Made of Bugs

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Iron Blogger: Blogging for Beer

So, you may have noticed that I suddenly started updating this blog for the first time in a while. The reason is that I’ve recently started an ongoing event with a whole bunch of friends around here to encourage us to blog more.

Like so many good ideas, it all started with a fundamentally simple premise. On December 21, I sent the following message to Zephyr (MIT’s internal IM system – like Twitter crossed with IRC, except older than either)

I know a whole bunch of you have mentioned that you should blog more often.

I propose that a bunch of us start blogs / dust off old ones, and commit to updating regularly -- say a modest one post/week initially. Every week, anyone who fails to update owes say $5 to a collective beer fund. Every month or so, we all go out and enjoy drinks on the tab of everyone who was lame. We also humiliate them as appropriate.

At the time, I expected maybe 6-10 people, at most, and we’d be able to just go to a random bar in the area, get a table, and sit down. I never expected what followed, which is that I’ve had 41 other people create or revive blogs and join the event.

We’ve got a website now, where you can see the current rules and all of the participants. I’ve written 250 lines of Python to manage the site and weekly reports, which you can download from github.

In celebration of the two-month anniversary of that zephyr that started this ridiculous event, here are some statistics, as of when I write this. No doubt these numbers will change by 0600 tomorrow, when this week’s deadline rolls around.

So far, I count 307 blog bosts that have been made as part of Iron Blogger, by 42 bloggers, for an average of 7.3 posts/person, or 0.8 posts/person/week. (This isn’t quite accurate, in that some people have joined late, so I shouldn’t be counting them for all weeks, but close enough).

In total, 64 weeks have been missed, for a total of $320 owed to the beer pool, of which we spent $140 at the first meetup. It’s probably time for another one soon, although I think I will want to collect more money before the event this time. There was a noticable correlation between “people who owed a lot of money” and “people who didn’t show up to the first meetup” last time.

Happy blogging, everyone!