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Written by Andrew Shell, a Senior Web Engineer/People Lead from Madison, WI.
  1. December 12, 2022

    This post is the first of several articles about the technology around Understanding ActivityPub. The first question I had while reading the ActivityPub specification was, “How do I find the different feeds and documents defined by the spec?” One of the first things defined would…

  2. February 06, 2022

    Today I created my first NFT. I’m not really sure how useful it is, but what the heck. The general idea is that it’s in my best interest to become knowledgeable about blockchain and related tech because there are starting to be some interesting use cases and I’m better off being…

  3. December 23, 2021

    I’ve spent most of my adult life studying personal development, and a big part of personal development is goal setting and task management. It’s the end of the year, and everyone is talking about setting your goals for next year and what your “New Years Resolutions” are. Others…

  4. November 07, 2021

    Today is the last day of my Ship 30 for 30 cohort. When I started on October 9th, I said that success would simply be posting 30 items I’m proud of, so it was certainly a success. It started pretty easy, and I had a lot of notes that I could draw from. Notes from books I’ve read…

  5. November 06, 2021

    Early in my career, I worked for an SEO company. I was pretty low on the totem pole but had a lot of chutzpah. I would get assigned a technical project specification written by a senior developer (in New Zealand) based on a report created by an SEO consultant in our Wisconsin…

  6. November 05, 2021

    Previously, I discussed reducing friction by using the simplest system that will get the job done (see Small Pieces, Loosely Joined). I briefly described (at the end) that I used a weekly checklist to get through my week. Folks on Twitter were interested in learning more about…

  7. November 04, 2021

    Today I interviewed for a leadership position at work. During the interview, the interviewer asked what my philosophy was for leading and mentoring people. I create an environment where it’s safe to fail, I assign projects that are a stretch for them to accomplish, and I do…

  8. November 03, 2021

    Here are three of my favorite books about productivity and goal setting. Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy The book’s tagline is “21 great ways to stop procrastination and get more done in less time”. For example, if it’s your job to eat a frog every day, you’d best do it first thing…

  9. November 02, 2021

    Once you have your goals in mind and know what you want to do, the next trick is to get yourself to do it. I have two complementary strategies for getting things done. Time Blocking The first is to schedule time blocks on your calendar for when you want to do certain things. If I…

  10. November 02, 2021

    The number one thing that sabotages me regularly is a lack of clarity. Clarity is a sneaky thing, and it plays a part in so many aspects of your life. Clarity is a lack of confusion, and it leads to confidence. So many days, I struggle because I’m not clear about what I should do…

  11. October 31, 2021

    If you’re a software developer, you probably at one point or another have heard of the Unix philosophy of “small pieces, loosely joined.” The idea is that instead of creating giant monolithic applications that try to do everything, you build small apps that do one thing well and…

  12. October 30, 2021

    Goal Funnels (see You Need a Goal Funnel) can be overwhelming. So here is another strategy to use to help flesh out your Goal Funnel. Brain Dump. Spend 15-20 minutes just writing down every possible thing you’d like to accomplish in the next ten years. For example, what are items…

  13. October 30, 2021

    When you focus on the past (positive or negative), you’re creating inertia. That’s what habits are. They require effort to get started but then require minimal effort to keep them going. If you want to change your future, you’re potentially fighting inertia, just like when you’re…

  14. October 28, 2021

    When you’re driving, you shift into a higher gear so you can continue accelerating. If you continue accelerating at the current gear, you’ll wear out your engine and burn up a lot of gas. The same thing applies to people. You’re pushing yourself, you’re trying to do more and get…

  15. October 27, 2021

    When you’re trying to change your behavior, it’s easy to fall into old habits. You’ve practiced these bad habits for a long time and it’s foolish to think you can just decide to change and make it happen. It takes work and it takes practice. However, there is a skill that if you…

  16. October 27, 2021

    How often do you find yourself on autopilot? In the early 2000s, I had a daily 50 minute (each way) commute through farmland. On my way home, I would have to make a left turn or else I’d end up in another town. I would regularly find that I had no idea where I was, unsure if I…

  17. October 25, 2021

    The best way to grow is to implement systems that incorporate feedback loops. On Saturday, I talked about validating your lead metrics. This is one example of a powerful concept in personal development, Feedback loops. If you want to grow consistently, you need to implement…

