Today I will Learn about Daily Affirmations

I’m playing with some IFTTT recipes, and one I borrowed from someone has me writing down a few things each morning, including 3 daily affirmations. I’ve heard of them before, but never really dug in. I could just start up the google machine, but I wanted to hear from friends first.

A few folks have jumped into the twitter fray, but I’d love to hear more. Do you use them? How do you write them? Are you still going or did you quit? Is it something you do for the rest of your life, or is it something you “achieve” at some point and move past?

Twiter Thread

Today is Community Manager Appreciate Day #CMAD

One of my favorite days of the year. These are my people, and I love that Jeremiah Owyang created a day to appreciate their hard, and often under appreciated, work.

This year there is a great website where you can learn and connect:

I also ran across a great article listing off a few of the great professionals in this space.

And, because I like to get to know people over time, I quickly created some lists to follow these folks. You can subscribe to them too!

To all my friends and colleagues: HAPPY COMMUNITY MANAGER DAY

oh, p.s. I’ll be on a panel this evening at 5pm Pacific discussing

Determining the Business Value of Community Managers at Startups

You should join! =)

When I say #hustle this is what I mean:

I use the word hustle a lot. Some people get it. Other people look at me like I just said, “I am such a pimp, I will shoot you in the face and sell you drugs.”

Well, Seth Godin just wrote about the other two kinds of hustle. The second one he mentions, that is the kind of hustle I’m talking about.

There’s the hustle of always asking, of putting yourself out there, of looking for discounts, shortcuts and a faster way. This is the hustle of it it doesn’t hurt to ask, of what you don’t know won’t hurt you, of the ends justifying the means. This hustler propositions, pitches and works at all times to close a sale, right now.

This kind of hustler always wants more for less. This kind of hustler will cut corners if it helps in getting picked.

Then there’s the hustle that’s actually quite difficult and effective. This is the hustle of being more generous than you need to be, of speaking truthfully even if it delays the ultimate goal in the short run, and most of all, the hustle of being prepared and of doing the work.

It’s a shame that one approach is more common (though appropriately disrespected), while the other sits largely unused.


TinyLetters are my new blogroll

I gave up feed readers about the time that Google Reader shutdown. And, if I’m being honest, I wasn’t really trying to keep up with “everything” for quite a while before that. I’m not going to be the person who says, “twitter is my feed reader” because that isn’t true either. There are a lot of places that I discover stories that are interesting. These days it probably happens through Slack communities more than anything. Ultimately, what shifted is that there are less places that I want to see everything someone writes. And I am more willing to just see the pieces that are interesting. That said, I have found that one of the most consistent sources of, “I want to see everything” is fed through newsletters. Specifically, TinyLetters.

I talk about this so often, I figured it was time to share a list of the TinyLetters that I almost always open.

  • The Bureau of Small Observation // Descriptions of people and places, sent every weekday. A little bit like Mass Observation, but shorter and less ambitious.
  • Clear Signals // An illustrated story told one item at a time. Starting in January 2015, a new item will appear in your inventory every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. There may be more questions than answers.
  • (De)Extinction Club // A newsletter for dark extropians, extinction aesthetes and anyone interested in the sixth mass extinction, and the ethics and efforts of the resurrection of past species. Totally not an asteroid death cult.
  • Encyberpedia // A personal history of growing up wired. Expect weekly-ish installments.
  • everything changes // A newsletter with a different format, theme, and frequency every week.
  • Just Another Crowd // I send out links, commentary, occasional rants. Sometimes daily, sometimes weekly. Whenever things pile up or I have something to say. Or get bored. Or whatever.
  • Katexic Clippings // A thrice-weekly newsletter with words worth a bit of your precious time: Short poems, prose poetry, flash fiction, prose excerpts, interview snippets, photographs, art, visual poetry. Occasional links to exceptional digital stories and media…good stuff I come across as part of my daily meandering.
  • Links I would gchat you if we were friends // “Links” rounds up the very best of the day’s Internet chatter for your late-afternoon perusal – with jokes! Some good.
  • Pome // A short poem in your inbox, every day. This could work.
  • Other Valleys // A short list of creative/technology ideas, sent weekly, that are by and large NOT from the US/UK/EU.
  • Today in Tabs // Your daily digest of the worst (and occasionally best) in tabs. Now in #TabsSeasonTwo Remember: close that tab!
  • 5IT // Every weekday, Alexis Madrigal delivers five tidbits from the past and future. Topics will include wearable computers, drones, biohacking, geoengineering, rockets, digital mapping, coercive feedback loops, autonomous everything, representing the Internet in art, synthetic biology, machine logic, weapons, artificial life, the future of work, corporate surveillance, and more.

