Archive for February, 2022

TrackerZapper

Sunday, February 27th, 2022

TrackerZapper is a Mac app that sits in your menubar and automatically removes tracking parameters from any links you copy.

Cool idea.

I don’t mind that people use UTM parameters in links, or any other URL param gobbldygook they deem important. I don’t mind seeing them in the browser URL bar, even. But I often have URL’s on my clipboard because I’m about to paste them to share them somewhere (Slack, Discord, or iMessage) and I don’t care to pass them along there generally (it would be bad data anyway probably). I especially don’t care to have those present in links that I put in blog posts. So this just silently rips them off.

So:

https://www.example.com/page?utm_content=buffercf3b2&utm_medium=social&utm_source=snapchat.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Becomes:

https://www.example.com/page

👍

“Day and night, your content searches the world for people and opportunities.”

Thursday, February 24th, 2022

The opener of David Perell’s The Ultimate Guide to Writing Online:

Writing online is the fastest way to accelerate your career.

It’s the best way to learn faster, build your resume, and find peers and collaborators who can create job and business opportunities for you.

Content builds on itself. It multiplies and compounds.

Day and night, your content searches the world for people and opportunities. Projects, mentors, speaking gigs, job offers, pitches, investment opportunities, interview requests, podcast appearances, and invitations to special events. It all starts with sharing ideas online.

The whole thing is loaded with good advice I agree with. I like the bit about how you don’t have to have a mass of essays on day one. There are different types of useful content building, including curation. I’m personally a fan of the links-with-commentary approach to blogging, which many of the biggest and best blogs do and yet I still feel is underutilized.

Some solid mythbusting too:

Most online writing advice falls into two schools of thought.

One school encourages people to write anything and everything. It doesn’t matter what – they’ll tell you to put your head down, hit the keyboard, and ignore everything else. The other school sells hacks: always publish on Sunday at 6:08 pm, hire a freelancer to upvote your Reddit posts, and only write about what’s trending in the news.

Both strategies completely miss the point of writing. Focus only on publishing a lot of words, and you won’t build a distribution advantage; focus only on distribution and the quality of your work will suffer.

Writing online, on a platform you own, really is kindling for opportunity.


This pairs nicely with Max Böck’s Make Free Stuff:

Despite what web3 claims, it’s possible to “own” your content without a proof of it on the blockchain (see: IndieWeb). It’s also possible to create things just for the sake of putting them out into the world.

The best growth hack is still to build something people enjoy, then attaching no strings to it. You’d be surprised how far that can get you.

American Hearts

Monday, February 21st, 2022

Thanks to the HBO Max show, the phrase “raised by wolves” enters my brain a lot. And as a big AA Bondy fan, it makes me constantly think of the opening line to the namesake song on American Hearts:

We were raised by wolves
And we are still wild
And we howl when the troubled wind blows
And in the TV’s blue light
Oh, assassins will lie
Every wail just a-goin’ down slow

I was listening to it last night, and it’s an even better song than I remember. I love the neighborly spirit to the chorus:

So don’t tread on me
For I am your brother
I was born with an American heart
And don’t tread on her
For she is your sister
She was born with an American heart

It’s that kind of wholesome patriotism that I actually like. It would be harder to write that song today because somehow American pride has turned into something that can be culturally interpreted as right-wing and, the way I see it, dangerous.

If I was one of those rare good-faith politicians who have a genuine desire to help people and make this country better, I’d hop right on using the American flag as a major symbol. It’s high time that icon was taken back.

Then this:

All the people you meet
Down in the streets
May be good but they don’t wanna know
So they cover their eyes, for
Who wants to be sad?
Life is sweet at the bottom of the sea

Which to me is evocative of that current feeling where we’re sick of masks, not because of discomfort or that we don’t care about safety anymore, but because we’re sick of this physical reminder of divide. The issue is so politicized that the tension is palpable when someone without a mask and someone with a mask even cross paths. I’d prefer to go back to not knowing our differences. I look forward to seeing the smiles again, smiles that we do because we’re neighbors and we share far more in common than otherwise. I’d rather think about what we agree on and how we could collaborate rather than where we butt heads.

And the mothers will cry
Fathers stay up all night
With the worry that goes to the bones
And if your God makes war
Then he’s no God I know
‘Cause Christ would not send boys to die

Ya know, I’d probably give religion a shot if it was truly about being forgiving and kind to thy neighbor.

I liked that gatorade bread article.

Friday, February 18th, 2022

Just fun writing from Dennis Lee.

“Dannis,” I said to myself, “It’s about time you learn how to bake bread. It is your Achilles heel, your one true weakness in the kitchen. If the world understood your bread illiteracy, your enemies would slay you with a sharpened baguette.”

This entire time, I’d thought I needed a stand mixer or something to make bread, even though I understood no-knead, no-fuss recipes for bread existed. But what I didn’t realize, is exactly how easy it actually is. The New York Times no-knead bread recipe by Jim Lahey is so stupidly easy, in fact, that I actually got pissed at myself for not making some sooner.

There’s only four ingredients, flour, water, salt, and yeast. You mix that in a bowl, let it sit overnight, and just fuckin’ bake it. There. Bread. Seriously, what the fuck.

Jonathan Bradley Coyier

Friday, February 11th, 2022

My uncle Mike Howe thinks this fella is a direct ancestor of mine. Born in 1827 and died at 38 from wounds in the Civil War. Even further back, his dad, Peter Coyier, lived much longer:

Interesting to see actual information about my family as far back as someone born in the 1700’s. Peter was born in France, so I guess that confirms to me the clearly-French last name. I wonder if it was him who changed the pronunciation from the French (coy-yay) to how my family all says it today (coy-yer).