Office View

No getting lost in blue sky white cloud induced daydreams in this space. It’s all business. What we do need is a neon sign with our logo to give it a more pro-podcaster/designer vibe. ;)


Artifact Porn

Working long after everyone else went home.

Every design office that has a team of researchers keeps this mess on display, seemingly to show that something is being done – to make the invisible insights visible for others to try and understand. I think we kept these whiteboards populated for 2 months after the project ended in the off chance the VP of design might pop by.


Finding focus?

I had my first session with Focusmate today, a service that was introduced to me a while back as a means to keep me accountable while doing those tasks that I generally abhor, and thus delay until the last possible moment.

During my first year back on the Island I was in the midst of a work crisis. I was doing so many different little things, attending far too many events, had no real deadlines, and no one to answer to. The structure and extreme pressure of my previous workplaces were gone and I was languishing.

This wasn’t a new problem, as I’ve tried working independently from home at various times, for over 20 years. I think seeing Sandra Bullock sitting on a beach with a Powerbook, miraculously connected to the Internet, in The Net, might have started it all. I tried just about every productivity hack, software, and method available and am a self-professed expert in most. While they certainly help with organizing the things that I needed to do, they were useless when it came to keeping me accountable.

The problem has been largely solved – I can be as productive alone as I was with a sociopathic CEO and overly ambitious team members. Developing my own work structure and self-discipline has been one of my successes over the course of the pandemic. Too much so, as I became the workaholic I was when competing with others.

But now that I am working in my own space, without any distraction whatsoever, I find I miss the little bit of human interaction you get when you work around other people. The noise. The annoyances. I also learn a great deal by simply observing others in work or public space. Perhaps Focusmate could fill this role?

I found my first session … weird. Beyond a check-in and a wrap-up you don’t actually talk or listen. You just stare at this head on the screen from time to time, like a voyeur who has commandeered a strangers webcam. I can see where it might help with accountability but it feels like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole for my use case.

At $5/month it seems like a ridiculous value, so I’m going to give a few more sessions a try and see how it changes my work habits.


New Office

We’ve recently moved in to a small office space in the bowels of a building on Victoria Row. The landlord was gracious enough to give us a couple weeks to get a feel for the place before we start paying rent and so far it’s working out well.

The small space should serve as both a working space for me, and once built, a voice-over booth for Sheryl, and possibly others. With our small home seemingly being more office than living space it became clear that constantly working from home was not tenable over the long term. That and having to constantly schedule our recording sessions based on others’ quiet times had us looking for alternatives.

We looked at recording studios, and shared spaces, but though the costs were doable, they didn’t make much sense. It also didn’t solve the problem of having 3 desks littering our home.

We also found a new house but since we are both essentially self-employed, we decided to not take on more risk. Better the devil you know than the one you don’t.

This means no more permanent desk at the StartUp Zone. I’ve had a great deal there for a couple of years, and might have stayed on into the fall, but with the organization in such disarray, I couldn’t count on having a desk there from one week to the next.

The only downside to the new office is the solitude. That can in part be alleviated by daily trips to a café, but something tells me that customers might not be interested in hearing “problems at work” from a stranger.


Taiwan moment

I’m sitting here in what is usually a quiet office (few come to the Startup Zone anymore) trying to test the mix of some audio, when sound of a drill hitting pavement reverberates through my skull. Unlike Taiwan this noise is outside on the street instead of your upstairs neighbour changing the layout of their kitchen for the 5th time in a year. I try to test the mix of our audio on devices that our listeners will most likely be using, including a phone speaker, and this requires some quiet. Though I suppose not every listeners environment would be as quiet as Charlottetown at night so this is perhaps a good test.


Wear a mask

The view from my apartment window in China. I wore a N95 mask regularly for entirely different reasons than we do today. Eventually it became inconvenient, I became complacent, and as a result, I have no doubt my lungs are filled with all manner of micro-garbage. It’s scenes like this which help me appreciate what we have here on the Island. Often when outside I simply stand and stare at the deep blue skies in appreciation.


What is it like to work in China?

I found our constant attention to WeChat both fascinating and frustrating.

I worked in the design centre, not finance, and was in a less developed province, so while this made many things slightly more relaxed much of what is related by Zara Zhang rings true.

