Saturday, October 25, 2014

Cutting Back On My Traveling And Speaking

I’m going to be cutting back on traveling and speaking in the future, and if you are one of the folks who got an email from me, declining an engagement--I’m sorry. I traveled a crazy amount in September, and put on @APIStrat in Chicago at the end of the month. I got sick during the downtime afterwards, and I just went to Stockholm to speak, where I got sick again—only just fully recovering as of yesterday.

I feel like my most important work, which is my research, and secondarily my story telling suffers greatly when I travel, and takes an even greater hit when I’m sick. When it comes to making an impact, and reaching the widest possible audience, I’d say my writing is the most important. I get only a handful of people who come up to me and say “great talk at that API event”, where I get a steady flow of people who thank me for my writing, and tell me about the impact it has made on them.

With this in mind, I'm going to dramatically cut back on accepting speaking engagements, and attending conferences. There are a handful of events I’m addicted to like Gluecon and Defrag that I don't think I will ever stop going to, and of course my own conference API Strategy & Practice will continue, but beyond that I’m going to need a damn good reason to go to an event.

I’m sorry for being kind of a jerk on this front, but the API space is moving really quickly, and I feel like I can’t afford to miss a beat when it comes to my monitoring, research, coding and writing. The ROI on traveling and speaking just isn't there, like it is with my writing—which is the most nourishing thing I have, when it comes to keep this crazy train moving forward.



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Clarification On The Cease And Desist I Got From @Pluralsight

I wanted to clarify a tweet from yesterday, where I said that "I just got a cease and desist to take down a showcase I did on @pluralsight API training demos. Won't make that mistake again"—if you aren't familiar with them, Pluralsight is “the largest online #ITAdmin, #Developer & creative training library on the planet". Tweets are so bad for getting all the details across, and I wanted to add that I actually agree with the request Pluralsight was making, just not their approach.

What happened was, a link had come across my monitoring, about a Pluralsight training video on APIs, which I curated, and added the link to my API Design research. The problem was that the link was to a 3rd party site, not actually to Pluralsight. The cease & desist email I got was asking me to remove the link to the 3rd party website—which makes sense, and I’m happy to oblige.

What I do not agree with is the approach by Pluralsight in using cease and desist to get me to address the problem. It is a particularly shitty first impression to leave on someone, especially someone who runs one of the top sites for learning about a fast growing space for developers—APIs. As you can tell by this post, I will not ever link to Pluralsight again, and beyond this post you won't catch me talking about them again in stories, white papers, or at my conferences, meetups, and workshops.

Pluralsight is just using an anti-piracy service (which I won't showcase), and think it is a safe bet to say they aren't really aware of what is going on. I’m sure they have a pretty bad piracy problem, but I’m thinking a blind cease & desist campaign might not be the best approach. Maybe a first email saying, “hey! you have a link we don't like, would you consider swapping it out with a valid link?”, might be a better approach.

Anyhoo, we'll file this post under “rant”. I hope your anti-marketing strategy works out for you Pluralsight. I’m really happy to be in a space where I generate content that I can encourage the widest possible distribution, and not have to police websites like Pluralsight does.



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Friday, October 24, 2014

Is My Girlfriend Bothering You?

I’ve gotten a handful of emails, DMS, from folks, and seen an uptick in men "complaining", and “worried" about my girlfriend @audreywatters behavior lately. First of all this is nothing new, it is something I’ve gotten for the last 4 years, and I’m constantly seeking balance in dealing with it (all y’all freaking out, not her behavior) in a sane way. My public web sites run on Github because of all y’all hacking my shit when I confront you, and looking to strike balance my response responding to you guys from time to time.

Here is my advice for you:

  1. If you are bothered and feeling like you should speak up and challenge what she is saying about race and diversity, you are part of the problem—look in the mirror.
  2. If, as a white man you feel like you are being compromised, called out, or minimized (unless she referenced your name or @twitterhandle), you are part of the problem—look in the mirror. (if she called you out directly, it is guaranteed you are part of problem)
  3. You have the power to tune out. You can un-follow her (and me) on Twitter, and you can unsubscribe to her blogs. You have the power, and privilege. ;-)

And in response to a couple of your emails and DMS, I’m not in the business of “reigning" my girlfriend in. It is not a concept I subscribe to, sorry. If a “outspoken” or “badly" behaved women makes you feel uncomfortable...well, you are part of the problem—look in the mirror. I mean have you had a “outspoken” or “badly” behaved girlfriend? The best!!! I digress, back to the issue at hand.

I don’t give shit about your concerns, and as a privileged white men I think we have a little (lot of) pain and suffering to endure. When was the last time you felt unsafe, n danger, and had to look over your shoulder going out after an event or work? If you are white, male and feeling compromised by the discussions going on, good...it is s a start. A very piss poor start, but a start none the less.

Speaking from my privileged position as a 6’ 3”” white man, who goes everywhere (we spent like 10 days apart in 2013) with my girlfriend, if you are in the business of making her feel uncomfortable I won’t hesitate to kick the shit out of you. Period. Sorry, your threats are just a sign of your weakness, and insecurity, not ours--pull my criminal record if you need convincing.

The only way we (white privileged men) are going to address racism and sexism, is by changing ourselves, it is not “their” problem. I’m not excluded from this, I’m a white, privileged man, and complicit in this bullshittery, which is why I speak up from time to time, as well as silently support outspoken women like @audreywatters.



