Having my own blog is something that’s been in the back of my mind since around 2008. That’s the year I graduated from University and started working full time at THQ. It’s also the year Braid came out. I think it was the first game in which I actively followed the development process. I did so via Jonathan Blows blog, which I began following after watching his Indie Prototyping presentation at the Independent Game Summit (GDC) in 2007.
I also followed the blogs of my friends. Fellow developers. I remember reading the first blog entry of a colleague, in it, he answered the question of why he was starting a blog. It was along the lines of not wanting to miss out on the medium of expression for our generation. A way to reach far beyond our immediate social circles. This was especially valued in Australia, which can often feel somewhat disconnected from the rest of western society.
Social media has completely eliminated the need for a blog in this case.
So then why start a blog now? Is a blog just an outdated idea that’s no longer relevant? I myself rarely check my RSS reader and rely almost entirely on social media for news.
Being that I’m trying to be more practical with the use of my time, I wanted to answer this question before further investing into the project.
I found myself dusting off my RSS reader. Many blogs I used to follow have been abandoned. Others replaced by a parked domain full of ads. Some have been removed entirely, leaving no trace of their existence. It made me feel strangely sad, like the web of blogs I knew has now become a deserted wasteland.
So why bother? Why not just use social media?
Well, despite the experience described above, I still think a blog entry has more permanence than a twitter conversation (or any social media interaction). While I do find that twitters 140 character limit sometimes leads to complicated thoughts or ideas expressed elegantly, I feel like they disappear into the aether soon after they’re released, and are sometimes drowned out by the deluge of rubbish floating out there.
Inherent in permanence is indexability. As a programmer, I often find solutions to weird problems in the blog of some other programmer who has already encountered and solved the very same issue I’m facing. Imagine instead, the solution he/she finds is posted to Facebook or Twitter. I will likely never see that solution. I like the idea that a blog entry I write today could help out a fellow programmer down the road.
Finally, this blog is mostly for me. I want to use it to document my adventures in programming and game development. To have a record of the things I’ve done, thought about doing, tried doing. I actually wish that I’d started it long ago. Mais bon.
Hello, World! I’m Anthony Reddan. This is my journey in code.