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Adding a Comma, Expanding a Place

The moment I hit “Publish” on this post, I will have crossed a major base-ten barrier:  this is the one thousandth post published here on meyerweb.  When I started putting up little missives back in December 1999, the idea was to communicate with my friends and family about what was going on in my life, and to maybe open a dialogue with the few people I hoped might read the forthcoming Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide.    (We expanded the acronym CSS in the title for fear potential readers might not know what “CSS” stood for—a legitimate concern back in 2000!)  Posts were written in the first-person plural, of all things, and there were no comments or search.  In fact, the whole thing was an unholy agglomeration of XML, XSLT, and shell scripts that somehow spit out HTML into quarterly archive pages—in chronological order, I’ll have you know.

Years later, I migrated to WordPress (mostly because I knew Matt personally, back before he started hobnobbing with Richard Branson and storing fruit in Louis Armstrong’s trumpet and all that), turned on comments, and never looked back.  As more and more sites have disabled commenting, I’ve left that door open and have yet to regret it.  Curating the comments has become easier to manage in the last few years as the number of comments per post has dropped, but I still believe it’s a worthwhile effort.  I was never here simply to talk; a good conversation beats a great soliloquy any day of the week.

It’s also true that, as my life has gotten more complex and my responsibilities have grown, my frequency of posting has dropped in the last few years (I believe that’s at least part of the reason for the drop in comments).  Speaking at an increasing number of conferences, founding and developing An Event Apart with Jeffrey, taking our family’s size from two to five, and trying (trying!) to keep up with the inbox and friends online—all ate into my blogging time.  I allowed it to happen, of course, in the most natural and unconscious way possible: I simply didn’t focus on blogging.  A lot of my focus I let flow into watching social networks stream crumbs of information past me, and occasionally tossing in my own crumbs, partly just to see where they flowed.

I will of course continue to put time and energy into An Event Apart and writing and above all my family, but I am reclaiming in the name of blogging the pieces of my attention I ceded to Twitter and Facebook and all that jazz.  This site, in the last 12 years, has (like an old friend) seen me through failure and success, horror and beauty, war and peace, through death and new life and all the things that greet all of us every day.  It deserves more of my focus, and that’s what I have committed to give it.  I’ll be returning to my old mix of technical and personal material, writing about CSS and standards right alongside child-raising and kitchen faucets.  You can follow along via RSS, or if you prefer a patchier approach you can watch for post announcements on Twitter.  Whatever the balance of content, whatever the post topic, I can most definitely assure you that I will continue to abuse parenthetical asides, lead off paragraphs with “Anyway”, employ British-style punctuation rules, and make jokes so obscure only I get them.

Prior to hitting “Publish” on this post, the archive of “Thoughts From Eric” (the official title of the blog portion of meyerweb) contains 400,409 words, according to WP Word Count.  This post contains 608.  Here’s to the next 598,983.

Five Responses»

    • #1
    • Comment
    • Wed 29 Feb 2012
    • 1136
    Jenny Neill wrote in to say...

    Hip hip hurray! Not that I don’t enjoy interacting with you in other online venues, I’m truly excited to see this. You’ve always been a good pen pal. Looking forward to continuing that tradition in the blogosphere.

    • #2
    • Comment
    • Wed 29 Feb 2012
    • 1349
    Bob Monsour wrote in to say...

    Congrats on your arrival at comma-dom! You’ve always struck me as someone who, while you don’t often “speak” here, when you do, it is most often a reward to be a listener. Here’s to your continued occasional “speaking” and my continued listening. I began listening closely a while back and attended the first AEA event in Philly. And I had a pleasure of your critiquing some of my code for a school site that I had developed. And you caught what you called a common error in my nested list html. I am forever grateful.

    • #3
    • Comment
    • Wed 29 Feb 2012
    • 1553
    Michael Pierce wrote in to say...

    Great news!

    I thought it was interesting that you correlate the impact of Twitter and Facebook on the very rare currency of “attention.” I’m coming to the same realization in life…so many things these days drain the limited attention you have to give. Little bits disappear here and there and, before you know it, meaningfully significant items in your life are withering away.

    Something for me to ponder…what’s not getting enough of my attention these days??

    • #4
    • Comment
    • Fri 2 Mar 2012
    • 1500
    Chris Hester wrote in to say...

    Good news, Eric. Just one tiny suggestion, hope you do not mind. Any chance of a new look to the blog? Perhaps a slight tweak? Some web fonts maybe?

    Keep up the good work!

    • #5
    • Comment
    • Fri 2 Mar 2012
    • 1511
    Eric Meyer wrote in to say...

    Thanks, all. The thing I’m most likely to tweak would be the masthead, Chris; it could use some more images, and the ones I have could stand to be resized to handle the much higher pixel widths of today. Not being a designer or a typographer, though, I don’t have a lot of appetite for either redesigning or going all ransom-note on y’all. I’d be more likely to sink effort into improving the comment system with a better form and a “notify me of followup comments via email” feature than anything else!

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