Monday, November 01, 2004

Why do I blog?

Had an interesting conversation with a colleague in the pub the other day. We got to talking about why I write this blog, I think he was a little surprised that I am doing this. To tell you the truth I think I am too.

I have been fortunate to be in a job that I love since leaving university four and a half years ago, and while I have no intention of leaving anytime soon I have also become more and more aware that one day I may have to. Thinking about my future has become a major preoccupation. While this doesn't answer the question it is an important piece of context that you should know.

The trigger...

Until a little while ago I had a low opinion of blogs, I thought that they were overblown diaries for total extroverts. I couldn't imagine why I would want to tell the world what I ate for breakfast let alone why the world would be interested. Of course I was wrong, I was shown the error of my ways by a good friend Kieron Gillen. Reading Kieron's blog showed me that they could be more than a simple online diary, that they could be used in a creative fashion.

Kieron used to be the deputy editor of a major games magazine, and has since gone freelance. He still writes articles and reviews about gaming but he is also perusing a career in comics writing and many other forms of writing. His blog is very simply titled "Kieron Gillen's workblog", this is apt as this is the single point where you can find references to all of his work, which being freelance appears in many weird and wonderful places (occasionally your doormat when you are least expecting it!).

It is true that his blog is partly self-promotion, but then he is self-employed so you've got to let the guy take every opportunity, however he has made it so much more than that. From his 2am, ever so slightly drunken, ramblings to Negativeland, his recently completed (experimental?) online comic. He is always willing to respond to comments, and actively encourages feedback.

While I don't claim to be anywhere near as creative or talented a writer as Kieron, I like the way in which he very simply sets out his stall with his blog. He lays out his works and gently invites people to browse and critique. This is what I admire.

The blogging experience!

One of the observations that my colleague made was about the balance in my posts between information and opinion (I wont say what he thought the balance was), we talked about these different blogging styles. I guess I am still trying to work out my style, still trying to find what's best, but the experience as a whole is worth it. My writing is improving, although some I'm sure would disagree, and I am trying to be more and more serious about it.

Answer the damn question!

Okay, so why do I blog? I guess like Kieron I am setting out my stall, showing my wares. I am trying to raise my profile and see if people are interested. My goal I guess is that in a few years time the most relevant part of my CV will be a link to this blog, so that people can really understand where I am coming from and what I know, or think I know. If in the future I sit down to an interview and can spend time discussing with people about topics I've posted about, then I've done well, I will have achieved something from this.

Whether or not any of this would help me get a job is irrelevant, especially at the moment, but blogging is helping me to find my voice about the things that are important to me. I guess that is the answer.

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