Penguin’s Quote of the Day

Posted by Jason

January 12, 2012 The Past  No comments

Years ago (more than a I care to count really), I managed an email list that was entitled “Penguin’s Quote of the Day.” This was back when the Internet was still very young and had a bit of a “wild West” vibe to it. The concept of email was foreign to most people. I was a freshman at Dartmouth and had just gotten my Blitzmail account.

Well, I concluded that to help motivate me to get up in the morning, I’d start a habit of sending out a quote to my friends via email every day. It started off as a short list of recipients – a few of my classmates, Tracy (who had her own email account), and a few of my high school friends who were at other schools, but also had email.

I probably had about a dozen or so people who I was sending the quotes off to – not a big audience at all, but enough that I felt accountable.

I also found that I would send a quote, and then a few paragraphs on either what I was doing that day, or my thoughts on life, school, etc. It really became a bit of an online diary. Remember that this was before anyone had heard of the World Wide Web; in fact it was only a few months after the idea was pitched to the alt.hypertext newsgroup by Tim Berners-Lee.

In effect, it was a very early version of a blog.

What’s interesting about this is that some of my friends at other schools would talk about it, and their friends thought it was interesting, and would email me asking to get on the mailing list. Within a few months, I had hundreds of subscribers from around the world.

They got to hear about various aspects of my life РI remember my mom getting particularly upset when she found out that I had told the story about her losing all of her teeth to a bunch of strangers on the Internet.  How I was doing in my classes, what was going on at Dartmouth, my thoughts on books or movies. It was pretty much whatever came into my head.

Eventually, I think I got bored with the project and it kind of petered out.

But I’m thinking about it now, and it was remarkably similar to this blog now (although this is a little more “managed”). It’s probably closer to what people do now with Twitter.

Which is really what I’m posting about. Tracy and I set a goal for 2012 so that between the two of us we are supposed to tweet 700 times. In order to help with that, I’m starting to institute a “quote of the day” to be tweeted via my account.

If you’re interested, follow @jasonkittredge on twitter.

What’s really nice is that with the 140 character limit, I won’t ramble on nearly as much as I used to.

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