Category: Work

Rethinking Social: Where Do I Invest My (Life)Time?

Rethinking Social: Where Do I Invest My (Life)Time?


These days between roughly 9 AM and 5 PM this is the screen that welcomes me when I (try to) visit a social networking site. Using bookmarklets I can still post but I can’t visit, browse, read, or otherwise kill time.

Why Block?

Self-control is a limited resource; I need it for other things.

Making choices ahead of time and then setting it up so it’s automated and you’re cranking widgets is much more efficient.

Automate your decisions.

Yes But Why Block In The First Place?

checkbox Calm.

I want things to slow down.

The hurried rush of this, then that, 10-second touch-base here, press Like there, has got to stop.

The payback came quickly and is still building. A sense of calm. Expanded focus. Heightened concentration. Much longer time in The Zone. More books that I read more calmly. A richer InstaPaper list. Less media snacking. Balance.

checkbox Procrastination feeds on distractions.

"Before writing this post let me check email — oh, and I should be social and not ignore an @reply on Twitter… Well, might as well do a full round then and make sure Facebook and Google+ are covered too."

It doesn’t take that long. Maybe a minute or two if it’s really just a quick round? Longer if you stumble on "stuff". Much longer if you take into account the task-switching time.

checkbox I want to make my relationships count.

The first people to go to are the ones around me. The second my close family and friends I can only reach online. Then my social network.

Rethinking Social: From 300 To 30 Facebook Friends

Rethinking Social: From 300 To 30 Facebook Friends


Last week over a period of two days I unfriended most of my Facebook people.

I went from 300 people I know the names of to 30 people I know. Immediate family, friends. A handful of online people I know from the pre-social web days.

Easier To Share

  • Sharing with the core is easier when there’s nothing but the core.
  • I wanted to go from having to filter whom I post to, to sharing family news and photos without a second thought.
  • While I can share and exchange anywhere else with any setup, for many sharing == Facebook. I have to be here for and with them.


Relations consume time, attention, affection. Of each I have a finite amount. Where should I best invest it?

Besides the question What’s the return of a Like on status update of someone I only know by name I increasingly realized; who cares?

There’s a difference between the reaction of my mother and you when I show you both a photo of me holding a baby.

There is a level of caring for that directly influences the level of caring about.

Lifetime is really precious and I need to use it as genuine, relaxed, and joyful as I can; the relationships I live need to be real.

It Was Strangely Difficult

Weird but true.

Sometimes I clicked away a name and it was a Name, you know? Someone who is someone in the industry. And for a moment it made me feel like "there goes a valuable contact" or "I could be considered important merely by association, merely by the fact that this Person has friended me back".

I don’t want to be that guy, want to be way beyond all that, super mature and such, but there it was; a pang of oi…

Other names were hard to click away because it felt like ending an era, ending a period in my life.

But The Result

For the first time in a long time I go with real fun and joy to Facebook where I know I’m meeting with my clan. It’s a smaller place but it will do.


Elsewhere my social web is different.

Twitter is my public network although there too I trim. I share differently there too.

I’m rearranging my abode at Google+ Plus, liking the place quite a lot. Less of a water cooler than Twitter it’s a place where I look far beyond the SEO industry I work in.

Home Baked Bread

Home Baked Bread

Nothing beats the authentic smell of fresh home-made bread and coffee in the early morning.

Bread and coffee both have those authentic smells you just can’t fake.

For years I’ve been kneading my own dough and baking my own bread. And even though the time that I have available has been considerably reduced as I have gathered more contracts, I still make my own bread. And coffee.

Read More Read More

Where is your web site?

Where is your web site?

One of the questions you get to answer most as a web developer is; “Where is your web site?”

Incredulous as it seems, an astounding number of web developers or people otherwise engaged in web-centric business have either no web site or something that barely resembles a web site.

I had opted for the latter.


See, when you’re a web developer people expect you dish out a site (expectation #1) that says “wow, look at me dude — I’m happening!” (expectation #2) whereas in reality you’re busy meeting the expectations of your clients.

When you finally get to doing your own site, Friday night at 4:18 AM, writing the words “Hello World” seems like a good enough idea. Somewhere down the line you make some more time (“I won’t be long, honey!”), add a page or two about how good you are — and that’s basically it.

The Truth

As the X-Files put it; it’s out there.

Web designers have portfolio’s with cute little thumbnails. Pure SEO’s have logo’s of clients and their ranking to point to.

But as a web developer you have zills. Nada. Notti. If you’re worth your money your work is invisible. There is nothing to point to.

Take Notepad for example. Everyone running Windows has it on their computer. Virtually everyone has used it at one point or another. It’s extremely simple in what it does, but could you program it? Apart from the general idea, the vision, could you write the actual lines to make your computer perform these tasks?

Given that, did you at any moment in time think “wow, this programmer was really good” or “hmm, dunno what this guy was thinking but…”.



I hate to present myself as someone I’m not. I’m not a corporate person. Would I handle things “The Right Way” I’m sure I could make a lot more money than I do now.

But I’m a programmer and the only corporate, the only business side in me is my golden rule to underpromise and overdeliver.

As such I spend long hours, I mean long, programming other people’s visions, projects and ideas. By the time I’m done I don’t feel like editing my site and making myself look a little bit more corporate, a little bit more professional, a little bit more desirable.

By that time I just want to tell it like it is.

That’s what a blog should be for, should be about.

This is my site.

Hat tip to Kim whose post about blogging instilled in me the desire to go this route