P&B: Jim Nielsen – Manu

By admin
This is the

8th
ORDINAL

edition of

People and Blogs
ORG

, the series where I ask interesting people to talk about themselves and their blogs.

Today
DATE

we have

Jim Nielsen
PERSON

and his—verified!—blog, blog.jim-nielsen.com


Jim
PERSON

is a designer, front-end developer, and writer with

more than 20 years
DATE

of experience in the industry.

To follow this series subscribe to the newsletter. A new interview will land in your inbox every

Friday
DATE

. Not a fan of newsletters? No problem! You can read the interviews here on the blog or you can subscribe to the

RSS
ORG

feed.

Let’s start from the basics: can you introduce yourself?

My name is

Jim Nielsen
PERSON

(not to be confused with

Jim Nielsen
PERSON

, the

California
GPE

state senator, who still outranks me on

Google
ORG

). Professionally, I love working at the intersection of design and code on the web. I think that makes me a [gulps] “unicorn”, but when I started we just called it a “webmaster”. Personally, I’m happily married to my lovely wife of

11 years
DATE

,

Charlene
PERSON

. We have

three
CARDINAL

boys and

one
CARDINAL

cat whose name is

Fluffy
ORG

(I am allergic to cats — oh, the things you do for your kids).

What’s the story behind your blog?

I think my

first
ORDINAL

blog was on Blogger, but it has since been lost to history (probably for the best). It mainly consisted of me posting pictures of ridiculous stuff I’d made in Photoshop — what we might call “memes” and “shitposting” now. The current incarnation of my blog has posts dating back to

2012
DATE

(probably don’t read them, I don’t stand by many things I said older than about six months ha). It has gone through many iterations through

the years
DATE

, some of which I’ve documented with the hashtag #myBlog.

What does your creative process look like when it comes to blogging?

My blogging doesn’t feel “original” or “creative” to me. I blog because I read other people’s blogs and I want to internalize what they said by restating it myself. When I read, watch, or listen to something from someone else that piques my interest, I write it down then add my proverbial

two cents
MONEY

. Sometimes my

two cents
MONEY

is short, so the text ends up in my notes. But sometimes I end up having a lot to say and it grows into a blog post. In short, I take notes like a college student. Then I publish them.

Do you have an ideal creative environment? Also do you believe the physical space influences your creativity?

I’m conflicted on this topic. Do I think certain environments are more conducive to the kind of mindfulness that leads to creative thinking? Absolutely. Do I also think my environment doesn’t matter that much (beyond a reasonable point)? Yes. For me, a creative environment is a balanced state of mind and body inside of me rather than a furnished physical space around me. To this point, I really like what

Stephen King
PERSON

said, which I blogged about, and will summarize as: your life doesn’t revolve around your creative environment, it’s the other way around.

A question for the techie readers: can you run us through your tech stack?

Given your experience, if you were to start a blog

today
DATE

, would you do anything differently?

Probably not. Here’s why: The current state of my blog is a result of me experiencing the difficulties of where it was previously. What works now works because of who I am right now, and it’s no guarantee of what will work in the future. If

Jim
PERSON


five years from now
DATE

gave me advice about blogging, I’d be taking advice on problems I hadn’t yet experienced and it would seem alien, like “Oh interesting…why would he recommend I do that differently?” The best part of blogging is what you discover and learn experientially along the way. I wouldn’t want to rob myself of that.

Financial question since the web is obsessed with money: how much does it cost to run your blog? Is it just a cost or does it generate some revenue? And what’s your position on people monetising personal blogs?

It costs me $

0
MONEY

to run my blog (thank you

Netlify
PERSON

). I’d be lying if I said I haven’t considered trying to monetize my blog. But I’ve come to the conclusion that I have a good day job and don’t need or want the extra effort for extra dough. That said, I grew up in an era when people blogged about web stuff for free and I benefited immensely from their work so I feel a kind of obligation to pay it forward. Thank you blogger peeps from

days
DATE

of yore.

Time for some recommendations: any blog you think is worth checking out? And also, who do you think I should be interviewing next?

Rough Type by

Nicholas Carr
PERSON

. He’s one of my all-time favorite writers on technology. He doesn’t post as frequently on his blog anymore, but he has a book that’s an archive of some of his best posts going back over

a decade
DATE

.

A

Working Library
ORG

by

Mandy Brown
PERSON

. There’s no way for me to keep up with her voracious reading, but I’ve got some good book recommendations from her blog and love her summaries & insights.

Adactio by

Jeremy Keith
PERSON

. I mean, it’s

Jeremy
PERSON

, c’mon. Somebody once (very graciously) told me, “Your blog has hit ‘

Jeremy Keith
PERSON

’ levels of must-read for me.” That’s the highest compliment I’ve ever received.

Idle Words by

Maciej Cegłowski
PERSON

. A blog I wish would post more frequently because

Maciej
PERSON

’s take on tech is refreshingly insightful and always hilarious.


Rach Smith
PERSON

’s

Digital Garden
LOC

by

Rachel Smith
PERSON

.

Rachel
PERSON

spans the gamut from “Cool thing to do in CSS” to “Why is parenting so hard?” And it always hits home for me.


Manu
PERSON

’s blog, but you probably already knew that… Gosh, I have so many more! I’ll have to write more on my own blog…

Final question: is there anything you want to share with us?

I attempted to impose a

500
CARDINAL

character limit on myself for each of these answers (I did pretty good) hoping some constraint would breed a little creativity, but also to make your life, dear reader, a little easier. If you want suggestions from me, follow my blog or my notes because that’s where I link to things I like and talk about things I’m working on. I still have a few characters left here in my allotment of

500
CARDINAL

for this answer, perhaps I should spend time promoting myself more… Nah. Never was much good at that.

This was the

8th
ORDINAL

edition of

People and Blogs
ORG

. Hope you enjoyed this interview with

Jim
PERSON

. Make sure to follow his blog (RSS) and get in touch with him if you have any questions.

Awesome supporters

You can support this series on

Ko-Fi
PERSON

and top supporters will be listed here as well as on the official site of the newsletter.

Want to support

P&B
ORG

?

If you like this series and want to help it grow, you can: