Blog Roundup

What I’m Reading – May 21, 2024

When Online Content Disappears (Pew Research Center) “A quarter of all webpages that existed at one point between 2013 and 2023 are no longer accessible, as of October 2023. In most cases, this is because an individual page was deleted or removed on an otherwise functional website.”

Putting numbers and data to something we all experience! And as marketers and web professionals, we can do our best to ensure an up-to-date experience for our website visitors by maintaining our websites regularly.

They turned cattle ranches into tropical forest — then climate change hit (The Verge) “More than 190 countries have recently committed to restoring 30 percent of the world’s degraded ecosystems under the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. Billionaire philanthropists are pledging to support those efforts. What’s happening here in the ACG says a lot about what it takes to revive a forest — especially in a warming world.”

Long Read. Good Read.

President Joe Biden to announce AI data center at failed Foxconn site in Wisconsin (The Verge) “The Microsoft project, which the White House estimates will create an estimated 2,300 union construction jobs and up to 2,000 permanent jobs, is part of Biden’s Investing in America initiative.”

The Foxconn-Wisconsin debacle continues? Hopefully, the people of Wisconsin can finally see light at the end of this long tunnel of broken promises from both foreign companies and the White House.

Why Your Vet Bill Is So High (The Atlantic) “Veterinary-industry insiders now estimate that 25 to 30 percent of practices in the United States are under large corporate umbrellas, up from 8 percent a little more than a decade ago. For specialty clinics, the number is closer to three out of four.”

Blog Roundup

What I’m Reading – May 9, 2024

Hack targeting hospital chain Ascension is impacting patient care (Washington Post) “The hack comes as government and health-care officials focus renewed attention to cybersecurity in the wake of the hacking of Change Healthcare, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group that is responsible for processing a vast amount of medical claims nationwide.”

As my infosec team at work says, “Roll the pin.” Think about security in everything you do. Every email you receive. Every link you’re about to click.

credibility (noun) (Merriam-Webster) “as in sincerity; the quality of being believed or accepted as true, real, or honest; The new evidence lends credibility to their theory; The scandal damaged her credibility as an honest politician; They doubted the credibility of the witness’s story.”

Looked up several different adjectives today for website copy. Credible led to credibility. Thinking about the different ways to build credibility for a company through their website.

Take Two Trips (

Not posting a quote as the whole post is a 20-second read. Great ditty to churn over in your head for a rainy afternoon or evening. My latest life advice aphorism is, “Not my monkey. Not my circus.”

Blog Roundup

What I’m Reading – May 1, 2024

‘Essential worker’ claiming vaccine side effects now seeks workers’ comp (Iowa Capital Dispatch) ““If an employer strongly urged its employees to eat healthy and consume green vegetables, it would be seem strange to conclude that an employee who choked on some broccoli at home would have sustained an injury that arose out of his employment,” Cortese stated in his ruling.”

Including this article mainly because of the above quote from the ruling judge.

China’s Moon Atlas Is the Most Detailed Ever Made (Scientific American) “With the updated atlas, scientists will be able to better understand the history of the Moon, evaluate potential lunar resources and conduct comparative geological studies. It will also inform the location choices of future missions, including where to build a lunar research base, Liu says.”

I’m a sucker for great maps.

When Burnout Is a Sign You Should Leave Your Job (Harvard Business Review) “While attempts to reduce or prevent burnout primarily fall to individuals, research has established that job and organizational factors that are largely outside of an individual employee’s control contribute to burnout at least as much as personal factors.”

I’ve been wondering a lot lately about individual responsibility and systemic or organizational responsibility. This article does a great job of reiterating that many employees discontented with their jobs do try many ways of “making it work” or “making it better.” However, there does sometimes come a time when an employee has tried everything and needs to realize that the system or organization is not changing.

A Forgotten Tradition: May Basket Day (NPR) “Perhaps considered quaint now, in decades past May Basket Day — like the ancient act of dancing around the maypole — was a widespread rite of spring in the United States.”

When the neighbor kids come around each May 1 with their Dixie Cups of popcorn and candy, I’m reminded of how much a fun-hater I am sometimes! I greatly admire those who find the time to make people feel joy.

Blog Roundup

What I’m Reading – October 25, 2023

Licensing board secrecy endangers Iowa consumers (Iowa Capital Dispatch) “Secrecy surrounding the factual basis of a licensee’s misconduct certainly protects the professional but not their unsuspecting customers.”

The Iowa Capital Dispatch is quickly becoming one of my favorite news sources. Their ability to dig deep into stories, and then follow-up consistently and accurately, is refreshing. If you’re looking for a no-nonsense news source for Iowa, this is one of the best.

Microsoft Word was released 40 years ago today. (The Verge) “Developed by Microsoft, Word was initially released under the name “Multi-Tool Word” on October 25, 1983 before being simplified to Microsoft Word.”

Happy Birthday to Microsoft Word! Joining the “40” Club a few months before I will.

The eternal allure of Engagement Chicken (Men Yell at Me) “The lore of Engagement Chicken holds that in 1982, Glamour fashion editor Kim Bonnell, gave her trusty chicken recipe to an assistant who needed something to cook for her boyfriend. The boyfriend proposed a month later.”

Lyz Lenz is one of my favorite writers. Subscribe to her newsletter and you will be informed, entertained, and feel like a member of a larger community. – JW


Thoughts on Janet Yellen

*Disclaimer: I am no expert on anything I write about below, including the main topic, Janet Yellen. I am writing this post and my thoughts about the most impactful Biden cabinet pick, so I can learn more about what the next four years may look like.

The Daily dedicated a recent podcast to the news of President-elect Biden selecting Janet Yellen as his Secretary of Treasury. I grew more and more intrigued as I listened to the podcast, to the history of Janet Yellen. So, I listened to a few more podcasts about Janet Yellen, both recent and less-than-recent.

Here is some of what I came away with:

The Daily – “Biden’s Cabinet Picks, Part 1: Janet Yellen”

“Inequality is not a political issue. Inequality is an economic issue.”

[She] wants to get people into the workforce and working.

And I think this is a consistent view that Yellen has held for a long time. And it is something that she pairs with a real concern for making sure that the folks at sort of the margins of the labor market, you know, minorities, people with less education, et cetera, making sure that they have opportunities. So as Fed chair, she starts to talk about inequality.

…And she’s kind of the first Fed Chair who comes in and says, inequality is not a political issue. Inequality is an economic issue. And we need to be thinking about what it means for the future of our economy.

NYTimes – “The Senate Is on Vacation While Americans Starve”

Discussing the need for continued support for American households:

And aside from the grave ethical questions raised by ending crucial safeguards for the vulnerable, such actions endanger the economy as a whole.

For more background on the above op-ed, listen to this 9 minute interview of Janet Yellen from Planet Money.

The Journal. – “Janet Yellen’s Biggest Challenge Yet”

Another perspective on the cabinet pick from The Wall Street Journal. I found this one interesting as well, specifically in talking about Janet Yellen’s character. The podcast describes the 2014 White House Correspondents dinner and a photo showing Yellen as the only person in the ballroom before dinner because she is always on-time or early. Yellen is always prepared, is a fastidious notetaker, and is on-time.

Heather Cox Richardson – December 1, 2020.

Stimulus is an economic issue.

Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, Biden’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, echoed Powell today. “Lost lives, lost jobs, small businesses struggling to stay alive are closed for good. So many people struggling to put food on the table and pay bills and rent. It’s an American tragedy. And it is essential we move with urgency. Inaction will produce a self-reinforcing downturn causing yet more devastation.”

So far, I’m looking forward to the Biden administration. If you had told me during the Iowa Caucuses when I was cheering about Biden placing 4th, this was the administration that President-elect Biden would put together, I wouldn’t have believed you. (If you told me anything about the rest of 2020, I wouldn’t have believed you either!)


Thoughts on the Biden transition

Matt Stoller discussed some finer details in his latest BIG newsletter on the Biden transition under the headline: “We Won’t Be Repeating the Obama Administration.” Stoller calls out three specific examples.

  1. Bill Baer, head of Antitrust Division under President Obama. Baer is “heading up one of the antitrust review teams for the Biden transition. Baer didn’t do a great job under Obama, but he’s making some useful noises. “We should care too about under enforcement because it’s led to growing concentration in many markets, think agriculture, telecom, wireless, travel, pharma and beer,” he said at an American Bar Association conference.”
  2. Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Supposedly gunning for Attorney General.
  3. Sheryl Sandberg. A counter-example for the previous two. Sandberg was a “credible rumored candidate for Treasury Secretary had Hillary Clinton won.”

Two more notes on Amy Klobuchar from CNBC:

One of the areas that could interest Biden in choosing her to lead the Department of Justice is her stance on antitrust and her pushback on the tech giants. During her run for president, she said strong antitrust enforcement means looking back at the deal between Facebook and Instagram.

Klobuchar, along with a group of bipartisan lawmakers, has introduced the Honest Ads Act, which looks to “help prevent foreign interference in future elections and improve the transparency of online political advertisements.”

I’ve so far been pleased with what I’ve heard from the Biden transition team. As Stoller and many others have noted, progressives and the left-wing of the Democratic party are going to have a strong place in the centrist Biden administration. The progressive voice will be extremely important, especially if the Senate is still controlled by Mitch McConnell and the Republicans. Progressives will be needed as a counter-weight to both the Republicans and centrist Democrats who want things to stay the same, or only make incremental changes.

Work Life

Thoughts on “Remote Work is a Platform”

Re-reading the post by Jason Fried, “Remote Work is a Platform.” Got me thinking a lot about the last 134 days that I’ve been working from home; 134 days of being a remote worker for the first time.

“Remote work is another platform. It has its own unique flavor, advantages, and disadvantages.”

Jason Fried, “Remote Work is a Platform”

Remote work is secondary…

My own work experience is a singular experience. That experience is one of sitting in the same desk for almost 9 years, in the same corner, of the same building. So, when I would previously read articles about the benefits of remote work Pre-COVID, I was trying to fit those concepts into my current concept of work, which was that of the corporate office environment.

The office environment is a system supporting work in the office environment. The office is primary, and remote work is secondary; never truly accepted and merely tolerated.

Remote work is primary…

Within a week or two in March, remote work became primary.

And yet, the system to support an office environment remained. Desk phones, instant messaging, email, video meetings. All of these tools were being used to “replicate” the office.

But we can never truly replicate the office. Instead, those same tools could be used to supplement remote work.

Simulating in-person office work remotely does both approaches a disservice.

This is often what happens when change is abrupt. We bring what we know from one to the other. We apply what we’re familiar with to the unfamiliar. But, in time, we recognize that doesn’t work.

Jason Fried, “Remote Work is a Platform”

Remote work is a different system.

I think that’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned over the last 134 days. It’s not that remote work is better or worse, it’s different. And once you find your way, once you find how to fit in with the new system, it works.

I’ve gained a completely new perspective on work, remote or otherwise, and I’m incredibly grateful for this opportunity to learn. I’m not throwing away my shot.


HubSpot Problem – Beta Drag and Drop Editor and Social Media Accounts

Our Marketing team has been using the new HubSpot Drag and Drop Email Editor since it became available (note, it’s still technically in beta.) One of our Marketing Directors came to me a couple weeks ago with an issue.

[Company B] social media links are automatically being input in our drag-and-drop email templates. Is there a way to default these within HubSpot to [Company A] links so we don’t have to update them every time?

We didn’t hear from our account manager immediately, so I submitted a Support Ticket for the issue. (Ideally, this would have been a Support Ticket at the beginning.) The first suggestion we received from HubSpot was to remove [Company B] social accounts in our HubSpot Settings.

This is not a valid solution or fix, because we use those social accounts for posting to social media. (The nerve!)

Eventually, I heard from HubSpot Support:

I wanted to quickly reach out that there wasn’t any documentation or past cases on how this default social account URL is pulled, so I am filing an escalation with the development team for an answer.

Okay, I guess we’ll wait.

One week later, though it was around Thanksgiving here in the US (bold emphasis mine):

I apologize for the delay in waiting for a response in the escalation I filed.

The development team reached out regarding this, and has said that currently it isn’t possible to change which default links appear in the social module for the drag and drop email editor. As with any features that you might like to see incorporated into our software, I would recommend posting a suggestion for this product feature in our ideas forum.

This is a forum where users can post ideas which other users can up-vote or comment on, then our developers see and use these ideas for inspiration for future improvements to the software. This would be the best means of having functionality like this implemented in the tool.

Please let me know if you have any questions about this.

Modules in the HubSpot Drag and Drop Email Editor

Are you kidding? So, let me get this straight.

  1. HubSpot has a new drag-and-drop email editor (which is still in beta.)
  2. The drag-and-drop email editor has a “Social” module, allowing you to place links to your social media accounts into your email.
  3. This Social module autopopulates these accounts somehow, but even HubSpot doesn’t know how the module is populated.
  4. There is no known way to change the default accounts for the Social module.

