I’ve often wondered if blogging about what you know, especially in the field of computers, design, etc. is beneficial or not. If you think about it, when you help another designer or developer solve a problem they’ve been working on, you could be helping your competition! I mean, they (for all you know) could be in your city looking for clients just like you are. Talk about keeping enemies closer.
But I’m increasingly of the opinion that we should share what we know. And there are few reasons for this. First of all, how many of us just woke up one day and suddenly knew what we know now? Definitely not me. We learn through people teaching us. We might say we were “self-taught” and “we learned everything we know online,” but guess what? Somebody wrote the articles you read online. And I’m guessing many of them wrote that content for free. Sure they might make some money off ads, or a commission on clicks on their sidebar. But more likely than not they were sitting on their couch deciding whether or not they were going to share their knowledge with the world. And if they hadn’t, where would you and I be today?!
Say you are a company owner, or the creative director for an organization. You need a new website, you need a programmer, you need a developer. Where do you start looking? Well these days a large amount of applying and hiring is done online. Say your potential employer looks online for you and can only find some slightly embarassing photos on your public facebook profile…bummer. Now say they search for you and find not only your profile and resume, but (if they know what they are looking for) they can take a glimpse inside your mind, find out what you know, and make a much more educated decision about hiring you. I would venture to say that people like to know what they’re buying before they buy it. And what you know, if that information is available, will speak much louder than a simple resume.
Finally, one of the main reasons I share what I know is for my own personal gain and reference. I find that when I take the time to write out what is on my mind, I can gain a brand new perspective, and it can sometimes help me solve problems. Also, probably the most practical reason I blog is so I can reference what I’ve done in case I forget how to do something later down the line! There have been much more than one occasion where I forgot how to style a certain xsl template in SharePoint. My blog, in those cases, has been an invaluable resource. Kind of like a live documentation of everything you are learning.
So share away!