You may have noticed that I’ve started including footnotes in my blog posts.1

Know this: there’s a really good chance I’m going to grossly overuse these.

I haven’t done this in the past. Why start now?  Well, in whatever writing I’ve done2 whether its a business email, a message to my friends about the current state of the Red Sox3, or a letter to my grandmother, I’ve find that my mind wanders as I write.  Make that as I type4. I go off on brief tangents which I would often include in parentheses.  And it really broke up what I was writing into this distorted flow. Lots of sentences would start with stuff like, “But anyway, as I was saying…”

But there were a couple recent external influences in my current reading materials.  First, there’s John Gruber’s FANTASTIC blog, Daring Fireball.  I’m really enjoying his deep analyisis and long-form writing.  Most recently, his coverage of the iPad and the Apple vs. Adobe WWF cagefight.5.  I’m getting close to saying with full confidence that John Gruber is to tech blogging as Peter Gammons is to baseball writing. 

The second element is that I’ve started reading Bill Simmons’ Book of Basketball.  In the foreward, Malcolm Gladwell of all people shines light on SImmons’ use of footnotes, mentioning “Oh, and read the footnotes.  Simmons is the master of the footnote.”  He’s right.  The footnotes are a must read in this book.  If you don’t read them, you’re going to miss out.

Ok, so we’re at word count of around 330 and I’ve got 5 footnotes.  See?  Told you I was going to overuse these.

Last thing.  Wondering how I’m generating the footnotes in my posts?  It’s a plugin called WP-Footnotes and more information can be found here.

  1. See? here’s a footnote now! 

  2. And to be clear: I am NOT a writer 

  3. current state: not too good, but it’s only April 

  4. I gave up handwriting pretty much anything other than my signature a few years ago.  Even letters to my grandmother.  The art of handwriting is being a sacrificed in the computing age.  But that’s probably another post 

  5. one of these companies has to be The Iron Sheik, I just haven’t figured out which yet