What (work) I did on summer vacation
• • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of PainScience.com: a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.
The summer is well and truly over — it’s about 50˚F in Vancouver this morning, brr — and the blog will now resume. It was a summer of business projects that finally got finished, three months of checking things off my entrepreneurial bucket list, mostly on the technical side. The summer’s “release notes” are:
- Finally I have grokked my web development environment. That is, I know a great deal about how to setup and configure a web server on a Mac.
- Finally finished Project Barebones — a major, long-term simplification of the PainScience.com stylesheet, the same basic design but with half the code, and now also a truly mobile-first.
- Finally I solved an infuriating and very tricky iOS bug that made it impossible for people to bookmark my books on iThings.
- Finally fixed a problem with Google indexing: they were adding some bizarre links to the search results for my books.
- Finally upgraded my use of testimonials: sparse, tasteful, and focused on the quality of the content and not “it worked for me”.
- Finally styled on-page links distinctively. Links that go elsewhere on the same page are now green: click to go to the top of this list. I use a lot of them, and they should look different than the standard blue off-page links, and now they do.
- Finally added a new book to the inventory! About frozen shoulder.
- Finally created a proper login system for PainScience.com. That was a big deal.
- Finally stopped collecting customer names and addresses — only a credit card info, an email, and a postal code are required for purchase now. More privacy, less friction. I have wanted to try this for years, and I am still not committed to it. Without names, the business will feel a bit less personal than it always has. I always got a kick out of seeing the names of my customers, especially the odd/funny ones. “Welcome, Stanley Mazzaferro-Tillinghast! Welcome, Sara Pugstank! Welcome, Whoopie Smith!”
- Finally created a custom analytics system to track the effect of website changes. Changes like the previous item! I really should have done this one in 2009.
And, of course, I did all the usual content updating all summer long, about 60 logged updates since mid-July. I’ll highlight some of my favourites throughout the fall.
It didn’t feel like a productive summer, but apparently it was. 😉