[2024] Week 25

Definitely getting to that midway point of the year. Summer solstice has come and gone and “summer” has officially started (as has my hayfever).

I set out some ambitions for the year at the back end of ‘23. Things have changed since then but →

10,000 steps a day (averaged over a week) – up to about 7,000 a week for the last month – been building slowly over the year

200 alcohol free days – on track to achieve this

50% fewer takeaways (based on Deliveroo spend!) – probably nearer 80% in last three months

Try yoga again – no but I have started doing press-ups

Austin for ATX TV festival – done and had amazing time
Also booked a couple of days in Hamburg in September and Nashville in December.

Add 200 subscribers to the jobs newsletter – this seems unlikely. Subscriber growth is glacial now.

40 newsletters – totally on track.

Launch the Digital by Default Jobs website – RIP

Earn enough from the DXD Jobs website that it at least pays for itself – as above but the newsletter is covering about a third of its costs so far.

Full year of weeknotes – on track as this is 25th week streak

Six work related non weeknote blogposts – might have already done this and a couple landed really well

Finally quit interacting with Twitter  – yep X is very much in the rearview mirror.

Publish to and promote BlueSky – all in on BlueSky (though LinkedIn is where I get all my ‘engagement’ now )

Contribute to organising more Product for the People events – two down, two to go. Love it.

Target two conferences to speak at with a new talk – not happening this year as the couple of half baked pitches I made were, unsurprisingly, rejected. I am targeting one high profile event/talk next year and then ‘retiring’.

Mentor a new speaker and help them get at least one speaking gig at a conference – didn’t really happen but I am doing a bit of general mentoring again.

Launch a civic tech/public service digital meetup in Bristol – sort of. We did a few drinks/networking meet-ups but my health stuff scuppered it continuing but going to dust it back off from August.

Mini comic / ‘zine for the Govcamp community – I haven’t done this but I’ve been experimenting a bit with Canva and still intend to do something.

The new day job – ahhh that.

I gave myself a bit of a pep talk regarding work last weekend so this was my first week with my new, positive and proactive, attitude. First off can I just say positive and proactive takes a lot more energy than cynical and snarky! I’m glad I only do a four-day week now.

I got stuck in – sought out opportunities to get involved with pitches/proposals for interesting new work, arranged calls with lovely colleagues to get their perspectives on some of the challenges that have been bothering me (which helped hugely), volunteered to write a couple of blog-posts, contributed to some thinking about marketing and spent some time with a brilliant team as they started to think through their next steps and longer term roadmap. Oh and I went to the pub with guys from the Bristol office for the England game (terrible match led to too many Vodka and Coke Zeroes!)

Honestly I enjoyed myself and will continue to lean into this slightly more Growth focused activity for a couple of weeks while I continue to seek out my next primary client assignment. I’ve also signed up for a few events over the next month or so to get out and about at events that I don’t also organise or speak at!

I thought a lot about the kind of assignment that would really get me excited and while there are definitely ‘missions’ I would jump at (anything GLAM related – especially libraries, further and higher education access, the challenge of AI for media and the creative industries, supporting the unhoused, to name a few) it is building and leading teams at the intersection of [open] data and [policy] design, delivering software that gets my juices flowing ~ even if it is as an adviser/sponsor rather than Product Lead – and if I am in that sweet spot I can be a lot more forgiving of the problem to be solved!

Anyway I am on the path of positivity – watch me shine.

We also announced a Save the Date for the Product for the People unUnconference in September. Exciting stuff!

The Euros has swallowed up most of my TV time this last week – though I have been watching The Boys from the start before starting the new season (have to say it isn’t quite as fun without the shock of the first viewing – but still has its moments.)

No trains this week has meant very little reading and I’m slightly savouring the Questlove book as I don’t want it to end.

I’m about to go and see The Bikeriders so you can expect some complaints about Tom Hardy mumbling later I suspect but I am really looking forward to it. Not least because I am going to a little cinema I haven’t been to in probably 30 years.

It was also apparently the 40th anniversary of the movie Beat Street earlier this month. 12 year old Jukesie definitely thought this was the greatest movie ever made. Even if I later learned the graffiti wasn’t legit Ramo (RIP!) was still a hero and the Santa rap still holds up today…as does the breakin’ at the Roxy. Alongside Subway Art, Style Wars and Wild Style it probably influenced me more than any other media – ever.

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