Journal: News & Comment

Wednesday, October 27, 2004
# 12:57:00 AM:

Four more years?

Permalinks to this entry: individual page or in monthly context. For more material from my journal, visit my home page or the archive.

Four years ago today, on October 27, 2000, I first converted the home page of my website into a journal—a weblog—using the free online tool Blogger, which still manages the entries I post here almost every day. My oldest daughter was two-and-a-half years old, and her sister had only been alive eight months. I had just started playing drums in a rock band again, and while I didn't know it yet, I was nearing the end of a nearly five-year tenure working for a software company. Farther away, the Twin Towers in New York and the nightclub district of Bali were tourist attractions, not memorials.

Since then, according to Blogger's statistics, I have written more than 230,000 words on this page—the equivalent of a thousand-page novel—in over 1600 individual journal entries, averaging one each day for four solid years. I've included more than 6000 hyperlinks from those entries, or an average of 3.75 each day. (I've made it a policy, in general, not to write an entry unless I can link it to at least one other thing on the Web, even just something else on this site.)

How much time has that taken? It's hard for me to average how long an entry takes me to create. Some go online in less than a minute, while others take hours and turn into entire articles that are published elsewhere. If I take a rough guess and assign a mean of, say, 15 minutes per post (I have no idea if that's accurate), I've spent 400 hours, or the equivalent of more than two solid sleepless weeks, posting to this website.

That's a little over 1% of my life during the past four years. Maybe it's actually 0.5%, or 2%. (The higher number is more likely: 15 minutes per post is about 575 words an hour, which is a pretty fast clip for a writer.) Not overwhelming, but also not trivial. It's more time than I've spent walking my daughters to school, for instance, but less than I've spent reading to them.

Is it worth it? Yes it is. Through this site I have found work, connected with friends, forged written memories for myself and for my family, and learned to be a better writer, editor, and web guy. It's a hobby that helps me do my job better. It's fun. So, four more years? Sure. More than that too, I hope.


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