Pete's Log: the future of the log mailing listEntry #597, Wed, November 15, 2000, 21:08 EST (Life in General)
(posted when I was 22 years old.)
So for some time now I've been considering disabling the mailing list feature of Pete's Log. I doubt I'll do it anytime in the immediate future, because it'd require me to go and alter some code, and because I've done some thinking about the whole ordeal. A vague thought process follows.
December 1998 I first decided to start keeping track of stuff I do. I decided to do this solely for my own benefit, since my memory ain't so great, but like just about everything I do, I set up the log as a set of web pages. I don't think anyone actually ever visited these web pages, and for good reason. My life is pretty boring. So after some time of quietly maintaining my log, others started creating journals (most notably Arun) and thus a craze began. But other than switching to a database backend, I kept my log pretty lowkey, and I was happy like that. But after a year or so, Arun asked me to add mailing list functionality to the log. OK, why not, I'm happy to assist in allowing Arun to be lazy. But then other people started subscribing. I never asked a single one of them to either. And I don't quite understand this trend. I'm not a particularly interesting person.
But I'm beginning to get the feeling that this whole journal craze is becoming an excuse to avoid social interaction. So I know some people that subscribe are people who aren't around, and that's cool, I suppose, if they want to keep tabs on what I'm up to. But the majority of people subscribed spend a good deal of time in the same building as I do.
The other problem I have is that the mailing list aspect of the whole thing alters how I do log entries. The purpose of the thing is for me to keep track of things. So my instinct is to write down just about every last detail I want to remember. But then I am confronted with the fact that every time I hit add entry I am filling up somebody's inbox, and I feel guilty. And that's bogus, damnit. And I've actually gotten complaints about the content of some of my log entries!!! The purpose of the log isn't entertainment. The purpose is aiding my memory. I'll admit that some of the journal's I'm subscribed to are rather entertaining. But I lack the depth, intelligence, and humor to have an entertaining journal. And that's not my desire, either. I'm a very simple person, I listen to music, I watch sports, I run, I code, I cook, I get drunk, I enjoy life. Most of the log entries will reflect that, and thus the log is really quite repetitive, I feel. If I weren't me, I wouldn't be subscribed to my own log mailing list.
So I've come pretty close to turning off the mailing list. But I've decided to postpone that for the time being. I love my log, it's proven to be a great tool for remembering stuff, and if I need easy distraction, I can go back and read log entries from a year ago and laugh at myself. And I chose to make it public, I guess, so that others can laugh at me. And although the mailing list feels different than just having a webpage, I guess there's no real difference between somebody being subscribed and somebody simply checking the webpage daily. I'm just making their life easier (although I doubt anyone would actually check the webpage daily if there weren't a mailing list). But I have also decided to hell with the feelings of guilt at filling someones inbox. They voluntarily subscribed, so they deserve it. So there may be an increase in frequency and/or verbosity of log entries. If any subscribers are unhappy with this, my feelings won't at all be hurt if they unsubscribe. I almost unsubscribed all of them myself.
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