This is a living document. I am updating it as new things show up, and as other things fall out of my attention.

If I am missing a tinyletter that you love, let me know?

“a film isn’t finished until an audience has received it”

I am still convinced that storytelling is one of the most important skills that we have as humans. And, if we are going to create a better, more human, future, we’ll need to re-learn this skill.

When I was a kid, we had typing classes. Everyone my age learned how to type. These days, kids know how to type before they show up to kindergarten. So, kids are starting to learn how to program computers across the board.

Next, I’m hoping that every kid will learn how to tell visual stories. Filmmaking, or whatever is next… the ability to tell a visual story. Especially documentaries. Especially documentaries like Tabitha Jackson is trying to promote:


  • When documentary film is metaphor not simile.
  • When documentary film is the painting not the photograph.
  • When documentary film is slow food not fast food.
  • When documentary film is honest but it is A truth not THE truth.
  • When documentary film is empathy not sympathy.
  • When documentary film is the question not the answer.
  • When documentary film is the transformation not the transaction.
  • When documentary film is ambiguity and complexity not certainty and simplicity.
  • When documentary film is meaning not explanation.
  • When documentary film is art as well as craft.

Three Characteristics of Smart Teams, and Two notes to self

I am interested in building great teams but I am even more interested (or samely interested in different ways) about building great communities. I could also argue that, at best, those are the same thing. Regardless, this was an interesting story in NYT that Jason Wehmhoener pointed out to me that talks about some research research into what makes great teams.

Ultimately, equality of participation (in multiple ways) and emotional intelligence (across the board) outperforms pure IQ. I’m happy with these findings.

  • Note to self, explore “Theory of Mind” more deeply.
  • Note to self, document some of the ways to communication and interpret complex emotional states online.

First, their members contributed more equally to the team’s discussions, rather than letting one or two people dominate the group.

Second, their members scored higher on a test called Reading the Mind in the Eyes, which measures how well people can read complex emotional states from images of faces with only the eyes visible.

Finally, teams with more women outperformed teams with more men. Indeed, it appeared that it was not “diversity” (having equal numbers of men and women) that mattered for a team’s intelligence, but simply having more women. This last effect, however, was partly explained by the fact that women, on average, were better at “mindreading” than men.

I’m not convinced AI is the biggest danger. I am more concerned with people losing their humanity.

Elon wrote a big check to the Future of Life Institute to make sure AI keeps working for us, and doesn’t take over the world. Good. We should be working hard to make sure that computers don’t take over the world and turn us all into human batteries, etc.

But, I am not really sitting around fretting about computers that act more human. I am more concerned about the possibility that the human race is slowly losing our empathy. That our brains are being retrained to respond to digital stimulants that force us to rely on less and less direct human interaction. That we’ll have an entire generation who are fine-tuned algorithms for consumption and reaction. Predictable inputs, predictable outputs.

Joichi Ito recently touched on all this:

“The paradox is that at the same time we’ve developed machines that behave more and more like humans, we’ve developed educational systems that push children to think like computers and behave like robots. It turns out that for our society to scale and grow at the speed we now require, we need reliable, obedient, hardworking, physical and computational units. So we spend years converting sloppy, emotional, random, disobedient human beings into meat-based versions of robots. Luckily, mechanical and digital robots and computers will soon help reduce if not eliminate the need for people taught to behave like them.”

/via Beyond “The Uncanny Valley” | Joichi Ito | LinkedIn

We need our humanity.