Sunday 16 March 2008

A New Hope

So look, here's the deal. Yes, it's another random, spectacularly normal, person setting up a blog. No, it's probably not going to get updated very often. Yes, there's a reasonable chance that you'll come back in a year and this will still be the only post on here. No, I'm not expecting anyone to read it. All of which sounds like a pretty bad basis on which to start a blog, but allow me to explain.

There's a long tail of blogs out there that were founded on exactly that basis. I've never done the numbers, but I suspect - no, I know - that for every regularly updated, well written, widely read blog, there are 100 that were a wet Sunday afternoon diversion and now sit abandoned, a Christmas puppy that finds its way to the dog's home before New Year's Eve.

The thing is, like those puppies, just because they're in the dog's home, doesn't mean they're useless. Blogs mean different things to different people. It's true that there's an awful lot of mundane cruft out there, but blogs, even those abandoned, are also realising the potential of the internet to be a big bin of knowledge. Blogs sweep up that knowledge that isn't worth knowing, or at least not in the collective sense. No-one needs a wikipedia article about StackOverflowError in java.util.regex.Pattern, or quirks in Weblogic's servlet implementation but when you come across that problem, it sure is useful information.

And that leads me here. I've taken an awful lot from other people - fixes, workarounds, walkthroughs, or just plain advice - and it seems to me that maybe I should get off my butt and put something back in that bin of knowledge. Sure, it might just all go to waste, but perhaps one day, someone will be trawling the 85th page of their Google search on some weird error they've seen, and my blog will give them just a hint on how they might solve it. Job done.

As a side effect, it's also just a useful exercise in writing. I don't do enough of it and I should do more. You never know, I might even improve with time.

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