Back to basics

Starting my job at Automattic is bringing back many memories of my “origin story” on the web. Where in the past I brushed off what I did as a hobby, then pursued it as a way to make a living (not entirely by choice), then went full-heartedly into it as a vocation, I feel like I keep connecting the dots in my life backwards. Recently, I’ve tried to be more proactive about it. Instead of realizing something later–wondering why I didn’t pay attention to certain tendencies or things I gravitated to, I am being proactive. Down to what I put in my geek designer fanny pack.

For example, I’m choosing to make Mozilla Firefox my default browser again. To be fair, it was inferior for some years–but it was my default browser back when I used WordPress.org software for the first time. Then recently, I heard Jen Simmons talk about her role at Mozilla and some of the neat new features aimed at designing for the browser built into recent versions of Firefox (the inspector is superior to that of Chrome’s), so I made the switch. Listening to The Big Web Show was part of my official “Ok fine, I’ll be a designer” journey, and I had missed listening to that kind of banter–I just couldn’t get into listening to things produced by the [classical, elite, graphic] design community 😕, and maybe I should have taken that as a sign. (That being said I have been known to play episodes of Design Observer no-stop on the weekends while cleaning my house; a podcast that is essentially NPR for designers).

There’s also the bit about wanting to be more intentional about using good products made by smaller companies, and software from open-source, or open-source-adjacent projects too. It’s not to be completely smug about it–at some level, it’s just fun. The internet was getting boring, stale, and bland for me, and part of it was the fruit of me blindly saying “ok” to the [new Microsofts] in my life.

…now, let’s get rid of some of these silly add-ons. Some things never change ☺️.

Firefox is made by Mozilla, the non-profit champions of a healthy internet. Mozilla also tackles issues like privacy, misinformation and trolling by investing in fellowships, campaigns and new technologies designed to make the internet healthier.”

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