Susan Robertson makes the case for writing as a way to improve your thoughts. When you have an opinion, attempting to share that opinion with others in written form causes you to go through an important process.

As she describes it:

When I went to write up a rough post for the company blog about how I created the style guide we were using, it pushed me to think about how I define these tools. That rough post never ended up on the company blog, but it did get published as an A List Apart article. As I worked with an editor to shape that piece, my thoughts on style guides morphed and changed until I knew what I wanted to say about them.

That’s the beauty of writing. You either hone your thoughts, improving and refining the opinion you started with. Or, the process of articulating your thoughts results in a change of opinion. Both results make the exercise a good use of your time.

But she also alludes to a second benefit for writing your thoughts and sharing them with the world:

I continued to think more about mobile and shared my thoughts on my blog. Those posts were the beginning for me, they were how I realized that I had a voice, that my thoughts mattered, and that sharing them was a way to start a conversation with others who were thinking about the same topics.

The end result:

It was through writing that I connected virtually with many of the people in the industry that I’ve gone on to meet in-person at conferences.

My own experience is the same, as I’ve shared before. Every relationship I have online, every job I’ve had with Internet based companies, can be traced back to the writing I was doing on my own personal site.

I can think of no greater benefit the Internet brings than giving us the opportunity to create, share our work, and connect with likeminded people as a result.