Why I blog

By Ray DePaul

In 2009, my wife and I had the great fortune of spending four months in Rome with nothing to do but eat, drink and explore. After a couple of weeks of jaw-dropping sightseeing, I was struck at how easy it was to simply walk past iconic buildings and sculptures without even noticing them. In fact, I quickly returned to my North American mode of brisk walking with nothing but the destination in mind. I stopped noticing Rome.

One day I grabbed my 35mm camera (remember them?) and went for a very different kind of walk. With my camera around my neck, I started looking for interesting things - arched doorways, fedora-wearing old men, pigeons resting on a priceless Bernini statue. The simple act of carrying a camera brought Rome back to life.

This is why I blog. The simple act of blogging helps me notice things that otherwise, I'm sure would just go by without hitting my consciousness. Like carrying a camera, I'm now on alert for small observations that might trigger an idea. When I read an article, I make a note about the most interesting point. When I'm at a boring event, I try to spark up a conversation that might enlighten me. When I have coffee with an entrepreneur, I'm cross-referencing their experience with the dozens of others I've met, hoping to find patterns.

Blogging has made me more observant. To those who've read a few of my musings, you will have noticed that my bar for a blog is set rather low. This is intentional. Unlike my research-oriented colleagues, I am not taking on the painstaking process of uncovering new knowledge. That would require me to dive deep and perhaps miss what is constantly going on around me. I'm simply observing, internalizing, and commenting. I'm not studying the history of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel. I'm watching the Italian women squeeze a dozen tomatoes before settling on the perfect fruit.