From the Belly of the Beasts, a eulogy

When I worked at O’Reilly Media, the Online Publishing Group (OPG) had this external-facing blog they called “From the Belly of the Beasts”, a reference to O’Reilly’s famous animal-branded technical books. The blog lived at

Screenshot of OPG's 'From the Belly of the Beasts' blog

It was started in October 2004 by Terrie Miller, the group’s manager. I arrived in May 2005, hired partly to assist with O’Reilly’s blog and feed projects. I loved that our group had a blog of its own, so I started posting to it within days of my arrival.

In order to justify blogging at work (to myself), I treated it as a knowledge sharing tool. I’d usually post useful things I found online and then pass the URL around to my co-workers. Frequently I’d refer back to an old post to jog my memory (or someone else’s). It was also a place to be a little silly, to lighten the mood. I posted there frequently until I left O’Reilly in June 2006. After my last post only two more posts appeared, one by Mark and one by Terrie, and from that point on the blog has lain dormant. Update: Terrie left O’Reilly in March 2008.

I’ve always been a little surprised, and of course happy that those old posts still exist out there on the web. They come from a special time in my life, my first year in California, my first job outside of the university. I definitely felt I was leaving behind something dear when I left O’Reilly. I expected the blog to just cease to exist one day, presumably after someone unplugged some dusty server in the corner that happened to be

Anyway yesterday I heard from Mark that the Beasts blog is indeed getting “unplugged”, and he wanted to know whether I wanted to save anything beforehand. Yikes, yes! So I’m going to recreate each of the posts I wrote there on Justinsomnia, categorize them in such a way that they can be pulled out together, and postdate them appropriately. I’m actually really excited about this, to me it’s like getting back a piece of myself for my archives.

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