“Work”, as we know it, is basically a struggle to reply to WeChat messages. On any given day, I probably receive several hundred WeChat messages (this is not counting large WeChat groups) for work. Business plans, legal documents, and due diligence files are sent over WeChat. It is very common for professionals to have tens of thousands of unread messages on WeChat. Consider it your email inbox, except that every sentence within an email is broken down into separate messages, so the number of unread messages multiplies. Since WeChat messages come at all times and many require immediate response, people are constantly interrupted and distracted during meetings.
What is it like to work in China? via Jan Chipchase


Sometimes it takes time …

.. or in my case too much time.

In 2018 I was sitting in perhaps one of the worlds great cafés drinking tasty coffee and working on an app called Sleep Tight Stories. An app that would get finished, but sucked, and then transformed itself into one of the worlds most popular podcasts in its niche.

I never could revisit that code, in part because I no longer could understand what I wrote, and because it’s nigh impossible to find someone locally willing to write in Swift (on the cheap). Also, I’ve been working 7 days a week on something else.

Now that I have a few days a week to devote to creating new products, it’s time to revisit that bad code, write a tech. spec, and find someone online to help write the parts I will never be able to do alone.


What getting dressed means now

This photo of my father and I at the CDP was part of a section on garbage in a health/social studies text book.

For all of my adult life, with the exception of that period of time where I would wear a black suit to the office, my definition of work wear consisted at its most fancy, a pair of khakis and leather shoes. For the most part, I’ve dressed the same as when I was a kid – jeans, t-shirt and sneakers.

Today, I stayed home and didn’t make my weekly trip to the town centre for meetings and general conversation. But I still decided to dress for the office. Which meant ditching the comfy gym shorts and old t-shirt, and donning gym pants and a fresh sweat shirt. I don’t think it’s possible to get any more casual.

I’m in full support of this anti-fashion, super comfortable work from home office attire.


Turkey tip

Don’t multi-task browning meat, cooking vegetables and siting at your desk editing audio.

On Sunday I cooked a turkey we had in the freezer as a protein hedge in case the world came apart at the start of the pandemic. Cooking a turkey in of itself is nothing special, I cook most meals, but trying to multitask while browning a turkey proves yet again that multitasking is largely a myth.

With headphones on I heard a strange sizzling sound and came out of my daze to realize that I was actually cooking something. Water was boiling all over the stove. And the oven had been set to broil. A minute longer and we might have been met with disaster. Luckily the turkey, despite some charing, was moist and as delicious as turkey can be.


Short two days

I like trying different ways to organize my day. My current system using Omnifocus is getting tired and I’m now somewhat blind to the ever increasing list of tasks tagged “today”. So I have been having fun, as much fun as you can writing lists, trying different analogue ways to capture my attention and decrease the cognitive load associated with having to remember to do things. I saw this nifty little pad at Staples and almost purchased it until I realized that it was missing two days. Obviously this pad was created for people other than myself.


Up to

I was inspired some time ago by Peter Rukavina to keep a running log of the sort of things I am working on, or interested in during a particular month. A public pronouncement of sorts, in an effort for accountability. Unfortunately, I haven’t really been paying attention to it since last March and haven’t changed the updated date since July of 2019 (I just updated it now).

But much has happened since then, and since I shared a short progress report on our Instagram, which by the very nature of Instagram must be entirely positive, I thought I might give a slightly longer update here, and include some of our challenges.

🎧 In the past year I have almost completely pivoted to audio. I still do the occasional product consulting, and I try to approach all the work I do with the same approach I advise to others, but my hands on design and design research skills have been set aside. I’m not sure what the future will hold for me if our venture isn’t able to produce revenue but it’s often great fun.

🧑🏾‍🤝‍🧑🏻 Our company is now called Minzoo Studio Ltd, and I hold no title, other than what is required on the legal document. I cringe when introduced as CEO or some other nonsense.

🎙️ We currently have 4 podcasts with others under development. Of these 4, Sleep Tight Stories has proven to be the most successful, at least in terms of listener growth. Sleep Tight Relax passed the 1,000,000 download mark a few months ago, and Sleep Tight Science finished its’ 1st 10 episode season. We soft launched Sleep Tight Premium in the past month as a paid product.

💯 Sleep Tight Stories is currently ranked in the 0.5% of all podcasts according to Listen Notes and is consistently ranked highly in kids & family and stories for kids. Unlike most podcasts we share our data on our website.

💯 Our growth this year has been phenomenal, thanks in no small part to The Startup Zone. Sleep Tight Stories continues to grow and now has over 530,000 downloads per month and close to 4,000,000 downloads this past year alone.

💯 Audience measurement and its’ meaning continues to be a bit of a mystery. And downloads ≠ money.

💯 Numbers make for a great talking point, but don’t really expose the true value that this project brings to us and hopefully our listeners. Creating a product that resonates with children and has a positive effect on their lives brings us great joy.

📚 We continue to feature local independent authors on Sleep Tight Stories as much as we can. Authors generally are enthusiastic, but publishers, especially local ones, are less so.

🗞️ At the behest of an advisor, we created a press release, which resulted in a bit of local coverage.

🐝 At one point we (the 2 of us) were producing 6 episodes per week. It was 7 days a week, with our heads in front of Logic Pro amongst other tools. We’ve now managed to make the workload a little more manageable so that we can focus on creating more products for children.

🎨 Content creation as a business, despite the stories of successful YouTubers and Instagram influencers, is not a path to riches, and yet all my life I have found myself drawn to this type of work.

💸 Our original plan to be advertising free wasn’t sustainable as we had little time left to develop other products that people might pay for. It’s proven to be difficult to get people to pay for what was always free in the past but Patreon, private feeds and ad revenue is growing, albeit too slowly.

📚 Our first attempt at being a sponsor of the Island Literary Awards fizzled – this the idea of a generous Island teacher who offered to donate the prize money. For some reason since I have arrived on PEI every attempt to either volunteer or donate my expertise, or in this case our platform, has failed. For now we will focus our attention off-Island, but may revisit helping the local community in some small way once I understand what I have been doing wrong.

💸 Startup Zone has been the only source of government assistance we have received. We are an outlier in this regard, so it seems, as I don’t know any company in the StartUp Zone who isn’t actively pursuing money from the government. Some get government money to hire someone to help them get more government money. Without outside financing we rely upon our own sweat equity which slows growth but I think creates a more sustainable enterprise over the long term.

💰 We find living and working on PEI expensive, so if we grow, and we are able to freely travel again, we might start looking to work and hire from elsewhere. I miss traveling immensely.

🦹‍♂️ The hardest decision which is always waiting in the shadows is deciding whether or not to stop. The fact that we have worked so long on this project shows how lucky and how financially disciplined we are. It helps when you are bootstrapping to be cheap. There are many measurements of success, and I feel great about what we have accomplished to date, but playing the starving creative was never a role I ever was fully committed to – otherwise I would still be working in music today.


Office hours

I came out of my cave yesterday and had coffee with the outgoing CEO of the Startup Zone, who is moving with his family to Halifax. In our conversation he reminded me that I have been renting space at the fish bowl and rarely set foot in the space. So today I am sitting in my space away from the lure of the kitchen refrigerator.

It’s been since the pandemic that never goes away (because of people) since I have worked with any regularity outside of home. It’s also one of the few times I’ve been concerned with looking human – it’s t-shirts and sweatpants and an ever growing beard at home.

I get the feeling that working from home is here to stay. The travel time and cost of working in even Charlottetown doesn’t make the same sense that it once did.

If we ever finally settle down here in the Charlottetown area, ensuring that there is a dedicated space for work will be a priority.


My gift to myself

Fu

I think likely the greatest gift I can give myself this coming Christmas is to take some time off. I may be wrong, as my memory fails more often now than years past, but I don’t think I have completely disconnected from work since January or February. Working weekends has been the norm.

But my enthusiasm for the work and productivity have plummeted of late. Each day feels like I’m slogging through large drifts of snow. Which is pretty indicative of the need for a break.

I have no plans for the 4 – 5 days I plan on taking off. I’d love to proclaim a complete disconnect from the screen, but that might be too optimistic. Instead, I’ll likely eat, run, read books, and spend time with family. Hopefully I’ll fit some boredom in there as well.


For free

From J.B. Rainsberger’s latest newsletter titled Conversation Dojo. Would that help you?, comes a paragraph of which I love the tone of, and which I might just use in the future.

