I’ve been quite ill this week. Not sicker than I’ve ever been, but sicker than I’ve been in years. That was one small silver lining of COVID, I suppose. No concerts, but no common cold, either.
But I traveled recently, perhaps too soon, perhaps foolishly, and in the course of so doing I ate something or touched something or sat too near someone and now I’ve been shitting my insides out for a week straight, all while cycling through other symptoms that seem pulled from a hat each morning — fever! congestion! aches and pains! back to fever!
Multiple tests over the week say it’s not COVID, but who knows at this point. I’m isolating, and no one else in the household has symptoms, and there’s little else to be done. The illness feels all in my body, so to speak; I don’t have a headache or any fogginess, which means I’m thinking very clearly but not able to do very much (or get far away from a bathroom). This combination of misery and clarity has me feeling grateful, of all things. As literally and metaphorically shitty as this is, I know it will pass; It’s not going to kill me. I have a loving and lovely partner bringing me Pedialyte and comfort foods and just generally willing to be near me, gross as I am at the moment. And while I’ve had to punt on a few biz dev calls and wasn’t my best self for a few others this week, it’s not going to derail this increasingly wonderful and varied career of mine.
So here I am, sick as a dog, writing to you, friend, whom I haven’t written in some months, firstly and mostly talking about my diarrhea. Not apologizing, just, you know, acknowledging.
I mean, I do have other things to share. Let’s do that.
Content Strategy Seattle
Assuming I am not a desiccated husk in a black t-shirt 12 days from now, I’ll be joining the Content Strategy Seattle meetup to talk about content ecosystem mapping. The organizers asked for a pithy title, so the advertised program is: Websites Aren’t Rocketships (So Stop “Launching” Them, Please). Is that pithy? Shit, I’m realizing I’m not confident I know what pithy means. … Okay, I just googled it and it turns out it’s more about concision than snark?? News to me. Ah well.
Content Career Accelerator registration
Registration for the summer cohort of my Content Career Accelerator program has launched. By which I mean I finally kinda-sorta figured out WooCommerce and got the registration and checkout form going on my site. There’s still time to apply and, if accepted, register. And I’ll be responding to applications more rapidly now that we’re in the home stretch for the summer cohort, which begins July 12. If you know someone who feels stuck, undervalued/underpaid, or just generally lost in their content career, have them take a look. It might be just the thing.
New talks in October
I’m delivering two brand-new talks this October. I’ll be at the first in-person Button, a content design conference, in Seattle, talking about why UX needs content strategy more than ever. A few weeks later, I’ll be in New Orleans for the LavaCon content strategy conference talking about keeping the “U” in UX and what it really takes to create user-centered experiences. (Hint: It’s not hiring for “customer-obsessed” people.) New talks take a lot of work, and I always hope to do them more than once. If you’d like to have the second-ever edition of these talks at your event or speaking series, let a guy know.
The talk is coming from inside the house
I had a lovely time being part of an in-house inspiration fest event for the fine folks at Schibsted recently, which I participated in remotely from an AirBNB in Kansas City around 4am. I shared the latest version of my talk How to Get the UX Writing Done with their UX, product, and technology folks. And I’ll be joining an in-house speaking series at Mendix in a few weeks, at the more-reasonable 8am from … I don’t actually know where I’ll be! Somewhere on the East Coast. They’ve opted for Dear User: Let’s Be Friends, my session on designing friendly interfaces using classic human-interaction principles from Dale Carnegie.
I find that my talks tend to start useful conversations in organizations about the intersection of product, interface, and marketing content, and the larger role of content in product teams and organizations. If that sounds like a useful outcome, drop me a line.
New-ish blog posts
I’ve written a few things since I’ve last, uh, written you? Look I said I was thinking clearly but this decongestant may have other plans. This could all be gibberish for all I know. Anyway, here are some of those things:
I got to visit Lisbon for the first time last week, and participate in the UX Lisbon event. It was a beautiful city, a very well-organized event that was very generous to its speakers, and a great program that had me taking more notes than I have in a while. I particularly enjoyed Jorge Arango’s metaphor and call to action to create one’s own “personal knowledge garden”, and I’ve been playing with DevonThink this week now in my more lucid moments to try to do just that. I also bookmarked Matt LeMay’s One Page / One Hour pledge site to share with future product content folks I’m coaching, as I know it would have made me a better team member if I’d ever had so much as a hope of living up to the pledge.
That’s all from me for now. Going to go try a new flavor of Jell-o now. Hope you’re doing well out there. As always, please consider writing back to let me know how you are, or how I can help.