Yep, still here

Elon destroying Twitter is forcing me to rewrite Serendeputy.

Turns out that takes a while.

Back to writing more often at some point….


Back to writing again, occasionally

The world still spins. It’s gone around a few times since I last wrote regularly. I’m going to keep trying.

I’m writing a lot of marketing copy and FAQ pages for Serendeputy, so I really need to get good at this again.

I just got through re-reading the two best writing books I’ve ever come across — Style by Joseph Williams and The Pyramid Principle by Barbara Minto. Style helps you write line by line and The Pyramid Principle helps you organize your thoughts. They are both well worth reading.

Community Fediverse

New Mastodon account (and a book recommendation)

I’m still here, which is nice.

I stood up a Mastodon instance on a domain I control using a fresh Digital Ocean droplet. It was delightful for a while. Plus, I owned the namespace, so that gave me a little more confidence.

Then the droplet got hacked.

The CPU was pegged. I rebooted and it got back into the same state within a couple of minutes. I didn’t investigate deeply, but that smells like a rootkit crypto miner. Joy.

You can never trust a machine once it’s been compromised, so I nuked the droplet.

Then, it was time to decide whether to rebuild it or go to a shared instance. I could have rebuilt it, but I’m in growth mode at the day job so I really don’t have the time right now. So, shared instance it is!

You can find me on Mastodon I’m still @jpbutler on Twitter though I’m spending a little less time there these days.

I look forward to watching the fediverse’s continued growth. It sometimes feels a little like 1998 on the web, but people have a lot more experience with computer stuff and social gestures now.

If you want a fun view of history repeating itself, check out Derek Powazek’s Design for Community, from 2001! Human nature doesn’t change very much. (I still have my original copy here somewhere…)


Hey, it’s December.

I used to be good at this.

In the early 2000s, before marriage, before children, before the one-man software company, I’d update this blog several times a day for weeks at a time.

I’ll get back to it at some point. Maybe after I’m retired. Maybe when the children are off to college. Maybe tomorrow, who knows.

Probably not soon, though.

Ok, back to work. I’m in market and things are exploding — mostly in a good way, sometimes in an ugly way.



A weird accomplishment

I don’t have any data on this, but I think I’m probably one of the few people who have blogged in their 20s, 30s, 40s and (now) 50s. I started my site in early 2001, when I was 28. I am now 50.

I don’t think I get a prize or anything, but it’s kinda neat.


42nd Street edition

Still in launch mode, but helping out with ticketing for my daughter’s high-school performance of 42nd Street. It should be a fabulous show!


Noticings. Last few months or so edition

Alright, I’m really bad at this. Lots going on.

One of the advantages of running a newsfeed engine is that I’m always coming across really interesting new sites to check out and follow.

The Substack economy has been a boon to readers. The ecosystem is the richest it’s been since the golden age of blogging in the mid-2000s. I love it when I come across some new longer-form writers.

Here are some of my new favorites that you should probably try out:

I hope to be able to do more “linky goodness” posts this year. I’m just heads-down in launch mode, so it’s harder to carve out the fifteen minutes or so each day. I need to get back at it.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for some more sites I’m paying attention to, you can check out what I’m following on Serendeputy, or just look over my deputy’s shoulder.

(I’d also be fascinated to know what you think of it…)

Or, I share a lot of links on Twitter, so there’s that, too.

I’ll be back sometime between tomorrow and eventually.


Noticings – 11/2/21 edition

I’m still media-adjacent, so I follow the comings and goings and new business models…

Who wants to be a chickenaire? in which the author lays out his paywall strategies.

Meanwhile, Charlie Warzel and many others are migrating their newsletters to The Atlantic.

I’m still working on the pro offering for Serendeputy, so I know the temptation. It’s more fun to build stuff than to do the daily operational grind.


Noticings – 10/29/21 edition

Last time I checked in, it was midsummer. Now, it’s late October.

There’s still a ton going on. School is in full bloom. The holidays are coming up.

I even have a daughter about to get her driver’s permit; I’m entirely prepared for that.

Serendeputy is going in-market in a couple of weeks (Murphy-willing).

I’m still trying to notice things. I just don’t have as much time to ruminate and pull it all together.

Maybe soon.

You can still get a feel for what I’m finding interesting on the web by following me on Twitter.

See you soon.



The end of the school year, summer camps, redesigns, etc.

Lots going on. Will write again at some point….