Working for myself, I don't get much chance to run my ideas or technologies by other developers. So it is nice to be able to write about development issues and maybe have somebody give you feedback. A blog entry is a little less daunting than writing a full-blown CP article and a little more detailed than a forum post.
Writing my blog also gives me a chance to practise my communication skills and writing techniques. (I've still got a long way to go).
It also helps to fight 'specification writer's block' and 'coder's block', which I do suffer from quiet a bit at the beginning and mid-points of projects.
I have mine for a number of reasons.
I have a lot of friends around the world that I like to keep in touch with, and rather than sending them all emails, if i post interesting (or not) things about what I'm doing with my life, they can comment on it. The same works in reverse, I read their blogs to find out what they have been up to.
I also use it to pass on my thoughts on hardware/software I come across. Every so often I'll have a rant on it as a safer option than screaming out of the window.
It's also easier to manage than a traditional 'personal website'.
Something I also like is going back to the first post in my blog (can't do that at the moment since I switched to blogger, but they are all safely backed up), then flicking through them one by one to the present. It's interesting to see how my opinions of stuff has changed. It's a lot like a personal diary, only public so I have to read between the lines to find out what I was thinking when I wrote it.
Jon Newman wrote: It's also easier to manage than a traditional 'personal website'.
Yeah. That is a good point and probably accounts for the growing number of 'bloggers'. Back in the day, I had to hand-code any 'diary' entries on my old web-sites and it was a real pain. Blogging software have certainly opened up the web to everybody.
Michael P Butler wrote: Blogging software have certainly opened up the web to everybody.
Yeah, the read-write web is really happening at the moment. Just needs a bit of de-facto regulation/organisation and it'll be sweet.
By this I mean that there are so many blog-related web apps (technorati, google blog search etc...) out there, and until a fairly standard way of finding and organising blog stuff is set up, it'll be far better.
I have found, when emailing technical experts, they like to respond. I have emailed many an author of tech books and scholarly papers and they usually respond so long as my email is easy to read, asks a good question, and doesn't hit a spam filter.
The worst answer, is of course, "Thats a good question and I don't know either"
In the zen of programming their can only be one master