In addition to commonly cited reasons such as clearer thinking1, improved writing, and having more ideas, I think the best reason to blog is enhanced transparency.
One of the downsides of modern life is our industrially-regimented day makes it more difficult to get to know people on a deeper personal level, as this usually takes more time than we have opportunity for on a day-to-day basis. The blog format is nice because people expect blogs to function as a kind of public diary, so compared to coffee chats it’s not as awkward to bring up a subject like “what gives your life purpose?”
In the ancestral environment, you were unlikely to end up more than one inferential step away from anyone else. When you discover a new oasis, you don’t have to explain to your fellow tribe members what an oasis is, or why it’s a good idea to drink water, or how to walk. […]
In the ancestral environment there were no abstract disciplines with vast bodies of carefully gathered evidence generalized into elegant theories transmitted by written books whose conclusions are a hundred inferential steps removed from universally shared background premises.
Economic knowledge specialization and algorithmic filter bubbles accelerate this mutual isolation, so I am less able to assume a common media, ideological, or cultural landscape encompassing both of us. It’s hard for either of us to “get up to speed” on each other’s worldviews before even beginning to communicate new ideas.
My blog is an attempt to make my most sacred beliefs transparent, so as to take the first step towards a shared language for a deeper connection with you.
I only publish half of my writing publicly. Subscribe to my private email list to read articles that were too sensitive to share online: billmei.net/follow (Subscribing is free, no spam ever, and you can safely unsubscribe anytime)
Kevin Simler, via Paul Graham:
“An obstacle downstream propagates upstream. If you’re not allowed to implement new ideas, you stop having them. And vice versa: when you can do whatever you want, you have more ideas about what to do. So [keeping a blog] makes your brain more powerful in the same way a low-restriction exhaust system makes an engine more powerful.”
See also: Writing is Leadership at Scale ↩