Written by

Chris Gonzales


Natalie Fox

Welcome to this week’s edition of our Friday Quality Linkage column. Please enjoy this week’s collection of interesting and entertaining links. Brew a fresh cup of coffee, find a comfortable place, and relax.

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Graph: ConvertKit

Graph: ConvertKit

The State of the Blogging Industry 2017 »

If you’re curious about what the blogging industry looks like these days, the folks at ConvertKit put together a comprehensive report for you:

In that moment, our team had an idea: ConvertKit should create an annual report on the state of the blogging industry. We have the right customers (professional bloggers), we have the ability to tell stories, and we know the industry well enough to do it well.

This report has come to life thanks to the 850+ bloggers who took more than 20 minutes of their time to tell us about the ins and outs of their blogs and businesses. We asked them to share everything from their detailed income numbers to their biggest struggles to the motivations that keep them going everyday.

There are some interesting data points in here. If you want to skip all the charts and additional commentary, you can skip to the high-level summary but I recommend reading the whole thing. You can also download a PDF of the report in exchange for your email address.

  • On a similar note, Paul Jarvis published his 2017 state of the union, which is more about his own stats and goals than the industry at large, but he also got survey responses from 1,400 readers, which beats ConvertKit’s sample size.

The “Twist” »

Designer/developer Joe Cieplinski (of Release Notes fame) offers a simple trick to help keep your charger cables in one piece:

Learn this trick, and I swear, unless you are pulling the plug out by the cable (which I really hope you aren’t) or you are stressing the cable in some other way during actual use, you should never have another problem with any of Apple’s white cables again.

Unless your cats get to them. I can’t do anything about your cats.

I’ve always used the same “twist” technique, not because anyone showed me the trick but because it always seemed like the cables wanted to be coiled up that way. In any case, it sure makes it easy to store the cables on my Grid-It organizer (which I got in January 2011 and is still one of my favorite purchases ever).

“Both” — Or the Underlying Deceit of Focus »

Garrick van Buren wrote a good post about the importance of both working on short-term goals and playing the long game. This bit really sums it up:

We have dreams and we need groceries. Both.

Photo: Craig Mod

Photo: Craig Mod

How I Got My Attention Back »

Craig Mod is sick of technology’s continual demand for more and more of our attention, and spent a month away from the internet to escape the cycle:

There are a thousand beautiful ways to start the day that don’t begin with looking at your phone. And yet so few of us choose to do so.


Today, I could live on Twitter all day, everyday, convincing myself I was being productive. Or, at least inducing the chemicals in the mind that make me feel like I’m being productive. Read more news. Send more replies. Start more threads. Each incoming reply activating a corresponding dopamine pop. Largely pushing nothing in the world forward.

Great piece. As the article makes clear though, even a month-long escape isn’t enough for some to break technology’s hold. It’s better to adhere to a few simple rules like these:

  • The internet goes off before bed.
  • The internet doesn’t return until after lunch.
  • No social media apps on the smartphone.
  • Always be in Do Not Disturb mode (iOS):
    • You can set VIP contacts to get through; and if someone calls you twice in a row, they can break through, too.
  • Turn off all notifications.

Winners of the 6th Annual “Ocean Art Underwater” Photo Competition »

I always say this about all these photo contests I link to, but there are some spectacular images in this collection.

Why Cities Are Where They Are »

When I wrote my beginner’s guide to urban design back in 2013 — and boy, after re-reading it for the first time in a while, do I ever want to edit that thing now — I ended with this:

Now that we’ve covered some of the basics, there’s one last bit of homework you can do for fun. Earlier in this article, I mentioned that every city has a reason for existing. For example, New York City was an extremely valuable seaport that was easily defensible, and thanks to the opening of the Erie Canal, it became a fantastic shipping point for huge areas of the agricultural midwest.

The point is, there’s a reason behind every city becoming heavily populated. Try to figure out the reasons for your city! Maybe I’ll do a writeup for my own town of Oklahoma City someday (the short answer is: oil).

I never did write that followup article, but this primer video by Wendover Productions does a good job explaining the factors that influence the locations of cities around the world.

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Got any suggestions for articles, videos, stories, photographs, and any other links you think we should be posting in our weekly Quality Linkage? Please do let us know on Twitter.