Liked S, M, L 1 – Wither Substack (

I’m with Ben Thompson – VC money doesn’t tend to play well with a mass of indie content creators.

See exhibit A: Medium. Remember, Medium started out all cool with the street cred and the high quality bar and gradually raised too much VC money, pivoted too many times, screwed over the very indie creators they saught to sustain and ultimatley limps along too bloated to either die or raise more money

Bookmarked How (and why) to roll your own frameworks in consulting engagements (
  • Frameworks are simple tools for thinking that can create a shared world view and be easily referenced
  • The first instinct of many consultants is to grab a framework that you’ve heard of but this causes problems in three ways:
    • They’re too complex
    • They’re not relevant enough
    • You didn’t make it so there’s little attachment
  • Instead I believe you should be making your own frameworks and they you should focus on:
    • Simple frameworks (even a simple categorization is a framework)
    • True frameworks that say something about the client’s business
    • Co-creating them with clients so you get the IKEA effect
  • I’m still figuring it out but I believe doodling, sketching, notebook diagrams and visual thinking can help you get better at making frameworks
  • And, finally, for maximum effectiveness you need to focus on memorable names – compress to impress.
Tom Critchlow reflects on the use of frameworks to inform decision making. He touches on the failure of pre-existing framework and instead suggests we should focus on co-creating:

  • Firstly you avoid almost-true frameworks. The client almost certainly knows more than you do and has an awareness for the corporate memory so can help you avoid evolutionary dead ends that might not be immediately obvious.
  • Secondly by co-creating with the client you get at least one senior member of the organization fully immersed in the theory, not just the summary of the framework. Remember frameworks are abstractions – by design – but you want at least someone who understands the whole system not just the abstraction
  • Thirdly, because the client co-created it with you they are proud of their work and far more likely to use, reference and share the framework than if you hand it to them fully formed.

This process stems from ‘client-ethnographies’ that is a part of ongoing work:

Every time you’re on-site with a client’s organization you’re studying the people, the behaviours, the motivations. You’re asking questions of as many people as you can.

Activities such as doodling and refining the name can help with with the process.

Replied to Integrating Annotations into a Static Blog (

Hypothesis doesn’t have a good concept of a site owner so there’s no way to get alerts for new annotations on my posts.

Tom, I think that I would use Hypothesis more if it better integrated with my site. This is something that Chris Aldrich and Ian O’Byrne have been exploring quite a bit lately.
Bookmarked Exploring the UX of web-annotations by an author (

So it felt like a good time to take a quick peek at a few common design patterns and think about some ways forward.

Tom Critchlow takes a look at web-annotations, comparing Hypothesis, Genius and Google Docs. Another example of annotations not mentioned is Diigo. I still turn to Diigo, especially when capturing marginalia. Although I then store that in my own space.
Bookmarked Small b blogging (

Small b blogging is learning to write and think with the network. Small b blogging is writing content designed for small deliberate audiences and showing it to them. Small b blogging is deliberately chasing interesting ideas over pageviews and scale. An attempt at genuine connection vs the gloss and polish and mass market of most “content marketing”.

And remember that you are your own audience! Small b blogging is writing things that you link back to and reference time and time again. Ideas that can evolve and grow as your thinking and audience grows.

Tom Critchlow provides a case for network blogging where your focus is on a particular audience:

So I challenge you to think clearly about the many disparate networks you’re part of and think about the ideas you might want to offer those networks that you don’t want to get lost in the feed. Ideas you might want to return to. Think about how writing with and for the network might enable you to start blogging. Forget the big B blogging model. Forget Medium’s promise of page views and claps. Forget the guest post on Inc, Forbes and Entrepreneur. Forget Fast Company. Forget fast content.

This stands in contrast to the idea or argument that blogging is first and fore mostly personal.

via Doug Belshaw