The slides from Calum’s presentation at Front-end London.
I invite you not just to follow along here as I expand into topics beyond design and technology, but to start your own personal blog up again if you’ve been neglecting it for a while. I’m really interested in the things you are passionate about. I want to learn from you.
I got a little verklempt reading this.
Well, this is rather lovely!
I nodded along with host Jen Simmons and guest Jeremy Keith saying some very smart things about the web and its roots as the El train cut across Philadelphia. But at the 48-minute mark things got weird, because Jen and Jeremy basically started writing my column for me while I listened.
Read on for some great advice on conquering your inner critic.
You read a lot and like the idea of writing. You know the best way to get better at writing is to write, so write!
This is a wonderful, wonderful description of what it feels like to publish on your own site.
When my writing is on my own server, it will always be there. I may forget about it for a while, but eventually I’ll run into it again. I can torch those posts or save them, rewrite them or repost them. But they’re mine to rediscover.
This is the best moment to write a blog post:
I just had my responsive images epiphany and I’m writing it all down before I forget everything.
Writing something down (and sharing it) while you’re still figuring it out is, in my opinion, more valuable than waiting until you’ve understood something completely—you’ll never quite regain that perspective on what it’s like to have beginner’s mind.
We become obsessed with tools and methods, very rarely looking at how these relate to the fundamental basics of web standards, accessibility and progressive enhancement. We obsess about a right way to do things as if there was one right way rather than looking at the goal; how things fit into the broader philosophy of what we do on the web and how what we write contributes to us being better at what we do.
The web – by its very nature – foregrounds the connections between different clusters of knowledge. Links link. One article leads to another. As you make the journey from destination to destination, all inevitably connected by that trail of links, you begin to tease out understanding.
It’s this drawing together, this weaving together of knowledge, that is the important part. Your journey is unique. The chances of another pursuing the same path, link by link (or book by book), is – statistically – impossible. Your journey leads you to discovery and, through reflection, comprehension. You see the connections others haven’t, because your journey is your own.
There’s something so beautifully, beautifully webbish about this: readings of blog posts found through a search for “no one will ever read this.”
Listen to all of them.
It’s not about technology, performance and APIs – it’s about people.
Grant, like Emma, has recently started blogging again. This makes me very, very happy. And he’s doing it for what I consider to be all the right reasons:
But this is mostly a place for me to capture my thoughts, and an excuse to consider them, and an opportunity to understand them more fully.
The Indieweb approach has a lot in common with Ev’s ideas for Medium, but the key difference is that we are doing it in a way that works across websites, not just within one.
Charlotte’s opening remarks at the most recent Codebar were, by all accounts, inspiring.
I was asked to give a short talk about my journey into coding and what advice I would give to people starting out.
The Web is the printing press of our times; an amazing piece of technology facilitating a free and wide-scale dissipation of our thoughts and ideas. And all of it is based on this near 20-year old, yet timeless idea of the Hyper Text Markup Language.
A really handy bit of code from Aaron for building a robust file uploader. A way to make your web-based photo sharing more Instagrammy-clever.
But under the guise of innovation and progress, companies are stripping away worker protections, pushing down wages, and flouting government regulations. At its core, the sharing economy is a scheme to shift risk from companies to workers, discourage labor organizing, and ensure that capitalists can reap huge profits with low fixed costs.
There’s nothing innovative or new about this business model. Uber is just capitalism, in its most naked form.
If you enjoy writing, or want to enjoy writing, just do it. You’ll probably worry that you have nothing to say, or that what you write is terrible, or that you couldn’t possibly write as well as Neil Gaiman. But silence those voices, get your head down and hit publish on something. Anything. And then do it again. And again.
I don’t work in the tech industry. I work on the Web.
I like the way Aaron thinks. I also like the way he makes.
Great suggestions from Dave for podcasters keen on allowing easier sharing.
Oh, how I wish Soundcloud would do this and be less of an audio roach motel!
David Cole shares the ideas for projects he would like to develop further, but probably never will. I like this a lot (and there are some great ideas in here).
Good luck getting that script updated for the thousands of sites and applications, you say to yourself, where it’s laying dormant just waiting to send devices the wrong content based on a UA substring.
Yes! Yes! YES!
Tom is spot-on here: you shouldn’t be afraid of writing about yourself …especially not for fear of damaging some kind of “personal brand” or pissing off some potential future employer.
If your personal brand demands that you live your life in fear of disclosing important parts of your life or your experience, the answer is to reject the whole sodding concept of personal brands.
Do things I write about my personal life threaten my personal brand? Perhaps. Are there people who wouldn’t hire me based on things I write? Probably. Do I give even a whiff of a fuck? Absolutely not. I wouldn’t want to work for them anyway.
This is a great initiative. I’m going to learn a lot from it. I hope that I might even be able to contribute to it sometime.
I heartily concur with Luke’s call for sharing of data:
If you’ve had success with a responsive design, my plea to you is to please share what you’ve learned.
I’m going to see if I can get some Clearleft clients to open up.
