It’s all gone a bit Warchalking

When I built the Pepys’ Diary site, I assumed it’d be the usual thing… Lots of very welcome “ooh, that’s nice”s from friends, maybe a scattering of links from other weblogs not too socially distant from the Haddock circle, and then little else. That’s what happened to the much neglected (on my part) Byliner for example. I thought I’d be lucky to get that to be honest, especially given the site went public at the end of Christmas Day; not the best time to launch something…

The morning of December 26th Ben Hammersley linked to the site, saying the nicest things, presumably having picked it up from either here, Haddock, or Tomski. A few hours later Cory Doctorow mentioned it on Boing Boing, and from there the snowball picked up speed. More sites linked to the diary and reader annotations began appearing on the site. Nick had started the ball rolling with some great stuff and more, both useful and congratulatory, trickled in.

On Monday 30th the BBC asked me to write a piece for BBC News Online about the site, which doesn’t seem like news to me, but sounded like fun. The emails, annotations and links kept coming and then today (after welcome assistance from Mary and Tom) the article went live.

It probably wasn’t the best day to spend in bed with a migraine from hell, after a journey across London involving four buses and three bouts of throwing up in the pouring rain. I emerged in the evening to an inbox full of yet more emails and annotations and more press interest. You’d think there was nothing important happening in the world. After spending a couple of hours answering all that another email pops in every few minutes. It’s bizarre, but wonderful fun, and I’m assuming it will tail off rapidly by the weekend, let alone over the next ten years…


  • the Pepys site is wonderfully interesting… looking forward to reading more.