In the last half-decade, blogs have gone from a quirky personal sideline activity to a mainstream, almost de rigeur professional activity -- following the previous trajectory of Web sites and, before them, e-mail itself. To many, this democratization of the flow of information is a distinct blessing, to others it is the epitome of data deluge. As someone who has now posted blog entries every day for six years and recently passed the 10,000-unit mark (fulfilling Malcolm Gladwell's quota for expert practice), I wanted to take stock of what this has meant to me as a writer and thinker.
First, some sense of the effort involved.
I am considered a "prolific" blogger in that I've averaged 4-5 posts a day since March 2004, upping that to more like 7-8 daily posts in the past couple years (because shorter entries are better). Combined, the average day's posts come to about 2,500 words, with one-fifth of that excerpted from mainstream media (MSM) stories and the rest -- 2,000 words or so -- being my own analysis. Across a year, I generate close to three-quarters of a million words of original material on the blog, or six times what I average in formal publications such as columns, articles, and "amortized" books. To use an analogy from running, blogging is the daily training that prepares me for my "races."