The secret? Provide more value to the community than you take away.

Photo by "My Life Through A Lens" on Unsplash

The first iteration of an online connected community started life in February 1978. Ward Christensen and Randy Suess developed the Computerized Hobbyist Bulletin Board System. A user with a terminal or computer equipped with a modem could call in to leave and retrieve messages.

This very first Bulletin Board System (BBS) is a far cry from the forums, groups and social media we have today. But every form of an online community at its core is about one individual leaving a message for one or more other individuals to retrieve.

Online communities thrive is when the messages left by individual…

Some sales, plenty of wasted time and learning

Photo by Raymond Perez on Unsplash

Over time, many people discover they have accumulated too much stuff and need to make space. There are many ways you can get rid of the excess, from throwing or giving it away to selling or trading it.

There is only so much that you are willing to just throw or give away so many people turn to selling. Over the years there have been many popular options such as eBay, Gumtree, and Craigslist. Along with many other small localised print or online options.

There was one common challenge with these services. It was easy enough for a seller to…

My greatest writing challenge

Photo by Alfons Morales on Unsplash

Writing is something that can be a joyous experience. Creating something that can entertain, inform and become the basis of intellectual discussion.

Writing can also be the greatest intellectual and mental challenge for an author. Creating doubt, division and restlessness before they ever put pen to paper.

My Second Biggest Writing Challenge

The challenges for anyone who pursues the profession of writing are many. They start with getting an idea. Finding a subject of substance. Getting someone to publish your work. Getting someone to pay for your work. Even being able to put the first words to the page. Just to name a few.


Too much junk mail requires a price for access.

Image by Author

In the past month, I have received nearly 1,000 messages in my business email account. A number far below the average for a business user of 140 emails per day. A number identified by The Radicati Group in a 2018 report.

The position I am in with email is strategic. Some years ago I was such a statistic. I would average over 200 emails per day. I would trawl though the messages looking for anything important to file. Before selecting all and pressing delete.

Making Changes

The first step to improving the number of emails I received per day was a campaign…

A daily habit of tracking can help you be preemptive when problems arise

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Three months ago I was likely in the minority of people when I would check my temperature in the morning. With the COVID-19 pandemic I am sure at least to a small degree this has likely changed.

For the last year I have been checking my temperature every morning. Recording the result alongside my weight and which coffee shop I visited that day.

It all started when I discovered a thermometer in the back of the cupboard. Just out of interest, I turned it on and took my temperature.

The result was 35.8 Celsius. I thought there must be something…

If you want success as a writer, there are two key tasks you must consistently repeat

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

As a writer, there are two key tasks that you must repeat to have any hope of success. They are not secret, but sometimes one is not given nearly enough attention to achieve the success we desire.

First, you must publish your work as frequently as possible.

Second, you must continually promote your work every day.

While neither of these tasks individually will guarantee you any success. If you at least pursue both with dedication, you can give yourself a fighting chance. Today both of them lie fully in your control. …

How to turn your house and yard into your walking trail

Photo by Ostap Senyuk on Unsplash

Over the past two months, life for many people around the world has dramatically changed.

Depending on where you live, you may live under some variation of a lockdown. There might be rules on not undertaking non-essential travel or even leaving your home. Social distancing, self isolation and possibly quarantine might be part of your current normal.

But wherever you live and the restrictions you are living with, walking can still be part of your daily routine. Even if that means you have to walk at home and even inside your home.

Why Walk at Home

When you take the time to look around…

Counting how many keystrokes I type since 2004

Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash

Having a program on your computer to monitor your keystrokes too many will sound like someone has hacked you. But there is a small and ever-growing group of people that installed such a program themselves.

Way back in 2004, I came across WhatPulse. At the time it was a very simple program that counted how many times you pressed each key. Being the type of person who loves numbers and statistics, I was hooked.

What Is WhatPulse

It is an application that I have continued to use through at least 10 different computers. …

Think of CAR to improve your budget and help curb your spending. Cancel, Avoid and Renegotiate.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

A budget is one of those things we know we need but don’t want to deal with. Just the thought of digging deeper into finances, spending habits and bills can make you cringe.

But for many with an uncertain future in the next 6–12 months, now might be the best time to dig in and find some savings. Even if you have some savings or your job seems secure it never hurts to make sure your expenses are in check.

The CAR Budget Clean Up

Sitting down and creating a beautiful streamlined budget is great. But often there is a big step from where you…

Cities, states and countries are enacting shelter in place orders, shutdowns, and lockdowns. But what about your business? I offer some guiding questions to help you decide on staying open or temporary closure.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

As the spread of COVID-19 has increased over the past weeks, nearly a third of the global population is in some version of a lockdown (source). This is also translating to a huge impact on business. Some cities, states or countries are requiring the closure of non-essential businesses. With others putting heavy restrictions on gatherings and businesses that encourage people coming together.

In some cases, business owners do not have a choice but to close the doors. The government made the choice for them. However, there is a range of businesses where the choice is still in their hands.


Joel Brown

Writing 1 million words in 2020 — My favourite topics walking, photography, motivation, ideas, and writing. Let’s have Coffee @

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store