Recently, I've turned to questioning the way I handle talking and writing about my opinions.
Normally, I shy away from making assertions that might be misguided under the belief that strongly voicing an incorrect opinion is harmful towards people who trust me. I'll often prefix anything I say with "maybe"or "I think" to soften the blow and avoid appearing arrogant when I am on the wrong track. However, there are benefits to less passive forms of expression.
The stronger your stance on a subject, the more likely you are to receive critical feedback that challenges your position. A blog post that states and doesn't question something completely backwards provokes immediate correction. This improves your understanding and avoids years spent going in the wrong direction because you were never told otherwise. As Cunningham's Law states, "the best way to get the right answer on the Internet is not to ask a question, it's to post the wrong answer".
When you are correct, being straightforward makes a lasting impression. Your words can have immeasurable influence as long as you keep them concise and true to the core of the subject. Writing that sticks with me doesn't waste time trying to assure me that other opinions are okay, but rather hits me with arguments so convincing it feels like fact. Aim your voice towards impacting how people think and your words will reach farther.
Communication is a powerful tool. Don't waste it worrying about your self-image. Use it to make your opinions known.
Programmer, drummer and occasional blogger.