Why I'm worried about writing in a web log.

July 9th, 2002 • 2 min read #Meta

My job is all about building relationships, deal-making, networking, and politics. Every day, I am privy to conversations which must be kept confidential not only to preserve the relationships' confidence, but also simply to be successful with my work. For example, when I'm in the middle of negotiating a sensitive deal, it would be asinine to tip my hand and post behind-the-scenes information about my position online. The tension I feel is that this is an aspect of my life which is exciting and which I would love to share. It would be incredibly valuable to preserve and reflect on these experiences later. I have this conflict: I don't think it is worth spending the time sharing my writing unless I am giving some value to the reader (entertainment, information, etc).I'm also afraid that exposing myself online will give readers the impression that my life isn't all that interesting. I don't know whether my life is as exciting as I think it is. I'm happy, I'm starting to do things that I've been postponing for a while now (ex. Art projects, this web log, etc.), but putting the nitty-gritty up online would seem to put that to the test. Some of the better authors have established a following, which I assume is validation for their work.

I can only expect that my friends and family would be interested in reading what I am writing... any strangers would be a bonus. Still, I feel like I will be worried about the impression I leave for anyone.

I'm a geek. I admit it. Very often I postpone projects because I feel I need to engineer an ideal solution to the problem. I'm probably not a perfectionist, but I think I would like to take pride in something that I would have the audacity to display to the world. The geek in me considers pre-built web logging tools like Movable Type to be a crutch. I certainly have the skills to design a tool at least as good as what's already out there; I'd argue I could probably do a better job at it. My pride tells me that I'm not allowed to release a website unless it's filled to the brim with fascinating content and has an elaborate, technical engine under the covers that I built from scratch. The compromise is simple and should have been obvious to me: incremental development. My first iterations of websites were all half-baked because my vision was larger than my time and energy. It's easy to let yourself be discouraged when you realize it will take multiple lifetimes to create what you have in mind; hence, no more progress.

So I will start with a Movable Type supported website using one of their pre-built style sheets ("Trendy" is it's name). First, I will redesign the look and feel of the site (probably resurecting my Unbearable Monkey design which I'm not even sure I ever published). Then, I will slowly replace the underside with my own engine (including the substantially more elaborate ideas management system I've developed, Tock... that's a project which I'll talk about here). I'll give myself a year or two to do that, though, not just a weekend.

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