Tobias Van Schneider writing about why you should have your own website:
In contrast to our personal websites, we don’t own our social platforms. They own us. On top of eating our time, our emotions and our focus, they are demanding our privacy. Whether we realized it or not, we signed away our rights when we signed up for these platforms. We not only give giant tech companies our personal data – we allow them to use, sell and share our content in whatever way they wish. Soon, we will see the repercussions of freely giving away our data and our work. When it comes to creativity and self-expression, the loss is already apparent.
On social media, we are at the mercy of the platform. It crops our images the way it wants to. It puts our posts in the same, uniform grids. We are yet another profile contained in a platform with a million others, pushed around by the changing tides of a company’s whims. Algorithms determine where our posts show up in people’s feeds and in what order, how someone swipes through our photos, where we can and can’t post a link. The company decides whether we’re in violation of privacy laws for sharing content we created ourselves. It can ban or shut us down without notice or explanation. On social media, we are not in control.
In my opinion, social media keeps winning because it’s easy and we are all lazy. Every day it seems I’ll have a random thought and I think, hmm I should Tweet that. Before long this gets ingrained into your routine and it’s hard to break it. That’s why for the past week or so I’ve been trying really hard to instead of sharing on social media, to write a quick blog post and just publish it here.
Back when I was doing a podcast I never could seem to get the echo out of my office. Not being an audiophile I just couldn’t understand exactly how sounds works. If you are like me and would like to learn the basics on improving the acoustics in a room watch this short three-minute video. It’s the best explanation I’ve seen.
From the moment we are born we see the world through our own eyes. Everything we see, everything we do, everything we think is from our point of view, and it’s easy to become selfish. I always notice it when I start thinking things like…
- What can they do for me?
- Why are they treating me this way?
Because so much of the world is focused on self an easy way to stand out is to actually care about other people. Change the questions…
- What can I do for them?
- How can I improve their lives?
- Who can I introduce them to, to better their career?
- How can I train someone to be better?
I know it’s simple and rather cliche, but by truly focusing on others with no hidden agenda you’ll gain more friends, followers, and change more lives than you can ever imagine.
I always assumed people hated online advertising because of the tracking and the sleazy way companies target you after you’ve seen an ad. That’s also why I generally dislike it and like to rely on more direct sales with my stuff.
As an example, for the past four or five years now I’ve been running a weekly Laravel Newsletter and each week I allow one or two ads. There is no tracking, it’s just an image, some copy, and a link to find out more if it interests you. Ethically I feel like this is a good balance. It pays for my time, for the software required to send the email, and the subscriber gets it for free, so we all win.
I think the majority of people are fine with this setup but you know how that one naysayer can get under your skin, well that happened to me last week. I had someone complaining that having ads in this was unacceptable. Of course, I responded back asking if they’d be willing to pay a monthly fee for it with no ads and I’ve heard nothing back.
Like it or not advertising is important to the web. Without it, so much of the stuff we enjoy reading wouldn’t be possible. Especially from the small publishers who do not have the backing of big money.
I like books and to save money I started buying used ones off Amazon. You can find some really good deals and even though it takes a few days or weeks to arrive you never really know what you are going to get.
Today, Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson arrived and when I opened it I found tons of underlines and markings from the past owner.
To me it doesn’t really take away from the book. Instead it’s like some random person whom I’ve never met is showing me what is important to them. I think it’s rather cool.
I might feel different if I paid a lot but this particular book was only around $5 including shipping, plus it’s only in pencil so I could always erase it if I wanted.
Quite a fascinating gif showing the air traffic before, during, and after the 9/11 attacks.
This year Laracon was back in New York and I had the ability to take the family to the 9/11 memorial and below are some of my favorite photos from that visit.
9/11 such a solemn place and the only attack on US soil that I remember. In fact, I still remember everything about that day. Where I was at when the preliminary news reports came in, watching the second plane, the shock after. It was surreal.
My kids were both born many years after this and they couldn’t really comprehend the importance of it all. I imagine it’s like me as a kid reading about the attack on Pearl Harbor. The farther you are away from the event the less it affects you. Just like today, I can’t comprehend the war and conflict that continues to happen every day throughout the world. It brings perspective to how lucky I am to be born where I was.