Trying Out Due for Important Reminders

I’m experimenting with the Due app for iOS. What makes it interesting is the persistent reminders — which will repeat until you mark the task complete.

I started using it for crucial medications for my kids (usually amoxicillin, the miracle drug that apparently cures most common kid ailments), and decided to expand it to things I want to make sure I do.

I want to try to use it judiciously. Right now I have 3 task managers:

  1. Things 3 for projects and most business related tasks
  2. Reminders for most home/family relates tasks, shopping lists, and anything my wife and I need to share
  3. And now Due for nagging reminders.

We’ll see how it goes. If it works well for a limited set of tasks, I can see myself use it for forcing certain habits, like working out, writing, journaling, or anything else I really want to make sure I do.

ChatGPT is Exposing Our Broken Education System

I was at a talk about generative AI over the weekend, and someone asked about what it meant for students and homework assignments.

The speaker said something I can’t stop thinking about: that if ChatGPT can regurgitate information as well as a student, and the teacher has no idea, what’s really the problem?

Something I’m trying to teach my children, even at their young ages, is critical thinking. I don’t want them to memorize something. I want them to think about a problem, analyze it, and come to a solution.

I want them to question rules that don’t make sense. And I want them to force people in authority positions to explain themselves.

Our education system in the United States doesn’t do teach those skills, and the fear of what ChatGPT means for homework grossly exposes that.

Who cares if ChatGPT can write a paper about the Battle of Gettysburg at a 5th grade level?

If my kid successfully leverages tools like ChatGPT to do their homework and save them time, they’ve gained a much more useful skill than memorizing the Battle of Gettysburg was a major turning point in the American Civil War, lasting from July 1 to July 3, 1863, with the Union Army defeating the Confederate Army led by General Robert E. Lee1.

We’re still in a culture where students are taught to obey arbitrary rules, learn enough to pass standardized tests, and then promptly forget what they’ve memorized.

And it’s so very broken. It’s why 98% of 5 year olds are considered “genius level creative,” and by age 15, that number is down to 12%.

The good teachers will celebrate generative AI. They’ll teach their students how to leverage it to do proper research in a fraction of the time.

  1. I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right. ?

The Importance of Positioning

I just saw a commercial for Just for Men Beard and Brows.

This is mascara. But Just for Men knows that men (especially men concerned with grey in their beard) won’t buy mascara because it’s not masculine, so they’ve positioned it as a totally new product to help you hide grey without dying your hair.

This is this power of positioning.


Be The Experimenter.

Photo by Hans Reniers on Unsplash

I had a t-shirt in college that was my prized possession. It read:

There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don’t.

The joke being that 10 or “one zero” in binary is actually “2” in decimal.

I’m sure if I looked hard enough, I could find my college ID from freshman year, where that shirt is featured.

The shirt is top-of-mind this morning because I saw a post on LinkedIn that made me think of it. It made me realize:

There are two types of people in the world. Those who ask for answers, and those find them.

See, the question was around what happens if you remove a connection. Do they become a follower or are they cut from your content.

I decided to answer it by trying: I removed 2 connections to see if they became followers.

They did not! My follower count decreased and the the “Message” button was replaced with “Connect,” and not “Follow Back.”

The point is this: You can either wait for answers, or you can be the experimenter.

Maybe you’re so strapped for time that it’s easier for you to just ask.

But if you’re a creator or sell a knowledge product, I strongly recommend you be the experimenter.

Some of my best content and learning moments have come from me saying, “I wonder what happens if I do…”

Be The Experimenter. was originally published in Thoughts from Joe Casabona on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Originally published on Medium


Be Present

Hey hey! A quick preamble: thanks to a prompt from Benjamin Watkins, I’m resurrecting the Medium blog for a bit. I’ll likely still focus on family, but we’ll see where it goes!

Creator: Ron Jenkins | Credit: Getty Images

I’m a huge Yankee fan. So in October, when I left for Mexico for a few days and Aaron Judge hadn’t hit #62 yet, I made sure I was able to watch it on my phone, an knew exactly when he’d be at bat.

The moment came while I was at dinner with some friends.

So as I sat there, watching the game on my 6” screen, I couldn’t help but notice something: lots of people at the stadium were a watching that moment the same exact way I was: through their phones.

I noticed the same thing when LeBron James became the all-time NBA scorer.

My advice to you: Don’t worry about recording it. There will be far better recordings.

