Why blogging has made me a smarter person

One of my friends just asked me how I got started on blogging.

Although he wants to get started (a lot on the mind that needs an outlet – like most of us) – he cringes at the thought of starting one.

Exactly a year ago, I was cringing too.

The internet world was just opening up to me and it was, well, overwhelming. Before I always used the internet, but only for things like reading my G&M homepage, hotmail (yuck, thank god I dropped that!), Facebook and Google searches for school or the occasional question I had.

Now? The internet taps my curiosity and fills me with information.

It was just under a year ago that janeporter.ca got started and this is now….drumroll…  my 80th post:)

I say that blogging has made me smarter. Here’s why:

1. Forces you to think critically

You read something and instantly you’re hit with curiosity, or an emotion or just a thought. By actually allowing yourself to stop and let that curiosity sink, you’re not just glossing over fast news, you’re absorbing an issue. (Society moves so fast nowadays, that most times, we don’t get a chance to do this) – BBC World Debate on Media – really good points on this)

2. Forces you to research

Absorbing an “issue” is more than just writing down your opinion on an article. Someone once told me that they couldn’t believe I had all these extra links on my stories. But that’s it – once you commit yourself to writing about something, you need to have backup sources. I google ridiculous amounts a day.

Take the post on toilets. I obviously don’t know all of those stats on Canadian water consumption but as I write, I research and find out how much information is out there at my fingertips. (Which often leads to more blog posts!)

3. Strengthens your opinion

Once you research, you’re can form better opinions. I know how much water we consume vs. other European countries, I know (somewhat) what the gov’t is doing to fix this problem and so now I can express my opinion (we’re not doing enough;) with a more solid grounding. Granted, of course, I don’t know the whole situation – I know more than before, and if I am really wrong, usually someone will correct me in the comments;)

4. Connects you with others

I’m amazed. This week I was featured on the Toronto Vegetarian Association site, one reader, Dan Bloom (polar cities guy) found me from Taiwan and posted me on the NYT Dot Earth comments. Guy Kawasaki twittered me! Etc etc, etc.

5. Personal branding (It’s the marketing in me;)

I like the fact that I’m getting a voice now, and being heard. People know me a bit more for who I am – as in what my thoughts are and that’s important to me. Who knows, might come in handy later on in life;)

Many more benefits but for any of you out there that has thought about it and just isn’t sure yet… as I told my friend, the cringing goes away after you start… so START;)

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8 thoughts on “Why blogging has made me a smarter person

  1. Danny Bloom says:

    Very nice 80th post, very good way to look at blogging. Yes, to find one’s voice. Good theme!

    — Danny

  2. danny bloom says:

    Jane
    A new idea. Tell me if it makes sense to you. I am all ears.

    Danny

    Polar City site to list 6.6 billion Earthlings in global roll call

    PRESS RELEASE

    for immediate release anytime
    contact: Danny Bloom

    Virtual ‘global warming’ museum to list names of all 6.6 billion current
    inhabitants of Earth, country by country, as commorative time capsule

    Names will be printed on website of ‘polar city’ images created by
    Taiwanese artist Deng Cheng-hong, according to site curator

    NEW YORK / TAIPEI — When Taiwanese artist Deng Cheng-hong came up with a
    series of computer-generated “blueprints” for what a future polar city
    might look like for survivors of global warming in the year 2500 or
    so, he had no idea that his images would find a home on the James E.
    Lovelock Virtual Museum of Polar City Images, curated by American
    climate blogger Danny Bloom. Although the online virtual museum has no
    official connection with Dr James Lovelock on Britain, it was named in
    honor of the British scientist because of his important work on
    climate change and global warming, according to the museum. And Dr
    Lovelock has seen the images that Deng created and said in an email to
    the musem: “Thank you for showing me these images. It may very well
    happen and soon.”

    Now the online museum, which currently displays a series of 10
    illustrations by Deng and has been the subject of news articles at the
    New York Times and the Kansas City Star, in addition to Gizmodo, is
    taking another step in emphasizing the gravity of the situation
    humankind finds itself in in regards to climate change and global
    warming.

