Sharing thoughts

I've been asked a few times over the past few months why I haven't blogged in a while. Funny that. I have been writing more in this past year than I think I have my whole life. It turns out that the blog posts have fallen off the list of thought-sharing media for a short while. So here's a brief note to let you know why.

About a year ago, I started keeping a daily journal as a consultant. I got the idea spark from my friend Pradeep in India when he posted an annual report a few years ago that listed a brief note for each day that year. I looked upon that report with awe and thought that might be a cool way for me to track where some of my time and days go.

The daily journal is for personal reflection and I don't share it with anyone. It's pretty boring really. Disparate facts and ideas mostly. The challenge for me was in re-developing the habit of writing a little something every day.

When I was in high school I used to write every day. Again, I never shared those thoughts with anyone. But unlike my current journal, those entries were chock full of entertaining and emotional snippets of teenage life. I suppose if I hadn't lost those journals/books, I might have enough material to create a few teen book series. ;-) As an aside, several of my high school teachers thought I would go into English and continue writing in university. There was more than one surprised look when I said I wanted to go into Science.

I stopped writing personal journal entries in University and I discovered the internets - Usenet in particular. I started writing socially on topics of interest in the alt.* user forums. This was the early 90's, so the internet was still young then. The idea of Usenet forums wasn't new to me. In fact, I was attracted to them because they reminded me of the BBS forums I used to participate on during the 80's. (Ah, stories for another day.)

After graduating and joining the workforce full-time, I discovered and joined some email discussion forums in the late 90's. Around 2000, I dived into some Yahoo groups followed by some Google groups a few years later.

Around that time I started up this Blogger account to keep track of some thoughts as I began to take an active interest in my career in Software Testing. My blog posts were infrequent as I had lost the habit of writing daily. So many things go on in my life and the work-focus of this particular blog has kept me from writing more. Now if it were a general blog on random thoughts, I would likely have written so much more.

Several years ago I jumped onto Twitter. Interesting medium that.

I find Twitter is a good medium for me personally and professionally. While I remain on a few email discussion lists, I find I don't participate in them as much as I used to. I do however read and write/share thoughts via Twitter daily.

I added a gadget/widget thingy to the blogger layout here to show you my last few tweets. Twitter changed their API last year sometime so my tweets stopped appearing here. It's taken me too long to return to this blog site and fix the HTML code to redisplay my tweets on the side panel.

I spent about an hour tonight searching, scripting and playing with code to make those tweets appear again. I felt it was important to help the casual reader of this public blog understand that while I may share the occasional long thought on this site, I am micro-blogging on Twitter almost daily.

Several months ago, I also started to capture more thoughts and fieldstones for a book I plan to write on Testing. I haven't made it public yet, and when I do, I will announce it here and on Twitter.

So, I am currently writing a daily journal, capturing thoughts for a book in progress, tweeting daily, still on a few email discussion lists, participating in half a dozen conferences each year, and still trying to find time to blog every now and then. I have a huge backlog of ideas to share here. I promise to write no less than monthly here in 2013. I will share more ideas than I have in the past.

I have also been asked if I have an email mailing list. The short answer is no, not at this time. If I add that to the writing list, something else will likely have to come off. I am open to the suggestion though. Maybe later.


  1. The daily journal is something I keep trying to do after I read it in 'Becoming a Technical Leader' but I have not been able to keep it going. Maybe after reading this I'll give it another try

    Do you find Twitter is sometimes too limiting and want to write a blog post to express yourself better ?

  2. @Phil, regarding Twitter being sometimes limiting: yes and no. Twitter has improved my writing in some ways. The 140 char limit has forced me to keep my messages concise and to the point. This has helped me be more creative and clear when communicating in other ways. For example, this is a big #win when speaking with executives! =)

    There are times of course when I am asked a question and the answer requires more time and space to explore. Sometimes those moments lead to personal conversations, email discussions, or a blog post.

    In the past I have kept many of those discussions off my blog site. I don't think it was intentional. Going forward, I will capture/summarise more of those conversations here so I have someplace to refer to them.