I saw a couple of friends coping in a DIY way with a possible bug today (tough to say at this point), and it prompted some thoughts about how little attention I've given the platform in a long time. My last push to the server was... cough... two and a half years ago.
In a way this is not such a bad thing. Hey, it works!
But there's a lot that could be improved, and long-running bugs that haven't received attention (notifications for your own replies, anyone?), and believe it or not I'm still interested in the question of whether I did everything I could to make it easy for folks to onboard and, yes, grow the site.
But of course there's very little time.
Meanwhile... recently in another context I was facing pleas to do more in a space that's outside of my more essential responsibilities from day to day. I am very well supported at work. But as in any workplace there are gotta-haves, wanna-haves and really-oughta-haves and it can be tough to juggle them.
So I struggled to organize this really-ought-have stuff as a Project. But a Project implies a Budget and Time and there is no budget or pre-scheduled time for that particular thing right now (darn those pesky gotta-haves). That meant everything I was writing felt like a recipe for stress.
I felt stuck, and anxious.
Then I noticed a kanban board feature in our internal wiki and deliberately created an itty-bitty kanban board to track progress in that particular arena.
When I was asked if I wanted to turn it into a Project instead... I said "nope!" Because the medium is the message. Project = Milestones. Schedule. Release Dates. Time Pressure. All of which are appropriate when resources are available, and needlessly stressful when they are not.
But a kanban board says "hey... this is the art of the possible! Nibble at it. Bash at it. Occasionally really go at it. You'll get there."
My kanban board at work turned out very well and I'm still using it to nibble away at the oughta-have thing I can only work on occasionally.
So in the same spirit, I plan to set up a kanban board for One Post Wonder.
And today, in that kanban spirit, I did three itty bitty things to move the ball forward:
1. The "submit a bug" button just sends me a damn email. It used to post an issue to my github project, which was too clever by half. I didn't get any notifications, I didn't pay attention and you probably felt neglected. I'm sorry about that. This should be better.
2. I fixed an issue that caused gmail to reject some emails from One Post Wonder. There are services you can pay to deliver your emails reliably. Cost aside, I feel it's important that we try to maintain independence in this area. Even though it's a pain in the ass and an ever-moving target.
3. I changed the welcome message you see when you sign up from "each day, post a carefully curated sonnet concerning the state of world affairs or you will be punished with lasers" (*) to this:
"It doesn't matter if it's a cat picture, a duck joke or a column worthy of Alexandra Petri."
I think this is way more welcoming, and I hope it will encourage people to feel like it's OK to just chill here. Lord knows I do. Shitpost away, everyone. You just can't do it more than once a day.
(*) It didn't really say that. It was far more well-intentioned but still kinda intimidating.