  18. October 24, 2021

    “You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction.” — Jim Rohn Jim Rohn was one of the original personal development teachers. He mentored Tony Robbins when Tony was 17 and was a lifelong friend. His style was accessible, and his conversational…

  19. October 23, 2021

    Yesterday, I talked about the difference between lead and lag metrics and why they are essential parts of your goal-setting funnel. Today, I will discuss making sure your lead metrics lead to your lag metrics using validated learning. Applying Validated Learning to Tour Goal…

  20. October 22, 2021

    Yesterday, I mentioned (see You Need a Goal Funnel) that the 5th stage of your Goal Funnel is Lead Metrics. Today, I figured I would explain what lead metrics are and their partner lag metrics because it’s a crucial distinction that I think many people overlook. Lag Metrics When…

  21. October 21, 2021

    Whether it’s on January 1st or some other schedule (I recommend quarterly) it’s a good idea to regularly do a deep dive goal planning session. I hope by this point you know that a goal like “lose weight” is not very good. You’ve probably heard of SMART. goals which are great, but…

  22. October 20, 2021

    Today my essay is a little later in the day. There are a lot of things going on right now. I have an accepted offer on a house I’m buying and my daughter is sick with a stomach bug. This stuff is part of life and therefore needs to be a part of productivity. This is why leaving…

  23. October 19, 2021

    Yesterday I mentioned one of my favorite books. It contains many practical and useful practices for helping your subconscious help you. The book is “Ask and It Is Given” by Esther and Jerry Hicks. Now, I also mentioned that it’s a weird book. If you’re not familiar with Esther…

  24. October 18, 2021

    Yesterday, I discussed how to leverage your subconscious mind (see 5 Ways to Leverage Your Subconscious Mind). Today, I want to give special attention to one aspect of the subconscious. I had mentioned how your subconscious uses strong emotion to prioritize work. I also mentioned…

  25. October 17, 2021

    Do you ever have a problem that no matter how hard you work at, you just can’t figure it out? My inclination has been to power through, trying one thing after another until I figure it out, but usually, that leads to resistance and frustration. I’ve found another way that more…

  26. October 16, 2021

    How do you define productivity? For example, if I asked you if you’ve had a productive week, what criteria would you use? Defining productivity is tricky. Productivity content has an idea that the goal is to get as much work done as possible. Jade Bowler described productivity as…

  27. October 15, 2021

    I was very fortunate to stumble into my number one career hack earlier on. My first professional job was as a PHP developer, building content management systems for an agency. I was the only PHP developer at the company, and when I was hired, I barely knew anything about PHP. I…

  28. October 14, 2021

    Every weekday morning I either take my daughter to school, or meet her at school (when she’s with her mom.) That way, I can see her, give her a hug, and send her off to first grade. Even on days when all I need to do is roll out of bed, and drive to school, I still get up an hour…

  29. October 13, 2021

    You have things you want to do, but probably not enough time or energy. You can only do one thing at a time (multitasking is a lie), and switching between projects eats time and energy for lunch. Done is better than perfect One reason I don’t get as much done as I’d like is…

  30. October 12, 2021

    Does this sound familiar? You have a great idea for a new project. You’re so excited about this project that you immediately drop everything else you’re working on and focus on nothing else for the next few days, maybe weeks. Soon you hit a tough spot. You realize that this…

  31. October 11, 2021

    One area I’ve studied a lot is the area of personal productivity. If left unchecked I procrastinate like crazy. I focus on what I’m interested in and all those other pesky things that I “need” to get done just don’t get done, or at least until the last minute. When I’d…

  32. October 10, 2021

    What stories are you telling yourself? “I can’t lose weight! No matter what I try, I sabotage myself. I have no self-control.” I’m good at telling this story. I’ve been practicing it for years. Probably, most of my adult life. I’m a big dude. I’m six feet tall, and for most of…

  33. October 09, 2021

    Today marks the first day of the October cohort of Ship 30 for 30. It’s a writing challenge to publish an atomic essay (like this) every day for 30 days. Why did I join Ship 30 for 30? I’ve been writing online at least since 2004 and for the most part, it’s been pretty…

  34. May 30, 2021

    This morning I read Peter Akkies Newsletter and he asks: I’ve been spending way too much considering whether to buy one of those shiny new iPad Pros. If you own one, which screen size do you prefer? Peter Akkies I was going to respond via Twitter, but realized I had more than 28…

  35. March 27, 2021

    This is the first of a series of screencasts I want to do demoing different writing and collaboration tools I find interesting.

