Friday Notes 073 - October 4 2019

This week I finished Company of One by Paul Jarvis and I very much enjoyed the book, watch for a review of that coming in the next week or so. Outside of that, I’ve been thinking about doing more of what makes me happy. Sometimes that’s client work, but sometimes it’s not.

Yesterday what was fun was digging into git-hooks so that I could change around my site configurations depending on which branch I was using in Git. Yup nerdy, but it’s all about increasing the lazy factor so I don’t have to click more UI elements needlessly.

Right now I’m talking about marketing, but I only send those insights to my email list so subscribe if you want to see these extra notes just for the email list.

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I Shipped

Monday I talked about how iPadOS has helped me get content out of Google Docs and into Markdown so I can post it on my site. I did the beta’s of iPadOS, but I don’t think it really got stable enough to get back to my iPad full-time until the update this week. iPadOS 13.1.2 has stable mouse support (for the first time for me) and I haven’t touched macOS all week. I’m a happy camper again.

Over at Liquid Web this week I published a longer post about different project management styles, and which project management style will work for freelancers.

Friday Five

1. Priorities in Life Are Like an EQ

This was a great video from Chris Baca about leaning into the pain. His analogy of an EQ for the different aspects of your life made me think about where my EQ is right now.

Currently it would be heavily weighted towards being a dad because that's how life goes. That means I need to be okay with not pushing products out as fast or having the extra time to head out to events. The few times that I can head out and meet peers, I need to pick the right events that suit me and my goals.

If you're in the thick of parenting, don't sweat it, embrace it. If you're working to build a business and stepping back on being a dad, set a time limit so that you don't look up and see that it's been 20 years and you're still "building".

2. If You Had Nothing to Hide, Why Is Everyone Trying to Get Your Data?

From Carissa Véliz on Aeon:

You might think your privacy is safe because you are a nobody – nothing special, interesting or important to see here. Don’t shortchange yourself. If you weren’t that important, businesses and governments wouldn’t be going to so much trouble to spy on you.

This one in particular gets me as I think about marketing my business. I aim to help and teach and share what I do, and hope that you find value in it instead of trying to track you and find a vulnerable time to market to you. I’d even like to drop user tracking in my email, aiming for aggregate data instead.

They want to know more about you so they can know how best to distract you, even if that means luring you away from quality time with your loved ones or basic human needs such as sleep. You have money, even if it is not a lot – companies want you to spend your money on them.

Ultimately, the article is for those that think they have nothing to hide. Véliz makes a strong case that I hope will persuade some that don’t care, to care.

3. If WordPress.org Died?

Tammy brings up a great question regarding wordpress.org and Automattic killing it. Yes, they can’t really kill the GPL CMS, but what if.

Me, I’d go with Statamic. Funny that’s what runs the site already. I picked a paid commercial, not open source CMS because I enjoyed Jack’s personality. I ended up finding WP people I already knew in the community and when I looked at Statamic it made sense right away.

Oh, it’s also based on PHP.

Tammy concludes, that there are lots of great options out there so we wouldn’t really be in that big trouble.

It also made me think of this great podcast with Ben Furfie. Ben says, that maybe you don’t even need a CMS. I’m building a fully static site for a client of mine because he never updates anything. Why waste the overhead when I can just deploy 2 .html files and be done

4. An Apple Watch Argument I Could Go For

Frank on not running with an Apple Watch.

Buying things is more fun than running, which is why I convinced myself that an Apple Watch was the perfect inspiration to get back into my trainers. It is now a few months on--I’m still not running regularly, but the watch provided a different and unexpected benefit. I can now leave the house without my phone and still maintain a line of connection to the world with messages, email, and maps. It is freeing.

I get this, but you could also just leave the phone at home anyway without an Apple Watch and then not have the random text messages either. I leave my phone in Do Not Disturb most of the time. What’s the difference between that and just not taking it with me places?

5. Personality Traits Are More Complex in Complex Societies

So the short version of this is that the "big 5" personality traits aren’t as universal as we thought.

It’s also good to remember this as we look at the importance of context in behaviour and grit. In Range we learned that you may be very gritty, in things you care about and not gritty in things you don’t care about. In that case it would be mistaken to look at...say school...and say that a student isn’t gritty and thus will fail.

Maybe the subjects they have to take in school aren’t anything they would choose to work on. I know that happened to me in much of school. High marks in a few courses I cared about, and then almost failed in others I didn’t care about.

Context is a big deal in so much.