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Business Life Tech

Recommended newsletters & more guest posts

Happy Monday!

An article appeared in the New York Times a while back lauding email newsletters as an alternative to social media. Excerpt:

My favorite new social network doesn’t incessantly spam me with notifications. When I post, I’m not bombarded with @mentions from bots and trolls. And after I use it, I don’t worry about ads following me around the web.

I agree with the premise, but from the perspective of a subscriber.

Newsletters have become my primary means of consuming news. I was a voracious Google Reader user in college; and for the first handful of years after, I used Twitter as a sort of pseudo RSS replacement. But, as time went on, I couldn’t keep up with the flood of links.

Curated email newsletters became my go-to alternative. Every week I receive a thoughtfully compiled digest of interesting links, and usually some commentary from the newsletter’s author.

At the moment I’m subscribed to dozens of these digests, covering a variety of topics. So I’m curating my favourites on a new Recommended Newsletters page.

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Life

The battle for the planet

The battle for the planet will be won or lost in the uncharted depths of the onlife — a new and evolving operating context where the rules, holders of power and mechanisms of change are different. As more of the world logs on, we have to recognise that unplugging ourselves will not solve the problem. We’re now part of a social fabric which is mediated and manipulated through the onlife. Working in this new context requires several core elements to create a future where the digital world shores up climate action.

Source: Living in the onlife: climate’s unseen battleground (The Beam)

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Life

Checking in on life: June 2019

I published my previous personal progress update on April 14th. That was over a month ago. Almost two. I felt like it had come on the heels of the update before it. (It didn’t.) Now I feel like this one is coming in even faster. (It isn’t.)

Time flies, and time doesn’t care if you’re having fun.

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Life

Goal progress: March 2019

It feels like time goes by faster with each passing month. It feels like I just wrote my last progress update. Yet we’re a quarter of the way through 2019 and quickly approaching the half-way mark of April.

I celebrated my birthday a few weeks ago. It’s good fortune on timing. It falls neatly at the end of Q1, signaling a sort of changing-of-the-seasons. We roll into spring, and I can’t think of a better time for reflecting.

So where are things, since my last check-in?

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Life

Goal progress: February 2019

Happy Tuesday! We’re now several days into March. And as with January, February flew right by.

Yeah, it’s a short month — but February felt particularly quick.

I’m writing this on a sunny Sunday morning from Burlington, Ontario. We’re in town for the annual Chilly Half Marathon.

I try my best to give my business to local coffee shops, so I’m hanging out at Tamp Coffee Co. while my better half does the running.

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Life

Goal progress: January 2019

Happy Thursday, and welcome to the end of January. That’s 1/12th of the way through 2019, or 8.3%. (Yikes!)

I set a dozen goals for myself at the start of the year. Each month I’m checking in to see what incremental progress I’ve made, if any.

Here’s where I’m at:

What’s working?

Reading one book per month: I finished Essential McLuhan and am nearly done with Company of One by Paul Jarvis.

Publish one new page per week to my site: I covered how to do a website refresh, how to build a WordPress site, and how to come up with topics to blog about. I’m happy with their depth, but they still need images and links. Heading into February, I need to ease off on the length so I can publish them faster.

Spend more time with family: We just came out of the holidays with tons of family time. Will have a better sense of this in a month.

Take road trips & share the experience: Partial credit here. Took a mini-roadtrip from Phoenix to Flagstaff last week but didn’t share any photos or write about it. Planning to do a mini-roadtrip up to Sonoma and Napa next time I’m in California. Will write about that one.

Return to a healthy lifestyle: Another partial credit. Been pretty good with the food and doin’ spin sessions 2-3 times per week. Need to step up the resistance training.

What’s not working?

Complete coding courses and share the results: No progress here. Haven’t touched code this month. Been deep in Excel, Word, and PowerPoint for the last few weeks. Heading into February: Diggin’ into SQL and Python because they’re relevant to my day-to-day work.

Do more creative work and share it: I’m doodlin’, busting out the sketchbook several nights a week, but I need to start publishing. I’ve spun up a new Instagram profile to follow other artists (inspiration!), and set up a new website for sharing the work.

Record and publish one podcast per week: Nada. Haven’t done anything here. I said I’d stack this on top of other activities, but I haven’t blogged regularly this month. Posts = podcasts, so I need more posts.

Learn audio & video production, share notes: These are slated for deep dives in April and May, so I’m not too concerned (yet).

Get back into gaming & streaming: I planned to do an hour each weekday and set a regular schedule, but that hasn’t worked out. I still want to crack this. I’ll try stacking it on the creative work in February.

Monthly newsletter: Another zilch. To fix it: Write shorter posts more often (daily). That’s fuel for podcasting. Stack em’ for a monthly newsletter.

What else is going on?

I flipped my site’s theme from GeneratePress to McLuhan by Anders Noren, and not just because I was on a Marshall McLuhan kick earlier this month.

Creative work is my personal priority for 2019, and while there’s a lot of creativity that goes into customizing a site’s design, I felt like the amount of time I spent on tweaks could be better spent elsewhere.

I chose the McLuhan theme because it’s restrictive, has a nice index of blog posts by month, and the layout reminds me of early blogs.

Anders writes his themes with incredibly clean markup, so if I want to throw on some custom CSS in the future, that’s not a problem. And because the pages are so minimalist, I can add a touch of personal flair with illustrations.

Also: When I relaunched my site late last year I said I’d create a new blog for curating articles. It’s live, and it’s called Press This.

It’s not about business or marketing — I have something else in mind for that — but instead covers uplifting news, thoughtful quotes, creative work, and useful tech.

Here’s to February.

The shortest month. Very cold. Lots to do. Let’s go!

Categories
Life

New Year goals for 2019

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2019.

As I mentioned in my reflections on 2018, I’ve set annual goals for myself over the last few years.

I’ve found that having these goals in place, and revisiting them every month to check on progress, has been an effective method for keeping myself accountable and moving forward.

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Life

My 2018 year in review

Happy Holidays! I started drafting this post on Christmas Eve., but got so deep into writing that I ran out of time. The next few days were a flurry of family functions: An evening with the inlaws. A Lord of the Rings marathon for Christmas. A trek north to see my relatives on Boxing Day.

So here we are, a few days later. The chaos is behind us and the year actually feels like it’s coming to an end. What better time to publish a self-reflection than now?

Why bother with a “year in review” post?

Whether you consider these sorts of posts interesting depends on your personal perspective. I’m fascinated by the lives of others, and I enjoy skimming stories from people around the world.

It feels like a throwback to the old web, when we blogged for the sake of sharing and discovery.

So, with that, here’s what I’m thinking about as the year comes to a close.

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Life

New site, who ‘dis?

Welcome to my revamped corner of the web.

The first thing you’ll notice is the new domain, andymci.ca.

I’ve used andymci.com for ages and had my .CA domain redirecting to it. A few weeks ago I swapped the two. Why the change? Identity, mainly. I’m a proud Canadian and I want my online presence to reflect that.