Thursday, October 12, 2006

To Blog or Not to Blog?

Why do people blog?

"Why do you want to blog?" my husband, the software engineer asked me. "Is it for visibility? Is it an ego-thing? Is it to start a discussion on an interesting topic? Is it to gather a community of like-minded people around you?"

What good questions. What was it about blogging that made it an interesting way to capture our thoughts? And what did we hope to accomplish by starting and maintaining a blog? Here are a few responses:

1. What a great way to explore a new communication medium!
2. This gives us a new way to follow our favorite topic - learning - and to capture this journey for ourselves;
3. It presents a creative way to practice Appreciative Inquiry within an organization;
4. It might get other people who are passionate about institutional and personal learning to start a conversation with us;
5. It gives us a reason to be deliberate about our learning;
6. It might give other people some ideas or things to think about (it certainly does for our team);
7. It is a useful way to frame our experiences for one another in our team; it asks us to be concise and make a point;
8. Everyone else is doing it! (actually at the moment I've only found one other blogger in the Bangkok office);

These are some of my reasons for blogging, and, I can say, that I notice that it has created a whole new sense of energy and purpose for our team. This blog helps us to capture and crystallize our learning points as we work through our day, and practice communicating them to each other. It's a storytelling tool - a way to create a meaningful narrative and draw a single thread of learning out of the deluge of information, stimulating conversations and multi-sensory inputs that we get every day.

I find that I listen more deliberately. It makes me want to be an active learner and not a passive learner, at least I want to notice what I am learning so that I can value it (and potentially write about it). I think this blog is more for us than for anyone else. However, at some point it might get noticed. We are sure that others will see that we are writing with appreciation, good will and good intent.

Most of all this learning blog makes me want to ask really good questions. Like, "It's 10:30 at night, what else should I have been doing when I was working up this blog entry?"