Supporting Content Creators

You know one thing that really makes me feel good? Supporting content creators.

We all consume some form of free content online—articles, podcasts, newsletters, but even songs, short movies, etc. Sometimes they’re teasers to sell you a complete package, a product, or a subscription, but in so many instances they’re more like side projects whose goals don’t include generating profits.

So how do I support them?

Likes, subscribing and sharing are the classic ways—but what if you wanted to give them something more?

Some use PayPal donation buttons, or other services—I support my content creator of choice on Patreon and I really like it.

Patreon seems to be the standard these days actually. If the content creator has set up their account there, you can send them money on a recurring basis—for example every time they release something.

You can also set up a limit per month, in case you don’t want to end up sending them more than makes sense to you.

How do I decide who to send money to?

It can be a musician, a YouTuber, or someone who manages a newsletter, a blog or a podcast that really gave you something. These days there’s no limit to the kind of content that is shared online.

I chose Kevin Moore, keyboardist for Dream Theater, Fates Warning, OSI, and a bunch of other projects, whose music in his Dream Theater days meant a lot to me in my teenage years. He’s still making excellent music, albeit stylistically quite far from what his previous coworkers do.

Ok, but how much should I send them?

Whilst I believe any amount would make the difference for the content creator, my personal rule is: it should be a fair chunk of money I think they deserve (so probably not a stupid $0.20/month or something), that is still somewhat insignificant to me.

How do you determine what insignificant means, in the context of money? Ask yourself, What’s the thing I buy regularly that’s not essential? I like me a cocktail in a bar from time to time. There you go. $12/song for you, Kevin. The average price of a cocktail where I live, and coincidentally the upper tier of support for him (Collaborator, $10 + $2 VAT).

Innovation and Open Source at WordCamp Bari

I’m so excited to announce that I’ll be speaking at the very first WordCamp Bari! I’ll present a talk about innovation and Open Source: how they relate to each other, examples, and ideas for the future.

WordCamp Bari will take place on the 12th of May at Bari’s Impact Hub location, a co-working space in the Fiera del Levante area—one of the biggest and most important exhibition spaces in the Mediterranean Basin, and iconic cultural bridge between Western and Eastern Europe.

Tickets are still available, so if you work with WordPress and a trip to the sunny South-East of Italy doesn’t break your bank, join us. Bari has an international airport served by both flag carriers and low cost airlines, the food is outstanding and the local population extremely welcoming!

The session is going to be in Italian, but I might present it in English at some point. Stay tuned!

Links

My speaker profile
My talk’s abstract
WordCamp Bari schedule

Road trip in Portugal: the data

During May 2017, Stef and I had an amazing time in Portugal. The two of us, our carry-on’s, two DSLR’s, and a Škoda Fabia that I rented in Porto and dropped off in Lisbon visited some of the best places in the country.

Whilst Stef put out there a report with things to see, eat, drink, etc., I wanted to go a bit deeper on the data. How much did I walk, drive or sleep? What’s the longest walk we’ve done? Where did I sleep better? Thanks to a couple of devices and some apps, it’s all here.

The itinerary

We arrived in Porto on the 19th evening and left the country from Lisbon on the 28th’s early afternoon, so I’m not going to count those two days. Therefore, I’m going to count as Day 1 the second day we spent in the country.

Continue reading “Road trip in Portugal: the data”

Send better emails with SCRAP

Over the last few months I’ve been talking about writing quite often. One of the main takeaways I normally convey is this: you should (almost) never start from a blank page. Always, always have a clear structure first.

Templates usually help, and I have several of those for all the kinds of write-ups I regularly do. When it’s time to send a business email, whether I know the recipient or not, I usually try structuring the text using the SCRAP model.

What does SCRAP stand for?

A message that’s been put together according to the SCRAP formula has these ingredients, in this exact order:

Situation: where we’re at right now.
Complication: the problem that needs to be dealt with.
Resolution: your proposed way to fix the problem.
Action: the action you want the reader to take (a click, or even a simple answer).
Politeness: the end, on a friendly note.

