[swyx.io] YouTube Podcasting - good idea, or bad idea?

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[swyx.io] YouTube Podcasting - good idea, or bad idea?
By swyx • Issue #3 • View online
Hello friends, it’s been a while :)
Newsletter meta: I’m now writing you from Revue, which, being Twitter-integrated and free, won out over ConvertKit’s automation features and buggy editor (sorry Lesley!).
Covid Travel: I’ve been in a dark place the last couple weeks. I was forced to quarantine in Mexico due to the ongoing Europe travel ban. Don’t get me wrong, Mexico is cheap and beautiful and lively but this was no vacation. I was without cash, clean clothes, or a place to live when I landed in CDMX, and unrelated coincidental issues wrecked me physically, professionally, and psychologically. When it rains, it pours. Overall, my expensive mistake capped off September 2021 being one of my worst months in years and I am looking forward to leave it behind. If you’re considering international travel right now: it’s fine, and safe, just be aware of regulations and budget in more time for unexpected delays. The emergent standard seems to be that a negative Covid test (~US$30, 15 min antigen) is required 3 days before you depart, whether from Asia, Europe, or Latin America. Mask on, of course.
YouTube Podcast: I did finally record and release my chat with Sunil Pai, former React team member and general JavaScript thoughtlord, to a surprisingly positive reception for a Sunday afternoon drop. It’s unintentionally led to a decent backlog of guests who want similar long form tech chats, and I’m looking forward to releasing the next episode with Miško Hevery (now CTO at Builder.io and formerly creator of Angular) as soon as I edit it. I feel like success would be being the “Lex Fridman of developer tools”.

Swyx TV
Sunil Pai: React and the Meta of the Web
Sunil Pai: React and the Meta of the Web
I did finally record and release my chat with Sunil Pai, former React team member and general JavaScript thoughtlord, to a surprisingly positive reception for a Sunday afternoon drop. It’s led to a decent backlog of guests who want long form tech chats, and I’m looking forward to the next episode with Miško Hevery as soon as I edit it.
I can’t stress enough how little planning I’ve done for this. I don’t have a set name for the podcast, or a fancy intro, or an overriding theme. YouTube isn’t even a particularly supportive medium for podcasting; I just inherently like the ability to screenshare, for viewers to comment, and the brutal transparency of a public viewcount.
I feel like success would be being the “Lex Fridman of developer tools” but who knows where this will go. You can see how I’m approaching my “Part Time Youtuber” style on my newly reorganized page: youtube.com/swyxTV
3 Good Reads
Crypto Bezos - by Packy McCormick - Not Boring by Packy McCormick
  • TL;DR: When you find a nascent but fast-growing space, dive in. Don’t be a purist. Build something that literally can’t be built within the previous paradigm. Focus obsessively on customer experience, and be a techno-optimist.
  • Why Read: It is a very, very tall order to write Yet Another Bezos Lessons article and have it stand out, yet Packy achieves it in this long piece (30 minutes at 1x speed). I’m mostly extremely conservative when it comes to crypto, but this is one of the rare, well reasoned pieces that has made complete sense to me (the Loot project has been the other - read, read).
  • TLDR: A guide to running JavaScript and implementing DOM APIs (including the infamous `preventDefault`!) in Python.
  • Why Read: Web Browser Engineering is a book being written in public, and you can subscribe for periodic breakdowns of how browsers work. Probably the most accessible intro to browsers I’ve yet seen.
Clickbait is Unreasonably Effective
  • TL;DR: Two UGC platform staples — subscriptions and algorithmic feeds — are at odds, and ultimately feeds do better at grabbing attention. Therefore clickbait is disproportionately powerful (both “legit” and “type 2 clicktraps”).
  • Why Watch: The best YouTubers – like Veritasium — employ “ethical” use of clickbait and follow through with their best attempt at going deep. They all struggle with it. The style of his presentation - on a ladder, with a projector screen rather than edited graphics, is also very noteworthy.
2 Fun Picks
1 Reader Shoutout
Thanks to Kent C. Dodds for the massive shoutout this week! Watching him struggle to buy my audiobook was the tensest part of my indiehacker journey so far, which reminds me I really do need to go fix those HTTPS certs…
Kent C. Dodds on Twitter: "I spent most of yesterday on my @RideOnewheel and listening to @swyx's audio reading of The @Coding_Career Handbook (https://t.co/U2czc4s899). It's phenomenal. On my short-list of recommendations. Practical, actionable, and (based on my own experience) terrific advise. 👏👏👏"
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