Links and Notes - May 14th 2021

Notion's API is finally in public beta

Finallt, finally, finally! Honestly, it's a bit late for me personally, but for the work I do at Buffer, it could prove to be quite the boon. We use Notion a lot and we've been leaning more and more into it. It's no longer just the company wiki. It's also a project management system of sorts that we use. Coupled with the fact that we also use Jira within product engineering, and I use Obsidian as my personal knowledge/project management system, there's a certain amount of unavoidable information duplication going on. Some of this is definitely brought on by me. And what I really want is a way to pull and push information around through an API. I want to be able to create my project in Obsidian and set it up in Jira or Notion without having to actually open up Notion.

It's not just that either. I want to take information from our company project database, read it, store it, summarize it. I want to know what's moving and what's not. I like being on top of things and APIs give me the ability to do that.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure I'll be able to do all of that with Notion's API. A lot of it in its current state feels a little limited, especially in the ability to modify or create content. Hopefully that changes soon.

Typesense - an open source algolia

Via HN

This was a great project that I came across while browsing HackerNews today. If you don't know what Algolia is, it's a search and discovery tool for websites. Add your information into Algolia, and get a search bar in return that works exceptionally well when you want to do a vague search for something on a website. If you want to see it in action you can browse the instance that's been setup for HackerNews itself. From my experience of using Algolia search bars, all I can say is that it's an incredibly performant product and an example of what all search bars should work like.

Algolia is also a commercial product. And Typesense is an open source alternative to it. But despite being open source, they are also following the model of having a paid service available so you don't need to hose this on your own. But if you do want to self host, I've taken a look at the documentation and I'm blown away by how good it looks and how easy it seems to use. Set up looks super easy because of the fact that it seems to rely on the local filesystem as a storage mechanism instead of using a big database that needs to be setup alongside it.

It's entirely possible that I will install this at some point onto my website in order to create a way to easily search through all my writings.

Chris Lema on writing and curiosity

Came across this great article by Chris Lema titled "How to develop curiosity".

The other day I realized that I had written more than 130k words this year. How did I do it? By writing every day. I made time for it. And I didn't end my day until it was done.

But those two steps aren't the tough ones. I think what most people mean, when they ask the “trick” question is, “How do you come up with topics daily?” My answer to that is that you have to learn how to develop curiosity.

I love this. The premise of the article is that in order to keep creating content, you need to be actively consuming content to help develop curiosity which in turn generates more ideas. This resonates so hard with me. I in fact, |wrote a similar thought some time back. Since then, I've come to believe that this practice of reading and seeking out conversations and other world views creates a cycle. A cycle where all this information seeking generates new ideas as various world views collide with each other, sometimes in opposition, sometimes as addition. And as we build up the habit of writing those ideas down instead of just letting them fly by, we open up new questions which triggers another round of information seeking.

I honestly believe that keeping a daily blog is not something people should do just for the principle of crafting a space of their own on the internet. I believe it creates a healthier relationship with all the information we consume each day by giving that consumption a purpose that results in a tangible end result. Doing it daily is just a great idea

43% of Basecamp has left

No good way to put this. If this news is true, and there's no reason as to why it's not true, then David and Jason have truly truly destroyed a core part of the company for absolutely nothing good in return. Unlike coinbase, Basecamp is a company that always wanted to stay small and hire slowly and do things in a very deliberate and sometimes long drawn out way. Replacing all those employees who've had decades of context is a process I wouldn't want to be part of if I was managing People for Basecamp. Replacing all those employees with people who don't turn out to be the kind of "all in on crypto, Vote for Elon" sorts may prove to make an already difficult task nigh on impossible. I say this because it's exactly those.personas that have been making appearances to hassle and bully the employees who announced they were leaving Basecamp.

Of course, in the midst of all of this, Jason took the time to write down an incomprehensible word salad on his hey blog.

I don't see making a decision as making up my mind. Rather, it's an attempt to pull progress through a moment in time.

I'd rather give one too many chances than one too few. I've never regretting trying again, or giving it one more go — even if it goes nowhere. Because you just never know.

Wut?? Does that mean that he's going to give politics in the office a try again? Or does that mean he's doubling down on his current choice of no politics? Either way. 43% and so far this is the best he's managed to muster.

This blog doesn't have a comment box. But I'd love to hear any thoughts y'all might have. Send them to [email protected]

Posted on May 14 2021 by Adnan Issadeen