In a previous post I established that I want to give special perks to people who have subscribed for my email list.
And in the near future I'd like to add a fan-only commenting system (eg only email subscribers can read and write comments).
So I need some way to keep track of whether a user is logged in or not. Or maybe all those terms should be in quotes. I "need" some way to keep track of whether a "user" is "logged in" or not. Because these might not be traditional users and this might be a traditional login system. Or maybe they will be and it will be.
Let's talk about it.
I want some combination of simplicity and security. I want creating an "account" to be as simple as entering and verifying your email address. That's because most "users" will be simple email subscribers. Making them come up with a password seems like a complete bullshit step that will onl...
By "infinite scroll" I mean that I automatically load the next blog post when you're done reading the previous one. So you can just read and read and READ. Hooray!
A few minutes ago I started implementing this. Then I realized - especially given my post-divorce COMMUNICATE ALL THE FEELINGS phase - I should hash this out with words before continuing. To make sure it's what I really want to do be doing, and to gain clarity around the decision.
So... auto-load another post when a reader gets to the end of the post he's reading? Upsides? Downsides?
- Increased user engagement by default with no thinking required. Traditionally if you finish a blog post you either leave or you deliberately take another action like clicking a related link. With this, the next step is already chosen for you. Taking no action is easier than taking an action.
- Increased awareness of who I am. I write about a lot of different stuff, so you m...
Edit: I'm no longer doing this because I started making software again and so email signups are no longer my main goal.
I've never had more than ~250 email subscribers at any given time, probably in large part because I only have 8 live blog posts right now.
So astute readers might fairly say "don't worry about growing your audience... just start writing."
But an astute author (me) might also fairly say "this IS me writing, dumbass." Except I would never call a reader a dumbass, of course.
This is the shit that I find interesting, and one of the many hurdles that keep people like myself from getting over the hump. Maybe. I've never been over the hump so I can't say. But I do like to hump things, so I feel at least PARTIALLY qualified.
I've got mad programming skills. That's not always a blessing. 99% of bloggers with something to say - and I DO believe I have something to say - would just download a WordP...
My name is Patrick Griffith, and I'm a perfectionist. That's an admission of a problem, not a brag. Not even a humblebrag, believe it or not.
I also get distracted suuuuuper easily. It's a bad combination. When I write, normally I spend more time not-writing than writing. My first step to combat that was to create a parentally controlled secondary account on my computer that ONLY allowed my writing app and Spotify. That worked somewhat, but still I found myself far less efficient at getting out thoughts than I used to be when I used good old fashioned paper and pencil.
Then one day I realized that my problem was that I was treating every word I wrote like a final blog post that was about to be seen by millions of people (which has never happened in the first place) rather than just thoughts on a piece of paper. And because of that, I spent tons and tons and tons and UBER tons of time going...
I'm supposed to be busy designing and developing Noncents. But I got distracted for a few minutes and started scrolling through The Most Influential Images of All Time.
Which got me thinking: For most of these images there were probably hundreds of shots taken. But the photographer selected only one to show the world.
That's the art.
It's not the lightning or the angle (disclaimer: I'm not a photographer and may very well be full of shit). It's looking at 400 photos on your computer and narrowing them down to one.
And how rare that artform is.
The beauty of this process is what our new project is trying to borrow. My friends (cuz "co-founders" sounds too serious) and I are building a cryptocurrency research tool for people who have better things to do with their time then research cryptocurre...
A few months ago I sold my previous business. And I haven’t started my next one yet. You know what that means? FREEEEEDOMMMMMM (screamed in your best Mel Gibson voice)!
Recognizing that my current level of freedom is something that I might not have forever I decided to take some time to get away from everything (yes, even my wife) before diving back in with 100% commitment.
I asked some people for ideas for a cool 10-day solo getaway. Then a friend introduced me to a new friend who introduced me to Nepal. Just like that my 10-day journey ballooned into a minimum of 20 days. But why rush, right? It’s a hell of a flight to get over there, so I figured I’d take my time and do it right.
Because my goal was to get away from it all and reset I did not blog or even journal while there. I just took everything in. Unfortunately that means I can’t write a full recap because I’m already hazy on some of the details. But that’s okay. It was worth i...
Pretend you get an idea for a simple tool that you realllly want to use but that doesn’t exist anywhere. Since it’s so simple, and because the build process should take less than a week, you decide to build it.
Where do you start?
I’d start by taking an edible and then going on a long walk, stopping every 12 seconds to write down my AHA moments. But you probably don’t live in Colorado, which sucks for you, so let’s move on.
This is where I live. How can I NOT brag?
After I was comfortable that I had the subtleties of the idea down, I’d spend some time figuring out the brand. Better to figure that out before writing a line of code, right? That way the product matches the voice.
That brand-conceiving would dump me on to Instant Domain Search where I’d tr...
