Tag Archives: trump

Owning your content matters right now

Twitter and Facebook are both powerful tools to help people organize. We’ve seen some of that over the last few weeks of protests. While these social networks are also broken in significant ways, they’re not all bad. They bring people together and expand the reach of posts from our own web sites. That’s why many people embrace cross-posting.

Even more important is the free press. Not just big sites like the New York Times and Washington Post, but also small sites like yours and mine. Trump will continue to attack and undermine the mainstream press. Everyone who publishes on the internet should consider where that leads.

It’s not a good foundation to concentrate so much writing into one place like Twitter or Medium. Distributing writing across more web sites protects us if one massive site shuts down. It gives us flexibility to move to the next popular network if one emerges.

Sometime in the next 2 years, a reporter or blogger is going to break a story about the Trump administration. It’s going to be too important to ignore. But to be taken seriously, it can’t be an anonymous Twitter account that’s easy to cast doubt on. It has to come from someone accountable who has built a reputation by publishing good work and owning it.

Owning your content by having a microblog at your own domain is empowering. Maybe you’re writing about what you had for lunch. Maybe you’re photo-blogging an important trip. Maybe you’re posting from your iPhone at a protest outside the White House.

It doesn’t matter what it is. If it’s happening and worth writing about, it’s worth owning. Now more than ever.

The fight for truth and progress

Kevin Hoctor has a great post about staying above name-calling and focusing instead on positive change during a Trump presidency. Standing up for people, exposing lies, and supporting the free press:

If you have a website, use it. Write more words than you can fit into a tweet. Call out injustice and hold your House and Senate representatives responsible for their actions and their voting. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

You’re not alone if you’ve been aimlessly reloading news sites all day for weeks. It’s easy to fall into a trap of indecision, failing to create anything, unsure of what to do next that will matter. I struggle every day to rebalance my time on the right things.

But to Kevin’s point, a marathon is finished one mile at a time. And I’ll add a quote from Steve Jobs, which I think about sometimes when I can’t focus on making real progress:

Everything around you that you call life, was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.

Remember that Twitter was still in the middle of taking off 8 years ago when Obama was first elected. Not quite mainstream, no Trump account. We’re going to blink and it will be 2018 and then 2020. Everything can change again if we work to make it better.

Proud to have voted for Hillary

I couldn’t sleep. I woke up early the day after the election, thinking about my daughters, and cried. I had been so excited to celebrate our new president with them. I had been so excited to watch the returns with my kids, to share a moment of pride and optimism.

This wasn’t a normal election. This wasn’t just a debate over policy. It was much deeper. The world is already worse and darker for many people because of what happened.

There will be arguments over why the election went so wrong, but it’s more complicated than just one thing. There was the overplayed story about private emails. There was the FBI letter. There was the media treating Trump like a reality TV star instead of a threat.

Hillary did her job. She destroyed Trump in all 3 debates. She ran a solid campaign. But she has always been held to a different standard than everyone else. I’ll never get over that.

I’m proud to have voted for Hillary in the primary and in the general election, and I’d do both again. This election was very close. It was winnable. If we had ignored the polls and fought for every state, it was winnable.

Friday night, I went with a friend to see Trevor Noah’s standup show. It was great to laugh for a couple hours, about the election and everyday life. But then the night fades and we’re still in a nightmare.

After Hillary has had some time to rest, and reflect, and be her own person again, I hope she can find another cause worth fighting for. Let’s not forget that she did make history as the first woman to be nominated by a major party. She paved the way and reminded us how hard this is. That matters.

Daniel and I recorded an episode of Core Intuition the day after the election. We tried to capture that feeling of loss, and anger, but also of hope that we can have a renewed passion for our apps and ideas. Maybe some of our products have a place in the work to do before 2018.

Hillary said in her speech, the day after the election:

Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.

On this, I disagree with Hillary. Trump has already shown us who he is — someone who mistreats women, lashes out at his critics, and disrespects immigrants — and nothing he does in office will change that. The only thing we owe him is a short presidency.

Disappointed in Thiel

About 2 years ago I read Peter Thiel’s Zero to One while traveling. It quickly became one of my favorite business books. I’ve always thought we should strive to create truly new products, not just better versions of old ideas. I referenced the book in one of my blog posts about Snippets.today.

It wasn’t until the Gawker lawsuit that I bothered to learn more about Thiel. It’s disappointing enough that anyone I respected was on stage at the Republican National Convention, a 4-day train wreck that I expect years from now the GOP will look back on with embarrassment. Now Thiel’s giving over $1 million to Trump.

Marco Arment makes the case for Y Combinator distancing itself from Thiel:

Wrapping reprehensible statements or actions as “political beliefs” doesn’t protect them or exempt their supporters from consequences. Racism is racism. Sexual assault is sexual assault. Labeling reprehensible positions as “political beliefs” is a cowardly, meaningless shield.

I don’t think we should use the word “shame” lightly. It’s used jokingly too often in our industry; for example, “shame on you” for not using my favorite app or listening to my favorite show. But on this serious topic, I agree with the content of Marco’s post completely.

With her

I’m a Hillary Clinton supporter. I was in 2008, I was earlier this year, and absolutely I am now, as Donald Trump seems intent with each daily blunder to prove he’s the worst candidate the Republicans have fielded in quite some time.

Having said that, even leaving the politics aside, I think the new podcast “With her” from the Hillary campaign is fantastic. It’s exactly what a podcast should be: well-produced, yet informal, with just enough of a look behind the scenes to feel personal. You can subscribe in Overcast or iTunes.

GOP train wreck, day 2

I agree with Dave Winer’s summary of day 2 of the Republican convention:

It’s one thing to nominate a grade school bully from a racist family with a potty mouth and an emotional age in the single digits. That’s pretty bad, but to call for the other party’s candidate to be jailed, that’s over the top. To let those words come out of your mouth, even as an anonymous person in a crowd, you all have crossed a line that will be hard to come back from.

History will reflect poorly on the Republicans of 2016. And nearly as bad, while flipping through national TV networks last night, I saw little or no condemnation from the news. Maybe we need a multi-party system just so the GOP stops getting 50% of the air-time.

I called it a mob last night. The only good news: the arena seemed literally half empty.