"I do wonder though, won’t this ‘blank slate’ metaphor work better if you are editing your homepage as-is? The way Dave (Winer) can? Do you do that? If not, isn’t the homepage primarily for the readers, who may not appreciate a blank page?"
As this is WordPress I am not literally editing a blank page so we are definitely in the realms of metaphor but, as I replied, I visit my blog every day to see what's thrown up by "On this day" - I get to experience the blank page just as a reader would.
Not only that, but knowing the Today page is blank until I post something gives me a sense of freedom to do whatever I want unencumbered by previous posts.
But what of the reader experiencing a blank page?
I previously listed "yesterday's" posts (and before that the last 3 posts and before that the last 5) but this always felt like I was doing it for the sake of having something there, as though I needed to appease the reader and give them something to look at even if I hadn't posted that day.
I suppose from the perspective of wanting people who stumble upon your blog to dive straight in and, maybe, stick around this makes a lot of sense. That, however, is not why the blog exists. It is a very personal thing that has been evolving for some time - I'm just lucky enough to have people subscribe to the feeds or visit from time to time to see what's going on and experience the journey with me.
I just recalled episode 38 of the Internet Friends podcast in which Jon says (about 50 minutes in) that he would like to check someone's page to see what they wrote that day, as if that was the only thing that mattered, and then it is replaced by something new. And that he is intrigued by the idea of a site:
"wiping itself out at midnight that person's time... so that... there is nothing there if they didn't write anything that day"
The blog is doing just that, although there is still the option to go back over older posts rather than doing away with archives and things being completely ephemeral. In a way, the groundwork has been laid ever since I first considered a Today page nearly three years ago. I think it's now reached the logical conclusion of the path it's been on for all this time, and why everything has shifted towards the "daily unit" with the feed and emails.
It feels almost like a Zen thing: the past is behind me - I can't change it only learn from it, link to it - all that matters is the now, the current moment (in this case pushed out to 24 hours) and tomorrow will take care of itself when we get there.
whileloop so that all are removed from display. It's still non-destructive so they're still in the database, just not displayed.