I want to quit social media. But I don’t. But I do. But I can’t. Or I guess I could. But can I, really?
That’s been going through my head repeatedly for the past few months. How much mental energy do I have to expend on this stupid decision before I just do what I want to do?
Two main factors have kept me from going off the grid.
- The fact that I have to have an account to use a site’s API. (I own three sites that use social media APIs.)
- The thought that there’s no harm in having accounts but not using them.
But those are no longer enough. Time to unplug. Why? It's a story about attention, intention, validation, creativity, copycatting, and image.
Oh, and it’s also about value. Twitter - my main social media outlet for years - just doesn’t provide the same value that it used to. It used to be a place to discover new people and make new...
Holy crap I'm so happy right now. I love writing. But up until a few hours ago I hated the process. I hated the process so badly that sometimes I skipped writing to avoid it.
But I just eliminated the process!!!!! (note that I'm not a fan of exclamation points, so let that be proof of how excited I am)
That process has always looked something like this:
- Write (the part I enjoy) in Bear Writer. Or Ulysses or whatever.
- Copy/paste into WordPress.
- Find a small change that I want to make, and then make that change in Bear.
- Copy/paste into WordPress again.
- Repeat steps 3-4 a few dozen times.
- Accidentally make a change directly in WordPress instead of Bear, then struggle to remember which is more up-to-date.
- Read through the entirety of both posts to figure out which...
40 days ago I switched to this flip phone. Yesterday I switched back to my Android phone. Super exciting story, right?
If you haven’t fallen asleep yet then you get to read why I switched in the first place, how it backfired, and how it (hopefully) permanently changed how I use technology in the process.
(Yawn. I’ve been practicing stream-of-conscious writing lately. And I literally just yawned. Is that a sign that I should stop writing? Probably.)
The Internet and Me
I try hard to be mindful in (almost) everything that I do. Usage of the internet falls under that scope. The internet is wicked hardcore awesome, but I’m careful to make sure that my internet usage is serving a purpose that I’m happy with.
Being a full-time maker of online things you might wrongly think that I’d be enslaved to the internet. But other than
git pull, and
export to Wor...
If you know me then you know that I don’t promote other people’s things. Ever. Because ick.
Heck, I barely promote my own things. Each blog post I write earns one email. Each piece of software I release earns a handful of Tweets to go along with that one email. And that’s that. There’s no remarketing of old posts or software.
This is to my own demise. I’d be more “successful” if I was better at promoting. But whatever. I don’t want to. So I don’t. Because once upon a time there was a guy named Jason Zook, and from him I learned that I don’t have to do business the way that everyone else does. I can make my own rules. So I do. Success is what I want it to be, not what I’m told it should be.
As much as I don’t like sales, though, and as much as I like to brag about the sweet rules that I make... I can’t never sell.
So here it is. Bear with me as I’m out of practice. But make no mi...
If you're reading this chances are it's because I promised to give you access to this guide if you sent a Tweet that I pre-crafted for you. And clearly you did send that Tweet, because you're here, so thank you!
Update: just kidding. I'm not implementing this anymore. But I'll still leave it up in case somebody wants to copy the idea.
Within 15 minutes of sharing that Tweet you received a reply Tweet from me containing the link to this guide. But I didn't actually send that Tweet. Zapier did.
As promised, I'm going to show you the exact how and why of my setup so that you can do something similar for your next project.
Getting the email address is only half the battle.
Optimizing your site to convert visitors into audience members at the highest rate possible is important. But it's incomplete. The other half of the equation is that you need visi...
Writing this post is hard.
I'm not crying over my keyboard. I'm not shaking with emotion. I'm not paralyzed by fear or regret or nostalgia.
Writing this sentence is hard. Writing this whole paragraph is even harder. And writing this whole paragraph in a single fluid motion? Nearly impossible.
Not physically. My fingers work like a charm. Psychologically.
When I get up to pee the next three paragraphs come to me. They come to me with zero effort. They are flawless. They are profound without trying to be profound. They are words that my readers will want to read. And even if none of this is true… it's true to me. So for the sake of the argument, they are profound and flawless.
Then I get back to my computer and I can't transfer them to the screen.
I haven't forgotten the thoughts I had while I was peeing. The thoughts are still in my head. The exact wording, even, is still in my head. So you would think I could just do a mental CMD-C...
I have a full-time job. A dangerously good one. My hours are flexible. My pay good. My PTO ample. My benefits through the roof. My oversight slim. Not once in three years have I been reprimanded by my boss.
I have it made.
But I have the urge to leave despite all of that. I want to make new things. I want to write more and play more. I want to focus on myself. I want to feel alive in a way that I don't currently feel. And I crave change.
But I also don't want to leave. The job is awesome, after all.
