Backing up your brain

Amy Gahran at talks about… well, she’s talking about a way to think and reflect out loud.

I say that because her title is How to Blog without the Time Sink, but at least this week I’m working at keeping the techno-cart behind the purpose-horse.

In part, she’s addressing the person who says “I don’t have time to blog,” especially if that person feels each post needs careful crafting. (You’d think a glance at a couple of random blogs would dispel that notion.)

I began skeptically, myself; I did have a picture of blogging as My-Great-Thought-of-the-Day. That wouldn’t work for me; it’s depressing how many weeks go by without a Pretty Good thought, let alone a Great one.

She suggests blogging as a way to brainstorm when you first get interested in a topic, and blogging to record your research and discovery. The high point of the post, I think:

Use your blog as your backup brain — or at least as a public notebook. Why not get more mileage out of work you would have done anyway by changing your habits toward managing information and communication publicly? Instead of keeping your thoughts, notes, and conversations to yourself, post them.

Just as with my files of paperwork, I have a good idea of what’s in my blog, even if I can’t name the exact post. With the category tags and the search box, though, I can tell someone, “Go to my Whiteboard and search for ‘Rosling.'” I know the post will include background and — much more useful — links to further information.

That’s handy even (or especially) if I’m the only person doing the search.

2 thoughts on “Backing up your brain

  1. Hi Dave – Re: what Amy said, “Instead of keeping your thoughts, notes, and conversations to yourself, post them” is what I see as the great stumbling block in getting people in the education space (or any space) to blog. I think not having time is a BS excuse.

    What to post is something that can hold people back. I don’t even know if I have a theme on my blog. Lots of randomness..bordering on the bazaar. It’s almost as if that voice inside your head (assuming you have one) is able to speak out loud. I imagine some people don’t want to do that.

    Harold Jarche, who I was lucky enough to spend time with last week, uses his blog to locate information on a number of topics just as you do. A great plus for managing your own content.

  2. Janet:

    Since I haven’t posted here in nearly a month, I was about to fall back on the “not enough time” excuse…

    Harold’s example was a prime factor in my deciding to create my whiteboard. I’ve since said to many people that the personal-content-management aspect (an excess number of syllables, but a good capsulization) has surprised me with its usefulness.

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