Here’s a simple example. Alex and Sam are two random people who briefly met at a meetup. In this email, Sam is doing a classic networking follow-up and the SCRAP model fits perfectly:

Hey Alex,

Lovely to meet you yesterday at the Product meetup! Glad we were able to chat before the schedule got underway.  ➡️ SITUATION

I remember you mentioned [CHALLENGE], which is far too common in our industry. ➡️ COMPLICATION

Since that’s exactly what our team does, I’d be really happy to have a chat with you and explore ways to work together. ➡️ RESOLUTION

It would be great to schedule a Skype call earlier next week. Does Monday 10AM work for you? ➡️ ACTION

Looking forward to hearing from you. ➡️ POLITENESS

Cheers!

Sam

Why does it work?

As a template, it works by default—it gives you a framework with five content blocks to fill, so that you can create a first version quickly and painlessly. As a message, it’s short and to the point, and prompts the recipient to perform the intended action.

Mind the Product 2017, London. See you there?

On the 8th of September I’ll have the pleasure to attend the Mind the Product conference at Barbican Hall, London.

Mind the Product is an event dedicated to product management, bringing together product people from all over the world to explore the intersection of design, technology and business. The schedule looks amazing—Jake Knapp, lead author of Sprint, does look like a strong way to start!—and I can’t wait to meet so many people who work in the greater product ecosystem.

If you’re coming and you’d like to hear more about anything I or we at Human Made do (WordPress for enterprise, products with WordPress, etc.) just get in touch beforehand—I’ll be more than happy to chat during the breaks or at the afterparty 🙂

Follow the #MTPcon hashtag on Twitter to know more!

Resizing multiple objects in Keynote

More like a note to self than a real Keynote protip, because for some reason I never seem to remember this little trick when I need it.

If you need to resize multiple objects in keynote, select them, then Arrange → Group.

Menu entry for grouping multiple objects to resize them in Keynote

Once they’ve been grouped, you’ll be able to resize them with your mouse.

Ungroup to get back to single objects.

A KeepCup for each attendee.

WordCamp Brighton gifted each attendee with a brand new KeepCup and a reusable bottle of water. Whilst I have my trusty Nalgene with me all the time, the KeepCup is a nice addition to my messenger bag regular content.

One of the goals in WCBTN’s organisers’ mind was to create a conference that had zero impact on the environment. With reusable bottles and mugs, the event wouldn’t end with an enormous amount of paper cups and plastic bottles to throw away. And now I can keep the tradition going: I always politely ask baristas to fill my water bottle with tap water, now I can ask them to use my KeepCup for coffee without having to dispose a paper cup once I’m done.

Blogs and social media at WordCamp Edinburgh 2017

I’m super excited to announce that I’m speaking at WordCamp Edinburgh 2017! I’ll present a talk about long-form content and social media, which I’ve cheekily titled Are Twitter threads killing blogs?

WordCamp Edinburgh will take place on 22-23 July at CodeBase, the UK’s largest startup incubator, located at the foot of Edinburgh Castle. I’ll speak on Saturday, at 3:45pm, and it’s going to be the closing keynote of day 1.

Tickets are still available, so if work with WordPress and you’re in the position to afford a trip to Edinburgh, don’t hesitate and come with us.

Links

My speaker profile
My talk’s abstract
WordCamp Edinburgh 2017 schedule

WordCamp Europe 2017

WordCamp Europe 2017 is starting in just three days! 15-17 June in Paris, France.

I’ll be there, travelling from the UK. On a Eurostar, which excites me big time—you know how much I love train trips.

Looking forward to seeing all my friends (whether from Human Made or the greater WordPress community), meeting new people, and obviously listening to another bunch of amazing talks.

5 awesome Instagram accounts to follow

If you follow me on the web, you know I’m a huge fan of Instagram.

I was a bit disappointed when they started stealing every possible feature from Snapchat, but I’ve kept using it on a daily basis, just like millions of other people. Uploading my own photos, liking/commenting other Instagram users, and messing around with Stories.

Here are 5 Instagram accounts I’m loving these days.
Continue reading “5 awesome Instagram accounts to follow”