I’ve been a little lax about my blogging recently but reading Chris Shiflett’s Ideas of March post yesterday reminded me of why I think it’s important and why I do it. If you haven’t read it Chris’ post calls for a blog revival as he feels that blogging has become increasingly sidelined by Twitter in recent years.
Why do I feel that blogging is so important for developers? For me to explain that you need to know a little about my background. I switched careers in my mid thirties from a completely unrelated field. I studied hard for several years (and continue to do so) to switch from being a musician to being a developer. One of the primary ways I learnt, and continue to learn, is through other developers taking time to share their knowledge and discoveries through blogging. I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve had a question answered by googling it and then reading something that another developer has blogged. One of the main reasons that I started this blog was so that I could hopefully contribute a little something back to an ecosystem that I’ve learnt so much from.
I think that Twitter is a fantastic service but it cannot replace blogging. There’s no way that 140 characters can ever be equivalent to a reasoned blog post with code samples. I also think that tweets have a far more transitory nature than blog posts. For example, when was the last time you googled a question and found a link to a tweet with the answer rather than a blog post? My blogging has been rather sporadic recently but I pledge to blog more in March, and hopefully after then too. I have a few ideas on what to write about and will post something about stream wrappers in the next few days. I’m looking forward to reading more interesting blog posts during this month!