Changing the way we talk about accessibility.

Not “people with disabilities.” Not “blind people and deaf people.” Not “people who have cognitive disabilities” or “men who are color blind” or “people with motor disabilities.” People. People who are using the web. People who are using what you’re building.

via Reframing Accessibility for the Web · An A List Apart Article.

Accessibility was a big focus for us at WordCamp Toronto 2014. We’re continuing to make it a focus of what we’re doing in Toronto’s WordPress community.

A radical idea: free money.

Between 1974 and 1979, the Canadian government tested the idea of a basic income guarantee (BIG) across an entire town, giving people enough money to survive in a way that no other place in North America has before or since. For those four years—until the project was cancelled and its findings packed away—the town’s poorest residents were given monthly checks that supplemented what modest earnings they had and rewarded them for working more. And for that time, it seemed that the effects of poverty began to melt away. Doctor and hospital visits declined, mental health appeared to improve, and more teenagers completed high school.

via The Town Where Everyone Got Free Money | Motherboard.

A lack of priority.

But the real excuse, even if we are really busy, isn’t lack of time. It’s lack of priority. There are so many things that are left undone, because they aren’t important enough.

via Be More with Less – life on purpose.

I’m such a sucker for this. I have a million things on my perpetual To Do list. I habitually blame a lack of time… but really, I’m just choosing to prioritize other things instead.

Bloomberg disables comments.

A spokeswoman for Bloomberg declined to comment on the removal of comments, but it is understood the company believes the conversation about its content is better served on social media rather than on its own platform.

via Bloomberg switches off comments in website redesign | Media | The Guardian.

This continues the trend that I mentioned on Twitter earlier this week:

Social media is where people gather. It’s where people discover new content. And it’s where they discuss the content with their network (immediate and extended).

It’s no different from old-school message board threads discussing a shared link.

(Aside: I hope YouTube does the same… we’d be better off without those comments!)

Seth Godin on Public Speaking

Work your way up to a friend, maybe two friends. And then, once you feel pretty dumb practicing with people you know (this is easy!), hire someone on Craigslist to come to your office and listen to you give your speech.

via Seth’s Blog: Fear of public speaking.

Great advice. I started my drip-drip-drip in college. Kept it up through volunteering to speak at meetups and events.

Some say I’m very different when presenting/speaking to a group. Truth is, it’s partially a performance.

(I’m not thinking out loud and hedging my bets, as I usually do in casual conversation.)

Toronto Global Game Jam 2015

I took part in Toronto Global Game Jam 2015 (#TGGJ2015) this weekend. You can find my profile here on the TGGJ website.

The game I started building hasn’t been completed, but that’s alright. My goal wasn’t to finish a game. I just wanted to start working on something.

I wanted to have a controllable character on screen, and I wanted to do it entirely with a web-friendly game engine. (I managed to pull that off with Enchant.js.)

So I’m happy with what I accomplished, even if it doesn’t stack up to the awesome projects that were being conceived around me.

I built something, and building something is better than building nothing.

(Hat tip to these incredibly useful tutorials for Enchant.js, btw.)

The Inward-Facing WordPress Community

From a thread in the Advanced WordPress group on Facebook:

“I wasn’t at Pressnomics, but Jeff Chandler tweeted this quote from Matt Mullenweg’s presentation that I’d love to hear ya’lls input on:
“Matt is worried we have become too much of an inward facing community and afraid to make a painful leap forward to make the next WordPress”” – Matt Cromwell

My take on it (and what I replied with):

The WordPress community has matured to the point where it’s *very* easy to just exist within its walls without paying much attention to the world beyond.

You can spend all your time reading the blogs, listening to the podcasts, going to the WordCamps and other conferences. All WordPress, all the time.

But there’s *so much cool stuff* being done beyond the world of WordPress. And if we go back to the central mission of WP — to democratize publishing through OSS — that leaves a lot of possibilities on the table that are worth exploring. And we’ll need to look beyond our WordPressy walls for inspiration.

This isn’t unique to the world of WordPress, of course. Any “tribe” (in Seth Godin’s words) runs the risk of isolation if they don’t stay engaged with the broader community.

I think both Blackberry (RIM) and Microsoft fell victim to this when faced with Apple’s iPhone and iPad. A lack of diversity in their points of reference caused them to disregard Apple until it was too late.