Open practice, working out loud and the top five reasons why I blog

LocalGov Digital is asking for digital teams in local government that work out loud through blogging to let them know. The network wants to support open practice and through sharing the value of existing team blogs encourage others to take it up.

You can find out a bit more on the LocalGov Digital website but it got me thinking about why I blog.

1. Writing is vital

The first reason for me is that writing is essential to my wellbeing. How much I write, and what I write about, is linked to how I feel generally. It sounds dramatic but writing about music and being a part of Louder Than War eased the burden of grief for me, was a light in the dark. Blogging about digital is not quite the same soul-saver as music but yes, the very act of writing – seeing little black shapes appear on a white screen to the clickety-clack soundtrack of the keys – that is theraputic for me.

2. Thought sparks thought, creativity begets creativity

I’m a practical person in that I like to get things done, conversations that lead to actions. But I also value time to think and I recognise that head space and reflection has to be deliberately sought out, it’s unlikely to just happen in modern life. Blogging is my head space to reflect. The posts may be shallow but I’ve often done a lot of thinking before getting my notes down and hitting publish.

3. Blog posts are my penseive

The act of thinking enough to blog, and then the act of articulating those thoughts in a post helps me remember it. I may not be able to drag silvery trails of memory from my mind like a wizard but blogging is a way of capturing my thoughts and consolidating my thinking.

4. It makes me look around

It gives me an excuse to do research and seek out conversations about whatever it is I’m blogging on. It makes me take time to read more and that means I’m learning more, or moving my own thoughts and understanding on. Wanting to capture my thoughts makes me listen and look around.

5. It’s a piece in the puzzle

Of course I could just capture my thoughts and keep them to myself, I don’t have to publish it all onto the internet. But in the same way that I learn from others through what they publish online I see, in some small way my posts may be part of a bigger puzzle. Of course, they may not but if there is the possibility of value to others as well as myself then publishing them is the way to go.

So, they are my top five reasons for blogging and I although everyone will reach the decision to blog for different reasons I think at least some of these could be reasons for teams to blog their work.

Open practice, or working out loud, makes us all better. It benefits the individuals in the team by letting them share success or learn from failure, it helps the team to see the steps on their journey and all the individual pieces of work going into their puzzle and it benefits fellow practitioners through knowledge sharing and making links to collaborate.

I’d like to hear some of those team stories – about why they decided to blog and the value it has added to their working practices or to what they’ve delivered. LocalGov Digital want to hear and share those stories too and I hope it will mean that more practitioners start tapping out their own clickety-clack soundtrack and the local government blogging community grows for the benefit of all.

More information, how to send your details if you’re already a blogging team and how to get in touch to share your stories in the LocalGov Digital blog.

For soul-saving style words about music head over to Louder Than War and for discussion on digital and/or music find me on Twitter.

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