So why start a blog now? Good question! I’ve been asking myself that for a while as I’ve been trying to decide whether to start one. The answer I keep coming back to is that I want to be a better thinker. I want to learn to sharpen my analsysis, put thoughts into words, and build arguments where otherwise I might’ve settled for hand-waiving.
As my relationship with The Internet has grown over the nearly 20 years I’ve been using it—and especially over the last, say, seven or so—I’ve developed places I go for certain things. Instagram is to feel connected with the people and places I love. Facebook is to follow a certain few people and say certain things to a certain audience. Tumblr and Vine are things that people send me links from (
:old-man-emoji:). And then Twitter is the place to follow news, make jokes, and feel connected to what the writers, thinkers, journalists, comedians, bloggers, colleagues and others are experiencing.
Both Twitter and Facebook have been valuable for keeping my writing muscles from completely atrophying and the communites there have been super valuable for helping me to develop ideas into thoughts and into arguments. But I think I’m ready to level up a bit. I want to redevelop my ability to write longer pieces, and to do the necessary thinking required.
I grew up reading and writing for fun. Although I had brief dreams of becoming a writer, I always imageind that those skills would just kind of slide away, both because I would move on to other things and also because digital technology would just kind of obviate them.
Good thing I was super wrong! I love how much the internet is a written medium. I love the way it’s multiplied the number and range of voices contributing written discourse. I love the way that communicating with anyone online basically always involves writing. I love that so much thinking now takes place in the public and I love the possibilities that come with developing thoughts in communion with others.
We have the broadest, most immense and inclusive public record in human history. And while that comes with downsides—like the inability to escape your past mistakes, the threat of abuse by people you’ve never met because of something you said—I think that’s still a remarkable phenomenon and I want to contribute even further to it.
So that’s why I’m starting a blog.
What am I going to write about?
At first this seemed really difficult. But over the last few weeks I’ve tried to really tried to catch myself having an interesting thought—the kind of thought I might mention in passing on Twitter, over a text to a friend, or just keep to myself—and ask myself if instead it’s something I could write about.
And surprisingly, the answer more often than not has been yes.
So I’m looking forward to starting to write about everything I think about: civic tech, design, comedy, justice, politics, movies & tv, life in Oakland, stuff I’m working on and more. I’m not exactly sure how often I’ll write, but I’m going to start by trying to write at least a post a week.
I hope I like it and a I hope you do, too.