Thanks, Iron Man, for the good excuse to perl blog

I’ve been thinking that I haven’t blogged much lately. Assorted half-baked ideas would cross my mind and then evaporate before I’d find the time, or motivation, to actually start writing.

The folks at the Enlightened Perl Organisation have solved the motivation problem by announcing the Iron Man Blogging Challenge: in short, “maintain a rolling frequency of 4 posts every 32 days, with no more than 10 days between posts“.

So about one post a week. I can aim for that!

Can you? “The rules are very simple: you blog, about Perl. Any aspect of Perl you like. Long, short, funny, serious, advanced, basic: it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t have to be in English, either, if that’s not your native language.” Why not try? Help yourself and help perl at the same time.

I’ll try to capture the half-baked ideas for perl blog posts as they cross my mind, then build on them as time and mood allow. Hopefully about one a week will mature into an actual blog post.


I remembered that almost exactly a year ago schwern blogged that he was “horrified at the junk which shows up when you search for perl blog on Google“. It seems the situation hasn’t improved much since. The site is top, but the rest are a bit of a mishmash.

The problem is partly that “perl blog” isn’t a great search term. Google naturally gives preference to words that appear in urls and titles (all else being equal), but blogs rarely explicitly call themselves blogs on their pages or urls. I suspect many on the first page of results are there because ‘blog’ appears in the url. (To help out I’ve included “perl blog” in the title of this post :)

Searching for “perl blogs” (plural) works better because it finds pages talking about perl blogs, which is useful when searching for perl blogs.

One entry in the “perl blogs” results was the Perl Foundation’s wiki page listing perl blogs. That was new to me. This blog wasn’t on it so I’ve added it. Got a perl blog, or know someone who has, that’s not listed on that page? Go and add it, now! It’ll only take a moment.

Along similar lines, I’ve added the phrases “perl blog” and “perl programming” to the sidebar of my blog pages. The first is to help people searching for “perl blog”. The second is mostly for my own amusement.

4 thoughts on “Thanks, Iron Man, for the good excuse to perl blog

  1. Pingback: Perl Blogs « transfixed but not dead!

  2. The problem with the Iron Man Challenge is that a lot of people don’t have anything interesting to say, but now EPO wants to encourage people to speak anyway.

    George Saunders has an interesting essay about this: “The Braindead Megaphone”. When you try to be the loudest guy in the room, you start to change how everyone speaks and interacts with each other, often detrimentally. The level of discussion degrades, jargons develop, and so on. You can spot the braindead megaphones when they start blogging about blogging.

    You normally have really good things to say Tim, but I think this sort of post detracts from the otherwise good content you have. It’s adding noise to your signal, and you’ve had one of the highest signal-to-noise ratios out there. I think you’re much more effective not having an excuse to blog but sticking to what you’ve historically done. I used to see your articles in my aggregrator and think I was in for a treat. I’d like it to still be that way.

    • I’m sorry you were disappointed by the post brian. You make a leap from “encouraging people to blog” to “try to be the loudest in the room” which doesn’t seem justified. I see encouraging people to blog as very similar to encouraging people to release modules to CPAN. The quality will vary hugely but I’m sure they’ll be some surprising gems and hopefully some interesting new voices in the community.

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