This post is part of my Chinese learning experiences series but is not tagged as such, it is something I can pull out and link to so that my next post on the first three months is not too long.
Almost immediately after starting to learn Chinese I started blogging about it, that was deliberate, there are many reasons for and styles of blogging, this one was part of my objective to learn a language primarily from the Internet, also a loose record of my thoughts and discoveries, on the whole it has been a success. I think that blogging about language learning can be very helpful and an aid to the process, reading and commenting on blogs of other language learners is also very useful particularly if you don't have time to blog yourself.
This blog doesn't attract enough comments to be a really useful place to test new ideas and engage in heated discussion or to refine/test beliefs (some are though, but I only average around 30 visits a day which isn't quite enough) but there have been some surprising side benefits, many people have approached me with resources and ideas via email and two Chinese speakers local enough for local language exchange have approached me resulting in some very helpful exchanges :). Besides that some of the comments I have had have been very useful. I had to engage moderation recently though as there were a number of thinly disguised adverts.
Looking back, I can see how much I have missed out, see how rushed many posts were, but I don't regret that, I am time poor, I need to leave some time for learning Chinese (although there is nothing stopping me from listening to Chinese whilst I blog :))
Blogging has made connections attracted help and helped me organize my thoughts. On occasion blogging has represented a statement of commitment that may have helped me through sticky patches.
A blog is a commitment of time, but the connections, feedback and reflection received have more than payed me back, I am convinced that I would have not have progressed as far with my learning without it and like an iceberg much of what I have gained has not been visible on the surface. A long time ago I was even interviewed by the Financial Times(I was that 39 year old programmer) although I was slightly misquoted and they missed out some key points (I am told that is par for the course though)
Reflection is useful, I have tidied up a few old posts that had duplicated first paragraphs and realized I need to make a blog roll of other learners blogs.