14 November 2003

They're dropping like flies...

Two of the weblogs I read regularly have quit publishing in the last few days. Both Sheila Viehl and Holly Lisle have decided they need to create an Internet-free zone to protect the work that really matters to them. I'll miss both sites, though it's a decision I certainly understand and respect.

I've been doing this for about two years, too, having gotten caught up in the same wave of weblogging that Holly and Sheila did. In that time, my business has become a lot more successful and I've become a lot busier. The long gaps between entries that regular readers may notice generally correspond to long stretches when I've been busy with other things. So this has me wondering if maybe it's time for me to quit, too.

And the answer comes back from my subconscious, "Not yet." Partly because I've always had a public persona--I worked as an editor before I launched Thin Film Manufacturing--and so I've got practice maintaining space between that persona and my private life. Partly because this site as a whole supports my business reasonably effectively, so I can justify the time I put into it. And perhaps partly because I don't get as much traffic as either Sheila or Holly, and therefore am not (yet) overwhelmed by comments and email.

All those are negative reasons, reasons not to quit. I try to avoid doing things out of inertia, so I need positive reasons to continue, too. Of those, probably the biggest is that the weblog gives me space for brief comments that I don't have time or energy to pursue in more depth. If I followed up on every tidbit about everything that I'm interested in, I'd spend my whole life dabbling in things and would never get a deeper understanding of anything. Goodness knows I'm prone to that already. So this is my space to say, "Hey, this is really interesting," my space to vent and grump and fume a little, my space to clear out the mental cobwebs so I can focus on larger efforts.

Julia Cameron's excellent book, The Artist's Way, recommends what she calls "morning pages" as a daily head clearing exercise. This weblog is much more self-conscious than true morning pages, which are emphatically not intended for public consumption. Still, the weblog serves much the same function.

I hope my daily ramblings are at least a little helpful to your day, but they're tremendously helpful to mine. So I'll be here a while.

Posted 12:04 AM

13 November 2003

People who think parking regulations don't apply to them are one of my pet peeves. So I really enjoyed this photo. No, that space in front of the fire hydrant wasn't reserved for you.

Posted 12:44 PM

12 November 2003

I really should read Corante more often. Every time I do, I find something interesting. In this case, it's a detailed analysis of "trusted computing," explaining why remote attestation in particular is a terrible idea.

Posted 12:53 PM

What MIT's OpenCourseWare project is doing for technology, Berklee Shares is doing for music. The school has posted a library of music lessons for free download.

Such projects make it clear that information creators no longer need to rely on distributors to reach an audience. Rather than trying to hold back the tide, publishers and other middlemen need to show that they add value for both creators and consumers.

Posted 12:19 PM

11 November 2003

Over the last couple weeks, I've been working on an article on advanced nonvolatile memories like FeRAM and MRAM. Betty Prince's book, Emerging Memories: Technologies and Trends, has been invaluable. As has my local university library. Even if I only use it a few times a year, my card there is a bargain compared to what all the resources it gives me access to would cost otherwise.

Posted 04:25 PM

The Armistice that ended World War I was declared at 11 AM, November 11, 1918. Eighty-five years later, it's clear that the "war to end all wars" was only the beginning of a long and bloody century.

Posted 10:18 AM

10 November 2003

Words are starting to pile up again. 8105 since my last update, 222,195 since January 1.

Posted 10:07 AM


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