Newsletter #81

Building the right product | Planning 2022 with OKRs | Twitter will limp on | Hosting online courses | AI Doc Writer | Calendly Alternative | and more

Welcome to Fresh van Root newsletter #81.
You are starting into the new month with a bunch of hand-picked content and tool tips. My favs in this newsletter: The talk on entrepreneurship recorded at Stanford and an interesting AI-powered writing app. Good to know:  you will get one more newsletter this year before we go on a four-week break. Onwards into a busy December. Stay fresh – Rolf

Hello to 20 new subscribers. Hello! 👋 Iā€™m Rolf, exploring content and apps at the intersection of marketing, productivity, tech, content creation, and social media – for curious minds. This bi-weekly newsletter is a summary of that exploration.

🧠 Hand-Picked Content

Management: OKRs vs. KPIs (Blog post, 10min)

Objective Key Results have emerged as the most common goal-setting framework in recent years. How do OKRs compare to KPIs, and can these two be combined? OKRs are great for aligning teams and perfectly fit your team’s agile workflow. If you are in planning mode for 2022, read this post. More

Entrepreneurship: Building The Right Product (Video, 30min)

Most ideas fail in the market, so it is important to fail fast,… and cheaply. The concept to achieve this is to build a pretotype. A pretotype is a low-cost version of your prototype. You pretend to have a product and see if people would pay for it. If that happens, this is a solid signal to build the prototype. This humorous talk by Italian entrepreneur Alberto Savoia (“Innovation Agitator,” Google) was recorded at Stanford University. I recommend watching it to anyone involved in building products or working with startups. More

Social Media: Twitter Will Further Limp On (Blog post, 5min)

The question is if people and brands want to be part of a Muskodian Twitter. Twitter might not vanish completely, but it is now attracting a different community. One that is all in on Musk’s definition of “free speech.” This blog post reminds us how Twitter started – as a rough-around-the-edges product that the developers and its communities shaped before Twitter decided to go all in on the advertising model. More

Web Technology: Jamstack Report 2022 (Website)

Jamstack is a known concept among developers that describes how modern websites are set up from a technical standpoint. This concept drives innovation around another technical innovation called “Headless CMS.” In a headless CMS, the backend is decoupled from the frontend. Compared to WordPress, which is backend/frontend in one solution. The Jamstack Report 2022 dives into the latest trends around those topics. While it focuses a lot on developer-related topics, it is interesting for marketers to check out the chapter on Content Management Systems. I recommend the Jamstack website and reading about the underlying concept, browsing the sheer amount of companies in the space, and watching the talk outlining the results of the 2022 report. More

More about it:

  • Video: WordPress has no definite successor yet More
  • A list of Headless CMSs More

Social Media: What If Mastodon Existed In The 80ies (Video, 10min)

For anyone who got into computers early on – in the 80ies/90ies – this video will put a smile on your face. More

🛠️ Tools & Apps & Services

Create/Sell Online Courses: Easy-To-Use Course Website

A client recently asked me for a recommendation on where to host an online course. Podia was the solution I recommended. The interface is super easy to understand for people creating an online course for the first time. It has all the features you need on board. What I liked about it is that the website is fast and feels like a locally installed app. It supports all the usual content types, like video, text, images, quizzes, and more. Podia is suitable for business and personal use. You can brand your course page and host it on a subdomain. More

Content Creation: AI Document Writer

Lex stands out from many AI writing tools I tested out. Think of it as Google Docs with an AI writing assistant embedded. You can use Lex to create documents from scratch and ask AI anytime to help beat writer’s block. Whenever you need inspiration, write a question in the document and add +++. If you want an invite link, reply. Example | More

Social Media: Twitter App Typefully

Significant changes are happening at Twitter, and no one knows if third-party tools for managing Twitter accounts will be needed in the future. Anyway, here is a great one: Typefully is a website to schedule your tweets, create threads and get feedback on them. The site stands out with a minimalistic design and features focused on getting tweets done. They recently added an AI-powered writing assistant to rewrite your tweets. You can expect that all tools used in content creation will get AI-powered features for copywriting, image manipulation, audio/video editing, and more. Demo Video | More

Productivity: Online Scheduling Service

This online scheduling service called Cal is very similar to Calendly. Connect your calendar, and create a booking page that allows others to set up meetings with you. The free plan of Cal .com is more generous than Calendly, and it is catching up feature-wise also. Example | More

Tracking Links: Clicking Without Leaving Traces

Sometimes URLs redirect multiple times before landing at the destination page. Often marketers want to check the redirect chain. Another use case is if you want to avoid clicking links in a competitor’s newsletter. Tiny URL Expander is the tool to get this job done. Example | More

Image Editing: Create Watercolor Paintings

Upload a picture and get a watercolored version of it back. Maybe useful for your holiday postcards. More

📣 Fresh van Root

Fresh Blog: Managing Projects With Height

I wrote a very long and detailed blog post about Height, the project management tool we use daily to manage client and content projects. It’s a review and a guide on how to use the tool. If you are short on time. Read the intro and skip to the conclusion šŸ™‚ More

Self-Hosting Your Content

Imagine you built a large Twitter following and stopped blogging and publishing elsewhere. Now you might panic. All this reminded me of a blog post I wrote in 2017 on why it is crucial to have your little place on the web where you fully control your content. Platforms come and go. Your website and blog stay. More

🏞️ Your Next Wallpaper?

Yosemite National Park | Unsplash

Photos For Visualizing Climate Change

When showing the impact of climate change, for example, heat waves, media outlets often show people taking a dip in the water. This website wants to change how climate change is visually portrayed. More

Make And Destroy Bubbles

Relaxing. More