This is what happens when I start thinking about possibilities right before I have to go home from work. Right now my brain is like a tiny excitable dog, everything is happening all at once and nothing can be focused on for more than a couple seconds. My brother said something really awesome to me the last time we talked and that is “you have an incredibly powerful brain, you just need to point it at something”. Well, for the most part I think I’ve found the thing I want to point it at. But days like today I want to point it at so many things that no human being would have time for them all. As some would say, I do not have the horses. Horses being time.
Or maybe the horses are the ability to focus. To hell with the horses already.
So since my thoughts are going in all different directions and I don’t have the attention span for even a game of Hearthstone, I am going to get down some of the things I am thinking about. Let the word salad begin.
Let’s talk about exclamation points. Pro or con? I honestly don’t know right now. I use them in work emails a lot to try and express enthusiasm or encouragement but shouldn’t the words themselves do that? I’ve also used them to try and offset the bluntness I perceived in my words. That may not be the best option. I first ended the last sentence of the last paragraph with an exclamation point but decided not to because it seemed too… eager somehow. I guess it’s a situational thing? Now I’m wondering who invented the exclamation point and why. A quick Google search reveals it has been around in English since the 15th century but I could not find a name attached to the introduction. Did that person know what they would unleash upon the world?
Every once in awhile I toss around the idea of streaming regularly, but I don’t really have a theme or cohesive reason why anyone would need to watch me streaming over anyone else streaming random video games. The idea came to me walking home from work that I could stream video games but also do cool things with free database management tools that other people could also do. Like, you can get a Salesforce Developer Edition org for free and learn how to do stuff in there. And I’ve discovered Hubspot has free products, and they’re pretty big in the marketing automation field. These are useful tools that it is definitely useful to know about. And I will tell you right now that the documentation for most products is terrifically boring.
For example. What if I played Heroes and in between games recorded the results in a dev org and figured out different ways to interact with the numbers? Or went through creating a drip marketing campaign while I’m recovering from Resident Evil scaring me half to death. This brings up a couple obvious questions, the first being do I even want to do that? I mean, the idea of streaming vidjama games for a living is pretty attractive, but I am an introvert and being “on” all the time is a frightening concept. However, I did demonstrate in a meeting the other day that I can be really animated when I’m excited about something. And if there’s one thing I get super excited about it is learning new stuff. I love learning. It is one of the reasons I like my job, I started at one point but was allowed (even encouraged) to expand my knowledge and move to another point. And there’s always a need for someone to figure out how to make the system do something useful. Maybe I should make a list of tools I’ve learned how to use and go from there.
There’s also the question of flow. I’m not a huge fan of abrupt demarcations of content. I like my mix tapes to have good segues, for example. There are natural stopping points in Heroes of course, but what about other games - I wouldn’t want to just pause arbitrarily and switch to something else. I’d have to create a theme for each day I did something like that.
I’ve also got thoughts about tweet threads. I’ve done it myself from time to time but I wonder if that’s not encouraging intellectual laziness. I know, there isn’t a wrong way to use a platform, as long as it has the capability to do a thing people will use it to do that thing most likely. Twitter has the ability to link tweets together. People have things to say that are longer than 140 characters. People also seem to recognize (consciously or not) that asking a person to take an extra step to consume their content makes it less likely that said content will be consumed. Keeping your message within the platform might make your thoughts more likely to get out there. At least that’s one possible motivation. But, as I saw in a tweet earlier today sometimes people only read one of the tweets and take it out of context. Some people are always going to take things out of context, no matter what the medium - but with Twitter it is WAY easier to spread an incomplete thought. Because Twitter was created to contain thoughts in 140 characters, a single tweet still holds that “I am a distinct thing” nature for a lot of the population. This could get me yelled at, but should folks be surprised and/or upset for their words being misunderstood or taken out of context? You’re using a platform for something it wasn’t intended for - treating a discrete quantity as continuous.
Bottom line for me is it’s more of a pain to scroll through a long column of chopped up thoughts than it is to click a link. Blogs are free. So I guess I’m anti-tweet-thread and won’t be using them myself anymore. If nothing else, it will make me proofread before I hit “Post”. If only all of life’s problems were so easy to solve.
Something that has been occupying my thoughts of late is the importance of investing time in the present to save it in the future. I don’t know what they call it in the business world, but I’ve come across the problem lately that something needs to get done and it gets done in a roundabout way because that’s the way it has always been and no one has time to streamline the process. Maybe it’s innovation? There’s a lot of stuff that can be learned by saying “There’s got to be a better way to do this”. Also good to remember that no matter what tool you are using, except for maybe power tools, you’re probably only using a fraction of its potential capabilities. But back to my point about time investment. A smooth-running system requires a foundation of work on process and planning. As a for-instance suppose I did start tracking my Heroes games through Salesforce? I’d need a plan of what data it would be important to record and how it relates to the whole. I’d need some kind of schema or what goes where. Building such a schema would take time, and that is even before I’m creating any objects in my org or records or anything. But it still needs to be done.
I just like things to be clean. When I was learning PHP, you better believe my code was commented and indented properly and whatnot. I’m not really sure where I’m going here.
It’s like a machine. If you build it by slapping on functionality (parts) as the need arises you end up with an ugly mess. But if you have a plan you can build your machine with the most common eventualities in mind and just set it off. Ideally, from there it would run itself and all you and your team would need to do is keep an eye on it and deal with the wildcards as they come up.
All that being said, there is such a thing as expanding functionality neatly, but you need a structure. A PLAN.
Looping it back around to the streaming idea there are a few things I would need to plan in order to realistically establish a regular schedule. When I tried to stream Heroes regularly in the past I didn't really have a plan and I didn’t take a lot of things into account. One of those being my own capability to stream every day. I have a YOB, you guys and 40 hours is a lot of hours.
The point is, I want to learn new stuff and I want to create content and I want to do so many things with my life. I’m going to have to prioritize. So, if I were to make a decision about the streaming idea here’s a few things I would need.
A list of tools to explore and learn about
A plan of what type of games I want to include - Competitive? New releases? Backlog?
A realistic schedule I can stick to.
Specific projects I want to tackle.
I’ll probably think of more later. Having plans and sticking to them is a new thing, we’ll see how this works out.