Blogging: Self-Service or Public Service?
I've jumped back around blogging mediums over the past couple years: first Blogger, then Tumblr, then Medium, recently Typepad and now to my own site. While I have a little experience in having written occasionally, by carving out a site of my own and paying for it, I've wanted to work harder to make sure it paints a picture of who I am and encourages writing as a habit which might draw out what is on my mind.
Today I spent some time listening to an On Being interview with Anil Dash on, "Tech's Moral Reckoning". He speaks often of a young industry, brash and daring that aims to do bold things while often not contemplating the negative impact (real or perceived) by the introduction of its technology. He often cites Uber as a company that blatantly violates municipal ordinances, displaces an industry of workers with its own all the while working to automate that workforce. Dash doesn't say this shouldn't be the direction we go, but points out much of the population culturally celebrates the destruction of an industry rather than asking, "what will happen if this succeeds?" He says if we dare to look back to the banking days of finance titan J.P. Morgan and his contemporaries, we will see striking parallels when it came to violating rules like we witness (yet ignore) today.
Robber barons aside, one thing I have gone back and forth on with this blog is the voice it should employ. I do not intend to use this platform as a prescription for others but as one observation and reflection. But the path of making sure this is not a self-indulgent or congratulatory attempt is another battle to be fought. Dash often asks, "what percentage of all the things you’ve shared on Facebook or Twitter were about yourself and you saying 'I' versus somebody else?"
And this captures something I have often pondered. Is this blog something that comes across as self-absorbed? As me preaching to or talking down to others? Or does it hopefully come across as me recounting an experience and what I noticed or learned to make just a little more sense of the world? The latter is my goal. But as an imperfect human being with an ego, its hard it would be a lie to say there aren't moments when I feel the calling to be clever or deploy a click-bait title to gain views and praise.
To close, you should really listen to the interview above or check out the below video where I first came across Dash about 18 months ago. Technology is still a young medium and we all have a responsibility to ask, "how is this affecting me and others?", as it evolves?
Go Forth Boldly
Other "On Being" episodes discussing technology