Slack: Where Annoyance Happens

I remember the first time I started working remote and how amazing live chat was. No more annoying face to face conversations around your desk, but this totally new medium where introverts can have time to get into the conversation without being overpowered by all those talkers.

Jump forward a few years and the live chat medium has gone from awesome to annoyance. From the constant unread bubbles vying for your attention to the feel of having to always have it connected. Like a conjoined twin.

Luckily for me, at my full-time​ job we are given “slack free” hours throughout the day where we are expected to quit the app, and not check in for anything unless it’s an emergency and someone texts or calls. This is fantastic and is truly​ forward thinking because I’ve heard some dreadful horror stories about other companies.

I heard of one that has a special room that is just for status updates. The workers are expected to give updates every 15-minutes on what they are working on. It’s apparent some in the upper management would prefer a job at a preschool instead of running a software development company.

Other companies are a little better but I feel like the instant side of it has conditioned everyone to get that instant gratification and to forget other people are trying to get work done. Of course, I’m guilty of it too but I’m trying hard to change and move conversations to a different medium. I’m so tired of searching looking for a bug that I know we discussed only to find a conversation that happened over many days with a lot of other banter in between.

Have you found anything better? I’ve heard Basecamp is one answer to this problem but it still feels like “one more place” when most of us already have a half a dozen. Some days I wish we would all just go back to email.

Should you reshare old content to social media?

A common theme from blogs and content marketers on social media is to attempt to drive more visitors and engagement by sharing new posts multiple times the week its first published, and then by sharing old posts over and over.

The problem with this style is there are primarily two types of social media users. One is someone who reads their entire feed and never misses anything. By continuing to share the same thing over and over you are putting them off and they will disengage and unfollow. In my opinion, these are also going to be some of your biggest fans, because they follow fewer​ people and highly curate their feed. I am firmly in this camp and I don’t follow many brands because of this.

The other style of follower is one that rarely reads their feed and just skims what’s new. Content marketers seem to believe these are more common and that is why they push content the way they do. I know every market is different but from my experience, ​the opposite is actually true.

Thinking through the two styles and realizing I never post new articles on the weekends I decided to try a hybrid approach. Every weekend starting Friday night through Sunday night I’ve been scheduling a few old posts to be pushed out. I’ve been doing this for a month now and Saturday’s is historically the slowest day for traffic and it has almost doubled from just this change.

I feel like so much of this is just trial and error but for me, ​it’s fun digging into the archives and resurfacing a lot of old content. So far no one has started complaining and once they do I’ll revisit this idea, but you never know until you try.

The Phoenix Project

I just finished a novel about IT, DevOps, and business named The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford.

I loved this book. It made me mad, it made me sad, it touched on so many emotions and this is one of the best books I’ve read. I love how through a narrative story they were​ able to cover many advanced IT and DevOps topics and make it approachable. I hope to see more tech-related books designed like this.

Some of the story does start to feel repetitive especially when you get toward the end, but overall I’m satisfied and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. They also just released an updated 5th-anniversary​ edition that is available on Amazon.

The Strava Effect

Growing up I raced motocross from the time I was about six up until my early twenties. I’m competitive and especially so on two-wheeled​ objects. Motorcycles, Bicycles, Scooters, anything. Since I don’t race competitively any longer I miss that competition and in the past, ​the only way to get that back is to have friends to ride with you that will push you.

But now we have Strava, and all our times are logged and tracked. It’s turned every single ride into a competition and we are all pushing each other as hard as we can. I personally enjoy it, the smack talk, the crashing from riding over our heads, the planning certain routes so you have fresh legs on a certain trail. I think it’s awesome.

Apparently, some people are taking this way too far and are starting to actually damage trails and cheat so they can get better times. That is sad and takes the fun out of it.

I definitely​ like Strava, and the effect it has on my riding and I love that we all push each other even when we can’t get together to ride.

If you are on Strava give me a follow and we can push each other.