I find writing too hard to want to spend it on things that disappear
– Martin Fowler (What is a Bliki)
At first my reasons were very similar to Nick's reasons:
- writing my thoughts publically makes me write them a bit more carefully
- my thoughts are fuzzy and vague in my head, they become more real outside it (and may self desctruct in a cloud of stupidity)
- it provokes debate, which helps me refine the arguments: 1+n minds are better than 1
- I think I have something to say (we'll find out right?)
- I get sad at the state of debate in the world
- news and media normally tell gossipy stories about anything but the underlying topic
- in-person debate usually veers dramatically off-course and debates a well-worn set of less interesting topics instead
- blogs or "point-in-time" publishing systems don't produce an always-up-to-date sof thoughts
I think my reasons have changed slightly over time - my wiki has become perhaps more a way for personal notetaking, for shaping my thoughts, with less emphasis on the debate straight away.
The social part is definitely important though because I want to learn through discussion. Don't just want to be typing into the void, in dialectic only with myself. The stream is perhaps more for that - networked learning, connectivism.
But is that its own thing? I guess so. You could technically have an entirely private stream and garden, if you wanted. So making it public is more for the networked learning aspect?
Combined, the blog/wiki combo helps me think more about what I learn (through wiki-ing it) and learn more about what I think (through conversations on the stream), I'm really digging it.
I think we need to better foster that though in our social software - currently it feels optimised for aggro. If you say a wrong thing, make a mistake, you're more likely to be piled on rather than helpfully educated.
I have found it has aided massively in helping me form ideas. I've built up enough mass to have gravitational pull for other ideas now. New articles I encounter, things people post, I feel like I'm in a good place to relate it to what I already have thought about.