I’m not going to lie: I would like to be paid for this work. Even so, I recognize the need to give some of this away before I can reasonably expect to charge for it. Accordingly, I bring this idea to you, my faithful readers, so that you can participate before I feel justified asking for money.

I’ve been giving my time away for free for so long, to the tune of often having no days off whatsoever, that the very concept of getting paid for work seems almost novel. It’s especially difficult when I see people out enjoying the Island summer while I sit in a hot office; I’m not sure what I would do as I don’t golf and sitting on a beach is boring to me, but at least I would be away from this monitor and outside where it’s cool.

I’m sure I will come to my senses eventually.


What have I become?

When we lived in Taiwan fellow parents used to say to me that I was more Chinese than they were, referring to my attitude towards education I suppose. It would seem I still harbor some other Taiwanese characteristics that I didn’t know I had.

Here it is Saturday morning, and I remarked to Sheryl that I still haven’t received an email reply from a potential partner for a project she is developing. I thought it was strange that she wasn’t working Friday night and Saturday morning. Sheryl gently reminded me that people don’t work Friday night and weekends here.

I’ve become what I used to constantly rebel against when I worked for those bosses in Taiwan and China.


Digital water cooler

One of the most powerful nudges Humu has found during this crisis is a reminder for people to set up what we call virtual watercoolers.

“Set up a meeting, and have it run on Zoom or Google Hangouts on whatever platform you want, forever. … Set up a three- month long meeting. So anyone can just pop in when they need support. That reinforces affinity and kind of replicates that randomness and serendipity you have where people bump into one another,” Bock said.
What we’ve learned about how remote work is changing us

This is an interesting idea. One of the things I miss, not just since self-isolation but since returning to PEI, is the lack of idle chit chat around design or the work we are doing.

There are a lot of traditional graphic designers, fine arts folks, and a handful of talented people in UX, but there is very little in the way of afterwork mixing going on, or much taking at all really. Likely people get enough of that in their workplace, and treat 5pm as a time to leave that behind. There was a meetup of sorts, but it was generally poorly attended and as far as I can see has been put on hiatus.

There are many avenues online to have serious discussions about design or design research et al., but that’s not really the same, and to be honest not as interesting to me as it was before.

What I did try last week, was starting a Facebook Live session. I thought since my goal was to continue to ignore Twitter and read something of interest I could in a short video share what I was reading. This would have the added effect of some accountability and perhaps most importantly, help me confront my hatred of seeing myself talk on video.

So I started the session early in the morning while I was drinking coffee, picked Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction By Nathan Shedroff as my first read, and pressed Start Live Video. All of a sudden I had I think 700 people watching my live stream, a number of who peppered me with questions like, “Where are you from?”, “What are you doing?”, and etc.

Not exactly what I was expecting.

The beauty of having an audience of a few (like this blog) is you can do whatever you want. All of sudden during that live-streams I realized that someone might actually watch it and that might require some preparation, which gives it a sense of seriousness I was not really counting on.

I may try it again, by embracing the banality of it (fitting extension of this blog) or by trying something else. But like a casual talk, I hope I don’t have to prepare.


Call after call

Yesterday was a flurry of calls over Zoom and Google Meet (gone are the days of Skype). It’s been a long time since I’ve been on a remote meeting with a dozen participants and it reminds me just how poorly it feels, especially on mobile, which I think is the only safe way to use Zoom.

One to one, or one to a few works ok, but the more people you add, the less natural the conversation becomes. This isn’t a problem with centralized systems in large companies I’ve experienced, as people can speak and act freely.

While it’s great to talk to and hear from people from disparate backgrounds during this time of isolation, I don’t foresee this as an ideal way of working for me going forward. There just isn’t enough communication bandwidth.

But I concede that I perhaps just need more practice.


I hate open offices even more now

Most open offices I have worked in have the din of idle banter, or the sound of hushed conversations, but have unwritten rules about noise and rampant interruptions. The din is still disrupting, resulting in a requirement for headphones which also serve as a do not disturb sign.

The fishbowl, where I work out of now seems to not follow these rules. Few will ever interrupt you since we are all working on our own thing, but people will still think it’s ok to be on calls half the day, which since are generally voip, people believe they need to talk at twice their normal volume. Loud team meetings are also not uncommon.

It’s rude and annoying.

