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.

An experiment in creating value

A few weeks ago, I decided to start blogging more frequently at Open Waves Design, my business for web design and development. I had a resource for 40 blogging topics and planned to blog through them. I knew I couldn’t do one per day and keep up this daily blog as well, but I figured 2-3 per week was reasonable.

I was wrong.

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Just Start Writing

Back in elementary school I remember sitting at our kitchen table, staring down at a blank piece of paper. I had to write a book report but when I tried to begin, I became so overwhelmed by the magnitude of the project that I just froze and couldn’t think of anything to write.

So I asked my Dad what to do and he said, “Just start writing.”

While it may seem counterintuitive, or just impossible, this was the best advice I’ve gotten on writing.

Just start.

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Understanding Web Design by Jeffrey Zeldman

An amazing talk that covers the history of design on the web. Can’t believe I haven’t read more about this guy already.

When the institutions we’ve appointed to judge our best work don’t understand the nature or value of that work, then our clients, bosses, and coworkers won’t understand it either. And their lack of understanding can put crippling limits on your professional happiness, your long-term career, and the success of your next project.

In this 60-minute video, captured live at An Event Apart Orlando: Special Edition in Walt Disney World, An Event Apart co-founder Jeffrey Zeldman explains how to define the essence of our profession, and become the ambassador for web design that our work and your career deserve.

It wouldn’t let me embed the video, so just click the “Watch on Vimeo” link below.

(I’ve been thinking about posting things on the weekend that I find interesting, instead of writing a long blog post.)

The Importance of a Good Story

A few weeks ago, I saw the movie Arrival. There are no spoilers in this post but I wanted to write some of my thoughts after seeing what might be my favorite movie ever, or at least in my top 5.

If you have kids, this movie will crush you. The main story is of course about making contact with the aliens who have arrived, but the secondary story weaved throughout the movie is about family and the strong relationships that bond us in unique ways.

The story itself takes on a different perspective from most alien contact movies I’ve seen. This is not your typical “Independence Day” war movie, but a movie about communication. It goes so much deeper than simply asking, “Are they here to help or harm us?” In watching everyone’s efforts to communicate and understand each other, you can’t help but feel hopeful that there are people who care enough to find common ground even in the most difficult circumstances.

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