  36. March 27, 2021

    I talked to a friend yesterday about all the artifacts I collect and want to collect. I have a growing collection of software from Living Videotext, a complete set of Mondo 2000 magazines, and I was debating whether or not I wanted to spend $500 on Origins of Cyberspace. He asked…

  37. March 27, 2021

    In this video, Douglas Engelbart answers a question about issue-based structured argumentation. I’m very interested in the idea of structured text. I’ve referenced Dorian Taylor’s The Symbol Management Problem before, which is where I first learned about an IBIS (issue-based…

  38. February 09, 2021

    I have a friend that writes node.js code with callbacks. There are some cases where I think using promises or async/await syntax might be advantageous. Here, I’m going to try to connect the dots. Here is an example of an asynchronous function that uses callbacks: We follow the…

  39. January 07, 2021

    The more I look at FedWiki, the more overlap I see with the work Dave has been doing with outliners and publishing. Especially with Trex and the World Outline. The World Outline is like the World Wide Web, except instead of a web of linked pages, it’s an array of outlines that…

  40. December 23, 2020

    Following my intuition keeps leading me to fun coincidences. I’ve been following the work of Dorian Taylor, learning more about how he uses linked data. App::IBIS is interesting, but also how he’s using attributes on links on his website. Here’s an example: I’ve implemented a…

  41. December 10, 2020

    Knowledge Byproducts When I took Building a Second Brain, one of the concepts was “knowledge byproducts.” The idea that as you’re doing your work, you’re creating things that could be useful later on in a different project. I decided that what I’d like to do is find a way to use…

  42. December 06, 2020

    I’m pretty new to the idea of the Fediverse and Federation in general. I recently signed up for Mastodon to participate in the Podcast Index Community. Mastodon is built on top of a protocol ActivityPub, which seems pretty straightforward. I recently hopped on a Zoom call with…

  43. November 09, 2020

    I have a bunch of saved searches on eBay looking for interesting things. One of those things is “Living Videotext”. Today my latest addition, a copy of ThinkTank 128 arrived. Still need ThinkTank 512, Ready, and MORE. Dave Winer Later that year we released our first Mac product…

  44. November 02, 2020

    Just read Developing better developers it sounds like a great idea. I think a similar idea could also be bootstrapped outside of universities. Something that combines an open-source project with a meetup group. Senior devs can teach and work with the junior devs for the benefit…

  45. November 02, 2020

    This morning I read Philosophy in re RSS 2.0 My favorite quote was from Sean Gallagher “I mean, here we are, a country on the edge of being dragged into a war by some whack-job Texan with the IQ of a Post-It Note (TM), and people are badgering each other over RDF?” I know enough…

  46. October 31, 2020

    Interesting timing. I’ve been talking to Dave lately about nodeEditor and how things worked in Frontier. Then I opened Instapaper today and was scanning through pages I had bookmarked to read later and came across a How Frontier got started which had an attached podcast that was…

  47. October 25, 2020

    I deployed the new rssCloud v2 to a temporary port and I’d like to have a way to poke at it and make sure it’s doing what it should be doing. Today I plan on building a simple tool that will allow me to zip through the various combinations of pleaseNotify and ping and check that…

  48. October 22, 2020

    One of the reasons I continue to work on the rssCloud server is that I see it has untapped potential. One thing that is frequently used to “Sell” the rssCloud competitor PubSubHubbub (or PuSH or WebSub) is that it provides “Fat Pings”. The content in the feed that has changed…

  49. October 21, 2020

    Idea: Could we include a cloud tag in an OPML headline and have Little Outliner ping an rssCloud server with the public OPML url when it’s updated? That way if we wanted to use an OPML file as a data source (blogging for instance) the consumers could subscribe to the file. Dave…

  50. October 18, 2020

    My site has been a blog since at least 2006. It literally uses the blog subdomain. I don’t know how much I like that anymore. End of last year, I changed the homepage from a list of posts to a more curated experience inspired by Derek Sivers, including a Now page. Joel Hooks…

  51. April 07, 2020

    When I was in high school and early college, I suffered from depression. Since then, I’ve relapsed from time to time but overall have been much better. Currently, a lot of people are struggling with mental health. Between the fear of COVID-19 and self-isolation, people are…

