on writing blog posts, learning things from the internet, rejection letters and taking care of your users, and twitter as a sourceby art3mis
playing on art3mis.fm - uncantena by sylvan esso
on writing blog posts (yes, i’m feeling pleonasm-y)
i’ve been encountering plenty of tech-person blogs recently, including random y2k-themed neocities blogs while surfing the hotline webring, genuinely well-written blog posts by local internet heroes, and figbert.com. i have a lot of blog-type writings for myself in the notes app, and seeing these posts got me excited about writing something to put out there for the internet to see. if i’m trying to think about what would interest the hacker-news-type crowd about something i would write, i think it would have to be that i’m completely clueless (more on that in a second), so they can all clown on me and hate on me a little bit. that’s okay, it’ll be entertaining.
on learning things from the internet
I DON’T GET IT. honestly, please help me. it feels like everyone in the internet tech crowd just KNOWS and i don’t get it. compositor? encryption vs encoding?? static sites???
breathe in, breathe out. whew.
when am i going to get to the point where i just know what things mean and how python works and how to use git without searching something up every ten seconds? seriously, someone tell me.
i don’t get the whole thing of teaching yourself via the internet. i know there’s amazing geniuses out there who are fluent in tech-speak and know everything in the whole world just by googling things and collecting knowledge, but that just doesn’t work for me yet. i can’t remember things long enough for them to stick with me, and there’s simply too much to cover. As someone who hasn’t had much experience on the internet (former sheltered asian kid with internet restrictions, thanks mom) who’s been thrown into the world of software design, learning all these things from the internet is overrated- give me a really good tech dictionary and maybe i’ll start to get a handle on things.
on rejection letters, and taking care of your users
a few months ago, i reached out to a certain company about working with them, and was rejected. don’t get me wrong, they were really very frickin nice about it- they looked at my site, invited me to their slack (christian, if you’re seeing this, stop reading)- but they said they couldn’t offer me a position. usually, this wouldn’t be good news, but when i saw the email halfway through my math class i couldn’t stop smiling because i was so excited to see the name of one of the leaders of a project i’m a huge fan of in my inbox.
i think we have this idea of a barrier between the developers, and us as the users. this is a clear consequence of corporate user interaction- when you get used to receiving automated, politely-written responses to issues or just general emails, you start to think of software as a “what” and not a “who”. there’s no sense of the people behind the project, and the user becomes someone who has the privilege to receive the results of some closed-source project, rather than a collaborator in an open-source project. receiving that email shocked me and excited me so much because there was a real human behind the project, who cared enough to get me involved in their community, talk to me like a real human being, and give me the space to interact with their project. when we released mabel a few days ago, they helped promote us and congratulated our work.
now that mabel is out and circulating among users, i’ve sort of begun to realize how important it is to communicate with your users on an equal level. talk to them like a real human being. respond to their issues on github, even if they work it out themselves, so they feel seen. encourage them to contribute to your projects. that’s how you end up with a real community, and users that stick.
on twitter as a source
these past few days, i’ve been reading isaac karth and adam m. smith’s paper on WFC constrain solving, and it’s really interesting, and i definitely understand all the words in it! but what really stood out to me was the fact that almost half of the sources in the paper are just tweets or personal correspondence. school really makes you think that you can only use scholarly articles and reference sources, and here’s an amazing paper coming out of a reputable university citing tweets. maybe it’s just a symptom of video game devs hinting at work on their projects on twitter, but i still think that’s really cool. twitter is kind of a modern primary source, in a way. there’s nothing more accurate to a developer’s project then their own personal statement, i guess.
anyways, that’s my first blog post. let me know what you think!