When I first started keeping a link log, I ran out of things to talk about. I’d got so used to relying on writing brief things about other people’s sites – and then occasionally writing longer pieces when I got inspired halfway through something else – that with the restrictions imposed by the linklog format, I suddenly realised I had little else to say.
Except that wasn’t true. I had an enormous amount to say and no time in which to say it. I’ve noticed as time has passed that many things get linklogged as soon as I see them. But many others sit in my browser waiting for greater attention. They’re the things I think I ought to be talking about in more detail – they’re the things I want to think about more rigorously. That’s the stuff I have opinions about. Except I don’t have any bloody time to write about those things, so two-thirds of the time they just sit there for weeks until either Safari crashes or I linklog them anyway. What a weird situation to find myself in – posting only those things that interest me enough for me to want to keep a record of them, but don’t interest me enough to write about thoroughly. There’s something wrong there, surely?
There’s a third category of things that I write about – and that’s stuff that has emerged from me, rather than being a commentary or response to what other people have done. Rather than just a reaction, these pieces represent actual work put in by me. I write these infrequently, not because I don’t have those things to write, but again because I have no bloody time. Last week I asked people what I should write about: my trip into the heart of government, my visit to Our Social World, ETech Proposals, Microformats, Controlled Vocabularies versus URL clouds, splicing semantic structures together with tags, conceptual page-rank, the Guardian redesign and … some other stuff.
What did I end up writing about? Nothing. Why? No bloody time. I have an enormous file of projects to build, ideas I’ve had, posts I want to write. I keep track of them because otherwise I forget them. I used to keep track of them by writing the damn things, in a kind of get … them … out … of … my … head kind of a way. But no longer.
It’s the white space you should be reading, not the weblog itself. The real value around here lies in the stuff that’s notable by its absence.