  52. February 18, 2020

    I’ve been slowly but surely working on version 2.0 of the rssCloud server I built back in 2015. When I originally built it, it was my first real node app, and the node landscape was very different from what it is today. Now that my full-time job is building node based APIs at…

  53. January 22, 2020

    My daughter started 4K back in September. This school year is her first year going to elementary school. When I’m visiting her classroom for conferences and such, I’m overwhelmed by feelings of nostalgia. The classrooms, although not 100% like what I remember, have things like…

  54. November 12, 2019

    Today I was in a class learning about Kinvey and my instructor was stuck on a problem in a node.js app he was working on. He wanted to use on an array of rows but pass an additional parameter to the callback. I knew that one way to handle that was with like this: He implemented…

  55. September 26, 2018

    Recently for a job I was applying for I build a time tracking demo in React. I’ve spent the last 4-5 years working with Angular (via Ionic) but many of the jobs I’ve seen are asking for React. It’s been easy to pick up and a lot of fun to work with. I like having this app as a…

  56. June 28, 2018

    I just spent several hours debugging an issue and hopefully, this will save you a lot of time. I’m building a new Ionic 4 app and I’m using MobX to handle state. I had previously used it in an Ionic 3 app, but I don’t think I was using it correctly. This time I wanted to make…

  57. June 10, 2017

    Are you interested in Laravel but don’t know how to start? Homestead is a Laravel project that simplifies the creation of a local environment configured to run Laravel applications. Bring your laptop and when we’re finished you’ll have Homestead running and a fresh install of…

  58. May 25, 2017

    Jory Geerts asks: Do you have any thoughts on how [DomainSession] could be used from a CLI environment? The first thing to ask yourself is how would you like sessions to work on the command line? There are a few ways this could work. Each run has its own new session The main…

  59. May 02, 2017

    Right before Christmas, I reached out to Paul Jones asking: I’ve reached a point with a couple of my Radar projects where I need to add a login and set permissions. I’m trying to figure out the best way to handle this, especially with PSR-7 and ADR. This led to discussing how to…

  60. March 06, 2017

    I’m working on several projects right now that I’d like to be able to generate logs from. The problem is that logging isn’t required for the code to work, so how do I configure it? I see three possibilities: Required in Constructor Pros Cleanest implementation Cons Requires user…

  61. December 31, 2016

    I’ve been thinking a lot about immutable objects lately. Yegor Bugayenko claims that Objects Should Be Immutable and PSR-7: HTTP message interfaces are designed to be immutable. Messages are values where the identity is the aggregate of all parts of the message; a change to any…

  62. November 04, 2016

    In my development, I use Git all the time. It was a little tricky to figure out at first but, I feel like I have a good understanding of how to use it. When I’ve worked with other developers I see them struggling with a few concepts that I use regularly and thought it might be…

  63. October 22, 2016

    Yesterday I was working on a project in Radar and needed to create a command line tool for it. In the past, I’ve always used Symfony Console which I like. Since my application was already built using Radar and adhering to Action-Domain-Responder and Clean Architecture, I wanted a…

  64. October 20, 2016

    Today I published a new component Cadre.Module. This component was born out of my side project that’s using Radar. Stock Radar Radar is built around Aura.Di which is a very nice dependency injection container. If you’re interested in learning more about Radar check out Radar…

  65. October 18, 2016

    On Friday I talked about a new library I created that helps integrate Atlas.ORM with PHP Debug Bar. Hari K T replied asking about using multiple connections. For instance, if you use Atlas with a default master database for writes and multiple read-only slave databases. My…

  66. October 14, 2016

    In my last article, I talked about how I found an N+1 bug in Atlas ORM. I had mentioned how it took a little work to get PHP Debug Bar configured with Atlas but didn’t really explain why it was difficult, or how I got them working together. At first, it seemed like it would be…

  67. October 10, 2016

    In my side project I’m working with a very well normalized database with many relationships. One of the most complex pages is a where it shows info about the creator and all of the works that they have contributed to. creatordiagram This is the database structure for this page…

  68. October 04, 2016

    In my prior posts about integrating Symfony Forms with Radar, I created a helper class called LazyArray. It was designed so I could pass an array of lazily instantiated objects into a setter like Twigs method. Paul liked my implementation and asked me to submit a PR. Today it…

