Weekly Recap: I’m trying something different.

Welcome to the second half of 2018! Tis the season for sunny vacations, mid-year progress reports, and making (hopefully positive) changes.

One of the changes I’m making is in how I use this blog. My posts for 2018 have largely been excerpts from the things I’m reading. They’re snippets that I find insightful, surprising, and just generally worth holding on to.

But I’d like to try something different now. Starting this week, I’ll aim to publish a weekly recap of what’s caught my attention over the last seven days. I might even turn it into a weekly email digest… not sure yet.

What’s Happening?

We have a new majority government in Ontario. The Progressive Conservatives are back in power after 10+ years of Liberal leadership. We were due for a change, but I’d be less concerned if Doug Ford wasn’t the one at the helm. His brief stint on Toronto city council was enough to deal with.

Monthly Weekend WordPress meetups are on hold. Our summer weekends are limited and best spent outdoors, so I’m looking at weekday alternatives instead. Check out the WPToronto site and meetup group for updates.

Toronto’s annual Maker Festival happens this weekend at the Toronto Reference Library. I’m attending for the first time and really looking forward to it. I’ve had “making things by hand” on my bucket list for a while. I hope this event will be a trigger to help me get going.

If I ever leave Toronto, I’ll head to Stratford. We passed through during Canada Day on our way back from Grand Bend. It’s a bastion of the arts & technology, plus it’s a short drive to Niagara and Lake Huron – two of my favourite regions in the province.

Read This

Out with the blue, in with the orange & red: “If pop culture has helped lead us into a blue-lit reality that’s hurting us so much, it can help lead us toward a new design aesthetic bathed in orange.” 

Creative jobs don’t require a solid eight hours of output every day: “A languid pace can produce terrific results because rest allows us to gather our resources. Those long walks and hours pursuing hobbies breed deep reflection and creativity.”

Convert Kit is rebranding as Seva, and I love their manifesto: “Education is our marketing strategy – We’re not looking for the next trick to get you to buy our software, we’re investing heavily in the education you need to make a living as a creator. From our blog, to courses, to future video and podcast shows, we’re all in on education as marketing.”

Stories are content that outlive their creators: “Sharing a great story is like giving your audience a gift, because it will stay with them. They can even share it further, the same way that stories have been passed along since the beginning of human life.”

Create a database to keep track of the things you find: “The best types of notes for this approach are those that can be broken into components and repeated, which is why I refer to it as an object-oriented approach.”

On the invisibility of true wealth: “Wealth, in fact, is what you don’t see. It’s the cars not purchased. The diamonds not bought. The renovations postponed, the clothes forgone and the first-class upgrade declined. It’s assets in the bank that haven’t yet been converted into the stuff you see.”

The future is full of freelancing: “Across the U.S., there are approximately 53 million freelancers–people who work on a contract basis for multiple entities, rather than being employed by a single company. They make up around 36% of the total workforce, and collectively, they contribute around $1.4 trillion to the U.S. economy. If current trends hold steady, by 2027 the majority of Americans will be freelancers.”

NIMBYism isn’t about new buildings, it’s about the people who live in them: “If it was documented as a small apartment building the neighbors would be up in arms over loss of open space, traffic congestion and so on. But it’s a very nice single family home that will sell for millions and be inhabited by people who can afford such things. It’s not the buildings that strike fear and loathing into the hearts of neighbors. It’s the demographic implications.”

Email offers an escape from social media: “Unlike the infinite streams of social media, in which one more thing is always lurking around the corner and a sense of closure evades you, a newsletter presents a complete and finite package—something reminiscent of a magazine-reading experience and something conspicuously absent from most online media consumption.”

We should encourage others to challenge our work: “We should be encouraging the people we work with to point out the flaws in our work and challenge it. We need to understand objections and flaws in complete detail, not to tear us and our ideas down, but to build them up to be much stronger than where they started. In doing so, we can be confident that we’re more likely to share logical and helpful things.”

P.S. Check This Out

Hey website peeps: When was the last time you viewed your server logs? Turns out there’s a lot of valuable data buried in that stream of activity. Check out this guide from Distilled on log analysis with Big Query.

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