Weeknotes #1

Yup, that’s right, I’m jumping on the weeknotes bandwagon! Consider this an experiment, and we’ll see how long it lasts. I do have a few reasons for giving these weekly roundups a go:

  • Helps me keep track: Last year I maintained a list of places visited, events attended and people seen. This not only helped when it came to reviewing the previous 12 months, it was also a useful means of logging my accomplishments. Still, there were many smaller details (articles read, conversations had) that I hadn’t noted down, some of which may have been more important in retrospect than they seemed at the time.

  • Provides a framework: Over Christmas, I looked over a number of half-completed posts I’d written over the last few years, all of which contained interesting nuggets, but were never published because I was attempting to construct a broader narrative, be it a particular trip, conference, or project. A weekly journaling framework gives me somewhere to log ideas or thoughts without needing to write an entire post about a particular topic.

  • Somewhere to share links: I often want to share articles I’ve read with some additional context or commentary. Trying to avoid the retweet button, and with a long-term aim for this site to be the canonical location for various social interactions, you might think the bookmarks section would satisfy this purpose. However, not only is saving links there a bit convoluted, when syndicated to other social networks, bookmarks appear similar to my regular (and more substantial) articles. I’d been resisting keeping weeknotes for fear of having nothing to write about, but it occurred to me that a weekly roundup could on occasion include nothing more than a few links to articles I’ve read.

And so here we are; a weekly log, but on the web. A weblog, if you will. With the first full working week of 2019 under my belt, let’s give this a go.


I’m looking for a job. I’ll probably write more about my search once I know its conclusion, but in short, after playing around with the idea of working abroad, I realised this urge was primarily a factor of Brexit. Assuming that conundrum may never be solved, I’ve decided to focus on my own quandary and look for work closer to home. My request for potential roles turned up a few interesting options. So far I have applied for three jobs and had phone calls with two potential employers, with another lined up for next week.

On Tuesday I went to see The Favourite. While enjoyable, I didn’t leave much of an impression on me beyond wondering why we’re so unfamiliar with England’s last monarch and Great Britain’s first. Talking of films, I’m now using the OMDb API to include movie posters on film events. (I added an events section to this website as part of last year’s redesign, but I’m still unsure how I imagine this working… it’s a work in progress.)

On Wednesday, Simon shared a preview of my article as it’ll appear in this year’s New Adventures companion magazine, brilliantly illustated by Geri. I’m so happy with how this has turned out. Whether readers will be happy with what I’ve written remains to be seen.

Friday saw a redesigned help site for Micro.blog unveiled. I put this together over a few days just before Christmas, partly as a gesture of goodwill, partly as a means of implementing a fully accessible autocomplete search widget (which I needed for this website) and also a method of advertising my design skills to the broader IndieWeb community. Thankfully, the feedback has been positive.

Digest

Noteworthy articles I’ve read over the last seven days:

  • The Guardian view on Brexit: the government has failed – it’s time to go back to the people

    Tuesday’s Guardian leader provided a pretty damning summary of how Britain — or more precisely, its minority government — has found itself with the current constitutional mess:

    Ministers did not say what they wanted before invoking article 50. The government took a hard approach, not a soft one. Mrs May misread the public mood in the election of 2017. Her ministers proved incompetent negotiators. They were dismissive of parliament instead of seeking to build a majority there. Nothing substantial was done to address the social causes of the vote. The prime minister prioritised holding the Conservative party together over uniting the country – and failed in both. Her government was contemptuous of genuine concerns about everything from the economy to civil rights. It took little notice of Scotland and Wales. It failed to see that the DUP’s sectarian interests in Ireland are a world away from the interests of Northern Ireland or modern Britain. Instead of producing a deal which could command a majority in the Commons, it produced one that doesn’t even command a majority in the Tory party.

  • The internet, but not as we know it: life online in China, Cuba, India and Russia

    My friend Frank was part of the team behind this brilliant illustration of how different parts of the world experience the web. Cuba’s method of sharing files found on the internet using external drives isn’t much different from how I did things when I was at university in the early 2000s.

  • More Start-Ups Have an Unfamiliar Message for Venture Capitalists: Get Lost

    …which is about time.

Finally, having bought a loaf of Tiger bread, I’ve got Mud’s Tiger Feet lodged in my brain. And now so have you.