  69. September 28, 2016

    In Part 1 I talked about the difficulties in getting Symfony Forms to play nicely with Aura.Di and Radars ADR model. Today I’m picking up where I left off. My goal is to figure out what I need to do differently to achieve the clean separation I desire. All of my issues with Aura…

  70. September 26, 2016

    I have several projects I’d like to build soon. One thing they have in common is there will be a lot of data entry via forms. Back in the day I used to use HTML_QuickForm but I haven’t used it for a long time. For my projects at work, one uses a custom solution I built and the…

  71. September 23, 2016

    Several years ago I came across the following video. It was a keynote from a Ruby conference by some guy named Robert “Uncle Bob” Martin. It’s really worth your time to watch. Watching this opened my eyes. The idea that the framework is a delivery mechanism and not your app was…

  72. September 21, 2016

    Radar is a project that I really like. Radar is a PSR-7 compliant Action-Domain-Responder (ADR) system. While it may look like a micro-framework, it is more like a wrapper around the real core of your application domain. Have your eyes glossed over yet? Don’t worry. Radar is…

  73. September 16, 2016

    Frameworks, libraries, and components are great. They can greatly simplify the process of writing applications. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. However what happens when the landscape changes? Your favorite library is no longer supported. The framework you’ve built your…

  74. September 09, 2016

    For years I’d struggle to add new features and fix bugs because the likelihood of something breaking was too high. Now I don’t sweat adding new features or fixing bugs. I know that whatever I build is going to work and when the inevitable bugs happen, I know how to fix them so…

  75. January 15, 2016

    After reading Why we are requiring PHP 7 for our new packages I decided to make Stupid Simple Invoices (a side project) require PHP 7. It’s a fairly small project right now and it took me a total of about 30 minutes to make sure everything was ready to go. I updated composer to…

  76. December 17, 2015

    I recently needed a quick tool to track and generate invoices for my small random freelance jobs. I thought this would be a good project to try out Radar, a PSR-7 compliant Action-Domain-Responder (ADR) system created by Paul M. Jones. I like Radar and I’d like to document some…

  77. June 03, 2015

    Jeffrey Kishner asks: I don’t understand what rssCloud does. Is it related to River? Back in the RSS 2.0 spec, Dave Winer documented a cloud element which is used to point to an rssCloud server for real time updates about a feed changing. Typically feed readers poll a feed…

  78. June 02, 2015

    I recently built an rssCloud Server implementation in node.js It’s open source, MIT licensed and available on GitHub. I have a copy of it running live at rpc.rsscloud.io:5337. I’m hoping to get folks to poke it and help me make it more stable. Since it’s hard to test an rssCloud…

  79. May 23, 2015

    Dave Winer uses Facebook comments on his Liveblog and today I wanted to comment on his post about liveblogging. However before I did this I had to check something out. I went on Facebook and found where he had posted a link to his post and was surprised to find one comment on…

  80. May 01, 2015

    I’ve been playing around with Laravel lately and overall I like it. One issue I ran into pretty quickly was that I would like to store datetime fields in the database as UTC and then store the timezone (in this case for an event) in another field. Laravel seems to have a global…

  81. February 02, 2015

    At my job at Pinpoint Software, I’ve been working on our primary product Taskle. It’s been very successful so far and we’re adding a bunch of new companies to our system all the time. Of course that means scaling issues. The current issue is that the cron job that marks expired…

  82. June 25, 2014

    I’ve been playing around with Node.js for a while but I never got far enough to deploy an app to production. Dave Winer recently released River4 which is the latest in a line of excelent River of News aggregators. Previous versions ran on the OPML Editor which I’ve been having a…

  83. January 21, 2014

    Lately I’ve been overwhelmed. This is not unusual for me ever since my heart surgery I’ve been more aware of it. I’ve been reading books lately about goal setting, life planning and task management so today I felt I needed to do a brain dump and figure out what are all my…

  84. November 23, 2013

    I’m working on a couple of projects that will be using Silex as the underlying framework. Whenever I try out a new framework, it seems that the first roadblock I always hit is when I try to implement user authentication & authorization. It’s no different with Silex. The…

  85. October 28, 2013

    Dave Winer says in What’s missing in our social networks?: Meanwhile, as we all settle in on these networks, we’re also settling — missing features that would have been developed long ago if we were using open and competitive platforms. At some point the dam will break and there…

