Stretched thin

It was a bit of a surprise to read Russell Beattie’s closure of his weblog today. I have no doubt he’s closing it, too.

Of his future weblogging plans, Russell wrote:

Yep, after four years and almost 3,000 posts I’ve decided to close up the Notebook. There’s lots of reasons, but generally this is a continuation of the full-reset I started back in January. At first I was actually thinking about just transitioning to a more of a weekly blog where I write less frequently and was sort of cleaning everything up with that in mind. But then I just decided that I really needed a break, and that I’d really much rather start from scratch at another URL some other time when I’m ready to write again. Lot less pressure that way to do something new later on, and a lot easier to get out of the habit of posting daily now.

This is a sound idea: close down the weblog, and if you do decide to come back, start a new one at a different location. In fact, I’m not sure that most personal weblogs should remain for longer than a few years. We all change over time; some weblogs reflect change that flows along like a raft on a gentle river on a summer sunday afternoon–it’s nice. Others, though–rapids ahead! Ohmigod, it’s Niagra Falls! Whoa, someone go back and collect my teeth after that sudden switch.

In other words, we made spaghetti code of our weblog: leaving it all twisted, jumped, hacked, and pieced. When we do, do we clean it up? Or do we just walk away and start fresh? Can we start fresh?

When we move to a new town or job, we can use the experience as a way to ‘redefine’ who we are–to accentuate the good, drop the bad. To change naturally. Since people in the new locale have no expectations, the task was easier. Well, many of us have lived longer in our weblogs than we have our homes, worked with them longer than many of our jobs.

Even if we change our URLs, we still need that time away. It’s that expectation thing. I noticed when Mark Pilgrim returned, his URL and title remained the same, but the weblog is new. I like it–I’ll never be able to look at a bag of frozen peas in a man’s shopping cart in the same light ever again.

Food for thought. I need to get back to work. I hope you all liked the Fishies photos.

And good luck to Russell. I think he’s doing a good thing.

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