Thursday, August 29, 2013

Why Write a Tech Blog?

I have been asked why I began writing this blog. To answer anyone who might want to know, I have decided to write this blog post. I'll just dive in.

1) Writing a blog encourages documentation. I tend to work on things in a scattered manner. Knowing that I will need to post pictures and a summary of the process encourages me to keep my thoughts focused and my records organized. At the very least, I have to finish the project before I forget what I did.

2) Writing a blog helps immortalize documentation. When I hit publish on a blog post, I can (generally speaking) count on Google to put that post out there. If my house catches fire and burns to the ground the next day, all I have to do is go to the library and type in "", and all my previous projects are right there. Even if I forget my password, this data will still probably stay out on the inter-webs until long after it has become irrelevant (which isn't that long).

3) Writing a blog helps increase documentation accessibility. Obviously, if I write down my projects on a notepad and tack it to my wall, not too many people will ever see it. What I am doing may be completely useless to some people. However, it may be invaluable to others. When I begin a project, the first thing I do is Google the problem and see if anyone has done it before. My blog just adds to the list of things that have been done. Sure, there is a post on how to run stepper motor x140 out there. But if I want to run a x143 wouldn't a post on running an x143 be helpful too?

"But if everyone posts what they are doing, the internet will become so clogged that no one will be able to find anything!"   Well there again, thank our friends at Google. It isn't easy to get on the first list of hits for a Google search. All we can hope for is that the articles that will help you are there, and the junk ones are off in the weeds.

Technology is advancing faster than ever before. The best technology today is the discarded second of tomorrow. Universities release exciting new papers that are outdated before people have time to read them. Individual men have always been great innovators, but this boom has come about from the share of information. The internet is a fundamental part of the way life is lived and problems are solved. Open source and open hardware projects are a major part of the internet. Something that one man does because it is cool becomes something that another man uses to solve a problem. The internet is a dark and scary place, but no one can deny its profound impact on technology.

So go blog away about your projects. I plan to as long as I can. Will my blog become a trusted resource for hobbyist? Probably not. Will 3,000 people read this post? Probably not. But someone Googling "Why Write a Tech Blog?" might, and that person is this post's intended audience.

Why write a tech blog? I have my reasons. Now it's time to get back to my projects.

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