WordPress tells me that this is the 1,000th post here on Ye Olde Blog. Which is nice, but this is probably the fifth time or so that WordPress has informed me of this milestone, and I’d guess the first time I hit it was back around 2005 or so. I would estimate that the total number of items ever posted here is actually somewhere between 2,500 and 3,000.
Whenever the number of posts creeps much above that nice round thousand, though, The Destroyer tends to erupt from his pit of infinite darkness to balance my creative instinct with its opposite. That’s a key part of my process, such as it is. I write a lot. And I delete a lot. And when I delete, I delete for good. Well, as much as “for good” can exist on the Internet, where the Wayback Machine or other resources exist if I ever decided that I desperately wanted or needed an article that I’d already blown to pieces here. But that rarely happens. I’m happy to obliterate things.
I’ve also been invoking The Destroyer over at my one remaining social networking account: LinkedIn. I registered there about 12 years ago. I’ve held three full-time jobs in three different parts of the country since then, so in each case, there were loads of new connections to made in my new professional networks, such that I ended up being linked to about 2,000 people or so by early 2020.
But, honestly, I can’t quite tell you why or what good that ever did for me. My feed is typically filled with loads and loads of things that don’t interest me enough to click through, and I’ve never leveraged a LinkedIn connection for any personal or professional gain, since if I know someone well enough to deploy such leverage, I just do it in real life, not there. I have cross-posted things here with real-time alerts there, but the volume of return traffic that has generated over the years is barely meaningful against my total website traffic. So with this post, I’m going to turn that off. This article can stand as my LinkedIn social media epitaph.
LinkedIn remains an okay place to hang a public resume, I guess, and a fair number of job applications or freelance proposals I’ve written over the years request/require a link to a LinkedIn profile, so I don’t see destroying that, for now. I have started culling my unwieldy roster of LinkedIn connections though. The list included loads of folks who I didn’t actually know, but who had asked to link with me for one reason or another at some point or another, and I had rarely seen any reason to say “no” without feeling churlish about doing so. My list of connections is down to about 150 now, and may continue to shrink. Maybe down to zero, if that’s allowed, in keeping with my “I hate social networks” paradigm. We’ll see.
At any rate, if you’re reading this and you notice that we’re not connected on LinkedIn anymore, it’s nothing personal. You’re still more than welcome to connect with and/or follow me via my website, always the best place to do so. (When you’re at the top of my front page, there’s a little button at bottom right that allows you to either put me in your WordPress Reader, or get email alerts when I update). You could also write comments on any or all of these posts, send me an email, or give me a call. I’m happy to communicate, as always. I just don’t see any reason anymore to do it via LinkedIn after a dozen mostly useless years there. The Destroyer likes things tidy, and brooks no fluff.
That’s a big part of why 1,000 seems to be the maximum-ish number of posts that my psyche tolerates here at the website. Just by the serial and periodic nature of what I do here, stuff becomes dated, or stale, or is overcome by events, and must go. Or I find things that were very specific to professional things happening in my life at certain points, but not today, and I don’t wish to have the bots and spiders and crawlers out there still associating me with work I don’t do anymore. Or my itchy trigger finger just presses “delete” when I run across a forgotten piece, just because it must have been forgettable, by definition, since I forgot about it.
In theory, I guess this means that the quality of the site gets better with each purge, as it becomes more densely filled with keep-worthy stuff. But since my new stuff may also be of variable quality or have different degrees of lasting relevance, that’s not really likely to be true in practice, over the long run. I mean, I am sure at some point down the line, I will write a post called “1,000 (Still Yet Again)” whenever The Destroyer next arises here, and this post will be vaporized. Enjoy it while it lasts.
The 1,000 rubric also resonates with me as the 25th anniversary of my website approaches, I think in July, plus or minus a month. (The first two incarnations of my website were hosted on long defunct sites with long URLs that I cannot remember or recreate, so I can only accurately track posts and activities back to 1999). 1,000 posts over 25 years equals 40 per year, or three and a third per month. That seems like a healthy clip, neither too spaced out, nor too obsessively scribbly. WordPress also tells me that ~150 posts here have received at least one read over the past 30 days. Some are more popular than others, obviously, but if that general trend is typical of a random 30-day period, then most everything here will be read at least once in every six month-ish period. That seems just fine. I’ll take it.
That’s all an historical interpretation rewritten by selectively looking backward, of course, but then what historical account isn’t?