Digital Geography

31. October 2015

5 reasons why I blog

5 reasons why I blog, and why shall you. About 4 years ago I started blogging and building a website/blog with content about GIS, geodata and programming. As I am an IT consultant for banks and mainly working as a testmanager in a SAP-software surrounding in Switzerland you might ask: “Why the heck do you this?”. Check out my motivation and reasons why I blog and spend time here. I studied Geography and Mathematics at the Freie University Berlin with the aim to become a teacher one day. In the end I started to work for and with the University. Working on my PhD (which I failed miserably) I realized I need to work in another surrounding and more professional environment. So I became an IT-consultant and worked for banks in Germany and Europe.

1. Investment

I invested a lot of time at the university in getting to know tools and to learn all the basic GIS techniques, working with spatial data and stuff like that. Furthermore I was also teaching GIS and I realized, people have very special needs when it comes to the deeper understanding on how a software works, the mathematics behind projections and so on. So I started to create video tutorials as well. This investment was about to get lost in my new working environment and I thought this would be a pity! So I started blogging about the stuff I have done at the university just not to forget what I have done and to increase my basic knowledge.

2. Leisure time

To be honest: I don’t have any real hobbies. But saying this I miss a discussion about the fact that I like solving problems, I like to explore, I like to present. And if you do the stuff you like this might get called a hobby. And in my weekdays I am mainly living in hotels without friends around, without the common surrounding you know from your hometown and with plenty of time. So why not spend this time with stuff you like: Sitting at the PC, writing about the latest plugin/workflow, exploring an error you just saw when writing about the process and solving the error. I learned something and I am also able to share my “knowledge” with other people.

3. Career building

When I started to work in the banking industry it was more or less the plan to work there for a given time and to switch back to the geo-IT once there is a good offer. So working on problems, solving them and to share this with others might be an interesting part of your resume. Well until now there was not the offer I was searching for but still: Blogging about stuff is a great way to show that you believe in some core values of employment:
  • solving problems
  • presentation techniques
  • documentation
  • social media management
  • knowledge transfer

blog posts I wrote on digital-geography.com

4. Ego

I must confess: I like compliments, I like to hear my name. When it comes to this very special need a blog is a great way to get some reward for your work. My normal work does not offer this kind of evaluation. Of course, there are posts on digital-geography.com which I am not proud of. But with each share I need to smile and it gives me good feeling and it motivates me, that I am doing some good work. And I can’t see this direct response on a trigger in my everyday work.

5. Money

When I started to create video tutorials It was interesting to explore the world of adsense, adwords, publishing content etc. So every month I earn about 50€ with my videos. I like the idea of getting some monetary reward for my content and the work I do. Yet it is not the main the driver on the list and with my blogging content I only earn 5€ per month. But still: I think you could earn a little plus with a blog and your posts to pay you a visit at the restaurant once a month. And I like to eat as well 😉

How about You?!

I am running this blog now for a while but I see an unclear future. I invite all of you to be part of digital-geography.com and become a blog author here. digital-geography.com is not only a one man show and it is not meant to be. For myself I see digital-geography.com more and more as a network for people with interests in GIS, geodata, technical writing, tutorials, programming and many more. But besides “What is digital-geography.com”: What are your reasons to run a blog and to sit down for 3 hours and to write a blog post about the stuff you like? I am looking forward your comments.
  • Derek Kaden

    Hey Riccardo–I was curious to read this post, since I’m toying with the idea of starting a blog for my new business (data visualization for beer distributors).

    I love the concept of a blog: they’re personal (you can see the author’s name, when they wrote it, etc), they’re a source of news (which can continue driving traffic back to your site), and there’s really no rules (which I like) meaning you can write about anything you want. I used to think a blog was unnecessary for a business, but I’ve changed my mind – now, I’m looking forward to making my first post 😎

    One concern, though: Do I make posts focused only on my business (beer distribution/brewing/mapping/etc), or is it a good idea to write about more personal/intimate things (why I started, how I started, etc). I’m not really sure yet.

    Plus, unlike big newspapers/media companies, you’re the boss of your blog, and you don’t even have to be a good writer to post things and share them with the world. I really like that aspect of it.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts on here. I actually ended up subscribing to digital-geography through some of your youtube tutorials. So, keep doing things that you enjoy – you’ll get that opportunity you’re looking for.
    Grüß
    Derek

    • Hi Derek. Whether you write more personal or more business stuff really depends on your “style”. For myself I like to write about stuff I do and care. So sometimes they are more personal, sometimes more professional. If you think the profession has a higher value, be aware that posting personal things might undergo the whole thing and might discourage blog visitors/subscribers as well as potential “customers”

  • mathet.info

    Hi Riccardo!
    I really like your blog (since I’m a GIS student ^,^) & especially this post, it gives me motivation to continue on my blog http://mathet.info/ I’ve some questions if you may answer me.
    thank you 🙂

  • Jean-François Godeau

    How about us? Well, Riccardo this post is definitely inspiring. Thanks for it. One answers to the question “Why do I blog?” is “Doing something and not just making big debates by myself in my mind when reading stuff”. It’s easy to collect information, confront them and eventually criticize them but when it’s time write a topic, take 3 hours -rather 3 days for me- to submit some thought to the web community … well things looks more serious. I mean that putting things together in order to write on a blog something understandable is not as tough as it looks! “Just do it!”, that’s what I was repeating myself before sending my first attempt on DG. Thanks to your support, it was quiet easy. Good motivation to write next one and invite other guys to do it as well…

    Another point is that one might blog to inflate his ego. Okay that’s fair enough since it’s always sharing info, experimence, time past searching for solutions etc. and finally helping others who face the same quesitons. So many times I (& google) found solutions to problems thanks to blogs (including DG) and stackexchange-like posts!
    We take a lot from the web and few of us are giving feed-back. This is how ot works on the web, but I believe that the least contribution is something that will be useful one day for someone else. So, for this reason also, LET’S BLOG!

  • nata

    thanks for blogging, its very helpful and interesting! keep doing it! grüß