Re-Launching the Community

As brought up by @TheOldDesigner in What’s happened?, the ERW Community fell silent this year, largely due to the pandemic and increased responsibilities on my part.

BUT – 2021 is around the corner. I’m working on practicing Essentialism this next year, and one of the items on my list that I enjoyed doing was interacting with you fine folks here. I’d like to re-launch the ERW community again.

So my question to you:

We can do anything we want in this community.

What would you like to see happen here?

@wilsonng, @kennonb, @aaantoszek, @norm, @Ted, @KevinR – since you’ve all been active here in the past, what do you think?

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Hey, thanks for pinging. I’ll give this a thought. Loved the long-form, deep thought engagement we’ve had here. Totally understand your situation Justin.

Hope we can get this place rolling back on track :vulcan_salute:

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Perhaps writing a 200-500 word post about some personal reflections or discoveries about things encountered or confronted with in daily life would generate some thought provoking content.

I’ve seen myself writing a 2,000 word post that would take up to 2-3 weeks. That’s when I would post a monthly contribution. I can’t remember what an ideal blog post length would be but 200-500 words sounds like something that can be a jumping point to more discussion on the Discourse forum. A 2,000 word post might be a bit daunting for visitors because it does require a bit more though and time investment. Perhaps if we were encouraged to write up a 200-500 word post, that would be something useful. That’s like a 3-5 minute podcast episode or YouTube video that we encounter on the net.

Much of my own writing has been about personal discovery. I’d encounter something (reading another blog, listening to a podcast) and wanted to contribute my own 2 pennies to the discussion. Some of my other posts were derived from a Day One journal where I would self-analyze and try to find a resolution with something I read about or a situation that I wanted to find resolution to.

For example, Justin wrote up a post about Cal Newport’s “The Rise and Fall of GTD”. This is a great example of reading something and then looking at the subject from the eyes/viewpoint of a remote worker.

I often found myself as a traveler on the same road as everyone that visits ERW. Some of us are further along the road than others. I can contribute with an idea and want to figure it out with like-minded readers. There are no repercussions or shaming. It’s just an honest analysis as we try to work though situations or dilemmas we find in life.

Like Justin, the pandemic has up-ended my ERW writing. I’ve been journaling scraps of personal discoveries in my Day One journal. It’s half-formed thoughts and ideas that have been simmering. I’m looking forward to post-Christmas 2020 time when Holliday shopping season has subsided and I’ll be able to re-focus some time back to writing.

The Discourse is just a part of the ERW puzzle. YouTube, Discord, and the podcasts will be building up to bigger things. It’s a pivot for ERW to find its place in the blogosphere.

So, after all that blathering, what did I ask for?

Encourage everyone to write a 200-500 word post. A knowledge base can slowly develop here. Perhaps even a 100 word post would be sufficient.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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Well I have to say its pretty bad when I see myself as amongst the top people spending time here as honestly I do little more than scan it for a few minutes once every couple of weeks, (thanks to an Omnifocus scheduled task).

What would I like to see? Well as someone who has worked “remotely”, read alone, since 1999 I am not sure I see the need for all the hype which has surrounded it over the past few years. It’s really just a case of being disciplined and getting on with it.

What this community can do in my opinion is not try to mirror Mac Power users, or even the Omnifocus forum. “Remote work” can mean many different things, technically freelancers do not work remotely they just work at home and probably their interests are different than someone working for X corp. with managers breathing down their necks needing to justify their jobs. So perhaps different areas of the forum need to be created and only discuss tools how they relate to working at home, the merits and technical details are often better covered elsewhere and perhaps with a larger and established audience.

One thing I do know is I do not want to see things moved to chat type apps (slack, discord etc. which are time sinks), solely on youTube, or behind a paywall, there is in my opinion not a large enough market and the less content there is visible the less people will check it and slowly drift away.

2020 saw the vibrancy (and level of content) trickle to virtually nothing, which given that more people are at home and some not working as much as they probably should be is surprising.

So, for me I guess it’s down to interesting content and a regular flow of it from more than a couple of people which is I guess down to everybody reading this. So if we want it to work we need to not just post gripes and ideas, but actually contribute some stuff.

Over to me now I guess to live up to that.

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100% agree – which is why I’ve taken the approach of looking at remote work from a personal productivity standpoint, though it hasn’t been as focused as I’d thought it would be!

Interesting idea here! I think there’s lots of room for these kinds of discussions. I think personal knowledge management also fits into this as well for a variety of reasons (Range by David Epstein clearly makes the case why in my mind).

We do have a public Discord right now, but my vision for this is to be a hangout-only style place. Productive, long-term conversations need to happen here so we can all participate and find them long-term.

I don’t have any plans to move anything behind a paywall – everyone benefits from things being freely available. YouTube and the Obsidian Made Simple course have helped monetize the business so it’s self-sustained now, but I’d like other means of keeping things going in the future. Potentially community sponsorship of sorts (not Patreon though).

Agreed - I know @wilsonng has been slammed with things going on in his neck of the woods, and I’ve had to prioritize, too, unfortunately. But this year I’d love to see newcomers and veterans alike come together here to help out one another as digital workers looking to further hone our processes.

I really appreciate your contributions and thoughts here @TheOldDesigner – thanks for sticking around!

One thought I had here that might be helpful: we could simply start sharing more resources to the community. Links to interesting podcasts/books/articles. Tools we’re playing with. Things that have worked for us.

In a way it could become a public wiki, or dare I say it, Zettelkasten :wink: