Craig Allen Thoughts on creativity and productivity.
Street cameras on a pole
/ April 5, 2017 / Comments Off on Fighting a Losing Battle for Privacy

Fighting a Losing Battle for Privacy

Over the years, I’ve written about my overall hate for Facebook and their lack of concern for their users’ privacy (to put it nicely). Every time they make changes without telling people, I feel responsible as a tech-savvy person to try to let my friends and family know to make sure they are aware and can make the necessary changes.

Overall, social media just feels like an endless pursuit of no concrete goal. It sells itself as an easy way to “stay connected” with more people than you possibly could in real life, help you reconnect with old friends/flames, and make new “connections” with people of similar interests.

While Facebook gets the majority of my scorn, I generally feel the same way with other mediums such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter, which has definitely shifted over the years from an interesting and engaging platform to a wasteland of uneducated political and social commentary. I believe one of the reasons it has been failing recently is the very thing that made it great in the beginning: it’s an open platform where anyone can say whatever they want, and you can generally “follow” whoever you want as well.

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My wife and daughters
/ March 15, 2017 / Comments Off on Your Story is Worth Telling

Your Story is Worth Telling

This is what I’ve been telling myself for the last week and half while I’ve stopped publishing daily blog posts. I haven’t stopped writing, but after a few family sicknesses and other life-distractions, I lost a bit of motivation to share anything with the world.

I have also had a bit of difficulty finding enough clarity to write something sensible and organized. Even today, I don’t feel particularly confident in my ability to communicate, but decided to push through it and get something out of my head.

Today I read a few fascinating stories about women in technology. It’s something I care about because of my four daughters who I used to hope would find something interesting about the digital world so we could share a common interest. But after seeing the reality of these stories in today’s world, I’m not sure I still do.

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Buildings by the sea
/ March 1, 2017 / Comments Off on Preparing for WordCamp Lancaster

Preparing for WordCamp Lancaster

I finally finished my slides for Saturday, so now I just have to practice it a few times and I’ll be good to go. I’m been hearing great things about WordCamp Lancaster and am very excited to attend for the first time!

On another note, I’ve started a side project of building a dollhouse for my daughters. Once it’s finished I’ll post some photos, but so far it has been an enlightening experience. I’m not an experience builder, so I am learning a lot as I go.

Whether it’s giving talks, creating websites, building things out of wood, or other creative projects, I love working through challenges and learning new things while solving problems. But there’s something special about creating a physical object that’s fulfilling in a different way than making things with code. I can’t really explain it yet but hopefully I can understand it better once this project is done.

Anyway, keeping everything in balance is always a challenge and I want to make sure I’m rested and prepared for Saturday.

Typing on a laptop
/ February 27, 2017 / Comments Off on A lifelong Love of Words

A lifelong Love of Words

I was having a group text conversation with my family this weekend, and some stories came up in my life that made me realize how many things are connected by the common thread of my love for words.

My first thoughts about this idea came from my post last week when I wrote about my top five strengths according to StrengthFinders 2.0. My second strength, “ideation,” says this about my interest in language (emphasis mine):

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WordCamp Lancaster banner free ticket
/ February 24, 2017 / Comments Off on Get a free ticket to WordCamp Lancaster

Get a free ticket to WordCamp Lancaster

When they first announced WordCamp Lancaster 2017, I immediately bought a ticket. Then I applied to speak, got accepted, and got a free ticket. That leaves me in a position of having a ticket I don’t need.

Sure, I could ask for a refund. And sure, they’re only $20…

BUT-

I thought I’d have a little contest and give my extra ticket away!

All you have to do is comment on this blog post between Friday (February 24th) and Sunday (February 26th) by midnight. I will choose a winner and announce it on Monday morning. Make sure to use a valid email address, because that’s the one I will assign the ticket to for the winner.

In your comment, tell me why you want to go to WordCamp Lancaster!