So, the recent Blog Tag should be almost over by now and the debate over whether one should or should not participate is over. It's interesting to see how a simple thing like this can become such a sticky point for a number of folks. Jake K obviously didn't expect such a reaction to starting the blog tag.
For me, it's an exercise in team building. I find that folks tend to work and get along better when there is a personal touch to the work relationship BUT (and there is always buts) there are folks who can and want to keep their work and personal relationships separate and never shall those two intertwine. There are a few of those at my current place of employment and one has to learn to accept that as being part of the person's personality. I used to have an employee who spent five years here and does not have a friend or built a non-work relationship in the workplace. Truly sad (I think) but that was the choice made by that employee.
The idea of providing some personal information is to make that connection. For example, knowing a little more of your co-workers can help with understanding why your co-worker reacts to certain situations and thus help you with enriching the work relationship. For example, if you are a team with folks that you have not worked with previously, a common technique used by the team lead will to do a bit of introduction and provide some background information. This could include why s/he decides to take on the role or why s/he was qualified to take on the role, etc. I think most people will quickly realize that all in all, we are all not that different from each other but we are unique (based on our background, culture, upbringing and experiences) which is the true value that we bring to our community that makes it so enriching and interesting.
Here's to each and everyone of you to take some time to celebrate your differences and also your similarities which allows each one of us build and make that connection with each other.
Update - Jan 18th: I've made a correction as per Dan Norris' comment and my apologies to Jake (I did look it up to verify and for whatever reason, my entry didn't reflect that - probably one of the downside of not finishing the blog entry in one go).