Rekindling Documentation and Battery of Tests

by Mike Levin SEO & Datamaster, 05/21/2012

Wow, my last journal entry was last Monday, and almost nothing in it, at that. Then, I took Thursday and Friday as vacation days, although it turned out I was sick anyway, with what I believe was a combination of cold and allergies. I’m recovered enough to work today, and additional days out would begin to be problematic. I have things waiting for me at work. Plus, if allergies, the office ventilation is a relief. I was dying over the weekend.

Okay, I have to really forge ahead, letting lots of people see lots of motion on the Tiger front. All has been quiet on the Tiger front for awhile, even after the public launch. That can be spun as very positive, as being a soft launch, and nothing having blown up in our face. There is no stellar take-off, but likewise, there is no embarrassment. As usual, think through my 3 key metaphors for planning the day:

  1. What’s most broken?
  2. Where do you get the biggest bag for the buck?
  3. What plates need to be spun?

Because everything online is gradually drifting towards mega-personal-brands becoming the traffic arbitrators, I need to keep my personal brand online forging ahead. I have to push my personal journal entries out onto my blog more frequently. Having those weekly Twitter digests posting every Friday really serves as a warning system. Two in a row is bad. I should AT LEAST be pushing out one public work journal entry per week, and preferably every day.

Okay, in addition to merely pushing out a journal entry like this every day, you need to add continually better structure and organization to your site. There is so much good stuff buried in blog posts and difficult to find. Hierarchal menus offer such a good organization scheme, and they’re built-into WordPress, so use them. Don’t be limited by whether things are pages or posts. If something belongs in the menu, put it there.

Okay, I started getting my website more organized, putting the things people most want to see right in the menus. Posts can be an option on menus in WordPress, but you have to turn it on under Screen Options on the Menu page. So, I’m putting my key articles in menus, and am breaking out FAQ and Headsmacker categories. But I really have to get to the issues of the day. I feel guilt for not diving right into the Tiger code. I have things to look at for Tameka, and Danielle.

Focus! Engage! You do the right things for the right reasons with nobody having to tell you what it is, and that is why you are valuable. But the lollygagging around doesn’t help anyone. You need a way to re-engage yourself and do exactly the work that is necessary–a complete deep dive into the Tiger code, looking at every function that is in regular use.

First, make sure that all the little touches you did last week to simplify the crawl wizard didn’t break anything. Do a 25-page crawl, then replace the question marks. Okay, fixed an error message on a final del lock attempt. Glad I haven’t pushed lately. Be careful when you push. Now that Tiger is public, it is more urgent than ever to perform the battery of tests before each push. That satisfies the most broken, biggest bang for the buck, etc.

Wow, looking at how you implemented “battery of tests” shows me I was really in the zone. That is that inspired sort of work, that had I been able to bear down and focus, I would have really grown this into something awesome. Daily distractions kept that from happening, but you have another chance. See if you can’t perfect this… in preparation for version 2.0! Stay on-plan!

Basically, you have to make this work as interesting to me right now as anything else competing for my attention. Don’t lose that feeling! This is where you need to return to in order to document everything about Tiger, and simultaneously establish a battery of tests to ensure that everything about Tiger is still working… WHILE using your own sites and accounts as the subject of the battery-of-tests, thereby making it as interesting as anything else going on.

The solution to staying focused and distraction-free (at least, distractions of my own making) is right in front of me. Use myself and my online presence as the subject-matter for the battery of tests! You will connect the Tweet monitoring to your own Twitter account, YouTube monitoring to your own YouTube, etc. In that way, documenting Tiger and ensuring it’s continuous proper functioning of individual functions becomes as interesting to me as anything going on. My main work BECOMES the distraction, and I use social/information addiction to my advantage.

But it’s time to cut this journal entry… because the distraction of the day has popped up (not of my own making), and I have to shift my focus, and it is important enough that it should become the subject-matter for its own post.