Reflecting on 50 Posts

A look at how my blog and I have changed over 50 posts to my blog.

This article was tagged with: IndieWeb/Meta-blogging

There are 1841 words in this article, and it will probably take you less than 10 minutes to read it.

This article was published 2023-11-28 00:00:00 -0500, which makes this post and me old when I published it.


Is 50 posts a big milestone?

I think that it’s important to both celebrate milestones and create occasions to celebrate. I also like milestones for the opportunity to step back and reflect and see things as they’ve progressed over time. To me, 50 is only interesting as a number because it’s halfway to 100. However symbolically, 50 seems momentous in signaling to me that this is something that I’ve really stuck with and committed to, which is especially meaningful to me as a person who often quits things early on. For a blog, I think 10 posts is a bit too small of a milestone to really celebrate because you could get to that amount only to abandon the site later. 25 posts would have been an interesting milestone for me, but honestly it just never crossed my mind. Now that I have the idea of celebrating milestones in my mind I think that I will do them every 50 posts, so the next one will be 100. But maybe one day I’ll make it this far.

It was only about halfway through to 50 posts that I actually began to really take writing and my website seriously. I had never really identified as a writer, even though I was consistently choosing to do it in my free time. It wasn’t until I got COVID mid-August 2023 that I stumbled onto the idea of the IndieWeb and what other people were doing that I discovered what my website could be. This made me start to take my blog seriously and began to build out my content and presentation on my site.

How have I or my blog grown over this time?

My blog lists some of my philosophy articles as the first articles but this is because I backdated them to when they were written for class. I also adapted my college advice article from something I had written before for a friend. I wouldn’t call this cheating because I did have to adapt and change some things, I didn’t just copy and paste my essay into my blog. My first real articles that I wrote for my blog was my Degree in a Nutshell series. I had this idea while I was completing my undergraduate education and then finished it up in the summer after I had graduated. This first experience of having an idea and being able to ideate, write, and publish it was incredibly fun and fulfilling and immediately had me hooked.

However, it was 7 months before I wrote another article, being my 2022 Wrapped article (which I am excited to be doing as a series in the future). I would sporadically post as seen in my Posts by Date section and it wasn’t until I got COVID as previously mentioned that I had the chance to really sit down and think about my blog and writing. I came up with a lot of different article categories that I wanted to explore in writing, and I also created the statistics and the display articles by date sections. I have since started organizing my various article ideas into categories so that I can easily find things that I want to write about even months later.

During this time I’ve really played around with various formats. I even ended up splitting off my lists into another page (even though a lot of my articles at the end of the day are lists just maybe more fleshed out). I am someone who writes “bottom-up”, I throw a bunch of stuff into my Notes app and then I rearrange things together until headings and topics emerge out of various semi related ideas and thoughts. I am often surprised by the directions that my articles take because I sometimes have preconceived notions about what I want an article to be or achieve, but then I stumble onto a line of inquiry much more interesting and instead chase that down and see where it takes me.

Over time I have developed some patterns in formatting articles which I think accelerated my writing speed because it adds scaffolding and various lenses to generate ideas and organize thoughts. In having that framework, it allows me to have various places to focus on and fill in blanks retroactively if that’s not the initial direction my brainstorm took me. I still need to polish the process a little bit more in order to establish some more structure, but overall I like the flexibility that I have in my approaches to formatting articles.

What are my plans/hopes for the future of my blog?

I hope to develop the duology that is Living Better and Loving Better. I’ve also developed a lot more tags/topics that I hope to build out more in the future and contribute to especially because while this blog is definitely about exploring topics that I’m interested and passionate about it, is equally about trying to transfer my knowledge to others, of which I think these topics can really bring some welcome change/improvements to someone’s daily life and/or mindset.

As I’ve built out my back-catalog of articles, it has been really fun to be able to start linking back to my other articles, the tying together of my writings is super satisfying and sometimes quite surprising. I hope to be able to do this more, and also start linking to more things that other people have written as well.

