I like the idea of shared learning and working together as a team, and in a way that’s independent of employment.
The desire for independence takes a couple forms:
- Minimizing loss of work due to employment boundaries. For example, learning documented on an internal blog may be lost when changing roles.
- Maximizing opportunities that would otherwise be constrained by company goals. For example, exploring professional growth areas that may never be a company priority.
Prakhar pointed me at Nathan Marz’s post on blogging, which provides excellent motivation specific to blogging.
Megha shared her experience at Write/Speak/Code, which recommends professional writing as an essential aspect of career development. I like Write/Speak/Code’s recommendation to seek feedback from trusted sources. Inline comments and explicit comment permission, like in Google Docs, would be ideal.
(Write/Speak/Code also brought Open Source Misfeasance to my awareness 👍 esp the slide “open source is like being an adult – it seems magical until you realize nobody knows what the hell they’re doing.” 🙂
I’m inspired by the meta-knowledge community on Github.
A New Yorker article on Jonathan Ledgard mentions he “carried two notebooks—red for his reporting notes, blue for thoughts and observations to use in fiction…”
I’ve heard Netflix has a strong culture of writing ideas down and seeking feedback. For example: “The bigger a decision, the more extensive the dissent/assent gathering should be, usually in an open shared document.”
A simple note app (currently Google Keep) to capture and access thoughts with minimal fuss.
WordPress for blog hosting. It feels relatively old-school, but it’s stable, feature-rich and has a large community. Signal v Noise, Joel Spolsky and Bill Gates use it, so I’m in good company. A few features I appreciate in particular:
- Full-text search, which is especially useful for finding and updating posts
- Navigation by tag and category
- A convenient native app
- Easy navigation from viewing to editing
- Basic stats and “likes” aren’t the reason I’m writing, but are reassuring
Regarding categories vs tags, the former is like a sub-blog, eg differentiating code tutorials from movie reviews, while the latter is more specific and plugs into WordPress’ topic subscriptions, facilitating discovery. (Twitter’s accounts vs hashtags is a cleaner version of this distinction.) Tag clouds and naive sorting can be noisy, so curate a list of featured tags using a menu.
Facilitate timely responses to comments by disabling those that are more than X days old.
Use Latex for math equations.
Completely separate professional from personal content, to facilitate content usage at work.
- Medium is clean and modern, but the monetization strategy of charging readers seems relatively high-friction, and it doesn’t have multi-account support
- Write.as is clean, and has a sustainable business model and an interesting tie-in to content federation, but it’s missing comments, search, etc
- Github Pages is simple, but relatively inconvenient for frequent content management
- Forestry CMS to manage Github Pages is an improvement, but I still want for search, comments, etc
- Siteleaf is good, but doesn’t provide preview in free mode, and renames files according to date front-matter (after import)
- I tried Prose.io in the past, but saving content was flaky
- jekyll-admin seems interesting if/when it’s supported by Github Pages