I am the Chief Product Officer at Allovue a job that continues to be my primary passion, an inspiration, and a challenge. We are building tools to help school leaders understand, analyze, and plan their financial resources. I am immensely proud of the products we have built and continue to improve.
For the past two years, I have been on the ramp of increasingly working on management, strategy, and creative work with less and less code writing and detail work. In some ways, it has been a huge relief to delegate tasks, learn new skills, and hone in on my unique value to the company. In other ways, it has been really difficult, especially as formerly simple tasks become daunting because I no longer keep a schedule or a mindset conducive to certain kinds of work. I am working to get better at saying no so that my time is focused on my highest, best value.
I continue to be interested in owning my own content, so I have been using micro.blog on and off since it was released. I post at https://micro.json.blog. I really like having this site as a static blog, but a hosted blog with easy publishing from my phone on the go is really convenient. Originally, I thought that my microblog (which supports “macro” posts) might be where personal stuff goes, and this site would focus on more professional writing. Over time, this distinction has felt silly, and it hasn’t motivated me to write more professionally. I have also been enhancing this site by cleaning up the semantic markup on these pages, adding microformats to my markup, and doing a light redesign as an excuse to learn CSS Grid. Oh, and I finally got SSL working for all my sites.
I have been slowly reducing my time on various forms of social media. Like many others, I started to feel increasingly like my time on Twitter had transitioned to “net negative”. What I really want out of the internet is to discover blog posts, videos, images, news, and longer form writing on topics I am interested in, but somewhat on my own terms. That doesn’t mean I want to only read opinion pieces I agree with, but it does mean that mixing the latest political news with dog pictures is a bad experience. I want to choose when I engage in each of those. In order to achieve this, I have replaced Twitter time with some additional RSS feeds and Reddit. Reddit is a new addition to my media diet, but by limiting my experience to a select number of subreddits I enjoy, I can maximize the time I spend following my interests instead of people. Fundamentally, I am attempting to optimize my interest graph, not my social graph, and control my exposure to those interests.
I continue to try and keep up with an annual reading challenge. After a year where I slipped, I think I will be back up around 30 fiction books in 2018. I think I will keep the same goal for 2019. I really liked a lot of the books I read this year, but The Calculating Stars and The Fated Sky (collectively The Lady Astronaut Series) stand out as favorites. I wrote a little bit about why here.
This year involved a lot more jazz than post-rock. This is a developing story.