Decades

I’ve been writing this blog for ten years, as of this weekend.

In that decade, I’ve written 510,216 words here, which is about the same length as War and Peace or Les Miserables although it’s a little more focused on technology than on the impact of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society. After poking around with a bit of maths, a few stats in the form of a bunch of small bar graphs.

A bunch of small bar graphs


Posts per year ▇▄▅▅▃▂▂▂▁▁▁ Word count per year ▇▄▃▃▃▂▂▂▁▁▁ Word count average ▃▂▂▂▂▃▂▃▃▃▇ Amount I mention Ubuntu ▁▁▁▁▁▁▁▂▄▇▄ Average number of comments ▁▅▃▃▃▄▄▇▅▆▆


That last one’s interesting. It seems that the number of comments on posts has stayed relatively steady over the last ten years, which is nice. There are a few things that skew that, though:

Top 5 commented posts

  1. How to be rich and famous: 1005
  2. Carphone Warehouse customer service: 246
  3. Autism test: 218
  4. Sorttable v2: making your tables even more sortable: 216
  5. K700i: 145

The first three of those are posts which attracted a shedload of comments from people who didn’t bother to read the actual post itself but basically used it as a forum to talk about the subject. This sort of thing is self-reinforcing; if you write something about a cat dying then people comment saying “my cat died, it was so sad” and then you move your way up the Google rankings for people looking to write about their cat dying; they come and post some more, repeat until false. The infamous How to be rich and famous post is one of only two where I’ve interfered with the comment stream; I stopped comments on that post for a while because it became (a) a place for hopeful teenagers to ask how they could get famous and, (b) more worryingly, a place for hopeful teenagers to post their phone numbers and addresses so that someone could ring them up and say “hey, we want you to be the next pop star, keep your eye out for the limo”. So, I put a stop to that because I got bored of redacting mobile numbers out of the posts, and telling people to not do that, what are you, fuckin’ morons? stop it!, didn’t seem to have any effect.

The other post that got the comment stream interfered with was the one about Carphone Warehouse, whose sad story is told in Redaction of comments. Le sigh, again. I’m still conflicted about what I did there. Ah, history.

It’s clear from the graphs that I write less often but write more text when I actually do pen something. I suspect that a lot of this, over the last few years at least, is down to Twitter eating up my desire to write snippet-y stuff; back in the old days (cue Hovis music) we used to write short stuff on blogs rather than Twitter or Tumblr. You kids these days, don’t know you’re born, etc.

God, I feel old all of a sudden.

Top 5 posts by length

  1. Desktop Couch IRC talk: 4381
  2. Adding Ubuntu One support to your applications, an IRC lecture: 3558
  3. My new phone, 2012 edition: 2987
  4. Monkey Island 2, for about the fifth time: 2357
  5. That was LugRadio Live 2009: 1854

The top two of those are transcripts of IRC lectures and therefore don’t really count. Of the next three, two were written in the last two months, which suggests that long-form writing is more my métier these days.

The design… oh, the design. A history of web design done by someone who has no bloody idea what he’s doing, in animated gif form…

my website

I’d forgotten about some of those. The Internet Archive, as ever, does its usual sterling job. It didn’t seem to have everything, or more accurately it didn’t seem to pick up the CSS for everything, so a bunch of snapshots it took were 1995-style plain Times New Roman HTML, but one can’t really complain (in particular, the pink design that everyone hated failed to be immortalised into history. I liked that one.)

It’s amazing what’s come in and gone away. Remember linklogs? Blogrolls? Bloglines? RSS autodiscovery being an exciting thing? And now we’re all mobile and HTML5 and responsive (well, I’m not, but one thing at a time). Presumably a decade from now this place will be powered by pure hydrogen and exist in a glittering mesh of collaborative consciousness joining us across the stars or something.

I might even have fixed the title elements by then.

As days pass by, eh? That’s 3655 days passed by. Here’s to the next few thousand.

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