After this goes live and until I get around to publishing next, it’ll say “(3001 fragments)” on the ongoing front page, which the majority of you who are currently looking at a feed reader never see. Three thousand is a lot. But they’re coming slower than they used to; does this trend lead to silence?

Check the numbers; August had the lowest post frequency since I lurched into motion in February of 2003. It’s not just me, there’ve been a few successful bloggers writing, over the course of 2008, about slowing down; for example, Petite Anglaise this very morning.

In The End, Silence? · Well yeah, we’re all gonna die someday. But for now, the thought of not having a writing space on the Web, whether anyone reads it or not, makes my blood run cold. I’m totally not going to force myself to write; I long since learned that the only things that work here—in the sense of starting conversations, or of making me happy when I accidentally revisit them—are the things I wrote because they wanted me to write them.

Why? · Well, Twitter is one reason.

Another is, that as I’ve written this year, I’m looking for another windmill to tilt at, or a big project to consume me. For now, working on various Atom stuff (come to ApacheCon 2008, NOLA in November, if you want the details) and Sun/developer-community liaison work keep me plenty busy.

And inside Sun software, the hottest creative energies are going into JavaFX (unfortunately, I just don’t get whole RIA thing) and OpenSolaris’ IPS (unfortunately, I’m a packaging moron) and multi-language NetBeans (they don’t need much help... well, I do report bugs). I’m internally pushing some ideas that I think could be impactful; but it feels like an in-between time.

Thank You · This is the important bit: I am so absolutely genuinely grateful to whichever aspect of Life, the Universe, and Everything that has arranged that there be people who actually read what I write, from time to time. So thanks to you all, and I’ll try not to be boring for the next three thousand.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Brandon Mitchell (Sep 05 2008, at 11:29)

Your writing here has had a profound effect on not only my own personal growth and public contributions as a software developer, but on countless others', as well.

From all whom you've inspired and encouraged: thank you for these 3000 and here's to the next 3000!


From: Carolyn A. Colborn (Sep 05 2008, at 11:48)

It's not just software developers you influence, Tim. I've even taken to reading your older entries, going all the way back to 2003. To the next 3000, I second that emotion. :-)


From: Dave Lemen (Sep 05 2008, at 12:27)

Congratulations, Tim! I enjoy reading your blogs and your tweets very much.


From: Ģirts (Sep 05 2008, at 12:55)

Thank you for writing Tim.


From: Charles Oliver Nutter (Sep 05 2008, at 13:26)

I think these things wax and wane with seasons and other events. Right now there's a lot of political chatter. Over the summer, a lot of people taking breaks. For me, the month of July was almost totally blog-free, because I was heads down working on stuff. Now I've posted several times in the past couple weeks.

Twitter has certainly provided an outlet for microblogging tidbits that would either not fit into a full post or would create a scattered roundup. I think the quality of my posts is dictated largely by how passionate I feel. Last night's post, for example, would have been a tweet...but there's no way I could express myself well enough in 140 characters. When it feels right and I have enough to say, I post. And I don't think Twitter has impacted the number of *good* posts I make; but it's probably cut down on the noise.


From: stephen o'grady (Sep 05 2008, at 13:42)

first, congrats.

as for the numbers, have you taken a look at word counts? i ask because while my frequency is indeed down, my actual word counts are up. for better, or very possible, for worse.


From: John Cowan (Sep 05 2008, at 13:52)

There are lots of things that want me to write them, but I ruthlessly ignore their plaintive cries in favor of doing my job(s).



From: John Hart (Sep 05 2008, at 13:55)


I've greatly enjoyed ongoing for years. I don't follow Twitter, and don't intend to (that format is pretty much the opposite of what I look for in any sort of writing), so I say "keep up the good ongoing work!" and "don't abandon us long-format readers!".




From: John (Sep 05 2008, at 16:35)

Perhaps part of the reason they're slowing down is because no one's listening (not the case here of course). With everyone's attention span these days down to about 5 seconds, it takes *way* too much time to read blogs. We need one or two second "sound bites", hence the allure of Twitter and cell phone text messaging.


From: Rick Umali (Sep 05 2008, at 19:01)

This is a milestone. I haven't been reading your BLOG long (and I get it via RSS), but I am glad to be here for this milestone.


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