This is a question recently asked by Lance Fortnow. There are a few boring answers: I thought I wouldn’t have time, what with my packed schedule of websurfing, procrastinating, and sleeping. I thought the human race had already overpopulated God’s green blogosphere. I thought the bandwagon had already passed in 2003, and there was no use chasing it now. I thought it would be presumptuous (as indeed it is).
But the real answer is that to run a successful blog, I knew I’d have to write about what actually mattered to me — and that included more than just the latest arXiv preprints or bizarre complexity classes. I’d have to state strong opinions, make my worst fears everyone else’s business, probably offend some people, and probably embarrass myself. So before I did that, I wanted to make sure I could at least do it in the best, most eloquent words — words that couldn’t possibly be misunderstood.
So what happened? Did I find those words? As you can see for yourself, I didn’t. What happened is that, after finishing grad school and reaching an advanced age, I started to face my mortality. Before then, I could always justify inaction by telling myself I was still preparing for the rest of my life. But once you’re in the rest of your life, if you’re not actually living it, then what are you doing? It occurred to me that, if you wait for the “perfect opportunity” to start a weblog — or switch to a new research area, or ask someone out, or whatever it is you want to do — then you’re essentially just committing delayed suicide. I’m sorry if that sounds trite and obvious.
Efficiency matters. Time constraints change everything. How could I have forgotten?