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In the Lab: Experimenting with dbt's state management & writing online
Sanity Check • No. 015
I’m Ben, and welcome to Sanity Check. A meandering journey through the data discipline - presented here for your research and recreation.
🚧 Caution: opinions still settling, and I’d love to hear yours
dbt State Experiment
With the help of dbt Cloud, the “deferred mode” and Slim CI workflows are pretty slick. This experience is not smooth in your local development environment. This past week, I set out to fix that!
No idea if this is brilliant or bad. I need a sanity check…
Runway Summer Experiment
For the past twelve weeks, I have been part of Write of Passage’s Runway program. The program challenges you to grow your audience by publishing one article or three Twitter/X threads per week. I tried out both tracks.
What were the results?
I hit publish!
I hit the targets for each track every week.
3x threads for 5 weeks 🧵🧵🧵🧵🧵🔥
1x newsletter for 5 weeks ✏️✏️✏️✏️✏️🔥
To some, that may not sound like much of an accomplishment.
To me, I’m proud that I maintained the discipline to get something out in public.
Twitter was a better serendipity vehicle. From my handful of threads, I was able to spark conversations with people I respect in the industry. This is the power of the Internet! Share your work publicly and it can attract the right people.
Substack was a better creative outlet. Distilling topics down to bite-sized tweets is difficult! I enjoyed the longer-form nature of Substack. The extra space allowed me to flesh ideas out more fully. When an idea was not coming together, it pointed out where the topic needed more thought.
I kept the bar low. Too often I allow myself to “productively procrastinate” instead of hitting publish. Permitting myself to share things that didn’t meet my standards allowed me to get out of my own way.
What didn’t work?
I did not have much follower or subscriber growth on either platform.
Engagement was decent for my audience size, but nothing lit a spark for people to share more broadly.
These were secondary goals after hitting publish, but it’s still rewarding to see your work helping others. I’ll have to keep playing around with how I share.
What will I change?
I have several thoughts here, but I have not decided on the order to tackle them.
Rewrite the newsletter content as Twitter posts
Experiment with posting to LinkedIn
Work on a screencasting workflow to post to YouTube
Rework my website as a home for evergreen content
The challenge will be to add these outlets without it preventing me from hitting publish consistently.
What will I continue doing?
If I were a multi-armed bandit, I’d still be exploration phase of which levers to pull.
However, consistency is key! So the one lever I know I will continue to pull is this weekly newsletter. It’ll be the cornerstone for my other online activities to be built around.
Thank you for being here!
Documenting analytics jargon, visually
This week’s doodle is an older one that resurfaced in conversation. It’s a state diagram for customer engagement. However, if you squint your eyes, you’ll see the actual image - a clown with glasses smiling 🤡
Thank you for reading.
Let’s keep it going. 💜
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