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Dandy Cast 036: Build your happy place today

Sean Anderson
Sean Anderson

This podcast episode was recorded as an accompanying audio version of the Dandy Newsletter that was published on August 04, 2020.

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Show notes

The Internet, with a capital I, has been around for a whole lot longer than many of us can probably imagine. Seriously, its beginnings can be traced all the way back to the late 1940s! I mean, it was mostly a theory at that time, but the point still stands. Since then, it’s had a long and storied history. Now we’re here in the today times and it’s gotten a little less cool and a little more bleak.

Instead of letting the darkness of the Internet take over our lives, I entreat you to give it the finger and make your own online happy place. This is your own online community of interested, good, like-minded people who want to see what you create. Could it be amazing stories? Sure. Nonsensical photos of pie? Yeah, why not? The point is to create something that can beat back the darkness. It’s well worth your time.

There’s also a brand spankin’ new blog post waiting for you. It’s called, Should You Charge an Hourly or a Flat Rate?

Trying to figure out what you want/need to charge for your products or services is always an exercise fraught with confusion and doubt. Let’s work to dispel some of those bad feelings by examining the pros and cons of each possible charging method. This is an excellent post that may help you answer that tough question. Give it a read today.

We’re wrapping things up with what I’m watching, reading, and listening to this week. It’s a great assortment of media that’s worth your time.

Links to stuff that was mentioned:

History of the Internet - Wikipedia

ARPANET - Wikipedia

Packet switching - Wikipedia

Web 2.0 - Wikipedia

Who watches the Watchmen - Wikipedia

Dandy Cat Design’s Twitter profile

Dandy Cat Design’s Pinterest profile

Dandy Cat Design’s microblog

Dandy Cat Design

Paradox of tolerance - Wikipedia

Philosopher Karl Popper - Wikipedia

Should You Charge an Hourly or a Flat Rate? - Dandy Cat Design

The Rocketeer | Myke at the Movies - Relay FM

The Death of Stalin - IMDb

Voices | Max Richter - YouTube

The Cat Who Could Read Backwards - Goodreads

The full text

The Dandy Newsletter — 08/04/20

Take these dates that follow with a grain of salt because I only started using the Internet sometime after my family got its first computer, which would have been around 1996. My dad hooked us up with a dial-up modem around that time, so my first forays into the Internet didn’t happen until well after it had become “a thing.” The Internet has a long and fascinating history, with its concepts and underpinnings stretching all the way back to the late 1940s. Yeah, seriously.

It would be some time before direct communication between two separate computers on a single network became a reality. ARPANET, or the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, was the organization that first used a technique called “packet switching” to send a message from one computer at UCLA to another at Stanford. The message was intended to be “LOGIN,” but the system crashed before the G could be sent. This happened on October 29, 1969.

The technology, as all technology is wont to do, developed and grew until it became widely available in the early ‘90s. We’re all probably pretty aware of the subsequent evolution:

  • Internet browsers became a thing.
  • High-speed access became available.
  • Web 2.0 was theorized and developed.
  • The mobile revolution took place.

That’s skipping over a laughable amount of history, but I wanted to just give a gist of things here. In any case, we’ve come a long way, baby.

The Internet will go down in history as being one of the most important inventions that humankind has ever created. Like, in the top five most important things. By a long shot. More than anything, more than streamable music, Google Docs, and cute cat videos, the importance of the Internet is that it’s enabled all of humanity to connect and communicate with each other. You sitting in your living room in, say, Flagstaff, Arizona can talk with someone on the other side of the world in a coffee shop in Oslo, Norway.

If that’s not the coolest damn thing ever, then I don’t know what is.

However, I believe the accessibility of the Internet is also one of its biggest flaws. It’s one of those Laws of the Universe things: good can’t exist without bad, there is no yin without yang, Batman must have The Joker. I love the freedom that the Internet provides, but I’m not a fan of its dark corners. The corners where hatred, cruelty, and harm are allowed to grow and fester.

