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People First

Where To Keep The Family Jewels

Would You Keep Your Most Valuable Possessions In The Vault Of A Company That Might One Day Just Close Their Doors And Block You From Getting All Your Stuff Back?

A few years ago … let’s call at it the ‘advent of social’, common wisdom suggested

‘Email is dead … long live Social’.
If you know me, you will not be surprised to learn that I disagreed with ‘common wisdom’.
I even wrote how the people at the vanguard of the movement were not just wrong … they were really wrong.

Fast forward to 2022 and it is clear that email has not disappeared… in fact for the past few years it has really caught hold … with everyone.

I publish my newsletter over on Substack, a company that when it launched just 5 years ago was greeted with a general shrug of shoulders and comments that could be rolled up into the umbrella term of ‘What Are They Thinking’.

I decided that what they were thinking was really interesting and when they announced their public beta in 2018, signed up to explore more, launching my first ever Substack newsletter on February 8th, 2018.

At the time my WordPress Blog was at … before moving to people and then on to people But I also had a mail chimp account which I used to send occasional missives … so needed to move my subscribers from there over to Substack, but life was busy and more importantly, IMHO Substack wasn’t quite ready for what I needed.

It was a year later when I threw my entire lot in with the company, closed down my Mailchimp account and moved my subscribers and committed to a weekly missive. Since then Substack functionality has gone from strength to strength. There are still oddities in some of their design decisions … like why can’t I center text if I really want to center text .. but on the whole … all good.

Of course lots of companies have woken up to the phenomena … both on the newsletter creation side and software to generate said newsletters. The ‘arms race’ is in full swing.

It was at the end of 2021 that the Microsoft company ‘LinkedIN’ launched its own newsletter functionality. If you are on LinkedIN, you know this because you are receiving messages from many people … too many actually, to sign up for their newsletter. But it is clear that people are signing up for them - the question is - are they reading them?

(Let's Find out)

Here’s the Challenge.

Willy Sutton was a bank robber in the United States, dying at the age of 79 in November 1980. There is an apocryphal story where a reporter asked him why he robbed banks. Willy replied;

“ Because That’s where the money is.”

~ Willy Sutton

People often ask me why I am on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter et al

Willy knows - BUT - being there doesn’t mean these platforms are there only places where my thinking, IP, articles, ideas et al reside. All of that starts here - or over on that newsletter. In documents on my hard drive. In my Obsidian vault. Oh so many places - joined together by one common denominator.

I have control over where and how that content is managed and how it is found. No algorithms. Not 'at the will' of a faceless corporate bureaucrat.

Just my stuff. Where I want it. So when I want it, I can find it.


Linking Your Thinking

I have been tracking Nick Milo and his wonderful work around Obsidian for a while. Recently he announced LYT Kit v5 and this is his overview.

People First

People Are Visiting The Archives


Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash


After my unscheduled hiatus, I have been thinking about the podcast. It is going to be different. I mean everything is going to be different. Isn’t it? Why would the podcast not be different?

I recorded the first one earlier this week (don’t worry - you didn’t miss it - I haven’t dropped it yet). If you know me, you’ll know that I definitely err on the side of ten words where one will do … I’m working on it!

Brevity. That’s one of the changes.

It’s only 5 minutes - so far so good!

That’s also the thinking behind the newly launched ‘Short Sharp Shock’ - an ‘image lead’ sister publication that will come out weekly questioning what I am calling ‘The Status Futurus’. (Think Status Quo - except in the future.)

Meanwhile, the Blog has been redesigned to allow for easier navigation, titleless less short asides (why should everything have a title - including a Powerpoint slide) .. The book is still for sale, I am toying with a second book - similar principle - totally different topic,

And then there are the archives.

… and talking of archives and the use thereof?

Q: How do I know that people are coming given that I don’t overly bother with analytics?

A: Because people keep on writing to me telling me that a link is broken.

Sadly, yes, I know and as they are raised I either fix them or remove them.

The problem stems from using a series of People First domain changes over the past few years. Older posts pointing to, the experimental wiki and glossary just will not work.

My sincere apologies.

We're getting there.


Tags ,

The Skills Gap


The Four Day Work Week – Is New Zealand Being Left Behind?

You can read the article here.

It’s not really a question as to whether New Zealand is being left behind. I think there are many countries facing this challenge … but the question is what is the challenge?

I ask because I believe that there is a massive conflation of this as people make their arguments..

Does a 4 day week mean

  • Working 40 hours in 4 days

OR are we really talking about reducing the number of hours of a standard week to 32 hours?

If the latter we are essentially awarding people a 20% increase in their wage/salary… really? From businesses who argue that they can’t afford a 2 Percent increase in salaries?

If it is the former … what’s the big deal? It isn't that hard to reschedule the teams .. and the benefits to the staff ... priceless!

Imagine cutting out 20% of these rides every week!

This is an easy commute - try it during rush 'hour'!


Netflix to pay $59M to settle a tax dispute in Italy, where prosecutors claimed cables and servers used by Netflix amounted to a physical presence in the country.

If you are wondering why I put this under the ‘Work’ category - it is because I think there is a court fight waiting to happen as to where work happens.

The thinking behind this case will be funneled into the new case.

Tags ,

The Future of Personalization

Don’t get too excited - it’s a McKinsey paper. 

The future of personalization - and how to get ready for it.

  • Physical spaces will be ‘digitized’
  • Empathy will scale
  • Brands will use ecosystems to personalize journeys end-to-end

... wait - what?

"Empathy will scale."

You can't make this stuff up. Talk about buzzword compliance!

Then - when I was looking for a suitable image to use for this post ... I came across this doozy from Sitecorp.

Content is empathy at scale.

Good Grief!


Decentralized identity startup Spruce wants to help users control their sign-in data.

Chang sees “sign-in with Ethereum” and Kepler as the two main products Spruce plans to develop using the new funding, he said. “Sign-in with Ethereum,” in particular, is likely to be a catalyst for Spruce’s growth, he added.

Music to my ears …