Updates from Lukas Murdock

Degreeless.marketing Dev log

August 05, 2020

Let me start by expressing my excitement. I AM GROWING AND LEARNING.

I’ve been struggling the past few months with not having the skill set or desire to build things in what seems like the “popular” way.

There is a lot of mental fatigue in choosing stacks. It shapes the project’s capability now and in the future (you don’t want to redo everything in the future, right?)

The stack

Currently, my build stack is:

And that’s it. No server, my Content Management System is GitHub and the files themselves.

I’ll let you in on a secret to building sites this way. It’s fast. Because I create everything by hand, there’s no external junk (aside from GTM tags and pop-ups—sorry) slowing it down.

Uncategorized performance distribution for PageSpeed, FCP, Speed Index, and TTI.
Performance hits are from Google, Accessibility hits are from small red text and the newsletter pop-up.

I see people everywhere online complaining about PageSpeed scores and slow sites, but building like this makes it a lot harder to make it slow.

The biggest reason I stick with this stack is because it’s beautifully simple and cheap—or free, depending on what you want.

This is largely thanks to Netlify for expanding the capabilities of static sites. The Netlify Starter account gives you access to:

I currently have a collection set up for books, while all the other resources use .yaml files.

I was planning on giving each book it’s own page with content, but… I’m not looking to do that, so I don’t know why I did this.

I’m using near stock Jekyll. I have jekyll-sitemap enabled and two custom plugins I made to automate data generation.

The first plugin is for automating book data from a given ISBN. Also, because I hate dealing with images, it automatically downloads and stores book images locally.

The second plugin is for automating every other resource image. All I have to do is list a URL for the resource image, and it’ll automatically download, store, rename, and set the new local image for me.

I would like to work in image optimization and compression sometime, but it’s good enough.


Email

I want to create a community of enthusiastic people that give resources to learn and a place to connect.

I don’t know what I’m doing. And it’s great because I am growing and learning.

Because I want to bounce this around, I want to allow staying in touch, capture leads, whatever you want to call it.

So giving an email for updates seems like a good enough place to start.

I ended up going with MailerLite. This was a decision made with two factors: price and RSS capability.

MailChimp (what this site currently uses) is free and has RSS capability. But I hate it. It’s so slow I simply dread opening it.

MailerLite has a free tier up to 1,000 subscribers and RSS capability, and let me tell you I love using it.

I briefly tried ConvertKit for $30 a month because they offer an address for you to use. Due to the CAN-SPAM Act in the US, nearly all email marketing services require you to list a valid postal address. But their feature set is pretty lacking in comparison.

Because I wasn’t keen on listing my family address, I signed up for VirtualPostMail. After talking about it with my dad, I gave up and just used the personal address.

I’d love to get closer to the metal on that in the future.

I wanted to have a custom email address, so I set that up for the first time. I signed up for FastMail as I found them to have the best mix of quality and pricing. So now I have Lukas@degreeless.marketing!

Not sure how long I’ll keep it, and now I want to set one up for this domain, but I’m not sure what it should be since it’s my full name.

So far, my ideas are:

Let me know which one you like or if you have an idea.

Users

People make communities by participating with a shared interest. They need a place to participate.

What’s the ideal for that? I don’t know.

But as I stated in my working document on degreeless:

The Academy provides internal and external resources to learn at your own pace… The Mastermind provides a space to make smart connections… The Workshop provides a hyper-focused space to guide you through projects.

So if you have ideas on building that, let me know.

Sharing

I am not a social butterfly. I believe it’s from growing up in school and being told to shut up, sit down, and be quiet. No one cares about what you have to offer, and everyone is there to do the bare minimum and get by.

So I find difficulty in participating. I want to change that.

If you’d like to help and show some support, share it around on Twitter or whatever social platforms you use.

Degreeless.marketing

August 02, 2020

Read my working document on degreeless.

Related writing about student employment.

Go to degreeless.marketing

The idea of degreeless is you don’t need a degree to make change happen.

I feel strongly about pushing this idea because it pulls people up who have been pushed down by the system.

Many people feel hopeless and have internalized the idea that they can’t make change happen.