It’s given all of humanity a voice. The only thing a person has to do to be heard is speak up. It’s unfortunate that the loudest among us also tend to be the ones who want to cause the most havoc. We, us people, are curious beings and we love peeking at a good commotion. Who hasn’t slowed down to crane their heads over to spy a wreck on the highway? It’s hard to ignore the hateful voices sometimes; they attract our attention.

The freedom of the internet is both its biggest asset and its most significant flaw. That being said, I wouldn’t ever want to lose the good to eradicate the bad. I’m not even sure how that could be done. Humans aren’t always great at deciding on and implementing beneficial rules at such a grand scale. How can those rules be fair and justly implemented? Who watches the Watchmen?

I believe there’s a better way to manage the inherent moral trickiness of the Internet: create your own friendly, inspirational, and enthusiastic community.

The way the Internet has evolved, it suggests that the keys to our communities are in the hands of others, namely large corporations like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and the like. Social media services, while convenient, are developed and managed by other people who may not have your best interests in mind.

I believe the best way to create your own community is by running your own website. However, I understand and appreciate the appeal of social media services, indeed I use some myself. Regardless, I’m an advocate for creating your own “home” online. I want you to build a place that enriches your spirit. A place that attracts other like-minded and supportive people. A place that’s good to its core.

The Internet has done a lot of good for the world and it’s important to be a torch-bearer for that cause. By creating that good home for yourself online, you’re telling the nastiness of the Internet to go screw off. You’re saying that there’s no place for negativity, anger, and evil in your online world. Instead, you’re spreading your meaningful work to the people who can benefit from it. You’re creating better, more personal relationships with others around the world. You’re probably even improving your own health and well-being by surrounding yourself with support and positivity.

From the beginning, this is what I’ve wanted Dandy Cat Design to be. I’ve been working since day one to create a home that I long to go to. A home that inspires me to create something, anything. A home that allows visitors to feel welcome, communicate, and maybe even learn a thing or two. Will it ever be as big as Instagram or Facebook or the whole dang Internet? Surely not, nor would I want it to be. I don’t want my home to have dark corners. I intend to ensure it’s a happy place for people who want happy things.

It’s the paradox of tolerance. As described by philosopher Karl Popper,

In order to maintain a tolerant society, the society must be intolerant of intolerance.

The Internet is a wonderful, grand place. Good things happen there all the time. Its true beauty is its potential. It can provide you with the means to create a good, kind, inventive online home. It’s what I’ve worked on creating and I want that to be what you create for yourself. I don’t care if it’s a carefully curated collection of followers on Twitter, a band of fans that watch and share your newest YouTube videos, or a group of supportive, loving people who have signed up for your email list. You should build an online home.

Make the most out of the wonder that is the Internet. Be welcoming, do good, and create amazing things.

Charge hourly? Charge flat? Who the heck knows?!

There’s a new blog post waiting for you. Hip-hip-hooray! 🎉

It’s called: Should You Charge an Hourly or a Flat Rate?

If you’re running an online business, the question of how you should price your services or products is a huge one. It certainly doesn’t help that there are more potential answers waiting for you than you can shake a business stick at.

I’m not interested in providing another “you should do this because I do it” sort of article. There’s already enough of that nonsense out there. Instead, I think it’ll be more valuable to discuss the pros and cons of each possible method.

Why is charging an hourly rate a good or bad thing? Why is going with a flat rate good? Or why is it bad? Let’s talk about each possibility.

I love a good pros and cons list because it gives me a chance to come to a decision that benefits my needs. When running an online business, considering what’s best for you should be one of the first questions you ask yourself. Hop on today’s blog by clicking or tapping through the link above. Happy reading!

If you ever want to throw some suggestions my way, then send me a reply to this email. They’re always wonderful to receive.

Seriously friend, I'd love to hear from you.

Until next time cats, stay informed, stay safe, and stand up for what’s right. Black lives matter and wear a dang mask.


Sean Anderson

Lover of productivity tips, Apple devices, and vegan ice cream. Mostly, I'm busy petting cats 🐱 and dogs 🐶

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