  86. October 04, 2013

    This post is a request into the aether for something I’d really like to see and would be willing to pay for. My hope is that someone reads this and decides to build it (maybe even Meetup). I unfortunately don’t have the time to build this as much as I’d like to do so…

  87. August 21, 2013

    Last week I announced my first Node.js module fs-key-value. I’m new to Node.js and was not having any success making it asynchronous so I released it as a synchronous library. Soon after I realized it made more sense to take a little more time and rewrite it to be asynchronous…

  88. August 16, 2013

    As a developer, I’m always reevaluating what tools I use to do my work. This can be what language I’m using, but also what frameworks, libraries or editors I’m using. I’ve been doing pretty much nothing but PHP for close to a decade and I love it. I know it’s cool to dis PHP and…

  89. August 15, 2013

    Today I published fs-key-value which is my first NPM module. Earlier this week I talked about creating a little wrapper for LevelUp that was supposed to make it work when I spin up multiple processes using cluster. After some further testing I came to the conclusion that my…

  90. August 12, 2013

    Recently I’ve been working on a Node.js app that uses LevelDB via the LevelUp module. Out of the box it works really well, but I ran into problems when I tried adding multi-process support (via the cluster module) to my app. So I created a little wrapper script that uses a…

  91. August 08, 2013

    I’m probably going to be moving my site soon to be powered by Dave Winer’s Trex but that means that my RSS feed URL will change. Right now it’s either https://blog.andrewshell.org/feed/ or https://blog.andrewshell.org/feed/index.xml but as of right now the new location is https…

  92. August 07, 2013

    I do most of my blog reading on my iPhone so it’s really important for me that my blog looks good on the iPhone. One feature that I really like is the “Reader” feature that shows up in the address bar on both mobile and desktop Safari. One issue with it though is that there is no…

  93. August 03, 2013

    This blog (and a couple other sites) have been hosted via GitHub Pages which has been great. However I wanted other features that required plugins which are not supported on GitHub Pages for security reasons. The way around this is to generate your site locally (with plugins…

  94. August 02, 2013

    I’ll be honest with you. I had kinda stagnated over the last couple years when it came to improving my skills as a developer. When I first started developing professionally I went from not knowing much PHP to being well regarded as a developer in a few years. Part of my…

  95. July 26, 2013

    My wife Andrea and I have no immediate plans to have children, but the topic has come up a couple of times. One area that we disagree on is the topic of homeschooling. I personally feel that with the exception of a few awesome teachers I was mostly let down by the public school…

  96. July 16, 2013

    I don’t typically promote products on my site but I really love You Need A Budget or YNAB. I’ve had a real hard time in the past with managing my money, I’ve accumulated a bunch of debt and pissed through a bunch of inheritance money. I’ve tried a number of programs like…

  97. July 04, 2013

    It’s been a crazy year since the last 4th of July. Andrea and I got married in October. Then we went on our honeymoon to Disney World and of January. On our way home I got pneumonia (the first time) and that started a chain of events that led to having heart surgery. Then 1…

  98. May 03, 2013

    I’ve been using GitHub Pages quite a bit these days. In fact this blog is running off on GitHub Pages. I really like it as a platform. Part of using GitHub Pages is understanding the ins and outs of Jekyll and what limitations are placed on it in the context of running on…

  99. May 02, 2013

    I had been diagnosed with a heart murmur back in 2005 at which time the cardiologist said it was unremarkable and that I just needed antibiotics prior to dental work. Two years ago I had a second ultrasound of my heart and no red flags were raised. Back in February I was in my…

  100. March 13, 2013

    Yesterday I joined Hyperboria. Hyperboria is a decentralized network established with the principles of freedom and security at its core. To get into Hyperboria you have to install CJDNS which and then get on IRC and find someone that is willing to give you a password to connect…

  101. January 19, 2013

    Today I met up with my friend Joe Nelson, the goal was to discuss my prior blog post about a better social news experience. We wanted to look at the larger idea and see what baby steps could we accomplish to start moving toward that ideal. I’m of the mindset that I don’t want to…

  102. December 31, 2012

    A number of years ago when I worked for Brazen Careerist I had an idea for the company. We could create a white label social news site that was a window into a larger network of social news sites. Management didn’t see this as a useful direction for the company so it didn’t…

  103. September 12, 2012

    I just came across this video and thought it would be great to share. According to the map on deaddrops.com there aren’t any listed in Madison, WI. I might have to change that. “Dead Drops” is an anonymous, offline, peer to peer file-sharing network in public space. USB flash…