I also want to keep working on my Data page. I don’t know if it will live on that page forever, but it will definitely live on and evolve as I continue my blog. I think that owning my data is a worthwhile project that also provides more interesting content on my website. I think that in some ways I want my website to encapsulate the kind of person that I am, and I think that the kind of content I consume is absolutely a part of that.

Statistics

Number of Articles: 50 (duh)

I’ve written lists, but I consider them to be distinct from articles because they do not contain much prose.

First Post: 5/5/2022, My CS Degree in a Nutshell

I backdated the Philosophy articles, so let’s count from Nutshell so it was from 05/05/2022 to 11/23/2023 to get from 0 to 50 posts. I cheated a bit because some of the articles are adapted from things I’ve written for class, the philosophy section in particular, but I made some edits to them so they weren’t all just ripped directly from my Blackboard submission.

50th Post: 11/27/2023, Developing A Non-Hierarchical View of Friendships

This is an article that definitely took me a long time to write because I wanted it to be perfect. It is definitely not perfect, but my last draft is much better than the one that I initially published. I won’t say final draft because I might go back and edit it some time in the future, but for now I am tired of looking at those words.

Elapsed Time from 1st - 50th Post: 572 days (~1.5 years)

I think that the elapsed time from 50-100 might be shorter, but not by all that much. I think that 1.5 years accounts for a lot of the time for me to start up my blog, but I think that’s still an article every 11 days which is pretty good honestly.

Total Words Written: 62,864

Words are kind of skewed because it counts code too. I can’t change that, Jekyll does not differentiate.

By word count I’ve written an entire novel according to NaNoWriMo (their challenge is 50,000 words in a month which they say is about the size of a novel) which is pretty cool! I don’t really have any interest in writing a book because I don’t think I am very good at crafting large scale narratives like that, but I still think it’s cool to think about because it goes to show how substantial the content I’ve been writing has been.

Average Number of Words Per Article: 1,257

I think that this figure is about right, I find that most articles I write are around the 1000-1200 word mark.

Longest Article: 3,524 words

This has always been My Philosophy Degree in a Nutshell. I’m not going to say that it will always be this article, but I don’t have any plans right now to write such a long piece. 3,000 words is about 6 pages single-spaced or 12 pages double-spaced, which is on the longer side of essays, even for my Philosophy degree I didn’t have to write that many essays of that length. I value conciseness in communication so if I ever write something of that length it’s going to be because the topic is very wide-ranging and I would have lots of thoughts on the topic.

Shortest Article: 532 words

This is Things I Do (Almost) Everyday, and the second shortest is not far off, with Living Seasonally at 536 words. I think that this is funny that both of them are about living, but I think the shortness of these articles comes from the fact that they are more listicles than anything else. I can’t really elongate the Things I Do (Almost) Everyday article unless I just start doing more things, so I estimate that this may remain my shortest article for years to come.

Number of Tags: 16

  • Living Better (6)
  • College (6)
  • Philosophy (6)
  • Beer (5)
  • Interior Design (5)
  • Jekyll (4)
  • Loving Better (3)
  • Hosting Ideas (2)
  • Maintaining a Second Brain (2)
  • Computer Science Education (2)
  • Reading (2)
  • Artificial Intelligence (2)
  • Music/Vinyl (1)
  • Cognitive Science (1)
  • Urban Planning (1)
  • Personal Style (1)

My Favorite Articles/Tags (So Far)

  • The Degree in a Nutshell articles (Philosophy & Computer Science) are still probably my all-time favorite articles.
    • That’s an article that only I could have written. Of course other people could take that format and do it for their degree, but no one else took the exact path as I. This was one of my first projects on my website that I conceived of, sat on, and then executed and published when it was time.
  • Maybe it’s recency bias, but I really like my hobbies and friends articles.
    • I think it’s a weaker form of public philosophy and on topics that I think a lot of people could benefit from thinking more deeply about as it pertains to spending your time in order to build a more happy and healthy/fulfilling life.
  • The Interior Design tag that I developed was honestly something that I didn’t see coming but that I’m glad that I did.
    • This category was born out of me just trying to decorate my apartment. I understand that there are so many different voices in this space, but I just wanted to add mine and try to document my experience and put unique ideas out there.

Other IndieWeb/Meta-blogging Articles

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