To those of you who are using the HubSpot Beta Drag and Drop Email Editor: Please follow this link to the HubSpot Ideas Forum and “upvote” this idea.


LastPass autofill not working in Apple Safari

I’ve noticed in the last few days, maybe week, that LastPass does not autofill / autocomplete when I’m using Safari on my iMac. I’m currently running Version 11.1.2 of Safari and LastPass

The issue

Upon visiting a website where I need to provide my login information, LastPass does not autofill the information. Nor is the LastPass icon  shown where I normally place my login information. Nor does right-clicking for the LastPass Contextual Menu work. 

The only way LastPass currently works in Safari is:

  • Log in to LastPass
  • Search for the site
  • Copy password

Not Acknowledged by LastPass

The issue is not officially noted by LastPass on their LastPass Twitter accounts (@LastPass, @LastPassHelp). There are individuals tweeting the issue and @LastPassHelp replies to the tweet. However, there is no “push” message or acknowledgement from LastPass.

Already on LastPass Support Forums

While not officially recognized, there are more individuals describing the same or similar issues in the LastPass Support Forums. The link to the thread here started July 28, 2018 and there are over 50 responses as of August 3, 2018 70 responses as of August 9, 2018.

Some of the suggested fixes from the forums include the following steps.

  • Open up LastPass preferences (for example, click the LastPass icon next to the Address Bar and select Preferences from the drop down menu.
  • Click the Advanced tab on the left.
  • Check the Respect AutoComplete=off: allow websites to disable AutoFill box. It looks like the label is incorrect.
  • Click the Save button at the bottom of the page.
    Reload any page that you have open that LastPass isn’t autofilling or the icon isn’t appearing in the username and password fields.

There is an additional suggestion to manually downgrade the LastPass Extension in Safari. 

Why this doesn’t matter (in the short-term)

I’ve already switched my browsing to Google Chrome away from Apple Safari. Why? Because LastPass still works. As I’m sure the behavior will be similar for most people, the functionality provided through LastPass is more important than what browser you use. As long as people can get on the Internet, login to their websites, and use LastPass, they won’t care what browser. 

We just want LastPass to work.


I’m Taking A Break From Photography

Three loves dominated my 20s: running, reading, and photography. Last month I started my 35th year on Planet Earth 1 and I find myself re-evaluating my life priorities and goals, as I wrote about from a work/job perspective last month. Today, however, I find myself re-evaluating my personal priorities, especially those ones that fill my ever-decreasing free time. That’s why I’m writing here about why I’m taking a break from photography.

Why Take A Break?

My 30s brought tremendous change – good and “less than good” – to my life. A diagnosis of clinical depression. Weight gain and loss of fitness/wellness. A wedding videography side business. Unemployment for my spouse. Two new jobs within 6 months for my spouse. 7 years of marriage. Our first child.

I stubbornly tried to hang onto those major loves from my 20s, all the while trying to keep my head above water while managing all my life changes. The running comes and goes. The reading is fairly steady. However, I’ve found the photography took a back seat to other priorities such as our baby daughter and our wedding videography business.

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

It’s funny to me how a physical print can have so much power compared to the same photo shown on a 5” phone screen. As I sat on the couch tonight, admiring a recent print enlargement, a realization occurred. I no longer find myself jealous towards those pursuing their photography dreams. I don’t have a “fear of missing out” when I look upon the fantastic works I see on Instagram and other places.

I asked myself, “Why?” Why am I not jealous? Why do I find myself not missing photographic opportunities as they arise?

It’s an excellent question, and I think the answer lies in the satisfaction and joy I’ve gained and found in other areas of my life. Photography held a place near and dear to my heart for almost two decades. A new child, however, fills up your heart almost entirely on their own, leaving little space for anything else in your life. You are forced to cull your priorities to the ones you hold dearest.

Not The End

Today, I find my joy of photography is filled by the joy of my daughter, personal photography, and my wedding videography business. I am comfortable with these changes in my life priorities because I’m coming to a realization that we live many lifetimes within our single life.

My early adult lifetime was filled with discovery, including the discovery of my love of photography. My 30s are now filled with the discovery of my love of my daughter and growing family. I know priorities change and I know life brings about many changes, however, this is not a good nor a bad change, but merely the evolution of my life.

I am looking forward to seeing where the next changes will come from, and what they will entail. Are you?