My Deconstruct talk, “What we can Learn from Software History”, is now out! It covers why studying history so important and what it looks like to study history yourself. You can watch it here and read the supplementary material here.
(Spoilers: While Deconstruct knew the topic, I didn’t have to publish it on their site in advance. None of the audience knew what it was going to be about! This let me try something silly I always wanted to do: slapstick. I think it wasn’t bad for a first try, but there’s probably much more interesting things I can do, things that don’t rely on the audience having no idea what I’m about to say.)
Office hours are at a different time this week. Doing in the late morning for me is all right for people in the US and Europe but terrible for anybody outside of it. So this week I want to try something else and run them at 8 PM CST on Thursday, (1 AM UTC Friday). If this ends up not working for anybody we’ll be back to the usual time next week, and if it’s better I’ll figure something else out.
I originally created this newsletter as 1) a way to tell people about my new posts, and 2) a way to share unpolished ideas without the heavy editing I normally put into my blog. Basically stuff that’s “not good enough” to represent My Brand. Something like seven of these newsletter posts have front-paged Hacker News. What I’m learning is that I can probably get away with being a bit rougher with my official content.
In a roundabout way, this means that the newsletter is now costing me money. If I post a detailed essay on the newsletter, I can’t later posted on my blog, at least not without substantial revisions. And this is a problem because I market my consulting services through my blog. Going viral on the newsletter doesn’t make me money.
The good news is this means I will be posting more stuff to the blog. The bad news is this means I need to rediscover what exactly what this newsletter is supposed to be. I still really like sharing off-the-cuff ideas with everyone, so it’s not going to go away. Right now I’m thinking is that content I suspect could be blog-worthy will be subscribers only. You’ll still be able to read it, but people who weren’t already subscribed will be able to read it. I did this with the import languages posts and I think it’s a good model going forward.
I will also be making some public posts in order to have something to show anybody who’s interested in signing up for the newsletter.
(I’m also thinking of monetizing this newsletter, where some posts are public, some posts are subscriber only, and some posts are premium subscriber only. If I can convert 5% of my current subscriber base to paying subscribers that would go a long way to smoothing out my finances, what with the coronavirus killing my regular sources of income. I’ll probably have a certain decision and/or a plan for this by next week.)
This is definitely going to be happening. I’m currently playing at logistics for two: a one day, small group Alloy workshop and a half day, large group decision tables webinar. One of these is definitely going to be ready by next week, I’m just not sure which one I settled on yet. Regardless, the workshop will be a late May or mid June and newsletter subscribers will have first shot at tickets. And probably a discount too, because y’all are great.