Lessons learned in tech, pitching and design

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A lot of things are learned in unexpected ways. Which I (mostly) love because it keeps me on my toes. Here are few of my lessons learned from this week:

  • From Outbrain to Namecheap to WordPress: I set out to try Outbrain, a referral service that helps drive traffic. I signed up with my site’s email address, but couldn’t receive the verification email. Which sent me into a fun adventure of frantically digging into Namecheap FAQ, googling “how to’s,” and pestering friends to send test emails. Eventually, with the help of the very patient CUNY web team, I learned useful things like the difference between email hosting and email forwarding, that it’s probably a good idea to test out the email address you list on your site if you tried to code it yourself, and that you can’t install a new plugin on the CUNY server without prior approval. In addition to learning how Outbrain works! Good times.
  • Pitching can be pretty fun: We attended a Start Up Pitch Night meetup and several of us gave 60-second pitches. I was undecided going in, but ended up doing it –it was a good opportunity to practice in a no-stakes situation (and the moral support of fellow Tow-Knighters was helpful!) Overall, a good experience and I got some useful feedback, although I’m realizing that what ends up coming out is always different from what you plan in your head — I said my purpose for being there was to spread the word, and then forgot to mention the site’s URL. Minor detail. #nexttime
  • The “do what you do best and link to the rest” mantra applies to design software too. I’ve bounced back and forth between different options for graphics, trying to balance efficiency and the quality of the end-product. For now, PowerPoint/Keynote are more effective for things beyond simple logos. I’m undecided about Piktograph — it has nice templates, but feels a little unwieldy to use. Maybe a Photoshop workshop will happen one day.

Oh, and don’t let things on the to-do list like “laundry,” “haircut,” and “call mom” slip for too long!

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