And for everyone, we need you to connect. We need you to lead. To do work that matters for people who care.

To become someone who learns on their own rather than needing someone else to tell you.

To do work without a map, because that’s where we need to go.

The hope of degreeless is to help push out the notion that you need a degree to make change happen. Because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.

And we need you to.

The landscape of education needs to change. How? There is no right answer—I don’t think we’re even asking enough questions. But I believe in giving the next generation every opportunity we can to solve problems.

A few things questions we need to think about:

And personally, how can we give the next generation every opportunity we can to solve problems?

I see movements—a scenius. Where people come to learn more, together.

However, we have to start by tearing down the notion that you need a degree to make change happen.

I created degreeless.marketing for those who want to learn more about marketing but don’t know where to start.

Check it out and leave a message.

Degreeless.marketing Dev log

August 05, 2020

Let me start by expressing my excitement. I AM GROWING AND LEARNING.

I’ve been struggling the past few months with not having the skill set or desire to build things in what seems like the “popular” way.

There is a lot of mental fatigue in choosing stacks. It shapes the project’s capability now and in the future (you don’t want to redo everything in the future, right?)

The stack

Currently, my build stack is:

And that’s it. No server, my Content Management System is GitHub and the files themselves.

I’ll let you in on a secret to building sites this way. It’s fast. Because I create everything by hand, there’s no external junk (aside from GTM tags and pop-ups—sorry) slowing it down.

Uncategorized performance distribution for PageSpeed, FCP, Speed Index, and TTI.
Performance hits are from Google, Accessibility hits are from small red text and the newsletter pop-up.

I see people everywhere online complaining about PageSpeed scores and slow sites, but building like this makes it a lot harder to make it slow.

The biggest reason I stick with this stack is because it’s beautifully simple and cheap—or free, depending on what you want.

This is largely thanks to Netlify for expanding the capabilities of static sites. The Netlify Starter account gives you access to:

I currently have a collection set up for books, while all the other resources use .yaml files.

I was planning on giving each book it’s own page with content, but… I’m not looking to do that, so I don’t know why I did this.

I’m using near stock Jekyll. I have jekyll-sitemap enabled and two custom plugins I made to automate data generation.

The first plugin is for automating book data from a given ISBN. Also, because I hate dealing with images, it automatically downloads and stores book images locally.

The second plugin is for automating every other resource image. All I have to do is list a URL for the resource image, and it’ll automatically download, store, rename, and set the new local image for me.

I would like to work in image optimization and compression sometime, but it’s good enough.


Email

I want to create a community of enthusiastic people that give resources to learn and a place to connect.

I don’t know what I’m doing. And it’s great because I am growing and learning.

Because I want to bounce this around, I want to allow staying in touch, capture leads, whatever you want to call it.

So giving an email for updates seems like a good enough place to start.

I ended up going with MailerLite. This was a decision made with two factors: price and RSS capability.

MailChimp (what this site currently uses) is free and has RSS capability. But I hate it. It’s so slow I simply dread opening it.

MailerLite has a free tier up to 1,000 subscribers and RSS capability, and let me tell you I love using it.

I briefly tried ConvertKit for $30 a month because they offer an address for you to use. Due to the CAN-SPAM Act in the US, nearly all email marketing services require you to list a valid postal address. But their feature set is pretty lacking in comparison.

Because I wasn’t keen on listing my family address, I signed up for VirtualPostMail. After talking about it with my dad, I gave up and just used the personal address.

I’d love to get closer to the metal on that in the future.

I wanted to have a custom email address, so I set that up for the first time. I signed up for FastMail as I found them to have the best mix of quality and pricing. So now I have Lukas@degreeless.marketing!

Not sure how long I’ll keep it, and now I want to set one up for this domain, but I’m not sure what it should be since it’s my full name.

So far, my ideas are:

Let me know which one you like or if you have an idea.

Users

People make communities by participating with a shared interest. They need a place to participate.

What’s the ideal for that? I don’t know.

But as I stated in my working document on degreeless:

The Academy provides internal and external resources to learn at your own pace… The Mastermind provides a space to make smart connections… The Workshop provides a hyper-focused space to guide you through projects.

So if you have ideas on building that, let me know.

