One thing I have discovered after many years of being online is that blogs rarely, if ever, become abandoned. Instead, blogs often become dormant. Have you ever wondered why Squarespace has been sponsoring your favorite podcast every week since 2010? It is because they know full well that once a customer creates a domain on the World Wide Web, the customer will most likely never walk away from it for fear of someone else sweeping it up. My experience has been that when I stumble upon an old blog I am not presented with a “404” or “BUY THIS DOMAIN” but instead I find, ironically, cobwebs.
Despite my blog not being very “old”, a visit to my site over the last year would have presented the user with some cobwebs, a facelift, and spiders preparing to build some more webs. Since I do not like spiders, this post is me choosing to bring in the broom and post something to signify I have am still here and excited to start publishing more of my thoughts.
The last year has been filled with deep introspection and self-discovery. Lately, I’ve had a desire to start posting more of my thoughts on my website even if they are super small tweet-sized posts.
It is very possible that I have a cycle where I post a lot more often than I have in the past and then again go the way of the fire lookout tower by walking away for a season. Life does seem to bring varying seasons of experiences and shouldn’t it be okay for our websites to do that too?
P.S. I don’t use Squarespace, I use WordPress.
It is September and almost officially fall, and I still sometimes think it is 2020. The history books should consider writing “2021” as, “2020+1”. Fall is the beginning of my favorite time of year and is my second favorite season, after winter. I have an affinity for the films that come out this time of year as well as the video game releases, holidays, colder weather, colors, smells, clothing, and personal reflections as the year strides into its finale.
Today I wanted to share with all of you some of the newsletters I subscribe to and think others would enjoy. The last couple of years have brought a resurgence in digital newsletters as more and more people try to distance themselves from social media platforms. I couldn’t enjoy them more. They bring personality, focus, choice, and joy. In no particular order:
- Rest of World — An international nonprofit journalism organization that covers technology, culture, politics, and where all of those things intersect. A great lens to news outside the USA.
- Studio Neat: Gazette — Two of my favorite designers (that also live in Austin!) send a simple letter each Friday with one or two of their favorite recent discoveries.
- Ryan Holiday — A bestselling author, bookstore owner, and writer on Stoic philosophy, this newsletter appears about four times a month and usually involves some great advice on the muses of life and how to be a better version of yourself. He also has a newsletter dedicated to just book recommendations.
- Craig Mod: Ridgeline — Craig is a photographer and writer that has been living in Japan for years and documenting his journey in that incredible country. He spends most of his days walking long distances and shares those stories in his newsletter.
- Dense Discovery — Each week when this one is released, I get so excited because I know it will include something I will love. Kai Brach sends this out to share up-and-coming apps/digital tools, interviews with people in technology, books to read, and art/typography. This newsletter was made for me and I think some of you too.
- Better Allies — A thoughtful, weekly newsletter, on how to be a better ally for groups that are marginalized. They give advice on how to be a better listener and advocate for those that need help finding a voice or even space at the table in the first place.
- Morning Brew — A daily newsletter for bite sized information on the latest business world/business adjacent news.
- arun.is — Posts from Arun happen once in a blue moon and typically bring an in-depth analysis of why something was designed the way it was. I have shared a few of their pieces on this blog.
- Austin Kleon — A weekly newsletter from Austin Kleon (who also lives in Austin), where he shares some of his recent creative endeavors as well as creative content he has been consuming. Austin is one of the most prolific artists I know of on the web.
I embarrassingly subscribe to many more newsletters than those listed above, but thought this list would bring a couple of people some good reads. Let me know if you subscribe to any of these, or if you have any recommendations from the newsletters you subscribe to.
Hello World and oh, how I have missed you… It has been a couple of weeks since I have published a scribble. To be honest, I definitely experienced some burn out after my last post. I put my heart and soul into writing about my new learning process. So much energy that when I finally hit ‘Publish…’, it was a relief to be done. No doubt there are some lessons to learn from that experience, but nonetheless I am grateful that some people have benefited from a new perspective on how to process the world around us.
In looking through the links that I have collected over the last few weeks, there were too many map related saves to not make this volume for all the cartophiles out there:
- I love the ability to smell. So many of my favorite memories are brought back to me via my nose. The moments where a smell brings be back to a certain place and time are also fun memories within themselves. Smelly Maps is an experience that displays crows sourced smell data in different cities around the world. If you select the building-looking icon on the left, you can choose a different city, then select a street and see what the dominant smell is on that street. Brilliant.
- Halcyon Maps are drawn by an artist named Martin Vargic from Slovakia 🇸🇰. Their maps are more of infographics, but are also fun to examine for the tiniest of details and cultural brilliance. My favorite is the Map of the Internet 2021. Once you see these, you will get it.
- A couple of years ago I visited Iceland and one of the things that came to my mind over and over again was, “The country I grew up in is so young”. Nearly everywhere we went, there were remnants of another era, long before the United States was formed. Parallel is an example of showcasing a different part of the Old World (the Netherlands 🇳🇱) and how old some of their buildings are. The colors in this map are beautiful, and I really enjoy the interaction. The oldest building I found in Amsterdam was built in 1606. Amazing.
- Ever been curious where all of your rainfall goes when not being soaked up by the Earth? This map called, River Runner, allows you to click on any spot in the conterminous United States 🇺🇸 and see where rainfall would connect to the nearest creek, river, channel, gulf, and/or ocean. It then animates this path and brings you to where it empties, miles away from your starting location.
- This last recommendation is a listen. ‘Two Mountains’ by The Dirtbag Diaries is a great podcast episode on learning about how places get the names they do. Believe it or not, humans love to name things and rename things. I have always enjoyed the process of naming my technology or giving a project a codename, etc. This podcast gave me a perspective I am grateful for and that is the care and perspectives that should be considered when it comes to naming the geological features we climb, the mountains we ski, and the hills we camp on.
I hope everyone’s summer is going well and this finds you in higher spirits. It feels good to be back. I’m still thinking about whether I am going to go back to a 2-week cadence with these. Regardless, I hope to publish more words here soon.