One Nothing a day

The most pleasant memories I have about the time that I was a freelance web developer are the memories of me doing absolutely nothing. Not just for an hour or two, but for days and days or even weeks in a row. I like doing nothing. I think idling is a good thing, it’s pretty scary to see what negative connotations the word nothing has, just look at those synonyms! If there’s anything I miss about freelancing it’s not the liberty, the money, the responsibility or the pride (and certainly not the angst for lack of work or the insane hours you make when you’re busy), it’s Nothing that I miss.

A well respected, very talented colleague of mine, Marien van Os, has decided to quit being my colleague and start freelancing (if you need a highly skilled front-end developer with over ten years of experience, you just found him). One of the ideas we had for a farewell present was a book with pictures around the theme One … a day: Marien also runs the website One Picture A Day. I consider books to be awkward gadgets, a bit broken, too static, so I decided to make a website for him, a website to remind him of the fact that doing nothing is a good thing, that Nothing can be beautiful!

On this site, every day, Nothing will be posted.

I couldn’t wait to write that sentence. Every night at midnight (Amsterdam time) the word Nothing is automatically posted with a pseudo-random color and a pseudo-random font*, based on the date and time. I might be the only one who gets excited about nonsense like this but since I made this site, the first thing I do in the morning is check what Nothing looks like today. It’s the closest I get to doing nothing, I’m way too busy lately.

So here it is, ladies and gentlemen, and especially Marien van Os: One Nothing A Day! A site that celebrates idleness, that reminds us of the fact that Nothing is a good thing and that freelancing should be relaxing. You can click, tap or swipe to the previous Nothing and if you have a device that supports it you can shake it for a random Nothing! (And yes, of course the site has its own extremely useful, automated twitter account that tweets Nothing right after Nothing’s been posted. For those of you who don’t like twitter there’s an rss feed that updates Nothing too, every day.)

* ifttt is used to post Nothing to a wordpress blog. The last six numbers of Unix Epoch time are used to generate the color and fonts are served with Google Webfonts, randomized by date (I handpicked 93 fonts).