  104. June 14, 2012

    I’ve been a big of a laggard when it comes around to the latest and greatest in the world of PHP. Only recently have I been using the new functionality of PHP 5.3 even though 5.4 just came out. Today I had an idea for a proof of concept and I thought I’d share it with you today…

  105. May 28, 2012

    Dave Winer discusses in his post A simple proposal for discussion software makers an idea where instead of having to only publish content inside of the application (Ex: WordPress, Tumblr, Quora), you could specify a URL for your content and the application would fetch that…

  106. March 20, 2012

    Yesterday on the World Outline Podcast with Dave Winer and Adam Curry they mentioned me and my projects RT Proxy and TwitOPML. If you’re interested in listening you can hear the clip or the entire episode.

  107. March 16, 2012

    RT Proxy is a little site I created to support Dave Winer’s RT standard. This is fresh on the heels of my Radio2 RT WordPress Plugin which adds RT links to a WordPress site. Now anybody even if they don’t have a website or link blog can RT to many popular social networks…

  108. February 18, 2012

    I just came across Dave Winer’s post Samsung is wrong about TV which is a response to the earlier TechCrunch article Samsung Not Worried About Apple’s TV: “TVs are ultimately about picture quality”. Now I’m actually with TechCrunch on this one that when it comes to TV content is…

  109. January 23, 2012

    I’ve been very interested in thinking of clever ways to help myself and other people avoid digital sharecropping. Especially with the recent hoopla around SOPA. The problem I have with the term Digital Sharecropper is that it represents the negative behavior. We talk about how…

  110. June 29, 2011

    At Brazen Careerist where I work we’re having a series of posts by Brazen employees with tips about how they got ahead in their careers. My post about starting a group was just posted today. Check it out. Name: Andrew Shell Age: 29 So what do you do at Brazen? I’m one of the…

  111. May 26, 2011

    Today I came across a wikipedia page about the Seven Blunders of the World which was a list created by Gandhi. As I went through them one particularly stuck with me. That was “Knowledge without Character” particularly because knowledge is something I strive for. The problem…

  112. May 09, 2011

    Recently I’ve been reading the book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck and it’s really making me think. In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting…

  113. May 01, 2011

    I’ve been working as part of the blork community lately. What is a blork? It’s basically a decentralized Twitter like app that runs on RSS. You post status updates that get posted to your RSS Feed, then you follow other RSS feeds. The problem? RSS is not particularly user…

  114. April 22, 2011

    Today I shipped a little app of mine called TwitOPML. I’m now freaked out. What if a ton of people start using it? What if nobody uses it? I shot an e-mail about it to the EC2 for Poets mailing list, so most likely somebody will try it out. In fact, I pretty much developed…

  115. March 17, 2011

    I previously railed against the trend of digital sharecropping in my post Giving Up On Web Ownership. The task of taking ownership of your digital identity can be very difficult when you try to replicate the functionality of all the different sites you might use. Trying to create…

  116. March 14, 2011

    Today’s episode of Rebooting The News Jay was out of town so Dave had on Adam Curry and yours truly! I wish I could say I was invited to be a guest, but Dave was just taking calls and picked me. On the show I talk about my work trying to use WordPress as a microblog platform…

  117. February 23, 2011

    After my post on Friday about Giving Up on Web Ownership a couple people pinged me asking how they would go about publishing to Twitter, without publishing in Twitter. Dave Winer is working on the problem with his minimal blogging tool but I was thinking… why can’t we do this…

  118. February 18, 2011

    Last year when I was helping organize BarCamp Madison 2011 I was busy getting the website set up. I set up a WordPress site and planned on getting modules installed to handle registrations and session tracking. Before I even got a chance to do anything other members of the…

  119. February 11, 2011

    I had an interesting conversation with my friend Monica last night. We talked about information overload and she brought up a term “News Poisoning” which means how you can poison your mind by watching the news. What do I mean by poisoning your mind? If you watch the news you may…

  120. February 09, 2011

    My life needs fixing. There are a lot of things going on that I need to repair. Some of which are: Lose weight, get in shape Develop the power to avoid procrastination Improve my concentration Start my own business I think the key to solving these problems is to put those parts…

  121. December 30, 2010

    I’m not a huge fan of new years resolutions. I think most people throw out some big vague goal like “lose weight” or “start my own business” then forget about it by the end of January. I was just thinking of a different approach to new years resolutions. What could you accomplish…

