Tag Archives: knitting

basket filled with my interest hoatd

The Basket by My Bed: Sharing Code and Creativity

Let’s start off by saying the basket appears to be less full this week, but is in fact more full.  I like to e-read, whenever possible, and my iPad Mini is my digital information hoard.  There are quite a few good interests in Mini this week.

Sharing Code

I have been dipping into Pro Git, the excellent free ebook by Scott Chacon.  Between this and the also-great videos on the Git how-to site, I managed to get a project set up, and a text file committed, all through my Terminal application which, and frankly, I impressed myself just a little.  If this does not impress you, either because a) using the command line is like second nature to you or b) when I say “command line” or “Terminal” you have no idea what I mean, then this part of today’s blog post will likely not be very interesting. What I find intriguing about Git is that it seems like a much better way to share documents on projects than, say, Google docs, or Basecamp, both of which I do use daily.  And this use of Git (version control) doesn’t even scratch the surface of the potential inherent in being able to share code with others who, if they are not me, are most probably much better programmers and who might be able to help with stuff.  Yay Git, I say, and once there is actually something other than test.txt up on my hub, I will post a link.  First project: a budget builder, so our clients can see what it takes to make a Youtube video, or a Commercial-quality video, from our Q Media website. Coming soon!!

Sharing Your Brand

I am also currently hoarding, in Mini, every pdf and ebook Hubspot has produced on email and social media marketing.  We are working on our digital presence at Q Media and Hubspot is pretty great: just as the cobbler’s children are in bare feet, we do a lot of work with our clients to help them understand how to communicate their brand digitally, but we have neglected our own brand communications.  And, as we would advise any client to do, we are also doing some deep thinking on who we are and who we want to be.  Richard has us all reading Creative Confidence by Tom and David Kelley, the founders of IDEO.  The design thinking process is something that I have had much success with and this looks like the perfect bible for us.

Knitting is like Coding

No matter how much we wish it was so, life is not only lived in the digital realm, and I continue to knit a pair of socks.  I have now turned the heel and am deep into gusset shaping (for more information on what the heck shaping a gusset means, please consult ewetube.  I’m serious.).  Knitting is, in so many ways, similar to coding:  it is binary (there are only 2 stitches, knit and purl).  There is tons of math: designing a pair of socks is like doing a puzzle.  And it is a real “flow” activity: when you get started time flies by and you don’t want to stop.

My “wireframe”

wireframe_optFinally I have my wireframes for this site’s homepage, in my notebook, in the basket, reminding me to do at least what I would do for any client and put them in Omnigraffle like any decent wireframe to code by.  And, to help make it look good, Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills by David Sherwin has stayed in the basket, held over from last week.  My goal for the week: do at least one exercise from this book.  And read Creative Confidence.  And finish socks.  And…

Basket full of info 1

Interest Hoarding or The Basket by my Bed

I have a very bad habit of interest-hoarding.  What this means is that I have a seemingly endless appetite for things I would like to be doing, reading, or making at any given time, and this list of things is invariably far too long for the number of hours in the day, week, or even my lifetime that it would take to actually delve very deeply into any of them.

So rather than make little piles around my bedroom, (which is really also my home office.  True Confession: my favourite workspace is in bed, lots of pillows, surrounded by input devices which includes:  a 13″ MacBook air.  An iPad mini.  An iPhone 5 – yes, I suffer from an unhealthy alliance to all things Apple – and a notebook.  Well, also a stack of blank index cards and a sharpie.  And maybe some yellow stickie notes.  But I digress.) I keep one basket beside the bed.  Into this basket I place a limited number of things that I would like to attend to during the week.  If, by the end of the week, I have not attended to those things, they may lose their spot in the basket in favour of a new [book/project/magazine/insert-interest-hoarder-appropriate nugget here]

It is an effort to contain the hoard to one limited space: a mini interest hoard, if you will.

What I am going to do is describe the contents of the basket at the beginning of each week. Why would I do this?  Doesn’t this sound suspiciously self-indulgent, akin to posting pictures of plates of food on Instagram?  Perhaps.  But I have 3 good reasons:

1) This will force me to be selective of the items that ‘make it’ into the basket.  Knowing that these mini information hoards are going to be public, they may become more realistic and less aspirational.

2) Taking a photo of my basket each week will keep me honest in terms of actually diving in and reading/writing/otherwise engaging with/ the information hoard

3) There may be some interesting reads in the basket and a mini review of those reads might be of interest to you.

And so: this first introductory week’s Interest Hoard, the Basket by my Bed, contains

  • a knitting project: a pair of socks, knitted two-at-a-time on one 40″ Addi Sock Rocket circular needle, in Noro Taiyo Sock colorway S8
  • SAMS Teach Yourself Python in 24 Hours: I’ve recently taken a couple of great MOOC’s on Python programming and am determined to write a little code every day.  So far I’m batting about 10.
  • The Happiness Project: a gift received this Xmas from my Q Media Solutions Secret Santa, the very capable Steven Field.  This is a great read for the new year.  It’s very easy to pick it up and power through a chapter in wait times or those moments between doing other things when I should be blogging.
  • My Notebook.  Latest entry: My Git repository login and a wireframe for this blog.
  • Magazines:  wow, I have…how many issues of Rotman Magazine??  It would be a miracle if I read even one article from one of these bad boys during the week.  However, one of the most useful articles I have read in a long while was an interview in Rotman with Aaron Shapiro on his book “Users not Customers”.  I bought the book, and even read the book. Shapiro makes a compelling case for how we really need to adapt our businesses, business models, and communication styles to the internet.  This is a very useful argument for me in my line of work and some of this thinking formed the foundation for our video series, “Pull”.

Okay, so that’s not even everything.  Week 1 lesson learned: An interest Hoard is only useful inasmuch as it is actually small enough to tackle.  Note to self: cull the hoard.  Stay tuned for The Basket by My Bed, part deux.  And tell me: what’s in your hoard?