My goal for 2024 is to write a blog.
I am aware that a blog may seem outdated in the social media age, so I first wanted to set out my aims and motivations for this new project.
Driven by the fact that I have recently transitioned from academia to data science, my primary motivation is to keep up a consistent streak as a way to learn new concepts. Knowing that these posts will be public, encourages more effort on my part to distill information from many sources into one coherent post. This is something I try and do in my own personal notes, as a sort of documentation for my future (and forgetful) self. Publishing some of these notes will provide more accountability for quality and encourage deeper thinking around concepts, a benefit that has been particularly clear when jotting down my ideas for this post!
As described by Simon Willison, consistent streaks can escalate from a small (and fun) idea into a large body of work, such as a well-renowned blog or a youtube phenomenon. With practice, I hope that the quality of my writing will increase over time, which should also allow me to not just review a restaurant as “quite nice”.
As I have discovered in the beginning of my data science journey, there is a lot of invaluable information written across blogs and articles. Some of my favourites so far:
- Big data of big hair
- Toy example of causal inference
- Why the super rich are inevitable
- Is cycling taking off in Seattle?
- Anything by Vincent Warmerdam
I also appreciate the enormous amount of effort that goes into open source code/projects. Making code and methods public is like working with the garage door up, allowing others to build on previous work. For example, my Python animation was only possible after seeing how Three Blue One Brown made his videos, and finding that this same code was part of a community supported Python package, manim. Therefore, I hope these posts can act as a way to pay it forward.
Obviously, there are career related benefits of writing a blog, with the website acting as a portfolio that proves I have a willingness to learn. I also think it is more fun than some of the more clichéd projects.
Today I learned
I really enjoy the idea of a “today I learned” posts, e.g. Vincent Warmerdam and Simon Willison. These are a great way of having those “I never knew that was possible” moments, and lets people share ideas without needing to write out a full blog post.
Travel/photography blogs allow for a better curated set of images, without having to obey the formatting rules and noise of social media. I also want to learn how to create a more finished product with my photos, rather than letting them sit on my phone.
One blog post a month, and one TIL a week. Let’s see how well I do.