Open Thinkering


Weeknote 24/2023

Temperature sensor showing 25.2 degrees C and 57% humidity

I’m composing this from Newcastle Airport on Monday morning. It’s been a busy weekend, so let’s get that out of the way first.

Saturday morning, I went for a run and then spent most of the day with my wife and daughter at a football tournament for the latter’s new team. They expected to win it, and almost did, had it not been for a penalty given against them during extra time in the final. Back home, shower and change. Out to Wagamama, a family favourite, before our son’s football presentation evening at St James Park, home of Newcastle United. He won Player of the Season, which was not at all expected, although he is awesome (even if I do say so myself).

We were tired enough after the events of Saturday, but on Sunday we had to get the house ready for the estate agent’s photographer, who is coming today (Monday). As anyone who has sold a house in the age of Rightmove will know, the photos are effectively what sell it. So it was a bit of a mission to get everything ready. I was dripping with sweat after gardening, cleaning, painting, etc. So much so that I was thankful for the torrential rain that started in the evening.

It was Fathers Day in the UK yesterday, so we went over to my parents. I’d taken my dad and two kids to see Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse on Friday evening (amazing!) but also bought him a book I’d heard being recommended on a podcast. When I left the family this morning, with my son now finished his GCSE exams, my daughter still recovering from the tournament (she picked up a slight injury), and my wife preparing for a potentially tricky week of user research interviews at work, everyone looked knackered.

I almost can’t remember what I did before this last weekend. Laura’s been away, so it’s been a weird week at work. I published a couple of blog posts in different places:

Other than that, the majority of my work seemed to revolve around community platforms and setting up user research. For example:

  • Helping WEAll (with John) come to a decision not to adopt Hylo but instead trial Discourse. I think they’ll be happy with it, even if it is a bit less shiny.
  • Meeting with Participate to discuss our ongoing work and their new platform which we’ll be migrating the existing KBW community to over the coming weeks/months.
  • Finishing up some of the initial projects I’ve been leading. Now that we’re self-hosting, not only can we run Co-op Conversations (for people interested in setting up worker co-ops) but we can use it to book user research interviews for the Member Learning group. The How to set up a worker co-op email course which I mentioned last week is now live, as well.
  • Updating the privacy policy for Dynamic Skillset to include in a user research form for Bonfire.

I realised this week need to write a post about the difference between social networks, chat apps, and forums. People tend to conflate them, which is unhelpful, as they serve different purposes.

There’s plenty of other things I did this week, including deciding not to respond to an RfP after attending the Q&A, preparing for an interview for some other potential work, and just generally getting ready for my upcoming trip.

This coming week, I’ll be in Amsterdam to meet up with my WAO colleagues and for us to run a session at MozFest House. I’m back on Thursday afternoon and will almost immediately take my daughter to her second trial for Sunderland’s academy. She’s also going to the Newcastle trials, but being a Sunderland fan, and knowing it’s a better setup, I’m rooting for her switching from one to the other.

Photo of new temperature and humidity sensor in my home office. It ended up going up to 28.8 C so I bought an evaporative cooler, which increased the humidity but meant I could work in there! The awesome TRYING patch is bright orange in real life and came via Dan Sinker.

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