If you’re coming along to the Responsive Day Out and you’ve got some tech books you no longer need, bring them along. We’ll collect them and distribute them to schools.
I heartily concur with Chris’s sentiment:
I wish everyone in the world would blog.
Oh, my! This excellent, excellent post from Anil Dash is a great summation of what has changed on the web, and how many of today’s big-name services are no longer imbued with the spirit of the web.
Either you remember how things used to be and you’ll nod your head vigorously in recognition and agreement …or you’re too young to remember this, and you won’t quite believe that is how things worked.
This isn’t some standard polemic about “those stupid walled-garden networks are bad!” I know that Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and LinkedIn and the rest are great sites, and they give their users a lot of value. They’re amazing achievements, from a pure software perspective. But they’re based on a few assumptions that aren’t necessarily correct. The primary fallacy that underpins many of their mistakes is that user flexibility and control necessarily lead to a user experience complexity that hurts growth. And the second, more grave fallacy, is the thinking that exerting extreme control over users is the best way to maximize the profitability and sustainability of their networks.
A lovely new service from Mike Stenhouse: install the bookmarklet and then when you come across a website with a nice combination of fonts, you can save a snapshot of the page (and its fonts) for later perusal. You can then browse those fonts on Typekit, Fontdeck, MyFonts or Google Fonts.
Laura explains the problems with hiding content for small screens, and uses this as an opportunity to elucidate why you should blog, even if you’re think that no-one would be interested in what you have to say:
The point I’m trying to make is that we shouldn’t be fearful of writing about what we know. Even if you write from the most basic point of view, about something which has been ‘around for ages’, you’ll likely be saying something new to someone. They might be new to the industry, you might just be filling in the holes in someone’s knowledge.
This looks handy: a video-sharing service designed specifically to work with Silverback
A list of open device labs around the world (mostly Europe).
This starts out a bit hand-wavy with analogue nostalgia, but it wraps up with some genuinely good ideas for social software.
More on View Source, this time from Bruce.
The Web has thrived on people viewing source, copying and pasting, then tweaking until they get the page they want.
Now there’s a communal device testing lab in Malmö, Sweden too.
A heartbreaking article about just how badly Yahoo fucked up with Flickr. It’s particularly sad coming out right as the Flickr devs roll out an improved uploader and a more liquid photo page …but it seems like band-aid development at this point.
I had exactly the same resistance to Instagram as Dan and I had exactly the same Yuletide conversion.
Rachel tells the tale of how she came to be the splendid web worker she is and finishes with some advice for up-and-coming workers of the web:
Make 2012 the year you go out and do it.
The maker makes: on design, community, and personal empowerment – Jeffrey Zeldman Presents The Daily Report
This. This is why I love the web.
Not only does the web make publishers of those willing to put in the work, it also makes most of us free sharers of our hard-won trade, craft, and business secrets. The minute we grab hold of a new angle on design, interaction, code, or content, we share it with a friend — or with friends we haven’t met yet.
This could be a handy little service for sharing locally-hosted sites.
A great piece about the changing nature of content ownership and distribution. And now I share it with you, validating its central premise.
Don Norman bemoans the seemingly-inevitable direction that the internet is taking; from an open system of exchange to a closed, controlled broadcast channel. I share his fear.
A site dedicated to the principle of homesteading your data.
Luke unveils his new service: a way for people to share their collections of things.
James Bridle propsed Open Bookmarks during a presentation at Tools of Change in Frankfurt today: "Open Bookmarks is not a thing, it’s a proposal, a flag in the ground. We need to agree on a way of sharing and storing annotations and bookmarks, reading attention data and everything around the book: that aura."
Network data fills me with awe. And now I'm sharing this because I like its positive message.
Follow the adventure of this group of artists from around the world, in a Japanese fold Moleskine sketchbook exchange.
Fellow Powncers: authenticate here before December 15th to partake of the musical love that has been shared.
Kevin points out why you might want to keep your pictures on Flickr rather than Facebook. Like you needed a reason.
A seriously nice recipe sharing site. Everything is creative commons licensed and everything looks delicious.
Here are the fruits of the latest code push at Pownce: the ability to share files with the public and a tenfold increase in the file size limit.
This looks like it could be a fun simple little service: upload MP3s to make an online mix tape ...that's it.
Coworking is on the radar of mainstream media. This article even includes a mention of Brighton & Hove's very own The Werks.
One of many code-snippet sharing sites out there but this one has some nice features like tagging and popularity. The interface is yuck though. dpaste,com is nicer but more ephemeral.
Et tu, BBC?
Probably old news by now but Last.fm has been acquired by CBS, who I hope are not evil. The good news is that our favourite music site is staying in London. Rock on, FMers.
Identity consolidation with the XFN rel="me" value. RTFM on sharing information across social networks.
The origins and history of copyright. Copyright was originally designed to subsidize distribution, not creation. Not much has changed... until now.
This is fascinating in a voyeuristic way - photographs found on peer to peer networks from people who are (perhaps accidentally) sharing their entire home folder.