Happy to read and write

Venkat Subramaniam noted a book called On Writing Well at Scan Agile. It is William Zissner’s 30 year old classic on the fine art and craft of writing – a useful book for writers and coders alike. While I am still on the first chapters of On Writing Well, it has made me think. Considering how I am surrounded by relatively smart and talented people, how come I don’t see them writing anything?

Please, write. Write a blog.

The rant

Most of my friends place several characters next to each other on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. They press few keys here and there to produce “Monday again”. But does the output have any content or is it noise? If it’s noise then can the act of producing it be called writing?

The definition of content is of course subjective and contextual. In this case I consider it to be thoughts, ideas and opinions. But when you have a culture of sharing without putting a thought into it what does it give you?

This is not the first time I am ranting about social networks. I have both liked and disliked them for a long time. I even admit that I am not innocent of this useless sharing frenzy. I am going to share this piece of text on Facebook and Twitter.

Social networks are not all bad. They have their place, but they should not replace writing.

The motivation

I am motivated by couple of things to tell you to write a blog.

First, I want to hear from you. As a reader of this blog there is a good chance we know each other and I am always interested to hear thoughts from my friends.

Secondly, as a medium of conveying thoughts blogs work perfectly. Blogs tend to encourage putting more effort in to posts compared to social networks because of the illusion that social networks are private – being openly public gives you more pressure to perform. More thinking is beneficial to both of us.

Together with an application like Reeder a collection of blogs becomes extremely pleasant to read. Another upside is that blogs are not behind a walled garden.

Next steps

I challenge you to go to http://blogger.com or http://wordpress.com and create a blog.

Write.

Reply with a link.

Mind maps FTW

I have recently come to realize that I just love mind maps. Paper and pen doesn’t work well for me for drawing mind maps due to high refactoring costs and there’s always the limitation on canvas size.

Currently I’m reading The Agile Samurai book and decided to use MindNode for repetition and organizing thoughts. Couple of chapters in and I like it: I’m going slower and thinking more about the big picture.

The Agile Samurai mind map, few chapters in and without private context information added

With mind maps it really helps to have a big screen.

The Agile Samurai

The Agile Samurai

The mailman had dropped me a copy of The Agile Samurai. Interesting book and laughing out loud for “Unrealistic plan -> Miracle -> Working software” graphic. Just skimmed through the book and it’s just what I was looking for. Can’t wait for the weekend!