Open Office Etiquette and Ground Rules


Lots of people procrastinate, of course, but for writers it is a peculiarly common occupational hazard. One book editor I talked to fondly reminisced about the first book she was assigned to work on, back in the late 1990s. It had gone under contract in 1972.

I once asked a talented and fairly famous colleague how he managed to regularly produce such highly regarded 8,000 word features. “Well,” he said, “first, I put it off for two or three weeks. Then I sit down to write. That’s when I get up and go clean the garage. After that, I go upstairs, and then I come back downstairs and complain to my wife for a couple of hours. Finally, but only after a couple more days have passed and I’m really freaking out about missing my deadline, I ultimately sit down and write.”
Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinators

I set aside this week to write, which was obviously a mistake, as I sit here staring out the window at the wet winter-like weather, getting nothing done, much like every other day this week.


That everyone is participating in the same way, that age or background doesn’t somehow disqualify contributions, and being treated as having an equal stake in being there.
Crafting {:} a Reflection

A common mantra for me is that leadership can come from anywhere. Leadership can come in many forms; ideas, expertise, authorship and well … leading, and it does not depend on age, title or any other hierarchical construct. Thats not to diminish experience but to accept that we all have our limits and everyone has a voice.

I learned this lesson very early when I had an ego the size of Charlottetown and a young kid straight out of high school took over the lead chair in a big band I was playing in. I had seniority but he simply had more potential in the role than I. It stung at the time and the conductor didn’t sugar coat it, which has made it stay with me all these years later.


The Value of Ritual in Your Workday

His acrobatics were impressive, but they were merely a demonstration of his strength. The source was this tea ritual and many other rituals like it. His power as a warrior came from his patience, precision, attention to subtlety, concentration, and his reverence for the moment.

Both of my children had the benefit of attending a private elementary school in Taiwan which eschewed the current trend for using tech for tech’s sake in schools, and instead focused on more giving children more time to slow down and think. They took classes in Chinese calligraphy, Farming, Kendo, Art, and Tea Making. All required otherwise hyper kids to slow down and focus on what they were doing at the moment, and importantly, all were physical to some degree. Tea making not only taught them the importance of ritual, but also taught them how to make a proper cup of tea (a not to be dismissed skill).

The power of ritual is profound and under-appreciated. Mostly, I think, it’s because we live in a time-starved culture, and ritual is time-indulgent. Who can afford the luxury of doing one thing at a time? Who has the patience to pause and honor an activity before and after we do it?

[…]

Here’s what makes it easy to get started with this: no one needs to know.

Start with just yourself. Sit at your desk in the morning, pause before booting up your computer, and mark the moment. Do this by taking a deep breath. Or by arranging your pens. Whatever it is, do it with the intention of creating respect for what you’re about to begin. Do the same before you make a phone call. Or receive one. Or before you meet with a colleague or customer.

Though I find computers to be lifeless things, preparing yourself for a work sprint seems like a good idea to me.

From The Value of Ritual in Your Workday


A New Chair

For the past 7 months I have been sitting on a solid old kitchen chair in my makeshift office and wondering why I was experiencing general stiffness and pain in my hamstrings. I knew part of the reason, but despite checking out various office supply store sales, I couldn’t justify spending the money required for a chair that could adjust to my body. I flirted with the idea of exercise balls and fashioning a standing desk, but when I sit at a computer I don’t want to exercise, I just want to finish quickly whatever task I have set for myself.

Luckily this week I noticed that Carrie from Balance Consulting had purchased a couple of great chairs from Restore, and she graciously agreed to sell me one. What a difference a proper chair makes!

By rights I should post a picture, but my workspace is so small, I would need a fisheye lens.

The next task is to find a workspace that strikes a balance between having no windows, where I am now, and the fishbowl effect of the StartUp Zone, where I often go to get out of this closet.


If someone cares enough to dislike our work, the best response is, “thank you.”

Thank you for taking the time to consider it, thank you for caring enough to let me know…
Seth Godin


What I am up to now

Following in the foot steps of Peter, and others, I’ve created a what I am up to now page which is linked to on the right (if you are on a PC) or on the about page.

