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Data Stories and Other Musings

A Blog with No Views is a Journal

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I have views tracked by Cloudflare on this site (no cookies and GDPR-compliant), I post to Hacker News in the hopes of getting more, but on some level, I’ve come to understand that blogging without an audience is a journal. Writing helps to purge ideas, worries, and frustrations away. Without it, the only home for your thoughts is in your head, and this can become full of clutter. Cleaning up my physical and mental space leaves room for my creative energy in and out of work to explore.

Blogging at Bar
A space away from my home office free of clutter. Also, don't get a magic mouse, it charges upside down, and the bar is still in progress.

So Just Journal Then?

No. I still enjoyed the views from HN on my first blog, it was a validation of the time I put into this hobby, and I haven’t gone through ego death yet. A woodworker may dream of opening their own shop someday, but they still get plenty of joy from the actual process of creating a piece of art.

It is a story of two carrots and no sticks, I get to release my thoughts, and maybe I’ll get to discuss my work on HN or at my email as a nice bonus.

Sharing

Infants share even when they are hungry1, and I’d have a hard time interacting with someone if they did not share something about themselves. Without vulnerability, we would be stuck with small talk, which is its own way of surfacing topics almost everyone has in common: weather, politics, traffic, etc. There is a small thought that more views turn into more opportunities, but I’d say the innate need to share is the louder voice.

This louder voice is the same one that makes social media so popular, so there are dangers to always listening to it.

Where Blogging Differs

Method Vulnerability, Length & Nuance Effort
Coffee Date High High
Blogging Medium Medium
Social Media Low to None Low to None

With blogging, someone will inject much more vulnerability into their work than a typical tweet, and nuance in their arguments will naturally come about as it is a longer medium. This allows the reader a better chance to find something to relate to, maybe they agree with my choice of brandy in the photo above or also like blogging for themselves. If they did disagree, I have a strong feeling they would likely match my vulnerability and nuance in their response, making it a healthy debate where two people disagree but see the other’s interest in good-faith debate.

A retweet or a simple reply expressing (dis)agreement of “[guns/healthcare/etc] bad” has a smooth fingerprint and allows others to see you as something alien.

Sometimes nuance and explaining your sarcasm in length can benefit yourself and others.

Parting Thoughts

This morning when I first started to write this, I knew for some reason I would still put time into blogging even if views were not guaranteed, but I didn’t know why that was true.

In a meta sense, the very act of writing this blog made me feel grounded on why I do this, it helped to untangle the knots that were in the rope of the thesis I put forward. This untangling of knots in my thoughts is what meditation and exercise do for me as well, and it would be hard to argue against the benefits of those.

So if this blog is currently before your eyes, that’s great! If not, I already feel better releasing these thoughts into the void.

Discuss on HN


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