Don’t worry about sharing it on social media. It’s cool that you were there (I would have loved there be there for Judge’s 62nd), but does it really count if you’re watching the big moment through a screen anyway?

Be Present was originally published in Thoughts from Joe Casabona on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Originally published on Medium


Podcast Listeners Want Video (The Podcast Host)

My latest piece for The Podcast Host is up, where I talk about how 46% of podcast listeners want video, and what that means for podcasters:

Back in August, I reported on YouTube rolling out its Podcast feature. Since then, we’ve gotten a 70+ page slide deck from YouTube called “Podcasting on YouTube.”

It’s clear that in 2023, YouTube is going to invest even more in discovery and monetization for podcasting…even as Google Podcasts goes away.

This, coupled with the news that 30% of Americans prefer YouTube for podcasts, and 46% want video for their podcast, means you should put your podcast on YouTube

You can read the entire article here.

Albums from late High School and Early College I’ve Recently Rediscovered

I’ve hit a bit of a nostalgia kick recently, listening to albums that were on heavy rotation from ages 16-20ish.

I don’t know about you, but music is such a huge part of my daily life. These are really bringing back some great memories.

What’s an album from your formative years you’ve recently rediscovered?

Podcast Appearances for January 2023

I made the podcast rounds last month, so instead of an individual post for each show, I thought I’d round them up here:

…and while this isn’t a podcast per say, thanks to Rephonic for featuring me in the Podcast Coach article!

Thanks to everyone who had me on their shows in January!

Want to have me as a guest on your podcast? Here’s what I talk about and how to get in touch!


Trying Out Ivory (and General Thoughts on Mastodon)

When I left Twitter last week, it wasn’t on a whim. I had been considering it for a long time…like middle of the pandemic long.

As people jumped ship from Twitter, Mastodon seemed to be the clear front-runner for replacing Twitter.

I’m hesitant at best, but Tapbots (from the makers of the incomparable Tweetbot), have put out a Mastodon client called Ivory, and I’ve decided to give it t try for a bit.

The app is really, really nice! It has most of the things I love about Tweetbot already, without the ridiculous API limitations that Twitter started to impose over the last 6-7 years.

Something especially nice is how it “consolidates” the Fediverse, abstracting away the server names from the usernames1.

One of the most frustrating interactions is that when you want to follow someone on a different server2, you need to copy their username and paste it into your server’s search.

If I keep using Mastodon, it will through this app. It’s big if though.

I Don’t Really Want to Replace Twitter

Part of the reason I left Twitter is how aggravating trends, tweets, and interactions were. That’s not a platform problem, that’s a people problem.

Jason Snell has pointed this out on Upgrade, and on Connected last week, Federico Viticci said there’s a faction of Mastodon users who are trying to make “people from the bird site” unwelcome3.

The point being, Mastodon doesn’t fix people. There will always be cowardly jerks who hide behind a keyboard, using social media to be mean because there are very few real consequences for them.

I spent years carefully curating what I saw I Twitter. It came crumbling down with the end of third-party apps and forcing the “Home” feed over the “Following” feed.

I don’t have the energy or the inclination to do that again on Mastodon.

I’m very happy interacting on LinkedIn, which feels like less of a firehouse, at least today, more of a place for honest to goodness helpful interactions.

  1. I once said Mastodon is like if you and your friends agree to go see a movie, and show up at different times and in different theaters. I stand by that. ?
  2. Something I didn’t even know you could do until my friend Brian told me ?
  3. He didn’t put it exactly like that, but that’s the impression I get. ?

On Leaving Twitter

I mocked these posts. Made fun of people. Told them at Christmas that no one cares if you leave Twitter1.

Now I’m writing the post. Banning 3rd party apps, and turning on the “Home” feed (with stuff you didn’t opt-in to seeing) was a bridge too far. It took my carefully curated experience and turned it into a mess of aggravation.

It was everything I hated about Twitter, that 3rd party apps fixed. Jason Snell put very well my feelings on the matter.

So I made the tweet. The one you make to pin to your profile, letting people know where they can find you:

My plan from here it to work on a “micro blog” type of post for this site, and be active on other social platforms like LinkedIn and Instagram.

I’m not fully on-board with Mastodon yet because it feels like a disjointed mess, but if Ivory by Tapbots2 can fix it, I will consider it.

The best way to get in touch with me is via email: joe@casabona.org or via ZipMessage.

  1. For the record, I still think that’s true. ?
  2. Who made the incomparable Tweetbot Twitter client ?