Blogging to organize yourself

There are a variety of reasons to start a blog. Some bloggers express their feelings and opinions through their posts. Businesses use blogs to promote their brands and services.

One of the missions of my personal blog is to organize the vast amount of information I deal with.

A blog as a your personal information library

My RSS feeds and Google Alerts offer articles, tutorials, and useful information every day. I use del.icio.us and my Google Personalized Homepage to keep track of sites and blogs I know I will need later, but even these services have their limits.

Blogging offers a way to categorize information into an easy to search format. Google’s Blogger platform offers a label tool while WordPress can organize posts into categories. The format of a blog post lets me write out why the information is useful.

Beyond bookmarks

Back when my web browser was main tool for storing links, a bookmark folder was fine for managing links to modest numbers of sites, but they were difficult to share and could be difficult to manage across multiple computers. Social bookmarking tools, like del.icio.us, have their limits when it comes to adding comments.

I can blog about a useful tutorial or web site and go into more detail about its uses. I can mention more than one site or link at once, add images, use category links to organize information.

The most important thing is I can give context to the information. A simple web link does not do that.

Blogs bypass the email inbox and are always available

To share a particular link or article, anyone can visit my blog and and look under a category or date. It also helps that my last name is the URL for my blog. If someone knows my last name, they can find my blog.

A blog is always on (hopefully) and can wait till someone has the time to browse through it. Unlike magazines or news clippings, it takes up no space on a desk and does not get shuffled under other papers or get coffee mug rings.

I used to send friends links to sites or blogs using emails or instant message links. The problem is that important links can get lost in the mix of memos, documents, and spam that churn around in the average email inbox. A blog is beyond the chaos of daily email and accessible from anywhere.

Edit for yourself

The challenge in using a blog to organize yourself is to be a careful editor for yourself. Use your judgment to determine what is important enough to blog about. Will you actually use the information you posted?

While a personal blog can serve the purpose of being an information storehouse, you still have the responsibility to be interesting and concise.

Look out for the interests of your readers, even if you are the only one.

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