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Find The Thread - Issue #1

Find The Thread - Issue #1
By Dominic • Issue #1 • View online

You Are Not Expected To Read This
All the cool kids have newsletters these days, and this one is mine.
Why am I writing this? Partly it’s to see what it’s like to write a newsletter; I’m curious and want to try my hand. Partly it’s to test out having more of a schedule; my blog might go a month or more between updates, despite an optimistic attempt at a weekly schedule, so maybe if the newsletter takes off, I’ll be spurred to write more. (Where I will find the time for that writing is another question entirely, but we’ll burn that bridge when we come to it.)
But Why Write At All?
The reason I write is not to quit my day job (in which I do a ton of writing anyway), but to have an outlet for my thoughts. By writing I clarify my own thinking.
Beyond that, I also like creating a data trail online. At this point in my career, nobody asks for my education credentials — but lots of people ask for samples of my writing. Many more people probably look me up, and blogging is a way of making sure that somewhere in the top matches is a repository of thoughtful writing on various issues going back many years.
Finally, it’s a way of having (very leisurely) conversations with a network of friends and acquaintances that is very widespread and never gather in the same place at the same time.
Serendipity
That last point leads me nicely to the most recent post on my blog, which is all about how computers used to make that sort of thing easy, but now people are trying to reinvent rarity and fixing experiences in time and even in space. I still have my Cyberpunk Manifesto moments of optimism, and this last year-and-change has brought that back to the fore once again: for all the bad that the Internet has brought, can you imagine trying to survive this never-ending March without it?
This is why I get very annoyed with someone telling me I can’t access a piece of digital media because of where I live or what the date is, and put unjustifiable amounts of effort into getting around such limitations, purely because they upset me. I even have a tag for that on my blog!
Restrictions can go beyond DRM, though. Product design that deliberately prevents sharing, archiving, and time-shifting is actively user-hostile; you have to go to quite a lot of effort to prevent users from doing that, and I will never not be annoyed when I encounter that sort of design, or the sort of thinking that leads to it.
Multimedia!
Text is very much my medium (as if you couldn’t tell). I never even opened an Instagram account, let alone had anything to do with TikTok. I like reading, and I like writing. I do enjoy audio content, though, at least for moments when my hands or eyes are otherwise engaged. Back in the Before Times I would listen to podcasts while driving; this past year has severely cut into my podcast consumption, but I still listen to several full episodes of various podcasts every week.
I also started a podcast with some friends called Roll For Enterprise, and I am quite proud that we have not only kept it going, but we are learning and developing the format all the time. Now we have theme music and everything!
The general theme is enterprise IT, because that is where we all work and we all have Opinions. It’s not breaking news, it’s more considered analysis based on our various different viewpoints: practitioner, analyst, marketing, product management. We all have a good couple of decades of industry experience under our belts by now, so the conversations tend to be interesting and varied.
What I particularly love, though, is that we have also branched out of our comfort zone to talk about topics that go beyond the technical aspects of the job. A great example is our most recent episode, where we hosted another old friend to talk about her new book: Struggle: The surprising truth, beauty and opportunity hidden in life’s sh*ttier moments (the asterisk is all hers). Check out Grace’s website; there’s a free chapter of the book so that you can figure out whether it is something you would be interested in reading.
Until next time
Keep your mood positive, and your test results negative!
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Dominic
By Dominic

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