If you spend hours each day on social media fuming about your opponents, you are still participating in the corrosion of democracy, even if you are participating from a morally impeccable position. And so the conventional wisdom among the politically clued-in – that what this moment calls for is more engagement with the news – may be the opposite of the truth.
“The biggest stars of the mommy Internet now are no longer confessional bloggers. They’re curators of life. They’re influencers,” the Washington Post wrote in 2018. “They’re pitchwomen. And with all the photos of minimalist kitchens and the explosion of affiliate links, we’ve lost a source of support and community, a place to share vulnerability and find like-minded women, and a forum for female expertise and wisdom.”
My big concern is at the bottom of that technology pyramid. The lowest common denominator of the Web. The foundation. The rhythm section. The ladyfingers in the Web trifle. It’s the HTML. And it is becoming increasingly clear to me that there’s a whole swathe of Frontend Engineers who don’t know or understand the frontend-est of frontend technologies.
This stuff really matters. Not doing this stuff is slowly (actually not that slowly) breaking the World Wide Web. At the very least it’s making it more difficult to use for the people who would use your product. If you call yourself a frontend engineer, it’s your responsibility to learn and use the basics – the one thing that’s common across every browser, platform, device or household appliance that can access the Web.
We’re nearing the end of the summer and my attention is turning to the fall.
Autumn is a busy season for community groups. Attendance picks up as fair weather gives way to grey skies. Meetups, conferences, and other indoor events fill the calendar through to the new year.
I’m joining my friend Brent Kobayashi on August 27th to co-host the first of a new monthly meetup series. We’ll talk about building WordPress sites for not-for-profit organizations. I haven’t done much NFP work in a while and I’m eager to jump into the conversation.
Also coming up, I’ll be:
Co-hosting WP Durham’s Fall Social meetup on September 5th. We’ll be at Brock St. Espresso in Whitby, which is fantastic, because it combines two of my favourite things: websites and coffee.
Keynoting WordCamp Rochester 2019 on October 5th. I’ll be talking about the history of WordPress as a platform and as a community, and where we can go from here in 2020 and beyond.
Speaking at WordCamp Niagara 2019. My session is a step-by-step walkthrough for building a community hub website with WordPress.
Co-hosting the “Grow Your Meetup!” workshop at WordCamp US 2019 on November 1st alongside some talented organizer friends.
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.
“You belong in design not because you already know everything or already have perfect taste or already have mastered technology and psychology and art and language, but because you’re going to be curious and learn and experiment every single time. In a weird way, it’s that worrying thing that means you’re qualified. You’re going to try to understand what technology can do right now and what’s best for people right now. People who already know the answer can’t do that—it requires an open mind.”– Advice for New Designers (Jake Knapp)