Care is essential to service work; products cancel or conceal embedded care work

Bookmarked Why Care Work is Critical to the Value of Information by Tara McMullinTara McMullin (

So here’s my not-so-wild hypothesis:

Services are stigmatized because they are feminized.

A service-based business is a care-based business—to one extent or another. All that client care, relationship-building, and personalization? That’s women’s work.

This is interesting stuff to think about as I start my consulting business. Also interesting when I think of how many solopreneurs in my field are women — and that they are often offering direct outreach services.

Information products… are services with the care work removed, automated, or embedded within them. The care work—to the extent it’s there at all—is deemphasized or made invisible.

Like companies hiding real workers behind AI pretending to be human.

With few exceptions, a high-end information product with glowing reviews and a passionate student community incorporates a massive amount of care work… Understanding and creating systems for care work is critical to the success of an information product.

Business Technology Work

They don’t only take our labor.

Replied to This is a rant about beds at work by Meg Conley (homeculture by Meg Conley)

Last week, Twitter installed bedrooms for employees. They’re expected to be “hardcore” and being hardcore means working too late to go home. And then waking up and working some more. The rooms look like an answer to the alternative history question, “What if IKEA showrooms existed behind a 2022 Iron Curtain?” But they’re really just a reaction to the relative freedom of remote work and an empowered labor force. It’s just another lever to pull when seeking maximum extraction for maximum profit.

They steal our lives too.

My husband works in tech and in 2019 spent two months basically living in the office for a product launch. He’d already been working 60-80 hour weeks remotely, but then he had to add a commute — the opposite direction from my work. We only have one car so often I’d have to walk home — only 45 minutes but sometimes you’re wiped at the end of the day and just want to fucking sit down, not climb a giant hill.

But suddenly making his partner responsible for *everything* to keep our household going was a cost his work could extract from my body, though I wasn’t the one working for them.

His boss said he’d pay for us to go out to dinner when it was done. As if one meal makes up for months of missed dinners. There’s a photo of me with the fancy drink I got — I look exhausted, can barely smile. My husband was so wiped he forgot to expense it. And we don’t even have kids.

I have multiple friends who have nearly been driven to quit by the tech sector’s on-call schedule.

Because it’s a good-paying job, it’s hard to complain about the expectation to work long hours, knowing how many others have it so much worse. But even though we’re not in Silicon Valley, Seattle has a price bubble of its own. With shitty ramblers from the seventies starting at a million bucks, even tech workers can’t afford a home now without two salaries.

I wish white collar workers could recognize that while they’re rich compared to the poor, they’re not rich compared to the *rich*. If you have to work, you’re not really rich. Workers of all classes could build some solidarity together. There’s a lot of manipulative class warfare turning people who should be allies against each other, when workers are not the root of the exploitation problem: owners are.

Business Writing

Watched Plan Your 2023 Writing Year


Super useful way to think through the year and see truly how much time I have available to work on projects. Combining this big picture thinking with the 12 Week Year approach for quarter by quarter planning is going to make a big difference in figuring out a reasonable, realistic workload and accomplishing my goals. I hope to publish my first two books in 2023; this exercise made me recognize that is doable but tight since it involves finishing writing one of the books and revising both, plus figuring out a bunch of self-publishing steps I haven’t done before.

I also have to decide if I can afford to take Fridays off of writing as I currently have planned, which only gives me four writing days weekly. Writing only four days a week and giving myself 4 weeks off of writing (two weeks vacation plus two planning weeks) and 2-4 random extra days off a month (appointments, trainings, conferences, headaches, consulting work) works out to about 145-150 working days. Considering I have brain capacity for about 3-4 hours of fiction writing on a standard day, that’s not many hours of actual writing time available, about 430-600 hours for the year. (Of course, that is significantly more than I have been doing, so…)

I’ll definitely need to push back the ARC I scheduled for mid-April 😂 To pick a new date, I’ll need to decide what order I’m going to work on projects — my current plan is to finish writing the rough draft of Book 2, then go back and finish revising Book 1. I was hoping I’d finish writing Book 2 by the end of the year but between my realizations about plot changes and following a mellower writing schedule, that certainly is not happening.

