1. Shining A Light

    This post will be appearing on every website I have. If you subscribe to one or more please forgive the redundancy.

    I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about patronage lately. Specifically, I’ve been kicking around ways to further increase my support of those who produce the things I love and derive value from online. It is a belief I put strongly into practice this past year. I did this various ways: Through membership programs, through buying their books and other works, through donation, and through purchase of their products.

    I plan to increase that in the coming year. I also am in the process of creating a fund that will directly patronize up-and-coming and lesser known writers who I think deserve support, promotion, and attention.

    Yet, this got me thinking about those who directly support my work through my irregular subscription based newsletter. Those people who I call “my patrons”. I suspected that many of them are writing or creating things that deserve such promotion.

    Therefore, I put out a call to them all to see if there was something they were doing that they wanted me to share with my audience. Here is me, shining a light on those that responded:

    • Caesura Letters — James Shelly writes the Caesura Letters newsletter. It remains the first thing I read every day and the best thing I read most days. It’s almost become like a little morning devotional. Like, my first cup of coffee does not taste the same without it.

    • Writing Assignments — If you want to become a better writer, it takes practice. Randy Murray’s excellent book is some of the best practice you can get. Buy it.

    • Nic Lake — Nick is putting together an EP of instrumental/ambient music. You can check it out so far right now on on SoundCloud, Facebook, and Twitter.

    • Frictionless Freelancing is a book for anyone brave enough to pour time and energy into building their own business. Author Aaron Mahnke shares from his long history of building and growing a successful freelance design business to expose all of the secrets, lessons and tips that he’s figured out along the way. Whether you’ve been freelancing for years or are brand new to the challenge of running your own business, this book is an absolute essential resource. I wish I had it when I first started out.

    • Unretrofied — by Chris Gonzales is a blog about the intersection of technology and life. He recently activated a membership subscription program there, and hopes to take the site full-time someday. I signed up to show my support. You should too.

    • A Lesser Photographer — Written by CJ Chilvers, it helps you become a more creative photographer. CJ brings a refreshing honesty to the subject that applies to more than just photography. It’s been one of my favorites for a long time.

    • James Gowan — Tells stories about what’s happening as he attempts to swing the pendulum from “consuming” to “creating”. James is a real up-and-coming voice in this space and worth of your attention.

    • Studies in Semicolons. — This site explores technology and habits of effective work that we love so much and molds them specifically for people like the author, Chase Nordengren - academics, researchers or people who just like ideas and want to take on a life immersed in them as much as possible. I started following a few weeks back and have not regretted it.

    • Andrew Carroll — Andrew demystifies the complexities of running a business on his site. Andrew is very smart, sensible, and approachable.

    • The Hales — Simple, vocally-driven acoustic recordings. They are very literally trying to find their voices together doing something they love. Beautiful work.

    • Pipe Redirect — Basically your generic tech blog with links and articles, although the goal is to focus on the nerdier side of things (Unix, Python, AppleScript, etc.). Tony also tries to occasionally post some more thoughtful pieces on how our digital world impacts our lives.

    • Math Is Hard — A new podcast network featuring a podcast called Remakers Mark. Four best friends and film nerds discuss how they would remake our favorite movies today. Thus far they’ve discussed Ghostbusters and Top Gun, with each movie discussion split into two episodes; the first discussing casting, and the second discussing plot, filmmaking, and technology changes they would consider. Lots of fun.

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