Sharing

I am not a social butterfly. I believe it’s from growing up in school and being told to shut up, sit down, and be quiet. No one cares about what you have to offer, and everyone is there to do the bare minimum and get by.

So I find difficulty in participating. I want to change that.

If you’d like to help and show some support, share it around on Twitter or whatever social platforms you use.

Degreeless.marketing

August 02, 2020

Read my working document on degreeless.

Related writing about student employment.

Go to degreeless.marketing

The idea of degreeless is you don’t need a degree to make change happen.

I feel strongly about pushing this idea because it pulls people up who have been pushed down by the system.

Many people feel hopeless and have internalized the idea that they can’t make change happen.

And for everyone, we need you to connect. We need you to lead. To do work that matters for people who care.

To become someone who learns on their own rather than needing someone else to tell you.

To do work without a map, because that’s where we need to go.

The hope of degreeless is to help push out the notion that you need a degree to make change happen. Because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.

And we need you to.

The landscape of education needs to change. How? There is no right answer—I don’t think we’re even asking enough questions. But I believe in giving the next generation every opportunity we can to solve problems.

A few things questions we need to think about:

And personally, how can we give the next generation every opportunity we can to solve problems?

I see movements—a scenius. Where people come to learn more, together.

However, we have to start by tearing down the notion that you need a degree to make change happen.

I created degreeless.marketing for those who want to learn more about marketing but don’t know where to start.

Check it out and leave a message.

Articles from August 2020

  1. The ux of lego interface panels

    Welcome to the world of LEGO UX design.

  2. The value of spare capacity

    The size of a tree depends not only on the seed, but how big is the pot you plant it in. Growth in life requires space, so why do we busy ourselves instead?

  3. The worst tool for the job

    Using the best tool for a job may slow things down. It may be “best” in a sense you don't need. The actual best tool might be relatively crude.

  4. Introduction to screen readers using voiceover

    Learn how to get started with VoiceOver, Apple’s built-in screen reader, to read and navigate web pages in this tutorial by Ethan Marcotte.

  5. Reveal culture

    Because you can tell someone to do something, but you can’t reveal someone to do something.

  6. Showing up even when you’re not feeling it

    Some days, you’re just not feeling it.

  7. Joel Spolsky on Pricing

    The more you learn about pricing, the less you seem to know.

  8. Where to find the hours to make it happen

    The hours don’t suddenly appear. You have to steal them from comfort.

  9. Thinking for oneself

    Wisdom is earned, not given. When other people give us the answer, it belongs to them and not us. While we might achieve the outcome we desire, it comes from dependence, not insight.

  10. Where to find the hours to make it happen

    The hours don’t suddenly appear. You have to steal them from comfort.

  11. Pain vs discomfort

    Is this painful, or just loud?

  12. Goodbye Serenity by Charles Simic

    I had expected that after everything I had lived through and learned in my life, I would attain a state of Olympian calm and would regard the news of the day with amusement… It hasn’t happened to me yet.

  13. Universal Basic Income is Capitalism 2.0

    Tim Robinson on Universal Basic Income.

  14. Google Earth Timelapse

    A global, zoomable video that lets you see how the Earth has changed over the past 34 years.

  15. Akimbo S7 EP10

    Seth Godin live at Catalyst 2010.

  16. Some CSS comics

    Learn about CSS features with comics by Julia Evans.

  17. Overcoming content budget pushback

    Running into budget pushback for your content marketing strategy? Listen to find out how to get buy-in by addressing ROI.

  18. Nudge marketing: from theory to practice

    Nudges are powerful influences in our everyday lives. Here's how to take nudge marketing from theory to practice.

  19. How to find those hard-to-reach audiences

    How to use SparkToro.

  20. Lessons from Pricing Creativity

    Peter Kang’s Lessons from Pricing Creativity by Blair Enns.

  21. Catastrotivity

    exurb1a on being an artist.

  22. exurb1a on compassion

    We’re clearly not going to solve the problems in the centuries ahead with compassion alone. But we could sure end the world without it.

  23. Scenius, or communal genius

    Scenius stands for the intelligence and the intuition of a whole cultural scene. It is the communal form of the concept of the genius