Business Marketing

“Non-coercive” marketing

Bookmarked Non-Coercive Marketing: A Primer by Rob HardyRob Hardy (Ungated)

A new philosophy of marketing, rooted in letting go of control, and trusting people to be their own authority.

Saw this recommended multiple places, need to get around to reading it I guess 😂

Business Entrepreneurship Relationships

Introduce yourself with past, present, future

Bookmarked A Simple Way to Introduce Yourself by Andrea Wojnicki (

The secret is using a simple framework: Present, past, and future.

Business Marketing The Internet

Content marketing has become hollow signaling

Liked Media, Messages, and Meaning: Is it time to rethink content marketing? by Tara McMullinTara McMullin (

At one time, Medium was the place I visited to discover new ideas and fresh writers.
I don’t know what it’s like on other people’s feeds, of course. But when I visit the feed of articles that Medium suggests to me today, I’m not just underwhelmed. I’m often appalled.

While there is a straightforward meaning to the message contained by the medium, the medium itself contributes another message. That second message, and for McLuhan, the more influential of the two, is character.
The medium conveys both the straightforward message and a certain character that informs how we relate to it.

Williams dreamed of making Medium synonymous with quality, depth, and thoughtfulness. But the message Medium delivers today colors many of its posts as clickbaity and attention-seeking.

Articles like the ones I listed above…aren’t meant to be examined in detail, either. They’re designed to create a certain effect: i.e., conveying the appearance of expertise, usefulness, and/or value.

Yes! This puts a finger on what bothers me about so much headline writing, and so many articles: I can tell from the title of the post that it will be substanceless. Somehow, there will be a 1000+ word article composed of nothingness, from which I’ll learn and recall precisely nothing.

So much online writing circles around the same type of mildly repellant business productivity and creativity advice — all selling the get rich quick mentality with a recipe for success. In a capitalist world, that story has draw — we are all busting our asses and getting nowhere. Yet it’s terminally empty; a few words of advice cannot change a system, and probably also can’t help most people get ahead in that system.

The internet has become a diluted sea of bland 101 content, quoting the same sources, adding the same vapid life stories to try to force personal connection. Everyone desperately signalling, a twisted capitalist version of mating signals: pick me! Pick me! The textual equivalent of a ruff of fluorescent feathers, the payoff receiving work rather than passing on genes: individual survival, not reproduction. It reminds me of the proposal to eliminate mosquitoes by releasing sterile males into the wild to breed with the females, burning out their reproductive lifespans. We’re distracted by the overwhelming drone of valueless, impersonal writing: junk food of the mind.

So now, writers need to learn how to signal the opposite to discerning readers: to promise something worthwhile and convince people to read without looking like content mill pablum. To demonstrate respect for readers’ time, to offer real connection, to write and share something worth the reading. This is the slow path, the path of patience, requiring a long-term commitment to the practice of writing and thinking.

Business Marketing

Podcast: how important is advertising?

Listened Can A Brand Grow Without Paid Media? from SoundCloud

Is paid advertising the mark of unremarkable brands? Or is it an essential step to grow into a big brand?

In short, paid media necessary for scaling nationally / globally — but may not be totally necessary at smaller scale

Not a super interesting podcast but I guess what can you cover in 20 minutes 🤷‍♀️

Art and Design Business

Link pairing: AI trained on stolen art

+ to see if your work has been used to train an AI

Business Writing

Each email goes to one person

Liked Personal Publishing Principles — CJ Chilvers by CJ ChilversCJ Chilvers (CJ Chilvers)

Only one person is opening this email. Remember that. You are not a broadcaster. You are writing to one, individual reader. It’s never “Hey, guys!”

“Don’t call it a newsletter.” It’s a private email list.

What delights me about other personal newsletters: surprises, fun, odd and obscure links, lack of formality, hand-drawn or original/interesting images.

(Also on a meta level I appreciate writing out the philosophy for using each channel.)