I think Peter described it as “Think of what you’d tell a friend you hadn’t seen in a year”, but for me if that was the case I would limit it to a few sentences. So in addition, I think of it as an experiment to both keep myself honest by publicly declaring what I plan to do month by month, at least in a general big picture sense, and inspired by Hello Code’s business stats, being far more open about the activities I choose to do. Being open, or sharing what I do is something I’ve always had problems with – it reached a point that at one time my wife couldn’t even describe what I did all day (to be honest I had a hard time describing it too). Hopefully this page will over time help with this.


Office Ergonomics in 2019

Carrie Jones has written a well thought out article on her hopes for a shift from reactive to proactive ergonomic strategies in the workspace.

How many who work in an office environment, receive training on the hazards of prolonged sitting or on the optimal placement of the monitor when they start at a new job? How many are shown the features of the chair they were provided with and how to adjust it and why? My guess is not many. If any. More typically, one has to wait until they are experiencing symptoms (i.e. until after they’re injured) and even then it can be somewhat like pulling teeth. Some companies will require that an employee provide a ‘doctor’s note’ before they can obtain an ergonomic consult. Do companies require a doctor’s note in order to be fit for their fall arrest equipment or be trained on how to safely use a forklift?

I think we all experience the side effects from poorly thought out workspaces – in the spirit of fairness and efficiency we are all stuck with the same height desks, cheep chairs, and etc. Outside of smaller start-ups, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a company give much thought to office ergonomics. This is something we all should focus more of our attention on, especially more aged workers such as myself, who require more time to heal from long or short term stresses to the body.

Looking forward to Office Ergonomics in 2019


Pretending to be busy

A couple photos by the venerable Rachel Peters whereby I, and a bunch of other people, pretend to busy working at the fishbowl. She also was kind enough to take some headshots which turned out much better than the last shoot where I looked like I was a giggly drunk. This time I just look like the unkept old guy that I have become.


Just Do It

Good advice for myself, not just for art, but just about everything else I do:

Lesson 1: Don’t Be Embarrassed

I get it. Making art can be humiliating, terrifying, leave you feeling foul, exposed, like getting naked in front of someone else for the first time. You often reveal things about yourself that others may find appalling, weird, boring, or stupid. People may think you’re abnormal or a hack. Fine. When I work, I feel sick to my stomach with thoughts like None of this is any good. It makes no sense. But art doesn’t have to make sense. It doesn’t even need to be good. So don’t worry about being smart and let go of being “good.”

Lesson 5: Work, Work, Work

Sister Corita Kent said, “The only rule is work. If you work, it will lead to something. It’s the people who do all of the work all the time who eventually catch onto things.”

I have tried every way in the world to stop work-block or fear of working, of failure. There is only one method that works: work. And keep working.

Every artist and writer I know claims to work in their sleep. I do all the time. Jasper Johns famously said, “One night I dreamed that I painted a large American flag, and the next morning I got up and I went out and bought the materials to begin it.” How many times have you been given a whole career in your dreams and not heeded it? It doesn’t matter how scared you are; everyone is scared. Work. Work is the only thing that takes the curse of fear away.
How to Be an Artist 33 rules to take you from clueless amateur to generational talent (or at least help you live life a little more creatively). Via kottke.


Blind Faith

I thought I had my backup strategy all figured out. I have time machine backups, a NAS for archiving and remote access, a back-up of the NAS, a back-up drive in a safety deposit box, iCloud, Dropbox for collaboration, and I have been using Google drive for my active projects folder. Some redundancy, and though it may seem complex, it isn’t, and it should just work. Except it doesn’t.

I’ve been working on a podcast, and wanting to hear the final file on my iPhone before uploading for distribution, I looked for the file on Google Drive for iPhone. It wasn’t there. Neither was the file folder, or any new folders and files added since this past April. The same with the GD web interface.

The Google drive icon is spinning, and every time I check, it says it is syncing, except it isn’t. All the right boxes are checked and I looked for the usual silly errors that I might have made. Nothing.

I’m sure after digging deeper the problem will resolve itself but I think it wise in the future to not believe that software services should just work as advertised. Because if they don’t, and the rare failure occurs, the results would be disappointing to say the least. From here on out, I’ll be setting a reminder to check data versions between local and remote files – or perhaps set an automator action to do it for me.

Interestingly, in my regular review of where my “cloud service” dollars go, I gave Google Drive a pass, accepting the status quo. I think I’ll revisit that decision and perhaps GD will join Flickr and Evernote in the no longer useful column.