Chances are you had no idea this blog existed, and you have no idea who or what is behind Bedposted.com, and you probably don’t really care that much. And that’s fine. It’s the way I’ve wanted to keep it for about a while now.
You see, I’ve worked for 4 years (a long time for a web designer) at a company that was let’s just say interested in what its employees were doing outside of the office. And due to the somewhat racy and easily-misunderstood nature of Bedpost, I quietly developed it during the late hours of the week and weekends.
When I say “I” here, I really mean that. There is no “we,” no group, no set of investors or project managers or even web developers besides myself. I conceived (ha), designed and built Bedpost all by my lonesome, and the experience has been truly amazing.
I’m asked over and over again why I made it, how I came up with the idea and who I had in mind while doing it. If you’re interested, keep reading.
The night of July 7th, nine years ago, I couldn’t sleep. (You’ll see why I know the date so precisely in a minute.) While this is unremarkable in and of itself, what happened during those hours awake was kind of interesting. I managed in my fugue state to be inspired with an idea that I just couldn’t let go, so I got up and I made it. I was thinking back over my day, going through how long it took me to get to work, what I ate while I was there, what things I had done during the day, and so on. While doing so, I envisioned some kind of layer beneath everything that recorded what you were doing into a document to be read later in sort of a Defending Your Life kind of way, and it occurred to me that HTML was a pretty neat way of doing that. So I took the main data points of the previous day and codified them into an XML/HTML-type language. I even color-coded it so that when you looked at it in a browser, it resembled what HTML might look like in BBEdit. After a rough draft was complete, I went to bed and mercifully, slept.
For a couple of years, that was more or less the end of it, but the idea of quantifying the qualitative aspects of your life in a fun, clever way had grabbed ahold of me.
As these things so often happen, in 2003 another day arrived and I found myself wondering how many times my wife and I had had sex. If you’ve read any of the articles below, you’ll know that my wife and I have been together since we were teenagers in high school; we even went to prom together. This is a fact I’ve found that surprises most people.
At any rate, this magical number is unknowable, but I remembered back to my silly life-as-html thing and I did what I did before: I made something. After about two weeks, I had a single-user app in PHP to record our sex life in a really simple way. Seeing as how the idea is well, weird, I of course asked my wife’s opinion on whether I should build such a thing and luckily enough, she agreed to it. Which is good because I’d already started.
For about two years afterward, we watched the calendar fill up and the bar charts vary in their heights and we giggled to ourselves and we strived to make the average weekly number go up.
It was fun, if difficult to explain to our friends.
Quite a few of them, once getting over the strangeness of the idea, told us that they wouldn’t use such a silly tool, but surely someone on the internet would. To jump back a second, I need to reiterate that I was a really terrible PHP programmer. Just awful. I was not in any place to release something on the web that other people – potentially a lot of people – would use on a semi-daily basis. So I waited. I watched the blogs, I searched every few months, assuming that someone else would have the same idea. No one did (I would later find out I wrong about that, but the actual implementation left a lot to be desired and I wasn’t even aware of it until after Bedpost launched). So finally – and appropriately – while we were waiting for our third child to be born, during those quiet hours we knew would not last very much longer and with my wife’s gentle support, I started coding. The rest is basically history.
Having spent way too many words explaining the exact mental state from which an idea such as Bedpost sprung, I essentially wanted to let you know that I no longer work where I did when I started this journey and I can only hope my new employer doesn’t recoil in disgust when I alert them to my project. Either way though, this really means a renewed interest and focus on this strangely wonderful and fun-to-use thing that has been at the back of my mind for the better part of a decade.
So… Thanks. And please be patient, I have a lot of things in my head yet to build.