Today I Learned

It won’t come across as a surprise to long-time readers that organizing information and mapping out knowledge is something I’ve been dwelling on for a while. It has bothered me to such extent that we even attempted to create our own product to fix the thing for once and for all. Sadly, our vision turned out to be a massive endeavor, way bigger than we originally expected. One that even two product minds combined couldn’t come to grips with. Silently, the project ended up fading away into the background.

Meanwhile, on a not that unrelated note, it turns out, I discovered Reddit. 14 years after its foundation, I fell in love with the community.

Suddenly, inspired by r/todayilearned subreddit, a dopey idea came up: steadily sharing the bits and pieces I kept on forgetting learning.

I mulled over it: since I’m already collecting and quickly forgetting scattered nuggets of information coming from podcasts, books, or articles, why not make them available to the rest of us in a digestible way?

Immediately, I understood both the potential and benefits of such an idea.

  • On one hand, it could become an engaging scheme to surface compelling thoughts that would otherwise end up unnoticed, forgotten.
  • On the other, it would also help me pin quick learnings down, and keep a life-long, open log of interesting content.

It started growing on me, and the “what” looked good enough: sharing a daily drop about something insightful I’ve learned that day.

Nonetheless, the “how” remained undefined. There were still plenty of unanswered questions wandering around: Where would this content be shared? Shall I host by myself at Should I honor Reddit’s community and post it in there?

In an attempt to preserve and enhance the reader’s interest, I’m not going to dissect the internal debate I underwent to reach a conclusion. Long story short, let’s just say that Twitter came to mind.

A social network I’ve been passively using for more than ten years. Twitter has been consistently nurturing me with thoughtful content, but it has also been a place where I’ve never taken an active role in. The communities that interested me the most were filled with people that felt too far away. But my close network was not engaging with the topics I found most interesting. A curious paradox by itself, now that I think about it.

On top of that, Twitter has always been a platform I found difficult to navigate. Beyond the aforementioned disconnect, the network’s massive noise makes it really hard to find the hidden gems. I also never came to a definite conclusion on whether a third party client makes things better or worse. A love-hate relationship of sorts.

Regardless, Twitter seemed like a good fit to host the #TIL project: open, engaging, with large communities already built-in. Yet most important, the product itself was the perfect match for small-sized bites of sharp content. Plus a unique opportunity to fall in love with Twitter again.

Checked, checked, checked. Everything eventually seemed to fall into place: the “what”, the “how”, and the “where”. It sounded like this…

Share a daily Tweet with the hashtag #TIL about something insightful I’ve learned that day.

Last, but not least, the remaining question was the “when”. I already figured that one out though: as soon as possible.

On August 5th, 2019, the very first #TIL was released ☝️. Can’t wait to “learn” what comes out of this 😬.

First published on August 11, 2019