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.
Happy Monday! (+ Labour Day)
So here we are in September. Firmly 3/4 of the way through 2019. How’s it going?
At the start of the year I laid out a series of goals/priorities. As the months went by, many — but not all — of those goals fell by the wayside.
With the end of the year in sight, I’m starting to think about 2020, and how to best roll from this year into the next one.
Which brings me to the September Shred.
I heard about this from my wife and I’m pretty sure it’s a personal fitness thing about losing weight.
And while we’re going in on that together I’m also thinking about what other things I could shred from my daily routine.
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)
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.
The writeup offers a glimpse into the world of content marketing for software companies. It also offers some great advice on overcoming common challenges.
This excerpt caught my attention…
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.
I’m big on community. It’s the common thread connecting all my work. It started with gaming forums in high school; then tech meetups in college; and then conferences (WordCamps) after moving to Toronto.
When I joined GoDaddy in 2015, it was to serve as the Community Manager for GoDaddy Pro. This was the first time I’d thought of “community” at a professional level. All my community work had, up to that point, been volunteer-based.
I’ve since moved on from that Community Manager role. The last couple of years have focused on content projects like the GoDaddy Blog. But my “community itch” hasn’t gone away.
I’m still a believer in the power of community marketing, as much as I’m a believer in the power of content marketing.