Martin Rue

I build things on the internet.

Talk About Your Stuff

Growing up I was a pretty shy kid. I didn't talk to many people and I loved hacking away at things almost in secret. I would get pretty nervous if anyone asked me what I was doing. I guess I felt like they might judge me, or tell me that I didn't know what I was doing. The truth is, I probably didn't know what I was doing, but back then I couldn't have dealt with being told that.

Years later and I sometimes find myself doing the same thing. I sometimes don't really talk about what I'm doing, and yet, on the occasions I do it has been totally worth it. I used to think that I'd bug people too much if I talked about the stuff I was doing, or appear too self-centered, but I've realised that all of these concerns are just over-thinking.

While you certainly can bug people by mindlessly ranting on about something you're working on, there are also ways to tell people what you're doing without bugging them. After all, when I hear about projects that my friends are working on I'm always curious and interested. Seeing the occasional tweet or overhearing the occasional conversation doesn't bug me at all. There's no real reason to think I'd bug everyone unless it was all I ever spoke about.

Talking about your projects has huge benefits. I think it makes you a more interesting person; people start to learn more about what you're doing and what excites you. Of course, anyone who cares to look further may even give you some feedback, or at least their initial thoughts. For anyone who your project is relevant to, it makes them aware of it, and maybe they'll even use it or suggest it to a friend.

In the end, if you're not talking about your stuff, it's quite unlikely others are. Don't worry about bugging people, those who find it interesting will be glad you spoke about it and for everyone else it's not a hardship to ignore it. But don't only talk about your stuff, talk to others about their stuff and be interesting in others ways.

And yes, there'll always be those who disagree with what you're doing, or how you're doing it simply for the sake of being disagreeable. It has taken me a lot of years, but I think I can finally brush off people who are simply being unconstructive, focusing my energy on those that aren't.

So, talk about your stuff, it's the sure-fire way of making your stuff better.