Weeknotes – Week ending 02/06/23

I’m hesitant to announce a roaring return to writing stuff on the interwebs given (many) previous false starts. But for what it’s worth, I’m writing something today.

Blogging about blogging

Having played about a few different options to host a blog outside of Medium, I’ve now come full circle back to WordPress. I really wanted to like Ghost. The writing experience was very similar to Medium, but it seemed to eat a lot of resource whilst running it on some cloud hosting I set up for it, to the point that it was costing far too much considering it wasn’t really publishing all that much, and it wasn’t serving much traffic having very minimally posted links to it anywhere of consequence.

I also toyed with idea of Jekyll or building something basic from scratch, which did appeal. But given I can barely find the time to write anything, finding the time to build something seemed like a pipe dream. One to save for some point in the future where I’ve got time to tinker.

So back to trusty old WordPress I go, which is costing a very small amount of money per month and is still familiar enough that I had minimal fuss in importing all my posts back into it.

Preservation

I wanted to migrate all my writing out of Medium as, with the recent twists and turns of Twitter, I’ve started to think about the importance of having control over my own.. I’m hesitant to use the word content… but the stuff I’ve written and previously hosted on other platforms over many years.

At this point I’ve got stuff which dates back to 2015 which would be a shame to lose. It’s good fun to revisit earlier versions of your thinking and consider which bits were hopeleslly nieve and what turned out to be suprisingly evergreen thinking despite all the technological change between then and now.

The closed web

So, it’s not just Twitter that’s doing silly short term. Reddit have announced that their making their API eye bleedingly expensive to use. No doubt this is part of some drive to increase profitability. But ultimately is likely to sour the ecosystem of people/products that have been happily building stuff using the Reddit API. I presume someone has done a calculation somewhere on what the predicted increase in funds is versus any potential loss of users. Or at least you’d hope!

Ultimately I don’t know if non-techy people care about this stuff. But it does seem a shame that there’s a trend of products built on the web to ditch the open principles that made the web the exciting and innovative thing that it used to be. Maybe it still can be? Perhaps I’m a bit jaded by the most recent waves of tech hype. Making stuff that was open to everyone was cool man! Let’s do more of that again. Although I’m slightly rethinking that statement in relation to unleashing new technology upon the world without considering the unintended consequences.

I wonder if there’s something here about the relative maturity of these companies and the pressure to demonstrate growth and profitability? I wonder if the collapse of ad funding is also fuelling some of this behaviour?

User Stories for Housing Management Systems

I’m looking around at the moment at options for Housing Management Systems. I’m in the process of gathering some user stories as a means to be clear about what our needs are. However, not wanting to reinvent the wheel, I’ve been on the hunt to see if anyone else would be willing to share any previous work in the hopes that I can build on it.

Having been a bit ‘offline’ for a while, I was wondering how productive my efforts to get plugged back into the social media to find some information might prove. But delightfully, and despite Twitter’s attempts to self immolate, it’s given me some good leads.

Talking to a supplier this week, it was encouraging to hear them talk about user journeys and user stories. It’s taken a while, but it’s good to hear these words spoken aloud in relation to business systems which have always had a habit of being a bit top down and inward looking. Proof is in the pudding of course.

You know, a really progressive supplier might consider publishing their user journeys and user stories as a means to give confidence and assurance about how well designed their product was. Just putting that out there.

Interesting things


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