    Bloom said that he has embarked on an ambitious and quixotic quest to
    obtain and list the names of all 6.6 billion inhabitants of the Earth as
    a kind of commemorative time capsule of people who are live today. He
    said that by compiling the massive list of names of all Earthlings
    alive today, he hopes to emphasize the seriousness of climate change
    and global warming and the possible problems they might pose for
    future generations of humankind if steps are not taken now to grapple
    with the issues involved.

    “We need to give people a positive vision of the future of polar
    cities for survivors of global warming in the year 2500 or so, if
    worst comes to worst, a positive vision that’s worth fighting for, ”
    Bloom said in a statement released on the Internet in April. “We will
    be looking at sustainable human population retreats, so-called polar
    cities, where there will be a lot of social interaction, where we will
    love being with each other, despite a difficult climate, despite a
    difficult world in the far distant future. I think that is a really
    important thing.”

    By compiling the list of all 6.6 billion inhabitants of Earth, Bloom
    said he hopes “to highlight the fact that the issues of global warming
    do not involve rich nations competing against poor nations, or
    rightwing pundits against environmental activists, but rather the fact
    that we are all involved in the future we are creating together, in
    this day and age.”

    To send in your own invidual name or a longer list of family members
    and friends to the online virtual museum for inclusion in what Bloom
    is calling a “global roll call”, Internet users are invited to send an
    email to reporter.bloom@gmail.com

    Bloom calls his effort, along with Deng’s striking illustrations of
    what a polar city might look like in the future, a wake-up call for
    those who are still sleepwalking toward the future. He has no
    particular agenda, he says, other than to help sound the climate
    change alarm in a provocative yet positive way, and says his campaign
    is just one among many around the world where local citizens are using
    the Internet to raise awareness about the issues of global warming
    that confront humanity today.


    POLAR CITIES BLUEPRINTS:
    http://pcillu101.blogspot.com

  3. Trent says:

    I think that the biggest component is that writing makes you smarter.

    I read voraciously, but in the end, reading is a passive activity. Only when you write do you create and explore new ideas. The more in depth the writing, the more you digest, dissect and discover new elements of the issue you are writing about.

    Reading is akin to eating well. Writing is more like going to the gym.

  4. Danny Bloom says:

    Trent,
    Very good point, and you know, I think I never heard it expressed quite that way, but I think you are on to s0mething important there: “writing is more like going to the gym” and
    “writing akes you smarter” …

    write more on this. I think you hit something very vital about the differences between reading and writing, and how writing leads to …….. new ideas! new expressions! new visions! new understandings!

    I love what you wrote. I never thought of things that way. Wonderful!

    — Danny

  5. Danny Bloom says:

    TRENT
    there is a b0ol here for you to write:

    “I think that the biggest component is that writing makes you smarter.

    I read voraciously, but in the end, reading is a passive activity. Only when you write do you create and explore new ideas. The more in depth the writing, the more you digest, dissect and discover new elements of the issue you are writing about.

    Reading is akin to eating well. Writing is more like going to the gym.”

  6. Trent says:

    Danny, thanks for the encouragement. I think I’ll take your suggestion.

  7. janeporter says:

    Am a bit late on this, but yes, I loved that saying as well.

    Writing can be a painstaking task too…

    I find it harder for me to write down my ‘bigger’ ideas. It’s hard to explain, but sometimes it’s just overwhelming to pick up a pen (or in this case, to type).

    I realize that if you don’t write it down though, it’s just imagination and will always be a good ‘thought’ when it could have led to great action…

    But, I’ll take your words as the inspiration to move forward;)

    Kiitos,
    Jane

  8. Hi Jane,

    You are really inspiration to many esp me too:)!
    After knowing you and reading your blog, I have a kind of starting mine as well.

    You and Trent make a lot of common senses on blogging. I am so inspired and I hope to do more in the coming days.

    Keep it Up!Jane!!

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