I thought this was a great post and agreed with Zach quite a bit on some of the reasons why he blogs.
Practice writing. Writing is a skill just like anything else. The more you do the better you get. The ability to formulate ideas and thoughts in a concise and understandable way is a foundational facet of our civilization that I seek to improve in.
I can't say that I ever really think of writing being a foundational facet of our civilization, but I absolutely agree that I'm using it to improve my writing. I was completely out of the habit of writing and having the discipline to write at least *something* most days surely is helping me to improve. I hope anyway.
A place to document my thoughts. Oftentimes I don't know how I feel about an issue until I actually articulate it in a way that someone else could read and understand
I sort-of try to do this sometimes, although I find I'm still somewhat hesitant about putting some things out there. I think I should be doing this more, and need to stop being so chicken about stating an opinion on things.
A place to document other people's thoughts that I can easily access to in the future.
I haven't so far, but am thinking about doing this more as I can see it being really convenient. (And hence, this post build around Zach's post).
A context for community.
This is a big "maybe" for me - some of my efforts at "meeting" people via blog comments hasn't worked so well, but there's at least one blogger I met through comments who I do consider a blog friend (Hi Di!) I'd like to do better with this, and I know a lot of it (if not all of it) is on me - even knowing how much I enjoy getting comments, I'm still slow to comment oftentimes on other blogs.
Often I feel like any comments I have are silly or superficial or don't really add to a discussion, and it makes me hold back. And yes, I do know how ridiculous that sounds, especially when I just said how it makes my day when I get a comment, (any comment). Why do I imagine that other people will be criticizing my comments so much?
Yup, it is definitely fun for me; I would have given up long ago if it weren't, but this is definitely not one of the biggest reasons. Reading a book is more fun for me, but doesn't give the other benefits that blogging does.
I would add to his list a bit:
Motivation. BooMama's Before and After is a perfect example - I've had a house project that I've had on my list to do for years (yes, years). Signing up for her event has definitely been a kick-in-the-pants for me to get moving on it. It's a self-imposed deadline, yes, but with the possibility for some embarrassment attached to it if I don't have something to report. It worked for decorating my house for Christmas too.
Memory. Not just documenting my thoughts as Zach mentioned, but more of a basic "we did this and then that and took a vacation where we did this." I have a terrible memory for events. No joke, it's really really bad. If I read it in a book, I'll remember it, but if I did it or talked about it or visited it, not so much. Both the time spent writing it (and reading the words as they appear on the screen) and then having it to read again later help.