I’ve made clear I don’t really publish here for the biggest audience. My first priority is to think through or track ideas for myself, with the added benefit of being able to share with those who follow along or who are interested in individual topics.
This month marks the 10th anniversary of my first publishing on this personal site of mine. That’s a decade of publishing at least once every single month for 120 consecutive months. That sounds batty to me.
I first bought my name as a domain in 2005 and built a little site using Dreamweaver, when it was still Macromedia, sitting in my university computer lab, but I let it lapse. I had no body of work, and even the compressed versions of short videos I was creating then were too big for my early hosting package — this was before both YouTube was at scale and Amazon Web Services had even launched, you’ll remember.
By December 2007, I felt like I had a greater purpose. I was an undergraduate active in my college newspaper, frequently writing fiction and learning as much as I possibly could. So on December 4 of that year, I bought a domain and redirected it to a WordPress.com blog template, starting with this post. I was an active and early Google Reader user, following and reading a growing array of bloggers I admired and wanted to join the conversation. I was super excited by RSS feeds.
During the next 10 years, this blog has been a major part of my personal and professional development. To look back, I wanted to share a few things I’ve learned along the way.
That means I internalized a lot of advice from athletes, whether or not they actually ever said them (sports quotes are full of apocryphal and fictitious claims). I was amused recently to think of a handful of very-90s-era memories I have about lessons from North American sports legends. In addition to being stuck in time, this collection is funny because I am so far from a knowledgeable sports fan today.
So these are corny for all sorts of reasons. Yet I do find myself thinking of these even today.
I wanted to get a sense of the kind of things I learn on any given day. So I spent the month of June writing down one specific thing I learned each day.
My goal was for them to be actionable and easily transferable, hoping to identify just how regularly I am learning such things. It was fun. Let me share, from reading, watching, talking and traveling — like to the Great Lakes last month, as depicted above.
I love the idea of learning meaningfully all the time. Here’s my latest check on myself.
I like lists. I find them motivating and easy to understand. It’s a structure to limit and highlight, whether they be daily to-do lists or curated honors or resolutions — both personal and professional. I also like somewhat arbitrary milestones to serve as an opportunity to review my progress to the goals I have. It’s the same reason why I celebrated my 10,000th day alive.
Here’s another. I turn 30 this week and have used that as a reason to feel good about what I’ve done so far.
What the web is creating is a world in which the details can be erased but nothing is forgotten. It is a distinct change from when only that of broad interest could make it to the widely distributed vehicles of traditional media.
It was with that in mind that I told a reporter of mine earlier this year one of the golden rules of online news — take screenshots first, ask questions later — after something we were reporting on was removed from a source website. Reminding her of that prompted other rules that came to mind and after sharing them still others came to mind.
Any city worth its existence has enough culture that exists there that small quirks exist that can help you get by.
In my short nine years living in Philadelphia, a few lifehacks have become pretty common to me but are perhaps worth sharing.
Here are a bunch. I’d love to hear yours:
It recently occurred to me that there are a handful of Internet memes that I just can’t shake, and why wouldn’t I share them on April Fool’s Day.
Though memes are meant to come and go, there are some I find myself going back to enjoy again and sharing with anyone who will listen. Here are some of them.