Too Much Process, Not Enough Cookies (GHD051)

Thursday was a pretty productive day. I was about to use a livestream as a coworking session to get moving on a hairy programming project! I got my music hardware and software to talk to each other, mostly on purpose! I dug deeper into the mysteries of Google Hangouts! However, I’m starting to think that I’m emphasizing too much process, to the point it is starting to feel self-indulgent. So next week I’d like to try to get back to simple making as the point of the Groundhog Day Resolution posts. There’s two reasons for this I can think of.

Best Practices for Value

Although sharing process is really important to me, I am reminded that it can also be really boring to read if you don’t know what every moving piece does. These past couple of weeks have been a lot of fun for ME, but I don’t think they are fun to read about every single day. For one thing, who has the time to read so much heavy-duty process? Rather than present the raw discoveries as they happen, the real value comes from presenting packaged discoveries. This is a far better use of people’s time, and in hindsight it is a reliable indicator of value. In other words, the more utility/inspiration generated for the amount of time/effort expended, the greater its value.

In practical terms, this suggests that my daily public output might benefit from this list of suggested best practices that I just made up:

  • shorter, focused blog pieces
  • distilled to a picture and a caption
  • easy-to-download and access useful bits of design
  • a clearer hierarchy of existing content that can be searched by application
  • a guaranteed takeaway for every two sentences read
  • connections that are drawn directly, rather than left to be inferred
  • connected to larger, more detailed bodies of knowledge.

This is apparent to me after 10-or-so days of sharing a lot of research I’ve been doing on the livestreaming investigations I’ve been doing. It’s interesting to ME, but I don’t think it’s the best way to deliver value. If anything, I feel my value delivery levels of dropped off because I am getting into pretty esoteric territory. While I’m glad I pushed myself to research and try the world of livestreaming, I think it’s time to turn my attention to the next challenge. Something smaller and more tangible that can be explained with a picture and a caption.

Stuff Learned and GHDR Points Earned

I am now in great shape to live stream or podcast anything I want at a moment’s notice Now to learn how to make GOOD content in that realm! I’m going to consider this a major closure goal that I hadn’t seen coming, and award if 50 points.

50 Closed “Livetream and Podcast” technical capacity building research!
2 Posted words on this website!

Points, however, are not on my mind. The next goals I work on, I think, should be more about making and sharing smaller artifacts. These past couple weeks have been really process- and learning-focused. Here’s a screen shot that metaphorically summarizes process-oriented posting:

Audio Setup Now this is an interesting screen capture for the many inter-related settings that are shown on this screen; I arranged the screenshot so I could remember how everything is related. It is sublimely nerdy in how it captures every dialog box on the same screen so I can later make a awesome reference diagram.

Compare that to this picture though:

CW&T Pen Type B That’s the CW&T Pen Type B, machined out of brass, that I received about a month ago. It’s a beautiful piece of functional art, made by a family-owned machine shop somewhere on the East coast. Why haven’t I written about this more? Well, it’s because there’s a balance between showcasing inspiration and grinding through process mastery that I have yet to find.

Which picture elicits more of a response? For me, it’s the second one. There is a place for process-heavy posts, but I want to put those aside for a while so I can emphasize showing or making tangible things that elicit a response. After all, “making things” is the whole reason to have process in the first place. I’m not sure what the right balance will be, but I think trying to follow the best practices list is a good start. My working theory is that one needs both inspiration and process in equal measure every day.

About this Article Series

For my 2016 Groundhog Day Resolutions, I'm challenging myself to make something goal-related every day from February 2nd through December 12. All the related posts (and more!) are gathered on the Challenge Page.