  122. December 15, 2010

    I’ve been rolling around in my head for a while now about the best way to publish structured data via RSS. My primary use case is with syndicating data between websites, especially social networks like Brazen Careerist. I like the idea of pulling in a feed that has more…

  123. December 15, 2010

    This is a reply to Why Gen Y is Smarter, From a Gen X We are becoming more dependent on technology. The use of a GPS like they mention in the TechCrunch article is a good example. GPS is great since it allows you to get to places very easily without having to carry a ton of maps…

  124. October 01, 2010

    I sat down with Ryan Healy and Ryan Paugh, co-founders of Brazen Careerist. We talked about how they created Employee Evolution, met Penelope Trunk and started Brazen Careerist.

  125. September 03, 2010

    I’ve been trying to be more minimalist lately. I deleted the vast majority of blogs I follow in my RSS feed (I only follow 5 now). One of the blogs I still follow is Far Beyond the Stars by Everett Bogue. Everett is a guy who lives his life with a ridiculously small number of…

  126. August 23, 2010

    Here’s an exercise I just came up with as a method to expand and pivot my passions. Start out with something that excites you, something that you’re really passionate about. Visualize that this activity or idea is just a lake that’s part of a big network of lakes, rivers, streams…

  127. August 11, 2010

    Recently I privately declared RSS bankruptcy. I had managed to tame my feeds in such a way that I could usually get through everything and some days I’d just clear out my low value feeds in order to keep up. Then on June 30th, I attended an online webinar “Escaping the Techno ADD…

  128. June 29, 2010

    I sat down with Greg Tracy, co-founder of Sharendipity and creator of SMSMyBus to talk about how he got into technology and what he’s learned along the way.

  129. May 18, 2010

    When I was out in California I was somewhat involved with the group of people starting Hacker Dojo. I’ve been interested in creating a similar type of space in Madison. I started looking around at spaces when I was telecommuting for PBwiki but the issue is always how to fund it…

  130. December 16, 2009

    I previously talked about reordering my Google reader in order to make my life less overwhelming. A little over a month has gone by and I thought I’d post an update about how it’s worked. Things have been a tremendous success. By simply re-categorizing my feeds into Low Volume…

  131. December 11, 2009

    I’m someone that likes to think of himself as pretty driven and goal oriented. I think this is why it’s bothered me so much that lately I’ve been floundering without any great direction. Some of it is probably the “Quarterlife Crisis” but it could also be that I’ve been getting…

  132. October 30, 2009

    Today I logged into Google Reader and saw that I had 230 unread items. This is not unusual, nor it is particularly difficult to get through. However, that is what’s in my “inbox” between when I checked it last night and when I woke up this morning. I’m not sure how many items…

  133. March 05, 2009

    I was e-mailing a friend the other day talking about PHP frameworks. He’s been writing one for himself and I’ve written many many frameworks and CMSs through the years. I’ve also looked at a lot of existing frameworks out there like Zend, CodeIgniter, CakePHP, Solar, Symfony and…

  134. August 29, 2008

    At Netconcepts I’ve implemented microformats in order to optimize content for search engines. An example of this would be the hCard microformat which we’re using in the Allen Edmonds store locator. We marked up the content with classes like street-address and region. We’re hoping…

  135. August 27, 2007

    I just came across this article today. It’s very interesting. I’ve always had an interest in exploring storm drains and tunnels and such. I wonder if Madison has drains like this. That would be really cool to see. I’d be worried about slipping and drowning though. http://bldgblog…

  136. April 25, 2007

    I’ve been programming in one form or another for as long as I can remember. Since my family got it’s first computer when I was five I couldn’t have programmed much before that. However I knew DOS well enough to help teachers with their computers in first and second grade so I…

  137. September 20, 2006

    The conference this year was a lot of fun. I found the talks to be weaker then I remember from previous years. Perhaps I chose poorly. Two of the best talks I attended were “The State of AOP in PHP” by Sebastian Bergmann and ”Organizing Your Projects” by Paul M. Jones. “The State…

  138. September 12, 2006

    I just arrived in Toronto yesterday for the third PHP Works conference I’ve attended. The last two years were incredible and I have no doubts that this year will be great as well. I will try to post several entries while I’m here detailing what talks I’ve attended and such. Today…