Transitions and Consolidations

I currently write and publish online in a few places. Photography commentary over at Picture Pundit. Random thoughts here. The occasional train photo at Dogcaught. Various social networks.

In the meantime, I’m observing that (at least in my circles) I’m finding that communities are moving away from an information- or niche-centric model and into one built on stronger personal relationships. I’m much more interested in connecting with interesting people who share one of my interests than I am in simply reading a news article.

I’ve observed that many of my interests overlap and it’s often hard to decide which silo to attempt to dump something into.

I’m consolidating my online publishing in a few ways. I want people to form relationships with me rather than with my articles.

You’ll want to head over to – that’s where you’ll start finding new articles. My roundups of links, thoughts on media, and other content which previously would’ve been published here are now going to be published on my personally-branded site.

Please join me at It’s easy to subscribe via RSS or email.

Processing Email and RSS Similarly

One of the problems that RSS newbies often encounter is treating RSS items like email and expecting that each item needs to be read. A recent Ars Technica article explores the notion that keeping up with RSS is a bad idea.  I’m not going to suggest exactly how much information you should take in, but I find that I process email and RSS in a similar fashion which seems loosely based on David Allen’s two-minute rule for email processing.

One-Minute Email & RSS

As I scan my inbox or incoming RSS feeds (with RSS feeds being scanned in a priority-based order), I quickly deal with any that I can take care of in a minute or two.  This includes reading short email messages or crafting quick (one paragraph) responses.  On the RSS side, it means skimming headlines and reading short articles that won’t take more than a minute of my time.  For anything that requires more than a minute (either reading or replying), I send it elsewhere and move on.

More-Than-Minute Email

My method for email that requires a longer read or response is to star the item in Gmail for later processing.  After an item is starred, it moves to its own section in Gmail’s priority inbox so it’s easy to find and work through these items.  I have a task in OmniFocus that reminds me to process these messages at least once a day.

Reading Longer RSS Items

For longer articles, I send the article to Instapaper (as noted in my recent “how I read” article).  The iPad is the perfect device for consuming longer text and I’ll read these articles as I have time on my device of choice.  I use Reeder on my iPhone and iPad; sending articles to Instapaper is a simple gesture.

How you process email and RSS isn’t important but you’ll need to find a system that works for you. I’ve found that my system (process the quick things, defer the longer things) works for me.

I’ll Be Building WordPress Stuff Starting… Now

For a while I’ve been thinking I should learn a bit more about the code behind WordPress themes and plugins. I’m a software developer by day (in a different environment), but software is software and learning the ins and outs of how WordPress works would be a good exercise. I’d be lying if I didn’t also admit I came back from WordCamp San Francisco with a bit of a desire to learn how to code a bit in hopes of improving WordPress itself.

I’m also in the midst of launching a side brand related to my Portland-area photography business. It’ll be a month or two until it’s unveiled, but I have a vision for the online component. Rather than try to kludge my way into something that doesn’t fit, I decided this would be a great time to get into WordPress.

I’ve setup a local WordPress development environment, pored over the WordPress Codex, and am diving into constructing a theme.

Wish me luck.

The Four Aarons of the Apocalypse (or maybe WCSF)

At WordCamp San Francisco last week, Aaron Jorbin suggested we pull together four Aarons for a photo.

Aaron Campbell, Aaron Brazell, Aaron Hockley, Aaron Jorbin at WordCamp San Francisco
(click for larger)

The Four Aarons of the Apocalpyse: Campbell, Brazell, Hockley, and Jorbin