E/N

The website's content means everything to the publisher, but it could mean nothing to the rest of the world.

Back in the 1990s and maybe even in the early aughts, some websites were called E/N sites, which meant Everything and Nothing. E/N may have predated the term "weblog", which also began in the 1990s and was later shortened to "blog".

E/N description: The website's author covers a myriad of topics. It's not narrowly focused. The author writes about everything or at least everything that's important to the author. The site might contain something useful for anyone who visits. The content means everything to the publisher, but it could mean nothing to the rest of the world.

This March 2017 Hacker News thread mentioned E/N. Excerpts from an HN comment:

... talking about anything they want, doesn't even have to be important.

Another HN comment:

The explanation I read back in the day was that e/n is something that means everything to the person who's writing it, and nothing to everyone else.

That's a good description for sawv.org.

Yet another HN comment:

... sites came out just talking about whatever the author wanted to rant about. So the category was everything and it was about nothing really important.

One final HN comment:

As for the meaning, yes, everything/nothing. Your blog is about everything and nothing. Seinfeld is "a show about nothing."

Urban Dictionary definition:

... it refers to a type of post that means everything to the poster, and nothing to anyone else.

That HN thread pointed to this May 1999 blog post titled What’s an E/N Site? at hearye.org. I like this web writer's tagline.

Journal, weblog, diary. Everything. Nothing.

Excerpts from that 1999 post:

E/N sites cover basically everything. It seems that there is something for everyone. Postings made may be of great significance to the E/N site visitor, or of absolutely no significance – this is the nothing part. What some may regard as interesting will be “nothing” to others. Some people just don’t care about Kosovo. Some people just don’t care about Quake 3. But others will.

That sounds like a print newspaper, which is a positive attribute.

More:

E/N sites are unrestricted. There’s always news, there’s always controversy. Once the news is no longer new, and the controversy has become repetitive and boring, E/N sites just move on. They can be serious, funny, dull, interesting, cynical and excited – all within the same site. And, sometimes, all within a single day. Being an E/N site means writing about whatever the hell you want. Whether each day, you tailor your posts to your readers, whether you decide to piss people off, whether you tell your most personal stories, whether you’ve got some juicy news you’d like to share, or whether you write “bite me” just cos you feel like it, it’s still all E and all N.

At the homepage of hearye.org, the author lists some links in the sidebar to blogs and old e/n sites. Listed under blogs is #!/usr/bin/girl, which was last updated in 2009, but in the sidebar, the site states: "e/n before it went out of style!".

Writing for the sake of writing for personal reasons and not trying to impress others.

The hearye.org homepage sidebar lists http://udink.org under e/n. Excerpts from the udink.org author's about page:

I created a website and started a blog in 1998, and it has existed at many different URLs over that time. Early entries were more of an online diary, while my more recent posts are trip reports from my outdoor pursuits with the occasional post about family matters or whatever else of importance is happening in my life. Many of my earlier entries are asinine, embarrassing, or dull (hey, I was in my early-20s), but I leave them up for posterity.

That last part is what makes a long history of personal web publishing interesting. People evolve over time.

Authors' opinions from 15 to 20 years ago may not define those people today. But viewing one's own changing thoughts through the years can be fun, at least for the author.

sawv.org contains notes about everything and nothing. Some of my old thoughts will be disagreeable today, even to me. And hopefully 10 to 20 years from now, I'll disagree with my current opinions. That's life.

More about E/N

Again, this 1999 post What’s an E/N Site? is a good read.

In 2002 or 2003, I bought and read a small paperback book titled The Weblog Handbook, written by Rebecca Blood. The book was published in 2002. I re-read it again in 2016 and 2017, marking the book up with my notes and underlines.

I liked the colors used on the back cover of Rebecca's book.

Rebecca mentioned E/N sites in the afterword. Excerpts from the book:

Those first webloggers soon discovered a community of parallel sites that called themselves E/N pages (for "everything/nothing," a description of their subject matter). Though they used the same format (dated entries, newest at the top), their focus and sensibility was completely divergent from that of the emerging weblog community.

But she didn't detail how E/N sites diverged from blogs. More excerpts from the book:

Members of both communities agreed that though the format was identical, the sites, somehow, were different. The E/N and weblog communities remained distinct.

Based upon that description, then technically, sawv.org does not qualify as an E/N site because I'm not using a list of dated posts on the homepage, ordered youngest to oldest. But philosophically, I would consider sawv.org to be an E/N site, based upon the content. And since it's my website, I can call it whatever I desire.

October 2017

Oct 1, 2017 - medium.com/@duncanstephen - Why it’s time to reclaim our digital lives

The blogging scene has changed a lot since its mid-noughties heyday. It was once the most vibrant and dynamic way to communicate online. Now it is a minority pursuit. Today, good blogs seem to be few and far between.

A blog is meant to be about something. There is supposed to be a purpose.

That ain't me, which is why sawv.org is not a blog. I prefer personal publishing about whatever and however. The only purpose is because.

Sure, I enjoy reading focused blogs, such as the following:

And I enjoy other types of personal web publishing.

More from the Medium post:

What has happened to the independent, pioneering spirit of the early days of the web? Why don’t people maintain their own web presences any more? Why don’t I maintain my own web presence any more?

What if blogging didn’t have to have a purpose? What if there didn’t have to be an ulterior motive? What if it was just what people did, rather than putting our digital lives in the hands of huge companies and shady start-ups that don’t have our best interests at heart?

Sounds like E/N.

June 2018

Found this person's website who, I think, posts in the IndieWeb chat rooms.

http://fogknife.com/2015-04-11-about-this-blog.html

Fogknife has no theme, other than “topics that interest me, Jason McIntosh, and which I have reason to suspect might interest others as well”. Many posts attempt to chronicle the culture that passes through me, all the books and films and games I eat and about which I wish to mark down some permanent record — for myself, as much as for anyone else.


This page was created in Spring 2017.