I took a pretty big hit in 2019 when my mother passed away. We celebrated her life more than mourned her death. With love and support from family, friends, and strangers the physical transition was quite smooth. The emotional transition was as smooth as one might expect and still catches me a bit here and there. Again, not so much as mourning but in celebrating fond memories. In her memory I created the HiDo KD Road Trip.
I started a contract at a (very) large multinational company while being employed by a (very) large multinational contracting firm. It was the first time I was brought in as a Scrum Master/Agile Coach instead of meandering my way there anyway, which is what I've been working toward since around 2011. Things have been bumpy but going exceptionally well and I felt very welcomed all around. The sweet to the bittersweet of 2019.
All the equipment I use is owned or leased by 8fold because minimalist 4 life. The lease is coming up in Q1 of 2020. So, I started replacing all the things. It's been kind of a dumpster fire in comparison to the relative smooth sailing of the last two years...not even gonna try to sugarcoat.
We're also not going to dwell, because I'm me.
(Feel free to skip to the 2020 header.)
Given the plan, I decided a full studio refresh was in order, which happens every two to four years for me. Here we go.
Get AirPods 2 and consider AirPods Pro. Replace 2017 MacBook Pro 15" with the new 16" inch. Acquire two Logitech c922 webcams to improve live streams and film other A/V content. Purchase Focusrite Scarlette 2i2 Studio. All of these use USB 3, not USB-C or Thunderbolt, which is what both laptops need; so, bought two hubs that have the ability to use outside power and pass-through.
- Replaced both hubs with more known and stable brands from local stores instead of online.
- Multiple support tickets in with Logitech because camera software appears out of date and doesn't recognize two cameras of the same model as two separate devices to be manipulated; however, the older Logitech Gaming Software does. (Also doesn't seem to allow user to set desired resolution and frame rate - could be wrong.)
- Support ticket in with Focusrite because it randomly won't connect, be recognized, or let me turn phantom power on. Most recently I adjusted the connections to the point of the closest I can to a direct connection and the device worked. Then I stepped back through the various arrangements back to the original - and the device worked - and I was confused.
- MacBook Pro 16" is in for repair because I had experienced multiple power issues. Basically a notification pops up and says, "USB accessories disabled, unplug the device using too much power" (this prompted changing out the hubs). Given I have 187 watts worth of power flowing, I thought the notification was odd. It got to the point that the notification came up and the only thing I had plugged in was the power adapter...despite the laptop not charging...on all four ports.
- MacBook Pro 15" needs display replaced after discovering a burn-in on the bottom right of the screen. I later discovered that the burn-in went even further across the entire screen.
- Switched cellphone carriers after wanting to switch back to an iPhone with a smaller form factor. They had the iPhone SE listed. Tried purchasing two of them three times from the site. Got in touch with support who told me to go to a store. Walked a mile to the store (don't own a car) only to discover they didn't have any and couldn't get any...told to contact support. Talked while I walked and got transferred three or four times before being told they no longer sell that phone. Two months later, the iPhone SE is still listed on my previous carrier's site. Tried switching to the Palm phone at the new carrier and almost made it until hitting the iMessage dealbreaker I didn't know I had. No smaller phone for me I guess, unless rumors turn out to be true and there will be at least one phone smaller than the current 8 - otherwise, will grab the 8 again.
- Cancelled AirPods Pro order after ordering from my new carrier as they were out of stock. The AirPods Pro did not arrive despite the courier and my carrier saying they were delivered.
- Both AirPods 2 replaced after connectivity issues and then no longer getting the low battery warning sound.
All right, so why all the stuff?
I've been creating content for the web in fits and starts since 1998. I have a lot of interests and posting about them all in one place tends to fly in the face of consistent timing and topic advice that has been around since roughly 2001. So, I'm going to try something.
First is the concept of centralization. Over the last few years I've seen more and more people getting bit by the platforms we all use. Further, I'm also getting tired of platform hopping, which is what I call it when I find a platform I like, start posting and interacting, and then getting disturbed by the direction its creators start going in.
So, back to making having my own house on the Internet landscape as the primary place to find me. But this time, the experiment will be to have three.
Which brings us to the second concept of specialization without pigeonholing. As mentioned, I'm a multifaceted generalist, which gets in the way of all the advice ever regarding finding a niche and a topic upon which to build. I just don't work that way. Some days I want to talk about software, some days I want to talk industrial design, and so on.
So, three primary sites, each focused on a particular, broad topic.
Which heralds the third concept of audience, distribution, and non-exclusivity. This is taking a page from creators using crowdfunding (Patreon or Subscribestar) and what 8fold.link is proposed to be at least in part. Content will start at the core on the primary sites and then move out from there over time. Some content may never move out.
Three topic areas and primary houses:
- Experience Design: I'm an experience junky. That's one of the main reasons I got into this game in the first place; I could create experiences at low or no cost. From software to industrial to the doors on office buildings, this will be housed at joshbruce.dev...brand new.
- Productivity, organization, and so on: This is me helping others design their own experiences (basically, what I do for a profession) and will be housed at joshbruce.com.
- Creative and personal projects: My academic training is in fine arts from drawing to painting and back again. Over the years I continue to do work and projects that don't fit into either of the previous specializations. With that said, history has proved that my audience, such as it is, doesn't really want to jump around regarding topics, which is fine. Therefore, we're going to house this type of work somewhere else, which is joshuabruce.com.
What are you into and maybe don't want to come to the house?
- DEV.to, Twitter, Twitch, Mixer, YouTube, Vimeo, GitHub
- LinkedIn, Twitter, Simbi, all things 8fold
That's a good way to get started. I'll be rolling more out later, if you are interested in a topic on a particular platform, please let me know.
Also, all feedback is welcome.
As always, thank you so much for making the time.