My social media triad in 2024 will be: Substack newsletter - GitHub Pages blog - and LinkedIn network. Here’s where to find me and why I’ve designed my online world like this.
A newsletter feels the most sociable way of sharing things in 2024. I want to publish and share stuff but don’t want to spam the folks. People get to choose if they see my newsletter by choosing to subscribe or not, which feels like the right balance between putting stuff out there without getting in people’s face.
I’m using my newsletter like a journal, much liks the early days of blogging. Each newsletter pulls together three topics: the only thing they have in common is that I enjoy them and want to share them. Topics include are likely to include: product management, coffee, digital transformation, e-bikes, knitting, short stories, coaching, mental health, tea, obscure Youtube scroll-holes. I enjoy learning and simplifying concepts and ideas. It helps my understanding. A happy byproduct is that I’m good at sharing ideas with others, something else I enjoy.
Substack kept coming up as the top recommendation for a small newsletter so I gave it a try and like it. Substack Review: Features Summary for 2023 by Nick Wolnywas useful to see an overview of newsletter platforms along with more info on substack. Should I Start a Substack by Lexi Merritt helped me to commit and give it a try.
I share three things at a time. And keep each thing simple and brief. I publish a newsletter when I’ve got something interesting to share and stay quiet when I don’t. Read the archives and signup here.
Github Pages Blog
This blog, scottcolfer.com, is my online home and has been for a long time. It’s where I reflect and share new ideas. Writing and publishing helps me to reflect and learn, then test with others, and help others in the same situation. So many people have told me that it’s helped or entertained them (sometimes both).
I used a self-hosted WordPress blog 2009-2015 but became frustrated that backing-up posts wasn’t easy. In 2016 I moved over to GitHub Pages. The way it’s structured makes backing-up my posts much easier. And working in GitHub with basic HTML and CSS helps me to keep my awareness of code (since stopping being a ‘hands-on’ product manager and becoming a product leader).
GitHub hosts a free, static site for each user through GitHub Pages. GitHub Pages can be married with Jekyll to create a blog hosted on GitHub. I followed an excellent tutorial by Jonathan McGlone has published an excellent tutorial. The tutorial assumes very little knowledge and covers Git (version control system), GitHub (hosting service for development using Git), GitHub Pages (free web pages from GitHub) and Jekyll (a ‘static’ site generator, based on templates). You’ll then start writing blog posts using Markdown. You can see the publishing and development history for my blog in my public GitHub account.
scottcolfer.com is my long-term home online. It’s been valuable over the years to help me reflect and learn, to help others, and to build my professional reputation. And it needs to be part of a network if anyone’s ever to see it.
I’m active on LinkedIn and finding it useful. This time last year I wasn’t. What’s changed?
Twitter was my main social network for work from 2008 but last year there was a lot of kerfuffle. Since then lots of people in my network drastically cut back on their tweeting. Some people left completely. My Twitter is a much quieter place now. Lots of people moved to Mastodon, then Threads, then Blue Sky. I’ve tried them but they haven’t ‘stuck’ for me. I’m looking for a casual platform that I can dip in and out of without a lot of effort . . .
. . . and LinkedIn was there, ready and waiting. For me it has a pre-built network of 800+ professional contacts stretching back to 2009. LinkedIn’s been there, in the background, for lots of people for a long time. It’s more casual than other platforms, you can dip in and out of it, and that’s . . . nice. I take a look every few days. I’ve got some interesting chats going on in the background via messages. It’s a good way to see what folks are up to. People post interesting and useful stuff andf the amount of chat and feedback actually trumps Twitter. You can find me here if we’re not already connected.
That’s my social media triad for 2024. I reckon it’s a year where lots of people will shuffle their own online presence and come to a new figuration. What will you be using?