What is required reading?

In my opinion, it is what’s needed to give you, the reader, an insight into my thoughts and ideas: why I blog, what influences me, and why I do things the way that I do.

The idea of a required reading page was influenced by a post from Dave Winer but I’ve headed in a slightly different direction to his concept.

So let’s get going. All links on this page (including the one above) are considered required reading.

My thoughts about blogging stem from six words in a Dave Winer piece from 2003: ”The unedited voice of a person.” This means that the blog should be the work of an individual and not have its content or tone imposed by editors. I go a step further and believe that self censorship can be just as bad as external influence even though “unedited” is not supposed to apply in that way.

I no longer use the major social networks and believe in the Open Web and Indieweb movements which state that we, as individuals, should own our data and not the networks.

But ownership of our content goes beyond just hosting it on our own sites; there is a moral aspect to consider (microcast episode) but I also believe that we don’t need to host absolutely everything on our owns sites - some things belong within the context and conversations in which they were created.

I renamed the site a while ago but, if I’m not using social networks why was it still called Social Thoughts for so long? Because “social” is more than just networks, social is inherent to us as human beings. Blogs are social entities with the capacity to connect on a massive scale.

Although I am not posting to the likes of Twitter I am convinced that we need microblogging as well as just typing long essays. Our thoughts come in different lengths so our writing should too.

I struggle with the conflict between writing something new and building on existing ideas but shouldn’t; a blog is just as much a process, an evolution of thought, as an act of creation.

I’ll leave you with those ten links which, I hope, present a picture (albeit unfinished) of my thoughts and rationale behind blogging.

You can get more info on the kind of things I write about on the About page.