Phil Gyford was down in Brighton visiting the Clearleft HQ today. We’re working with him on Matter, which I’m very excited about.
Today wasn’t just any ol’ day for Phil. Today marks the end of a project of his that has been running for nine years and five months: Pepys’ Diary:
This site is a presentation of the diaries of Samuel Pepys, the renowned 17th century diarist who lived in London, England. A new entry written by Pepys will be published each day over the course of several years; 1 January 1660 was published on 1 January 2003.
We invited Phil down to Brighton last year to talk about Pepys’ Diary at a Skillswap event. You can listen to the audio on Huffduffer.
I’m a big fan of long-term thinking and—in web terms—this project is as old as Methuselah. It’s refreshing. In an industry so caught up in the churn and grind of the new and the shiny, I think it’s wonderful that Phil dedicated himself to a project that he knew would require a long-term investment of his time. Russell wrote about it in Wired recently:
In some worlds ten years isn’t very long: it’s not if you’re digging an undersea tunnel or discovering a cure for disease. But in the busy, silly world of early 21st-century media, making a ten-year assertion was a big deal — something akin to the Clock of the Long Now.
I’ll be sorry to see you go, Mister time-shifted Pepys. But I understand that it’s hard for you to keep writing a diary when your eyesight is failing.
The ill condition of my eyes, and my neglect for a year or two, hath kept me behindhand in my accounts, so as to render it difficult now.— Samuel Pepys (@samuelpepys) May 31, 2012