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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I Am Not Signing Anymore NDAs

I just replied to a company who I really like, and trust, letting them know I won’t be signing any more NDAs. They wanted to discuss their very important vision, and next steps for their company, which I really want to learn more about, and hopefully contribute to--so I probably blew it, by saying I wouldn’t sign an NDA.

I feel like I’ve established a presence in the API space, one that is built upon sharing ideas, and can't help but feel like a fraud when I'm signing an NDA before I can have discussions. I ranted about this a couple months back, regarding a conversation I was having with a large enterprise organization, but this time it is different. I really like this company, they are visionary, and have helped me in my understanding of the world of APIs—including where things might be going.

Regardless, I feel pretty strongly that I have built a persona built upon transparency, and the sharing of ideas, and if I continue to endorse an out of date process like the NDA, that is really about controlling the flow of ideas, it would be contradictory. I understand that when you are in business and you have to protect your ideas, and I’m more than happy to keep certain topics, and ideas private, but based upon my vantage point, bringing in the NDA takes all of this to an unnecessary level.

There are plenty of companies that I can exchange knowledge, research, data, and other vital information without signing NDAs. I’m sorry if my stance is disagreeable with your company operations, my intention is not to offend, but help you understand my commitment to the API community, and the openness, transparency, and interoperability that the space affords us.



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The Schizophrenia of Hacker Storytelling

I wanted to take a moment to point out a larger illness in the online world we’ve created for ourselves, while also pointing out my own complicity and illness along the way. My goal is to shed light on problems across the space, and the ultimate denial of tech blogosphere that they are clinically ill, and should quit their jobs today, and get the help they need—right now!!

I spend my days reading, analyzing, and ultimately telling stories about how technology is impacting “my life” as a white, privileged male--this is what you do in 2014, in hopes of remaining relevant in the digital economy. Wait no the app economy! Wait no the API economy! Fuck I don’t know what I’m trying to remain relevant in, but you get my point—relevance is everything!

Let’s walk through today's story, spread across four separate domains, to demonstrate the illness in the sector:

I’m continuing my efforts to strike a balance in the schizophrenia that exists within the API space. The release of the API.Report is a symptom of a larger illness I suffer from, needing to vent daily news stories, while also applying my analysis of the tech, business, and politics of the API space on API Evangelist and API Voice. All along the way I can't help myself, and I tend to just make shit up so I can stay sane, and keep the daily volume of moose diarrhea flowing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all bitching. I would complain, but I’m loving it all so much, that is until until I don’t. Thank you for riding the roller coaster with me. :-)



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Im Not Signing Anymore Ndas

I just replied to a company who I really like, and trust, letting them know I won’t be signing any more NDAs. They wanted to discuss their very important vision, and next steps for their company, which I really want to learn more about, and hopefully contribute to--so I probably blew it, by saying I wouldn’t sign their NDA.

I feel like I’ve established a presence in the API space, one that is built upon sharing ideas, and can't help but feel like a fraud when I'm signing an NDA before I can have discussions. I ranted about this a couple months back, regarding a conversation I was having with a large enterprise organization, but this time it is different. I really like this company, they are visionary, and have helped me in my understanding of the world of APIs—including where things might be going.

Regardless, I feel pretty strongly that I have built a persona built upon transparency, and the sharing of ideas, and if I continue to endorse an out of date process like the NDA, that is really about controlling the flow of ideas, it would be contradictory. I understand that when you are in business and you have to protect your ideas, and I’m more than happy to keep certain topics, and ideas private, but based upon my vantage point, bringing in the NDA takes all of this to an unnecessary level.

There are plenty of companies that I can exchange knowledge, research, data, and other vital information without signing NDAs. I’m sorry if my stance is disagreeable with your company operations, my intention is not to offend, but help you understand my commitment to the API community, and the openness, transparency, and interoperability that the space affords us.



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Monday, October 6, 2014

Internet Connectivity Reflects Flaws In A Purely Market Driven Approach

As I'm navigating the wifi in yet another airport, where I’m given 20 minutes of free, then I have to pay some arbitrary amount, and my Verizon Mifi doesn't do shit, yet again. Throughout these repeated cycles, I'm reminded of how narrow minded some of the market driven approaches are in the U.S. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a black and white issue, and I'm very much part of the machine, but being blinded by capitalism is something I refuse to be.

I’m writing a post about the AT&T promoted content API and how it flirts with net neutrality disaster, and just finished speaking at a smart city conference, where I had discussions about gigabit Internet connections for $40 / month, while I struggle with finding my own connection. As we nickel and dime, and fight over how to monetize every pipe, and packet, I can’t help but think about how ignorant we are.

If we just ensured that everyone has high quality Internet, things would be so much better, and there would be entirely new ways to make money, but because of short-sightedness we are going to fuck it up. Here is where all the telcos whine and complain about how expensive it is to build out infrastructure and how there is a shortage of bandwidth. To which I say, shut the fuck up you narrow minded, lying sack of shit. You know this isn't true, but it supports your monetization narrative and I know we all feel really, really bad for you.

Not only are you missing out on some really interesting, and lucrative opportunities, you are hurting your overall market, and our country. I guarantee this is one of the layers that starts unraveling this whole patriotic, capitalism, american dream bullshit you so heavily invest in, and places that have high quality Internet as a basic right for all of its citizens, are going to slowly start kicking our ass—all thanks to you!

Markets will take care of everything!! Merica!



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