This is technically a “Nothing to Say” post, except that I don’t have nothing to say, so it’s also not really. But, then, the “Nothing to Say” posts have always been among the most paradoxical posts in a huge sea of paradox, so no huge surprise there. You could start with the last post in the series and work backwards from the internal links, or you could just go check out the series listing for ”the informals” and get links to them all.
The main point of the posts in this series is to do a bit of a retrospective on the Blog So Far—
How I usually start one of these posts is by checking the control panel of my blog. Today it tells me that I have 423 total posts, from the first post (March 28th, 2010) through last week (May 13th, 2018), which is 425 weeks (if you count both endpoints, which you have to, because there’s a blog post at either end). Assuming my date math is right, of course ... which, considering my upcoming talk is all about date math, it damned well better be.
(For those who are familiar with my Perl work and know of my Date::Easy module, this is the code to get that answer:
perl -MDate::Easy -le 'print( (date("5/13/2018")->epoch - date("3/28/2010")->epoch) / 86_400 / 7 + 1 )'
Which is really not as easy as it should be. I’d like to add subtracting two dates—
So, how many of those posts should count as actual posts is always up for debate. The first thing we should subtract this time around are the “series listing” posts, which are categorized as “crosslinks.” They super don’t count as weekly posts, because I did them all at once, not one per week. So that leaves 415 posts in 425 weeks, which means I’ve missed 10 weeks in a little over 8 years. Not awesome perhaps, but not particularly tragic either.
Then we have 55 posts on my Other Blog, but they totally count. There are 38 interstitial posts, and they really shouldn’t count. And there are 77 partial posts, which I last time tried to count as ⅓ of a post each (on the grounds that my normal posts average about 1,500 words and my partial posts are closer to 500). Which is mildly odd math, but, if we roll with it, that puts us at just under 334 posts across 425 weeks, which is roughly a whole post every 9 days, so that’s still respectable, I’d say.
When it comes to words, I don’t do rough word counts any more. I wrote a script a long time ago that I keep revising: it sucks in the whole blog post file, splits the text on three things—
- “type” lines: These are lines at the very top of my post that tell my formatting script which blog they’re destined for, possibly the name of the post, etc.
- block quotes: If I’m quoting a long passage of text from someone else, that should hardly count towards my word count, right?
- links: Meaning the actual URLs themselves, not the words you click on (those still count).
- footnotes: This one is a bit more controversial, but I figure you can choose to skip over the footnotes if you like, and, assuming you do, then I shouldn’t count them in my total words.
- code blocks: Sure, I wrote them (usually), but code is not words in the traditional sense, and it often artifically inflates word count (e.g. ”$d” shouldn’t really count as a “word”).
- fine print: By which I mean those disclaimer-y things at the tops of my posts, like “this is part of a series” and “don’t count on the next part of the series being next week” and so on. A lot of that is reused boilerplate, and, while I did have to write it once, I don’t feel like it’s fair to count it for every post.
So, according to this script, if I suck in every post in the “published” directory and every post in the “novel” directory, I come up with this:
total words 551189 - in links 3645 - in blockquotes 64602 - in footnotes 19457 - in code blocks 6128 - in fine print 5568 net words 451789
That’s around half a million words, even discounting as much as I do. (I suspect there’s a few more posts somewhere that I’m not including, but I seriously doubt it could be more than 50 thousand words’ worth.) About 20 thousand words just in footnotes (I thought it’d be higher, actually), and over 60 thousand that I’m quoting of other people’s words (of course, some of that is quoting myself, and some of it may be just for formatting purposes, like poetry or whatnot). Still, a perfectly reasonable total, I think. I have no complaints.
This post itself is a bit light, but not so much that I’ll mark it as “partial,” I don’t think. I’m already over 1,100 words (final count, after editing, and adding this not-quite-a-footnote: 1,330). And that’s good, because, despite the lack of time this weekend, I really don’t want to fail to deliver on my new blog schedule. I already feel a bit lame for dropping back to half as many posts as I was making. If I can’t even maintain that level, I really will feel a failure. So this week I’m cheating a bit by doing a topic I can pound out very quickly, but I think it still qualifies as a full post ... even if mildly short on really interesting topics. But celebrating half a million words spewed forth into the void of the Internet is not nothing, even though it may not particualrly impress you, dear reader. But, as always, I can but point out that you really shouldn’t be reading this blog anyway.
See you next week.