I start counting things

Published on Friday 09 August 2019 | 2 minute read

To make something count you have to count it.

Or so the saying goes. In reality, there's a lot more to importance, or value, than totting things up. Love, for example, is really important but you can't count it. Neither can you count patience or flexibility yet we'd never say they don't count.

But that's all a bit of a literal interpretation of the saying. What it perhaps really means is that we need to pay attention to the things that matter. We need to have a way of looking at things and being able to tell if they are any good. Whether what we did today is any better, or worse, that what we did yesterday. And this is important because then we have a direction of travel. And, in the social sector, we can do things like demonstrate impact.

So today I started counting things, by creating a personal dashboard for edforrest.com. It's super simple at the moment. It just tells me how many published posts I have published. (It will be 14, including this one.) It's a start though.

I'm thinking that next I'll make it tell me how long my coding streak is, with the goal of having a stretch of 100 posts (counting Monday to Fridays only) for my 100 days of coding (although, I did code on Wednesday, but didn't post). After that, I could make it a bit smarter, and see if there is a GitHub API I can use to count Monday-Friday pushes instead. That would really tell me what's going on with my coding. And I could make a chart that tells me how many works I write each week, so see what's going on there. Quantity doesn't mean quality, not at all, but if I have that information it could give me some new insight (Mark Manson, for "The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F", wrote 150,000 words, so it would be cool to create a think where it would tell me how long that would take me, at my average writing speed for each week, in case I every want to write a book).

This all sounds a bit vague, and I guess it is. That's probably because I'm writing at 6pm on a Friday with a glass of wine, and just bashing the words out. But what I really want to do is help organisations demonstrate their impact really easily. I want to save them a bunch of time and money, and help the team and supporters feel really awesome about all the positive impact they are having. So measuring impact on here is a great why to start looking into that a bit more.

Something else I want to do is up the quality of my writing. It's cool that I've written these fourteen posts now. I'm proud of that. I'd not written at all, online, for years, and then suddenly this. Now that that habit has built up a bit, I'll reflect on how to make it better. So time to get some peace and quiet over the weekend so that I can wake up Monday refresh and inspired.


Today's coding plus writing hours (I could count the hours...): 1.5. Monday: make it so that when I edit posts my previous select options are in place.

Made by Ed in Somerset. 2022.