I’m not a procrastinator, which is no small feat, considering my father and my sister both are.
I take a lot of pride in planning ahead on challenges or opportunities. Sometimes that runs counter to others, who are more to sitting on deadlines. Of course crashing into a deadline happens to us all but the reliance on them concerns me.
That’s because, as I’ve been thinking lately, if you wait for something to have to be solved, then it’s often too late. You can’t creatively or find opportunities for efficiencies. Once the deadline is here, it’s broken and you aren’t going to be able to fix it.
So? Change what a deadline means to you. If something is due on the 15th, your deadline must be the 10th and so you better get started on the 5th. Then you can be the person you say you are.
For every project you take on, any commitment you make, you’re agreeing to a longterm relationship. Other people will depend on you, habits will form and roles will shape.
It’s like adopting a pet, as a colleague and I say to each other sometimes. Are you willing to walk the dog? To feed it and give it water and be willing to spend the energy, time and money if it gets sick?
I say that to myself when I want to start something new, and I find it helps influence my thinking. If I think of the longterm requirements and still want to move forward, then I will. If not, well, there’s no use to start at all. (One way I’m working to say no more often).
There’s familiar web slang to show complete agreement: +1.
It comes from Google+ (yes, a success from a Google social platform!), which was informed from other social sharing and commenting platforms and web forums that have literal up/down voting options to show endorsement.
In my work, I hear lots of people using the same literal phrase in meetings — and on emails and in group chat messages. It has a nice humility to it. It’s the opposite of stuffy and political corporate environments in which people feel the need to blabber just to show value. We all hate when we say something and then someone speaks up just to essentially say the same thing.
On a team that trusts each other, the goal is simply to gain consensus. So if a teammate offers an idea or makes a suggestion that I mostly agree with I’ll say just that: “plus one.” Other teammates do the same. You’ll be amazed by how quickly a meeting can move.
Give it a try.
What a wonderful privilege to be an outsider.
With distance can come perspective, yes, and that is vital but distance also removes you from responsibility.
Continue reading What can you be blamed for?
A version of this essay was published as part of my twice-monthly newsletter several weeks ago. Find other archives and join here to get updates like this first.
I’ve been struggling a lot over the last couple years, and of course particularly in the last six months, with how mean the social web can be. How mean we are to each other. And how naive I sound to others when I think we can be something else.
This has gotten me into reading about the New Sincerity movement of the 1980s that then got a major boost of attention in the 1990s by beloved and troubled writer David Foster Wallace. It’s what I’ve been searching for.
Continue reading New Sincerity is the answer to snarky post-modern web culture
Facts do not matter in arguments.
This is a big idea I first began wrestling with meaningfully last year — I shared in my newsletter back in June a mess of links I had been reading. Since then, my interest in the topic has only grown — the post-truth era certainly helped.
Continue reading Stop using facts in your arguments
One good way to better understand your own process is to evaluate what tools you most often use.
In my function as something like a small publisher, my roles span business development and account, program and project management to strategy development and, still, limited tactical efforts on editorial, events and product creation and maintenance. That means my workflow roughly resembles what our digital media company looks like across the board.
Take a peek into my workflow below.
Continue reading I use these 8 web tools more than any others at work
We at Technically Media moved into our new headquarters in May.
It was a triumphant moment — after months of construction and negotiation and planning. Depending on how you count it, this was either the third or fourth office our company ever had in Philadelphia. More importantly it’s our first proper private offices, a true headquarters for a growing digital media company.
Here are some lessons I learned about getting here.
Continue reading Technically Media moved into new headquarters: here are some lessons
Since I’ve launched a new personal curated newsletter project and an old related URL shortener project was finally archived, I’ve been thinking about my first experiment with email audience.
In April 2012, we at Technically Media announced Ph.ly, a URL shortener that had a companion content strategy — a curated weekly newsletter sharing the three biggest pieces of local journalism or civic information. Over the next 18 months, I published the weekly newsletter as a side project and experiment. Here are a few things I learned before sidelining the project by 2014.
Continue reading What I learned from publishing a local news newsletter for 18 months
I was on the hunt for a few photos that could be appropriately sourced and shared from historical Philadelphia and, well, I kept finding ones I loved and wished were in one place.
So that’s what I’m doing here.
Continue reading Here are some of my favorite historic photos of Philadelphia