just love this kind of post. especially when it connected to the reader, eg. me, myself and I, felt the same way like you. Thanks for posting it. I might as well post this again and let everyone come to your way and end up by saying, Dougal also sent me… LOL. Peace from all the way GMT +8hrs. ;)

  24. Suze Says:

    First, tough call here for me – did Dougal send me, because he’s my husband, or did I end up here because you, Bob, are my brother? Nothing like being stuck in the middle!

    At any rate, excellent post, Bro! And while I somewhat agree that blogging (but especially e-mail) *can* degrade a person’s writing skill if they choose to be lazy, I actually think it can have the opposite effect. I believe, Bob, that your writing has improved since your blogging, especially on your professional site.

    So again, I say, excellent post – both well-worded and thought out!

    Signed,
    Your Significantly *Younger* Sister ;-)

  25. Shaine Mata . net › Lessons From Blogging Says:

    [...] June of 2005. So, I’ve pounded out many posts over the last couple years. I recently read a post by Arcane Code that gave me an idea for a post of my [...]

  26. annieo Says:

    Hi Bob,
    All your points are so true. I especially like the last three: mentoring, learning and giving back.

    That’s what I’m trying to do with my current blog.

    The one thing that’s overwhelming: Creating that daily post. So far I have tons of ideas, yet creating the post itself can take hours. Not all, just some of them. I’m a newbie to coding. Then there are the research posts.

    It feels good doing this project. I knock on wood that I don’t suffer burnout. You may provide inspiration in this area, being the daily poster, too.

    Peace,

    annieo

    PS Dougal pointed me to your blog. :)

  27. nchenga Says:

    Great summary of blogging benefits…

  28. logtar Says:

    The dude with the webbytoes sent me…

    Besides everything that you have listed here (I completely agree btw) I blog because it helps me express a side of me that is otherwise hidden… It also helped me recapture my weird view of the world and humor. I have heard the phrase it is cheaper than therapy and that is true for me.

  29. arcanecode Says:

    Thanks to everyone for your kind words, and participation.

    annieo’s post really struck home, as it is a lot of effort to make that daily blog posting. As such for today (April 30’ths) post I listed some tips that I’ve learned over the last six plus months that someone interested in daily blogging might benefit from. Hope you find it useful,

    Arcane

  30. Diane Clancy Says:

    Dougal sent me too …

    I have been bloging aboiut 6 weeks now – everyday – I am scared that if I skip I may start to not post and I want to be professional about this.

    i am an artist and I am working to build my business, share experience I have and network … really you said it better in the original post. i use WordPress too and I think it is great.

    though I worry I am spending too much time .. but for now it seems important – I have learned so much and also shared a lot of info (mainly in emails) –

    ~ Diane Clancy
    http://www.dianeclancy.com/blog

  31. » Blog Archive » Dougal Campbell: Benefits of Blogging Says:

    [...] My brother-in-law, Bob, has been keeping a blog on wordpress.com for a while now called Arcane Code. He mostly writes about software development using Microsoft tools, because that’s what he does for a living. He’s also had some interesting posts lately about installing various flavors of Linux under Virtual PC, and a long series digging deeply into SQL Server. But one of his most recent posts caught my eye and I wanted to share it: Arcane Thoughts: Benefits of Blogging. [...]

  32. Motivos y trucos para escribir un blog Says:

    [...] Arcane Thoughts: Benefits of Blogging [...]

  33. Peter Says:

    I’ve decided to use blogging as a form of personal accountability. Its the same reason people end up at Jenny Craig to lose weight – if there are other people out there who can both see that you want to lose weight and notice when you’re not doing it, it seems that you’re more likely to keep it up.

    I’m hoping that blogging can work the same way – if other people can see my goals, I’m more likely to stick to them.

  34. Sharon Says:

    It is my first day blogging (ahhh I hear you all say!). Do you all remember the day…

    I found this list via Dougal’s site and it’s a great starting point for me. I hope to one day “give something back” also and if in the meantime anyone wants to come and help me get started – then you are all most welcome.

  35. Bill Compton Says:

    Hi Jim. Photos i received. Thanks

  36. IHAB Says:

    I LIKE YOUR POST IT’S VERY COOL.

    Sometimes businesses will send you products or books to review. Many bloggers receive great swag.

    SO KEEP YOUR EYE OPEN
    I THINK THOSE BENEFITS ARE SOME NOT ALL
    IF YOU FIND MORE TELL US
    THANKS

  37. Colored Heart Says:

    I agree so too. Thanks for posting this. :)

  38. cauna Says:

    Народ, подскажите плиз нормальный сайтик по рыбалке и снастям. спасибо заранее всем.

  39. Григорий Says:

    Да уж, это конечно же непросто. :)


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