Originally written in February or March of 2001
I was thinking this morning about how I do Dave's Picks and what makes it so different from other weblogs. I've always felt it's different, but when asked to explain why I thought that, I had a hard time explaining it. Here's the best explanation I've been able to come up with.
Last Friday, my friend Aaron commented that he liked Dave's Picks, and asked me if I did all the HTML by hand. I told him that I used Frontier, so I could link each page as I saw it. He followed up by asking why I only published twice a week. And that is what I think makes Dave's Picks different from most weblogs out there.
First, I publish twice a week to make for less work. There's still a fair amount of manual work involved in updating my list of links twice a week. Also, it makes it easier for folks to know when to check back if I stick to a regular update schedule. And because folks tend to hit the server most on Mondays and Fridays after I've posted new content, those are the days when my Frontier server was most likely to crash or freeze, meaning that I had to walk into the other room to restart the server. It means I have to be extra vigilant on those days, but I could basically ignore the server the other five days of the week without too much trouble.
I'm not using Manila as a server anymore. That makes me much happier since my new server just works and I can think more about other things.
Second, and more important in my mind, is that publishing twice weekly gives me a little more time to think about what I'm linking to. I can take the time to come up with a good description or bit of text to go with the link, and as my interests wander over time, I can put together a collection of links and have a thematic day. In contrast to Dave Winer on Workflow, I actually appreciate the time to think about what I write, and the chance to go back and clean things up before making them available to those of you who read this site. I think it makes for a better product in the end. It certainly makes for fewer times when I have to go back and say that I was misunderstood and complain about the thought police. I'd rather get it right in the first place.
Finally, setting aside a little time on Monday and Friday to collect my thoughts in Dave's Picks is a chance for introspection. I can look at the links I've collected recently, wonder why some of them never quite seem to make the cut, why I suddenly found an interest in something new, or whatever. I don't think it's a coincidence that I tend to write new essays mostly on Mondays and Fridays. Plus I find it easier to write on a schedule, and twice a week seems to work right for me. It gives me an excuse to do a little writing, and ideas to flesh out for a longer essay every once in a while.