Buy many books at once

One of my new years goals this year is to read more, specifically 20 pages a day. I’m happy to report that I’ve only missed two or three days so far this year.

I’ve already read six books since I started and well on my way to finishing three more.

During my research for this goal, I came across a simple tip that I wanted to share. Buy many books at one time. If something sounds interesting, buy it. A friend mentioned a book, buy it. Heard someone mention one on Twitter, buy it. Don’t even read the reviews.

I took this advice and it has been wonderful. Previously I’d buy one at a time and doing many hours of research reading reviews, second guessing myself, finding others I might like better. Then finally ordering one. If it ended up being a slow read, boring, or just not interesting I was stuck until I either lost interest, chugged through it, or bought another. Typically this meant me losing interest and stopping reading completely.

Now if I pick one up that is boring, I have others sitting there ready to go. I even switch around depending on my mood for the day.

If this is not something you are doing I recommend trying it. It’s helped me tremendously.

Switching to WordPress.com

Yes, I sold out and I love it.

Right around the Christmas break, I decided it was time to revive this site. I had an idea for a blog post and I logged in to create it. Instantly I was hit with the dreaded, “you have updates”, message. I ran through updated the core, then the plugins, and by the time it was over I had lost interest in what I was actually going to write about.

After this, I decided it was time for a change and you might say laziness took over. I did want to host it, I didn’t want to update it, and most of all I didn’t want to worry about it. So that left the typical SaaS choices. Squarespace, WordPress.com, etc.

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Newsletters

Should you create a newsletter with exclusive content?

Before we continue I think it’s important to define what type of newsletter I’m going to be talking about. There are basically two styles of newsletters, one with exclusive content, and another that is just an update telling you to go read this. Basically, email as notifications instead of RSS.

For this post, I’m talking about the former. Newsletters with exclusive content and it seems like over the last year that style has really taken off. But does it make sense for you to do that?

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Should you disable comments on tutorials?

I received this question over email and I have to admit it’s a tricky one for me to answer. Before I get to the answer let me tell you about my outlook on comments and why I enable them here.

I allow comments because I love interacting with people without the 140 character restriction. Comments allow the conversation to continue and it’s nice to hear other points of view.

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Personal Websites

If you write a blog post and it’s not on Medium does anyone read it?

I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Question of the day by Stephen Dubner and James Altucher. The show revolves around one single question and always has fun questions. Plus it’s short averaging around 15 minutes.

On this episode, they had a guest ask the question and it was, “Are personal websites still necessary?”. More specifically, if starting today would you create a personal website or use an existing hub like Medium?

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How are sales today?

How are sales today is a new app created by Andrey Butov at Antair and it’s designed to be a simple way of keeping up with your sales through the Stripe API.

The app gives you a quick overview of revenue, MRR, ARR, and more. You can also switch between today, this month, and the year to get insights into how your business is running.

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The push to HTTPS

Last year, Google started giving websites that have an SSL cert a ranking boost. As part of that announcement they said it was done to push the web to be more secure. But they also wanted to go even further and push for “HTTPS everywhere”.

This week it was announced this measure is going to be taken a step further with a new feature in Chrome where it will show a big red “X” on unsecured sites. Firefox also has plans for this.

The EFF and security researchers are applauding the move. One example is it prevents governments from blocking specific pages. They instead have to block the whole domain which is much more noticeable. You can read about Russia’s WikiPedia ban for more context.

Dave Winer is one proponent against this and in a recent post he said:

I wonder if they’ve even tried to quantify the outages they’ll cause. So many sites are simply residing on a hard disk somewhere, served by an ancient version of some unknown and not maintained server software, chugging along as someone keeps paying the electric bill, and replaces a broken hardware component when needed. The people who created the site might not have understood HTTPS or how to deploy it, and many are long gone. Some of course are dead. We are certainly not all sitting around doing nothing waiting for a handful of programmers on a mail list to make us perform a ridiculous act of security theater for our blog posts written in 2002. 

Most of these sites do not need HTTPS. It isn’t an issue for my ancient blog posts. Or yours.

I personally think the current proposal with a red “X” is not the right solution. Yes, users will notice it at first, but give it two weeks and that icon will be totally ignored. I like the proposal on the Firefox report where someone suggested the browser just alert when submitting a form on an unsecure site, but I think it’ll be ignored after a while as well.

Free SSL’s

Let’s Encrypt and AWS are two service now offering free SSL certs. As the market shifts toward free services I’m sure implementation will get easier and easier until all web hosts just have support by default.

Of course, this would be a lot of work and a lot of companies would need to make big architecture​ changes.