DeveloPassion's Newsletter - Falling off the clouds

Edition 94 of my newsletter, discussing Knowledge Management, Knowledge Work, Zen Productivity, Personal Organization, and more!

DeveloPassion's Newsletter - Falling off the clouds
Hello everyone! I’m Sébastien Dubois, your host. You’re receiving this email because you signed up for DeveloPassion’s Newsletter. Thank you for being here with me ✨
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Welcome to the 94th edition
Another week, another newsletter! I hope that you all had a great one 🤩
Days are becoming shorter and shorter, darker and darker. Mood is tanking along with the temperatures. Luckily, the sun is still coming out from time to time, and we actually managed to have one more barbecue on November 13 😂. It’s both cool and scary.
This week I want to discuss the cloud(s). It’s everywhere, it’s here to stay, it’s messy, but sometimes it’s unreliable…
Alright, let’s goooooo 🚀
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Falling off the clouds
Most companies and individuals now host a majority of their data and applications “in the cloud”. There’s no easy way back. It’s easier, even if more costly. And it’s even harder for individuals, as most services are “free”. Of course, most are anything BUT free, but we don’t have to take our credit cards out, so it feels okay to use those.
The cloud is elastic, transparent, easy to use, and pervasive. We’ve got Internet access pretty much everywhere (at least in the Western world). We’ve traded our CD/MP3/FLAC collections for Spotify, our DVDs and Blu-rays for Netflix/Disney+/Amazon Prime etc. We store our documents on OneDrive or Google Drive, put our applications on Amazon AWS, Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure. We build applications on top of invisible hardware, make use of high-level abstractions like serverless functions, etc.
For security and privacy-conscious people, this is a real nightmare ala 1984. No more privacy, and scary trust boundaries everywhere. How far are we really willing to go for the sake of convenience and (mostly needless) scalability possibilities?.
Yet here we are, happily sending all of our precious data to the clouds. Unfortunately, those clouds are not always trustworthy (see all data breaches of recent years), nor “stable” over time.
Online services and cloud providers come and go. Of course, the big ones remain, but their service catalog evolves faster than the weather. And when services go away or change drastically (feature-wise or price-wise), all we can do is take what we can and move away. Before the cloud, the main reason to move our stuff was when moving from one house to another. Now that our data is scattered all over the Web, there are many more reasons for us to be on the move. And it’s boring, tiresome, time-consuming, and costly!
Let’s take a concrete example. A while ago, I migrated my newsletter away from Mailchimp because of the horrendous UX (I sincerely hope they managed to fix that by now) to Revue, a free newsletter service now owned by Twitter. I was glad about the move, even though it took me a while.
Now that Elon has finally bought Twitter, he has decided to make drastic changes over there. He fired the CEO, fired half of the employees, introduce a subscription model to get the “verified” checkmark, and way more. But apparently, he also decided to get rid of Revue, the newsletter service that I’ve been using since last year… Bummer!
Now that I have almost a hundred editions of this newsletter, moving away is not so simple. But I won’t have a choice. Revue will apparently be gone by the end of the year! So I have to:
  • Choose a new service provider
  • Export/migrate the existing content somehow
  • Try and maintain the existing URLs so that I don’t end up with broken links everywhere
  • Find another way to collect interesting links to share with you
  • Migrate my list of subscribers, making sure that you are all okay with the move, and probably leading to the loss of some members along the way
  • Migrate paid subscribers to a new solution as well
  • Integrate the new service with my Website so that people can continue to subscribe
That’s actually a lot of work that I would have preferred to avoid. But that’s one of the risks with the cloud. We cannot trust it all that much. We have to have backup plans, be agile, and find time to deal with changes and decommissions. Those are “hidden” costs that we all have to deal with, no matter what.
Recent articles
50 Tabs means 50 Mental contexts and needless cognitive load
Quotes of the week
  • “The future of work is spending more time with family” — Adam Nathan
  • “Conversations are the first draft of our thinking. The better your conversations, the better your ideas” — David Perell
Book of the week
How cool is that?!
“Too easy”—Midjourney tests dramatic new version of its AI image generator | Ars Technica
Thinking and learning links of the week
How to Use Obsidian as a Zettelkasten: The Ultimate Guide To Get Started
Installing AI in Obsidian. Step-by-step guide. | by Dmitry Korzhov | Nov, 2022 | UX Planet
How to organize your notes in Obsidian // The LATCH method
Tech links of the week
Python 3.11.0 final is now available - Committers - Discussions on
Using CSS Container Queries with Tailwind CSS
Schema validation in TypeScript with Zod - LogRocket Blog
Indie Hacking and bootstrapping
Top Growth Strategies for Bootstrapped Startups
Getting MRR before you build — Daniel Abebe on how he hit $530 MRR with nothing (not even a landing page)
All-In Newsletter
Being a Solo Software Entrepreneur at 40 | by Alex Suzuki | Nov, 2022 | Medium
This 33-year-old makes $14,600 a month in passive income: 'I work just one hour a day’ on my online business