A few weeks ago, Automattic held its annual Grand Meetup. That’s where the company I work for gathers together in one place for a week to strategize, work and bond. Every year, we throw a party at the end of the week, complete with a photo booth. Piling into the photo booth (or in this case, photo area) has turned into one of my favorite things.
Of course, we also took a serious one.
Between all the work, I had a bit of fun too. A few nice hikes, plus a ride up a mountain in a gondola. We saw a bear! Although, I didn’t snap a great picture of it. One of these days I’m just going to move to the mountains because I love it so much. 🙂
Here’s to another great year at Automattic, surrounded by awesome colleagues with a worthwhile mission!
This will sound a bit meta, but my newsletter, Accessibility Weekly, was featured recently in another newsletter I always enjoy: WebAIM’s monthly one. It resulted in an uptick in subscribers, and a few donations. I’m excited to see it continue to grow!
Comedian Aziz Ansari on quitting the Internet, deleting a number of apps like email, Twitter and Instagram from his devices:
… Whenever you check for a new post on Instagram or whenever you go on The New York Times to see if there’s a new thing, it’s not even about the content. It’s just about seeing a new thing. You get addicted to that feeling. You’re not going to be able to control yourself. So the only way to fight that is to take yourself out of the equation and remove all these things. What happens is, eventually you forget about it. You don’t care anymore. When I first took the browser off my phone, I’m like, [gasp] How am I gonna look stuff up? But most of the shit you look up, it’s not stuff you need to know. All those websites you read while you’re in a cab, you don’t need to look at any of that stuff. It’s better to just sit and be in your own head for a minute. I wanted to stop that thing where I get home and look at websites for an hour and a half, checking to see if there’s a new thing. And read a book instead. I’ve been doing it for a couple months, and it’s worked. I’m reading, like, three books right now. I’m putting something in my mind. It feels so much better than just reading the Internet and not remembering anything.
I keep thinking about these words because I identify with them a lot. Ironically, I read them after clicking a link on Twitter, but I have been trying to cut back recently. Yes, that’s a link to me saying that on Twitter. I recognize this isn’t looking good for me right now, but progress happens one step at a time.
I’ve noticed as I’ve cut back more, my appetite for more purposeful reading has increased and my creative energy has felt freer. “Being in your own head” more has a way of making that happen. I started to walk and run more recently — I think as a way to literally walk and run away from the screens. I crave that space. I’m going to keep heading in that direction, small step after small step. Purposeful seems much better than aimless.
Customers want their sites to look just right. They don’t want to learn a theme. So when the new age of themes begins, promise me you’ll focus on what they want. You won’t get distracted by the many different ways to extend this new editor or become mired in all the ways to prevent the abuse of customizing it.
That was in high school – a long time ago. I tried many times to start running again, but it never stuck. I realized in college that what I missed most about running was the team I ran with. I couldn’t replicate that though, despite running in groups and trying different programs. Lately though, I’m back at it, and feeling more enthused about running than I have in years. My secret? Low expectations!
That sounds lame, but here’s what I mean. In the past, I’ve had my eye what’s next in my running program, not what I’m doing now. So if I was running during my first week, I was thinking about next week, where I should be and how I should get there. Instead of just enjoying a run or two. Now, I’m focused on how I feel, my form and getting to know running again.
Granted, Ive only been running for a week, mixed in with the bodyweight strength training program I’ve done since the beginning of the year. But it feels fun again for the first time in a long time. Two things that have helped are the book Running for Health and Happiness by Jason Fitzgerald, and his companion blog Strength Running. The advice has been simple and practical – just what I need.
I’m looking forward to seeing how things develop in the next few weeks when I have my running shoes on.
Tim Kadlec gave a powerful, recent talk called Focusing on What Matters that you should watch. It touches on the three areas of the Web that we web workers often overlook or neglect: accessibility, performance and security. Yet, those end up being the factors that have the most impact on the people using our products and services. We have the ability to unlock the Web for everyone – if we focus on the right things.