I come across a lot of really bad ideas for startups and APIs, as well as many badly behaved companies with great API implementations. With so much money flowing around space, the incentives for behaving badly have increased, and it seems like people's appetite for it, and willingness to even defend it, seems to only grow. When I come across this activity, historically, I allowed my feathers to get pretty ruffled, but going forward, I'm trying to adapt and evolve in different ways.
As I work to dial in my "real time" for maximum efficiency, and acknowledge that real time is often in service of what "they" want and not what I want, I'm finding new ways to respond the stupidity in the space — one that is healthier for me, and minimizes my service to the machine. The machine enjoys putting out ridiculous stories that get people worked up, which people then, in turn, respond with very emotional, and often lengthy responses — all in service of page views and clicks. None of this helps the community, moves forward conversations, it is the service of the domains that participate —often in the form of advertising and perceived relevance.
When you are down in the weeds, watching the revolution of each gear within this machine, it all seems normal, but we do not see the emotional and intelligence tax involved with this behavior. As I work to fire back up API Evangelist after a summer break, I am working to minimize this tax on my professional and personal self, and I have come up with a new way to respond when I come across things that are just dumb, emotional, and add no value to the world — I will work on water data and APIs.
Opening up water-related data using APIs is the ultimate image I have in my head of a focus on APIs that will truly matter now and in the future. Instead of allowing the emotional burn from these "real time" social media events to attach, or at least build up and get underneath my clothing, I'm training myself to take a different path. When I come across dumb API, link bait blog post, badly behaved companies or charged forum and Twitter conversation, I'm going to pick up my water API research, and move it forward an inch or two.
If a topic keeps popping up and it continues to seem important to me, I will add to my writer's notebook and eventually craft something — which will occasionally be ranty, and possess click bait titles. This is just one of many new tools in my toolbox for helping me stay emotionally sane while immersed in this digital landscape, but more importantly keep my energy reserves full for working on the projects that actually matter. #NoToInternetTax.