Scrape that gum off your shoe

Posted: September 14, 2010 in Blog post of the day
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Two different things happened today to spark this post.

  1. I read an article over on Read Write Web about website inefficiencies and the need to take a step back and look at optimizing the entire process for service up websites instead of just network issues.  The argument made was that websites with inefficient code and large file formats are just as much to blame for the slowness we experience when a site is loading as our internet connection.
  2. My friend Ultimate Rob was talking about buying books versus going to the library on Twitter today.  It gave me the idea for a blog post (not this one) and I said as much.  Ultimate Rob’s response “LOL I think me talking about gum sticking to your shoe would give you an idea for a blog post”.  Turns out he was right.
    gum on shoe

Have you stepped on a piece of gum lately?  Go check the bottom of your shoe.  There might be one there now.  For the first part of its journey, that gum picks up whatever it can along the way.  Dirt, dust, germs, pieces of hair… By the time you notice it’s there, it’s a disgusting piece of grossness that you really don’t want to touch and it has become so engrained in the bottom of your shoe that it’s almost more tempting to leave it there than to try to pry it apart from the grips in your soles.  There’s always the chance that it will wear away with time, but while you’re waiting for that to happen, you’re still stuck with gum on your shoe.

How many of us actually check the bottoms of our shoes on a regular basis?  I sure don’t (but I might after I finish writing this).  Imagine if you caught the gum while it was still sticky.  It’s been freshly chewed, and just latched itself to your feet earlier this afternoon.  You can take that gum off now.  Sure it’s a little gross when it’s chewy, but there are ways around that (like an ice cube).  Your shoe will stay cleaner and you’re less likely to pick up a lot of crap along the way.  You prevent a buildup of unwanted bits and pieces from the world’s toe jam.

Look at the piece of gum as a bad habit or cutting corners on the web.  Maybe it’s inefficient code, perhaps it’s a computer that hasn’t been cleaned out in a long time, maybe it’s an overloaded network.  The point is, somebody’s chewed up gum can appear anywhere, and it WILL collect more grossness along with it.  If you haven’t cleaned up an area you’re accountable for, there could be four or five pieces gumming up your performance.

Observe what you’re doing and what your building.  Are you leaving something sticky for someone else to step in?  Or have you tracked in something extra that doesn’t need to be there?

Whatever it is, keep a continual eye around you.  And for heaven’s sakes, scrape that gum off the bottom of your shoe.

Comments
  1. rob mcleod says:

    Love when you can throw out an analogy and have it work. And totally agreed. So many slow, buggy, inefficient websites out there. Great reminder, thanks wendy!

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