Here’s an odd sentence made of special words: The Web can do big things for little people and little things for big; we think it’s really pretty good right now. In related news, this blog is ten years old today.

On February 27, 2003, I told the world about this project. (Some readers might be entertained by Is This Thing On? — written the next day, about bringing up a new blog back then.)

That odd sentence includes only words from among the one hundred most commonly used in ongoing since 2003; including almost all that aren’t just grammatical auxiliaries.

The words found here to date total somewhat over 1,555,000. Monocasing and sorting yields just over 39,000 unique items; stemming and omitting proper nouns would cut that by a factor of two or more. It’s nice to be a citizen of the big, messy, vigorous, English language.

Thank You · I mean you, the person reading this. Not in the mass, collectively, abstractly; but you right now, you who are spending your time to read what I, right now, am writing.

The evidence above shows I have plenty of words, but not enough to express my debt. This blog here has found me jobs, made me friends, taken me places I wouldn’t have gone, shown me things I wouldn’t have seen, and taught me loads of things I wouldn’t have learned. Because when you talk to the world it talks back; listening is a higher privilege than talking.

Patterns · The date grid doesn’t lie; I blog less often now. Some reasons are obvious (Twitter, G+) but then there’s history. When I started this thing I’d already had a couple of careers spanning a couple of decades, so I could coast along mining the findings and the war stories. Those stories have been told now, mostly, so anything I place here has to be actually new, from life as it happens.

Fortunately lots happens, Google and Google and Google and the family and the house and the cabin and the boat and the cameras.

Technology · The stuff that holds this Web ranch together, I mean. Glue and string and ad-hockery, multilingual and messy.

And so very educational, writing it and keeping it running. I’m not proud of it because I know it too well; feels as much a part of me as my knees or opinions.

Advice · Hahaha, this is a podium so I get to preach sometimes:

  • Write about things while you’re learning them; by the time you’re an expert it’s too late to start.

  • Write long phrases then shorten them.

  • Long sentences are OK though.

  • Sweat the typography.

  • Use fewer commas.

  • Use semicolons.

  • Be intense.

  • Be brief.

And most important of all, ignore everything social-media hacks say about building your audience. It’s not that they’re wrong, but as soon as your goal is “building your audience” it’s over; You’re corrupted and you’ve lost.



Contributions

Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: shita (Feb 27 2013, at 00:32)

Congrats! I've been looking forward to reading every day.

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From: Paul Morriss (Feb 27 2013, at 02:21)

Congratulations! I'm surprised to find that I've been blogging for longer than you. However yours is probably one of the two blogs that I've been reading for longest. The first blog I followed was Scripting News, because I could read it on work time and convince my bosses if necessary that it was work related. Then he linked to you and Robert Scoble and I've been reading you both since. When I see that little red diamond in Google reader I click on it first.

So thank *you*.

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From: Jim King (Feb 27 2013, at 05:40)

Me too!

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From: Ian Rae (Feb 27 2013, at 06:31)

This blog is a good mix of personal items, tech, and photos!

Ah yes, reading logs with tail feels very back stage.

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From: Sandy Ressler (Feb 27 2013, at 07:53)

Congrats! Longevity counts.

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From: Shane (Mar 01 2013, at 16:51)

Encore! Well, said, sir.

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From: Simon Griffee (Mar 06 2013, at 04:01)

Thanks for writing, Tim!

Regarding the typography, please consider changing the text back to ragged-right instead of justified. Looks better, and is much, much easier to read.

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author · Dad · software · colophon · rights
picture of the day
February 27, 2013
· The World (115 fragments)
· · Life Online (267 more)

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I am an employee of Amazon.com, but the opinions expressed here are my own, and no other party necessarily agrees with them.

A full disclosure of my professional interests is on the author page.