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Something big is on its way - The Weekly Retrospective Issue #9

Brock Herion
Brock Herion
Welcome to issue #8 of The Weekly Retrospective!
In issue #7, we took a look at what’s new in Next.JS 12 and how I was able to use Hashnode’s GraphQL API to pull articles for my own website.
In this issue, we’re going to do a slight pivot away from tech and programming and instead discuss something I have coming down the pipeline. I won’t go into too much detail about it here, but it’s something I’m pretty excited about. This issue is a bit shorter than usual, but I still hope that you come out of it as excited for this as I am!

The week of 10/31/2021 - 11/06/2021 📅
Happy November everybody! I hope you had a fantastic Halloween and (if you’re in the U.S.) are beginning to prepare yourselves for Thanksgiving. For us, we put on our Avengers costumes and took my little cousins out Trick-or-Treating. I went as Spiderman and, of course, I could not resist taking a photo of myself programming and saying that I was a web developer. I put it on Twitter and it blew up, much more than I thought it ever would! To be completely fair, I’m not sure which was the reason people liked it. It was either how ridiculous and funny it was, or the fact that my cats were looking at me from my basement stairs with looks of confusion and terror on their faces.
Here’s the Tweet for those that are interested
I also did a full write-up for my blog about how to use Hashnode’s API with Next specifically. It was a pretty straightforward process, with only a couple of little things to work through. While the API isn’t 100% there yet, I was pleased with the results I was able to get out of it so far and cannot wait to see what else is added to the platform.
You can check out that article here
How to interact with Hashnode's API with Next.JS and GraphQL
I started planning a large side project 🛠️
As I finished up my own site, I started brainstorming some other things that I could do for side projects. This is something I’m asked a lot about, is how do I pick a good side project? Usually, I just say pick something you’re passionate about. To-do lists are well and good for learning, but it gets pretty dry after a while. Between my own site, work, and my freelance projects, I never sat down to think about what kinds of projects interested me or what kinds of problems I wanted to solve.
I had a few ideas involving Web3 and a couple involving Discord, which I still eventually might pursue, but those would be massive undertakings that I’m not in a great position to take on. The other issue I run into frequently when starting things is should I use something I know and am comfortable with or should I use this time to learn a new language or framework? It’s not an easy thing to answer because each project is unique and will have different requirements and time constraints.
The answer of what to do came from, of all places, Twitter. I made a Tweet that was more meant to be a joke than anything else that got a few comments about this actually being an issue. After thinking about it, I realized this is an issue not just on Twitter, but all social media. I bought a domain name, which I won’t share just yet, and started to collect my thoughts on what an MVP would look like.
At a very high level, there is some amazing content that gets put out on social media. There are a lot of people who are genuinely inspiring and produce really high-quality content that provides a ton of value. Unfortunately, there’s also a lot of fluff on there as well. Timelines get clogged with low-quality posts, arguments and fighting, ads, things you don’t really care about, and just a lot of noise. Sorting through all of that content to find the value can be daunting, and even if you are successful in finding the good stuff, there’s no guarantee that you’ll remember to revisit it or follow up with it before the next piece of noise comes and grabs your attention.
My idea is to create a tool to help people cut out all that noise and better organize and find meaning in the content that provides value to them. There are a lot of really great that I have read and been inspired by that I save with the full intent to go back to. I almost always forget about it and if I don’t, I can rarely ever find it again because of how many other things I save. I’m going to create a tool that lets you turn social media into a place of knowledge.
I still have some more planning to do on it before I can give the project’s name and let people start peeking at it. I need to refine all the ideas I have for it and decide which ones will stay and which ones will go. I will say that I’m very excited about this project and think it will not only be a great learning opportunity but also can provide a ton of value to people.
Thank you for reading!
As always, thank you for taking the time to read The Weekly Retrospective. I hope that I was able to share some of my vision with you this week.
If you enjoyed this issue, let me know. I always love getting feedback. Be sure to share this newsletter as well! You are a fantastic community and I would love to include more people in it. If you want to get in touch, my Twitter DM’s are always open as well!
Now let’s go have a great week!
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Brock Herion
Brock Herion @brockherion

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