On data and ad-tech…

It was a little over two years ago that I realized the ad-tech industry had gone too far. I was an executive at a global advertising company, watching a demo from a third-party data provider on how they could help with ad targeting. Their representative brazenly demonstrated how he could pull up his own personal record and share with us his income, his mortgage details, where he worked, what kind of car he drove, which political party he was likely to vote for, and his personal interests (craft beer, of course). It was everything, all in one place.

Fast Company: I left the ad industry because our use of data tracking terrified me

On dictionaries…

Webster’s dictionary took him 26 years to finish. It ended up having 70,000 words. He wrote it all himself, including the etymologies, which required that he learn 28 languages, including Old English, Gothic, German, Greek, Latin, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Welsh, Russian, Aramaic, Persian, Arabic, and Sanskrit. He was plagued by debt to fund the project; he had to mortgage his home.

James Somers: You’re probably using the wrong dictionary

On design, strategy, code, and re-learning…

I have a confession to make: I love hard, mental, strategic design work. I love going cross-eyed envisioning customer journey options small and large. I love it like I love good typography and icons and layout, and I’m way better at it than I ever was at those things. I love it like I love color schemes, and, again—I’m better at it than I was at those.
And, stop me if you’ve heard this one, the more strategic I gets, the further from the code I feels.

Jeffrey Zeldman

Things I learned while changing hosting providers.

After more than a decade with the same hosting provider, I decided to uproot it all and find another host. Because who doesn’t like the self-inflicted anxiety of migrating years of files, databases and settings over a couple of nights, right?

I got to this stage because I had a cursory look at what other hosting companies were offering and realised I could get better value for money elsewhere. So I took the leap and left my reliable-but-expensive Singapore-based hosting company to try out InMotion. So here are some things I learned over the last two weeks while making the move.