This is my second full-time job. My salary now is exactly double my salary from my first full-time job. I don't know which of those salaries is closer to being fair. I don't know which of those my work is worth.
Including the income from my side business I earn just over $130,000/yr.
Out of respect to my employer and my coworkers, I'm not going to give a break down of...
Have you ever had a good idea? I once did.
And I almost let it crush my dreams. Sometimes that’s what good does. It makes us complacent. It keeps us just happy enough to stunt our growth. It traps us in a way that bad cannot.
If I were normal I would have gone through with the idea mentioned above. Because pursuing a good idea is normal. It’s safe and logical and right. Right? So, why not?
Good can have a vicious impact on our lives. A kind of negative impact that bad can’t have.
See, bad is safe (as long it’s not too bad). We usually don’t pursue bad. But even when we do, it quickly reveals itself to be bad and we abort. There’s little long-term damage done from most bad.
(With some exceptions) we quit bad jobs. We distance ourselves from bad relationships. We leave bad parties.
But good is dangerous. Good jobs. Good professions. Good houses. Good cities. Good beliefs. These are all things that many people...
This was supposed to be a weekly blog. But there’ve been six weeks of silence.
Not because I’ve been short on thoughts. Not because I’ve been too busy to write those thoughts down. But because everything I have to say is nonsense. And because I’m a fraud.
I mean - not entirely nonsense. And I’m not entirely a fraud. The general advice is on point. I think. Minimalism will make you happier. Intentional living will probably make you more appreciative of life. Blah blah.
But do you need to read four blog posts every week on how to own less and live more intentionally? Probably not.
Here. I’ll summarize:
- Spend more time doing what you love doing. This might mean spending less time doing other stuff.
- Spend more time around people you love being around. This might mean spending less time around other people.
- Use the possessions that bring you the most joy and/or the most value. This might mean getting rid of some...
I can’t stop smiling. A gitty smile. The smile of a small child who hasn’t yet experienced the world.
20 minutes ago I received my first ever quarterly bonus. The money will come in handy. But that’s not what’s making me smile. It’s the appreciation. The validation. I work for a company that loves me almost as much as I love me. A satisfying feeling.
Now I’m on my commute home. I have the windows rolled down. My speakers are blasting “Shake it off, shake it off.” And I’m singing “My ex-man brought his new girlfriend...”
I don’t care. I’m happy.
As my vocal chords tire I sing a little less and think a little more. I think about my job and my future. About my happiness and my thankfulness. Quickly, my thoughts shift to my family. I think about how excited I am to spend the evening with [name=Sarah] (my wife) and Moonshine (our dog). To share the good news with them. To celebrate with them.
In my head I make a promise to Moonshine that we’ll go for a...
I used to dream that I would grow up to be 6'6" and black. I wanted to be a basketball superstar like Michael Jordon, and that’s what it would take.
I was willing to do what it would take.
Let’s not focus on my failure to grasp genetics, though. And let’s not start calling 3-year-old Patrick a racist for noticing an NBA-wide trend.
Instead, let’s focus on dreams. I had ridiculous dreams. As a small child you have dreams that are just as ridiculous. And for a brief while you’re taught to foster these dreams.
You have dreams of growing up to be this:
At least those are the dreams that you will remember years from now. The dreams that answer the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Adults ask this from a place of love, trying to...
Picture this. You’re taking the subway home and you notice a woman that you’ve never seen before. You’re an introverted guy, so this isn’t easy for you, but - as the woman’s eyes pivot away from her book and for a fraction of a second focus on you - there’s something about that look that your mind holds on to.
It scares the hell out of you, but somehow you work up the courage to approach the woman and strike up a conversation. And it goes well. And again it scares the hell out of you, but again you somehow work up the courage to ask her if she would like to grab a coffee. And she would.
And the next morning you wake up, not knowing what the future will hold. But one thing you do know, is that you feel exhilarated. You did something scary and worthwhile, and you’re proud of yourself for taking the leap. You don’t know whether you should call or text, or whether you should give her a few days’ space. But none of that worries you too much. Because you’ve already done the...
Note that my blog now runs atop Laravel, so take this post with as many grains of salt as you see fit.
Reviews are a crutch for me. Buying a bag of coffee without reading all of the reviews on all of the top 10 coffee beans first? Never gonna' happen. So when starting a blog, hastily picking a hosting company and a template is not an option. Analness about everything is required.
Here's more or less the complete process I went through to start this blog, just in case you're thinking about starting your own blog and you too are a finicky snob.
Prior to Starting
I had no intention of starting a blog. I had a couple of things to say so I wrote and submitted a guest post to a fairly prominent minimalist blog. It wasn't accepted. So fair warning here, readers: I'm not that good of a writer.
After that unaccepted post I started thinking about how much fun the writing process was, how much I learned about myself in said process (the kin...