July 02, 2008
"I blog to forget. No, wait. Never mind."
Posted by Gordon Smith

Kieran responding to Fabio's post, "why i blog."

My primary reason for blogging is not on Fabio's list. I blog because writing for an audience forces me to think more critically about the information that I consume. Pre-blogging, I was a huge consumer of information, but an intermittent analyzer. Analysis takes time and energy, and I was so busy consuming, after all ...

So when I tell people that blogging has changed my life, I mean it in a very fundamental way. A few days ago, I ramped up my blogging because I decided while I was away at various conferences and speaking engagements -- reflecting on my habits and routines -- that I needed to incorporate blogging more fully into my life as a scholar and teacher. I was thinking exactly along the lines expressed by Ann (here and here) earlier today, in a somewhat surprising take on Rush Limbaugh:

I think he knows that doing things day-by-day keeps the show alive and makes it work. It's what works in blogging too. If you have a whole planned agenda and you just crank out the propaganda, people will get sick of you. It's when you are talking/writing to figure out what you think, to find out what you want to say, that you are interesting. (They didn't do that on Air America.)

By the way, most of you know that Ann is a former colleague. Her office was directly across the hall from mine at the University of Wisconsin Law School, and we started blogging at roughly the same time. I never told her this while I was there, but perhaps it's deserves saying publicly that I have learned and continue to learn more about blogging from Ann than from any other source. We each have our own styles, but I believe that we both love blogging for the same core reason: because of what she calls concisely "thinking by writing."

Why do you blog, if you do? If you don't, why don't you blog?

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