My blog needs to cough up a hairball

My blog is almost eight years old, and I’ve published just under a thousand blog posts in that time. Along the way, I wrote about 100 draft notes that I never published. Sometimes I just didn’t finish the posts. Sometimes I thought they were too boring. Sometimes I wrote a blog post to debunk a misconception, then decided it wasn’t worth tackling that specific topic. A few times, I wrote something snarky about another company and then thought better before hitting submit. And a lot of posts were more like notes I kept as I customized some piece of software.

All those draft blog posts were starting to bug me, so I decided to do some spring cleaning this weekend. A lot of the draft posts I just deleted. I transferred some stuff into personal Google Drive files. I was left with a dozen or so blog posts that mostly fit into the “very boring” and/or “half-finished” category. But I kept thinking that 1-2 people out of the two billion or so people online might actually run across a post and find it helpful.

So I’m going to just throw a few of semi-boring, semi-finished posts onto my blog. Feel free to ignore these.


I was glad to see that the FTC unanimously approved new guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials. The updated guidelines affirm the principle that material connections behind endorsements should be disclosed. This seems like a great time to offer my own disclosure information.

As of December 31, 2016, I am no longer an employee of Google. I no longer own any shares of Google stock.

I don’t accept any money or other gifts of value from any companies or individuals. I don’t accept speaking fees, consulting fees, honoraria, or trips. I don’t accept free, discounted, or loaned products. When I receive unsolicited gifts of value from companies or individuals in the scope of work, I give away those gifts.

When I speak at a conference or event, I generally do not pay a registration fee for that event. Some conferences also waive registration fees for that event for one or more of my colleagues or a traveling companion. Either my organization or I pay my own travel and hotel expenses when I speak at an event.

I do not run advertisements or otherwise receive any monetary compensation from the operation of my website.

A few years ago my now-late wife and I formed a non-profit foundation, which we later switched to a donor-advised fund. Neither of us were paid a salary from the foundation. Example groups that the foundation donated to included the Electronic Frontier Foundation, MAPLight, Change Congress, the Sunlight Foundation, Free Press, the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, Committee to Protect Journalists, Public.Resource.Org, Khan Academy, Code for America, charity: water, and Room to Read. The Employer Identification Number (EIN) of our foundation was 203865461.

Also, I have invested in Perfect Third (the company that makes the WakeMate), Zencoder, Cardpool, Tasty Labs, Drchrono, Grubwithus, PoundPay, Apportable, Mailgun, and Parse. I have also invested in CircuitHub, PlanGrid, Pixelapse, Gusto,, Zenefits, True Link Financial, Lumi, Bankjoy, Tynker, Jewelbots, Begin, Eligible, Nuzzel, Unima, X-Zell, TRAC, Boom, Taplytics, Meter Feeder, Airfordable, Elemeno Health, a property investment through OpenPath Investments, Start on Day One, RideAlong Labs, Outvote, Tall Poppy, BrainHi, OSH’s Affordable Pharmaceuticals, Inventables, Reach, and PlanetScale.

I have also invested in Lowercase Capital (Lowercase Ventures Fund I), Y Combinator (Y Combinator Fund II), Lowercase 140, Lowercase Spur, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, and OpenPath Investments.