Thursday, 30 September 2010

Unexpected benefits of blogging

I know I've written lots about how I stumbled into blogging and didn't expect to find a group of wonderful friends, glimpses into other people's lives and a place to vent and share special things that happen. But one of the other amazing benefits of blogging is that this has become a great reference system for me.

For example, I was trying to remember the date when something happened and then I realised I'd blogged about it, so I just typed in a key word in my search bar and voila - I had the exact date I needed.

Also, as Phillygirl has pointed out before, blogging about your holidays or places you've been may not always be thrilling subject matter for readers, but it's a great way to capture the memories so that you can look back on them later. And I can't tell you how many times I search my blog for restaurants when I'm trying to remember my experience of a particular place or if someone asks me for a recommendation. It's the same with movies.

I also really enjoy occasionally going back a year in my blog and seeing what has changed since then. For example, last year on 30 September I had just managed to find a decent gardener and sort my internet out at home. The year before that, also on 30 September, TSC and I were still living in the old place and we'd rescued a little ginger kitten that we homed with our neighbours.

The only thing I worry about is that I ever do decide to have children, they'll one day come and read through all these scribblings. Eep! I think I'd have to delete my blog before then.

What are your unexpected blogging bonuses? And what were you up to this time last year?


dbawiw said...

Well, YOU have helped me out a number of times, so that is a real blogging bonus. Thanks!!

phillygirl said...

Haha, I just had a similar experience earlier this week. I'm reading a book I'm convinced I read before ... but obviously I must've read it before I started blogging because I can't find any mention of it. I love having a reference for things I've done :)

Strangely if I look back on my 30Sept blog posts of 2009 and 2008, reading them tells me I should've ended my relationship with Varen long before I did :( Ah well, such is life and hindsight is always 20-20!

Ruby said...

heheh...i do the same thing:) My closest posts to 30 September 2009 and 2008 are all directed at the drunk the anniversary of my accident is the night of the 27th. Reading them I'm amazed to see how i've grown and forgiven and made peace...and how this experience has made me appreciate my life:)

po said...

Haha very lame, according to my blog, this time last year I was writing "this time last year" posts.

Also we were suffering the builder insanity, the highjacking of our corridor and our lab.

An unexpected bonus of blogging is that I have less time to waste, you could see it as an unexpected problem with blogging, that I spend so much time on it rather then doing something productive... but I don't choose to see it that way :)

Anonymous said...

I've never thought of going back into my archives and using them as references. Maybe that's part of the reason why I'm such a shoddy blogger :) I might need to look into documenting stuff more regularly now :D

Anonymous said...

I also use mine as a reference when I want to remember something.

Last year on this day I finally found a copy of Finding Nemo and I finally found some watermelon after craving it for MONTHS! It was a very happy day. :-)

In 2008 I recapped a party filled weekend and threatened to do some gardening to give my liver a rest. Also the weekend that I met some bloggirls for the first time.

In 2007 I was snickering to myself about capping out our internet and keeping my fingers crossed that no one would notice it till it rolled over to a new month at midnight.

And I only started blogging in October 2006, so who knows what the heck I was up to that year...although I'm pretty sure it was the year I had a burn-out and discovered the people in my computer after my self imposed hermit-ness.

Hardspear said...

Unexpected benefits: Well everything you've mentioned. I HOPED for ADHD support & people who understand me. I did not expect to help others. Had a number of comments from people Identifying with what I say but could not verbalise themselves. Number of people said now they understand their Child/Spouse/Partner with ADD better.

2009 - Weird food - 1st & only meme, traffic, recipes ADHD & Ritalin
2008 - Did not blog.
2007 - Just before I stopped blogging, recipes, food, weird food, new job, ADHD & Ritalin

Angel said...

I have also searched my blog for people and places I've written about!
And writing about holidays and adventures is a fab way to remember them. You are always your own most important reader after all!!
As for your kids reading it, by the time they're old enough to read and understand it, I think they may actually enjoy getting to know you.

My history... in 2009 this time was when we started telling people we were trying to get pregnant.
2008 this time I had just moved in with my Glugs.
2007 had me dressed as a drag queen and the first pictures my Glugs ever saw of me!!
2006 I had just had my hernia surgery.
2005 it was just after Damien had had to go to court for his shoplifting arrest!

Olivia said...

I've only just started this! But I love taking a snoop in other peoples lives. I I would love to press search on my own life, just like you did. I never even thought about it until I read your post

Shayne said...

I love that I can go back and use my blog as a reference point, much as you do. I love that I get to meet people I wouldn't ordinarily have - and that I have made some extraordinary friends. I love that I found the talented Vanessa to design my Yummy Mummy Cupcake Website!

This is my link to last year's post this time:

and you know what - i took back to school photo's (in the same place!) but didn't have to get up at 5am this time!

Great post Tam!

Slyde said...

the only thing i use my blog for is to pick up chicks from all over the world.

im still working on you.....

Tamara said...

dbawiw: Awww... You made my day ;-)

philly: you do know that now I have to go back and read those two Sept posts to see what you mean, right? Incurably curious.

Ruby: That's a cool example of what I mean - you can see exactly how far you've come.

Po: Hehehe... that's funny. Was the builder saga a year ago already?! Jeepers.

arkwife: And then I can take credit for being your inspiration, yes? Hehehehe.

Tamara said...

Louisa: I started blogging about a year after you. Weird. I thought yuo'd been blogging for way longer than me. Hehehe. I remember that post from last year quite clearly.

Hardspear: I've had that experience with your blog - it helps me understand my brother better!

Angel: But will I enjoy it? LOL. I'm going to go back and read 2005, 2006 and 2007. I think I only started reading you in late 2007, when I discovered the SA blogging community.

Olivia: Oooh... a new blogger. So popping by your blog after I finish responding here.

Shayne: Thanks, lady. Yes, I think blogging has been great for both of us in terms of making friends and finding business contacts. You have no idea how many bloggers I have interviewed for stories I write ;-)

Slyde: HAHAHA... well thanks for thinking I'm worth the sustained effort ;-)

Sally-Jane said...

I used my blog as a way to deal with a failed marriage and all the emotions that went with that. I love the benefit of the community of people I have met.

As for kids reading it. I have 2 small kids and my very religious sister chastised me about mu blog and how embarrassed my kids would be to read it one day. I disagree, they will see a real person, not a perfect person but one who could admit failings and talk about life.

A year a go this time was not a good time for me I remember writing the post on 30 Septemeber about just not wanting to go on anymore. Today I can't believe the change. The kids and I have moved to Cape Town, I have an amazing man in my life and a new life on the way ( a little unexpected) I could not to happier or more loved. Thanks for making me look back.