Weeknotes 6

11th February 2019 – 17th February 2019

Another long feeling week due to lots of being woken up in the night.

Client work

A lot of speccing, testing and planning for one set of clients, with Laura doing the lion’s share of the coding work. For another, I tied their old mailing list subscription form to the Mailchimp API so their customers can sign up for the right parts of their mailing list without having a human checking and signing them up manually.

My projects

I resurrected the Farm Hack Day site, which was from a hack day in Brighton I ran as part of The Farm twelve years ago. It had been offline as it was using WordPress and was hacked a couple of years ago and my host needed to shut it off and I hadn’t found time to fix it. I managed to get a local copy working and make a static version using CocoaWget.

I now need to copy down all of the photos from the day people uploaded to Flickr before Flickr deletes the ones that are above the free archive level. I completely understand Flickr doing this, the large archive was great while it lasted but isn’t sustainable now they’re a smaller company again.

Also moved my I’m a freelancer site, and I added an SSL certificate although redirecting everything isn’t in yet. If you’re reading this soon after posting, this post will be there, but will probably be moving off to one of my other domains soon.

That’s the last of the moving, which is a great relief as it’s been chewing up time I could be spending on other things.


I started the 30×500 course, it has been good so far but still very early days due to the slow speed I can get through the material. Disagreeing with my thoughts from last week, I now think it would make more sense for me to make a small product for freelancers as a way to learn the process they teach, because…

  1. I have some track record of doing talks about freelancing
  2. I’ve run a weekly networking group full of freelancers for about 15 years
  3. I have a leg up in building an audience around freelancing, with the Farm, its mailing list, its 7,500+ Twitter followers, the UK freelancing sub-reddit I run with 1,000+ members, and whatever personal connections I have through the talks

Basically, it would be silly not to when I’ve got those sorts of advantages, whereas although I know a lot about PPC and Google Ads/Adwords, I don’t have a ready audience for it and would be building that from scratch.

As part of concentrating on freelancing, I will probably be splitting this blog so posts not about freelancing go off to a new blog on one of my other domains. Or at least I think that’s the way I’m going, I could just put all the material on the Farm website, which would help it but mean it wouldn’t be as tightly linked to my name. I need to think about that while I take the next steps in the course over this week.

The Farm

The Farm mailing list successfully moved to a new host, Mailmanlists. It seems fine so far, but we don’t exactly stress our mailing list host with our traffic.

The meeting was back to a more normal 21 people along this week. My notes were…

  • Farm website future development
  • Moving our mailing list
  • Solicitor problems when trying to sell a home
  • Mutual project catch up x2
  • Bootstrap CSS framework
  • My handwriting is terrible (I know!)
  • Keeping networking when you are busy with work is a good way to line up work for the future
  • If all your clients are always a problem they may not be the issue
  • Chasing old invoices
  • Not everyone should learn to code (critical thinking and empathy would be good first steps)
  • 30×500 course
  • Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)
  • Learning to be freelance
  • Fonts and typesetting
  • The satisfaction of successful UX changes
  • Donald Knuth
  • Having code on physical devices
  • Polaris missles
  • XKCD comic
  • Tests before voting

As in the notes, Haze and I discussed a few changes I’d like made to the Farm site on Wednesday. Haze built this version of the Farm site, and he’s kindly putting more time in to it and has made some of the changes already.

Reading: I’ve started Death Arms by KW Jeter. A truly awful cover encloses an intriguing and confusing science fiction story set in a near future where a chunk of America is now a dystopia affected by “The Fear.”

Writing with: Jumping around between pens a lot this week, but a quick note to say Cult Pens have excellent customer service and sent me a new refill to replace the red in my OHTO Capsule multipen, and it’s now working great again.

Watching: I took my son to see the Lego Movie 2, which was good. Not as jolly as the first film but I think a little better paced. Although I think maybe a few too many jokes just for adults, still they were generally over in a flash. Away from my son’s eyes, I’ve been watching Mission Impossible: Fallout in chunks. That’s being a bit less over the top than some of the other recent MI films, and is all the better for it. Still, I haven’t finished it yet so still plenty of time for it to get absolutely ludicrous.

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