Another day, another report of a security issue. I guess I need a tinfoil hat because I’m to the point where I don’t trust apps, extensions, or much of anything.
For my phone I download a few games, and a few utility style apps, but for everything else I use Safari where I can run blockers to prevent sites spying on me. It’s such a sad world that this is what the internet has become.
I used to think Stallman was crazy, but now I’m starting to see his point.
In my local paper, there was a story about a guy doing something dumb, the internet found it and now the insanity has started spiraling. He was fired from his job, now getting death threats, and on and on. The article ended with a quote from him saying, “now when anyone searches his name this event will be the first thing that comes up and will continue to affect my life”.
This is a reminder of why it’s so important to own your own narrative. Have your own blog or website where you can control the SEO, you can respond to whatever event on your own terms, and bypass the journalist that have their own narrative that may not match your own.
Many (most) journalists are spin doctors and they already know the angle they are going to take on a story before they even contact you. They will take your quotes out of context and they will bury if that is what their story calls for. Without having your own medium to fight back you might be at their mercy, and that is not somewhere you want to be.
Today the CommitStrip featured this comic about losing touch with your users. It’s really great:
But it also made me think about the other side of this. If you are building something where your target market is someone really close to yourself then, by all means, take advantage of that. One thing that comes to mind is fonts for code blocks on your personal blog. You are probably save using source code pro or something that isn’t preinstalled yet many developers have it installed.
Of course, there are many more examples of how you can take advantage of what you target user will be using and it never hurts to plan for them first with simple fallbacks for the others.
A few years ago, 2016 according to my projects page, I launched a site named dotdev. The original goal was a developer magazine, but that didn’t really work out, so then it turned into a Medium publication where I curate web development tutorials. Due to Medium’s constant changes, I decided sticking with them was not a great idea so I moved all the articles I had written over to a WordPress install and just left it sitting.
I’ve been thinking about it ever since and finally decided its time for me make use of the site and I’m going to officially relaunch it on Monday. Instead of developer tutorials, it’s going to be a site dedicated to bringing you cool developer tools and news. There are so many neat apps, code, and products that I come across that I’d really love to share them but I don’t have a great outlet for that. So dotdev is going to be that place. The goal is to curate and highlight products that I think are cool and each post will be short and to the point, so it’ll be easily digestible.
The site will continue to be on WordPress and I’m using Tailwind CSS to create the theme with the help of Jason Beggs. I wanted something super minimal and the goal right now is to just get content out and stick with it. I plan to improve it as time goes on and I’m setting little milestones so when I hit one I’ll spend more time improving it.
If developer tools and resource are something of interest to you be sure and follow dotdev through RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or Email.
A few years ago I remember I’d be in a conversation with my parents and they would ask me about some person. Proudly I’d say what they are doing now and how I keep up with them from Facebook.
Flash forward to this weekend and we had the exact same conversation in reverse. I asked about an old family friend that I haven’t seen in years and they both told me details about their life, their recent vacations, and more.
I’m actually glad I quit Facebook because it was cool to hear about them but I think all the time I’ve not wasted scrolling through that feed looking at people I’ve not seen in years.
People love to share coding tips on social media and I’ve seen some take screenshots of their editor and share it, or others might use a dedicated service that allows you to copy and paste your code into it. All these options are fine but I like to make mine standout by using something custom and I have a Sketch file where I can paste my code into it and then export.
The way I have this setup is in your code editor screenshot the code you want to share (shift + control + command + 4) and then open the Sketch file and paste it in. The file currently comes with four artboards. Twitter light and dark, and Instagram light and dark.
In the included samples the code in the “light” artboards are from Sublime Text using the “Inspired GitHub Color Scheme” and the “dark” artboards are using the “Dracula Theme” in VS Code. The theme you use is really not important but I’m sure I’ll have people ask me what I used. Below is an example of one of my recent tweets using this template:
If you’d like to grab this file I have a zip available here. It’s made with the latest version of Sketch (v53.2) so it may not work with older versions. But you are free to do as you wish with this and consider it licensed under MIT.
Finally, if you have any feedback or would like to see any improvements please comment below. I hope you enjoy!