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Building Tools and Staying Accountable Episode 30

Building Tools and Staying Accountable

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CJ: Welcome to build and learn.

My name is cj.

Colin: And I'm Colin, and we're back
to talk about what we're working on,

what we're learning, and yeah, what's
going on in Craftworkland for you.

CJ: first of all, we're hiring we just
had an on site in charlotte It was

awesome to see the whole team if you
are a rails dev or a react native dev.

We'd love to chat with you. We're
building some really cool stuff a

lot of boring rails, crud things,
and also a lot of like very awesome

machine learning stuff mixed together.

And yeah, so we'd love to chat.

Colin: Yeah, we'll have to put some
links in the show notes for that, but

it's almost every app has some boring,
crud, something in there, right?

even machine learning things.

you gotta put stuff in a database.

You gotta read it.

a pretty cool opportunity for
someone if you're out there

looking for a new, what's next?

CJ: Totally.

Yeah.

Actually, like surprisingly, some
of that stuff that, many might

consider boring, like just putting
stuff in the database is exciting.

Cause it's we get to play with all these
like Postgres extensions to make Rails do

really interesting things with semantic
search or with, trying to get chatbots

to handle automate, like automated
sales and support and some other things.

lots of really cool stuff
we're working on right now.

you're like on the edge of your
seat though because of something

about a school bus So yeah, curious
to hear what the heck is going on.

Colin: Yeah, we're recording this.

this will be time dilated a
little bit, but, right now I'm

the high bidder of a government
auction to buy a short school bus.

it's something that I've been wanting to
do for a long time and, I eventually want

to convert it into a little RV type thing.

I have no aspirations to live in a
school bus, but just the idea of like

I've looked at a lot of RVs, and I am in
Nevada where there's a lot of space, and

we have things like Burning Man, and I
think it would just be a fun project to

convert it, work with my hands, not be
in front of a computer, and I have gone

back and forth, and everyone around me
is probably sick of listening to should

I buy a school bus, should I not buy a
school bus, and so I, this morning, it

ends in three hours, and right now I'm
the high bidder, so I just, Put in a bid.

I was like, you know what?

I can spreadsheet this
out as much as possible.

I can go back and forth, but
ultimately it's a reversible decision.

So like it will be a school bus that I
can resell if I choose not to convert

it, if it's just not going to be.

worth having, then I can do that.

It is in LA.

So if I win it, I have 10 business
days to go get it, drive back.

so I'm going to have to do some
gymnastics with my schedule if I get it.

So if we get it, we'll do an update and
it'll be part of the building and learning

CJ: Nice

Colin: side projects for the future.

CJ: Nice.

Man, this sounds awesome for you because
you camp so much and you go out and do

stuff outdoors so much that it'll be
amazing to just pull up to any campsite

anywhere in Northern Nevada, Northern
California, and just have all your gear

and all your stuff like ready to go.

Colin: that's the plan and hopefully it'll
open up more like cold weather camping and

stuff because we like to If we get this,
it's going to be like, we have to use it.

If we find that we don't use it, then
it probably should go find a new home.

But, yeah, we'll see.

So I'll keep everybody updated on that.

CJ: Nice.

I was surprised when we got like a
utility vehicle, it actually changed

our lifestyle a surprising amount.

I didn't realize how much it would impact.

I thought it's just Oh, it's
another daily driver kind of thing.

But we actually started doing bigger
projects, like on the house and actually

hauling, giant, Like loads of cordwood
or giant things of pine needles and,

sheet rock and pavers and like all
this stuff that is much harder to do

just in the back of your like sedan.

it also like for us, for a four person
family, it unlocked like longer trips

because we could pack just like an
ridiculous amount of stuff in the back.

So we would go with the kids with.

the trunk full of all the goodies
and huge, ice chests full of all the

food and everything that we would
need to go for, big long trips.

So definitely excited for you to
have that sort of same experience.

Colin: Yeah.

the friends who have one, they
haven't converted it because

what's cool about school buses
is you can literally wash it out.

They use it to go to the dump.

They use it to move stuff.

They, when they do go to Burning Man,
they like throw a folding couch bed into

it and they just don't convert it, which
means they don't have to register it

as an RV and there's like a whole world
of in some States you have to convert

it and turn it into an RV if you don't
want it to be a commercial vehicle.

this bus.

in particular is actually
just registered as a van.

So I'm dodging a lot of
headaches there with it.

It's a van.

It's not a school bus.

It's not a commercial vehicle.

So I'll share some learnings here.

maybe we'll have an Instagram, a
school bus Instagram or something,

maybe YouTube in the future.

We'll see.

CJ: nice.

Very cool.

Awesome.

so I was on Twitter and Reddit
this morning and I noticed

this new flex UI library.

I don't know if you've seen this.

this, this rails dev is, indie
hacker kind of releasing their own

UI framework that is built on flex
with a bunch of UI components.

and yeah, I don't know.

I'm not sold on it a hundred percent.

I think I love the idea of flex because
you don't have to write, like you

can write everything with Ruby and
I don't love spending time in HTML,

but at the same time, there's just so
many code examples and templates and

other UI frameworks that come with.

HTML and CSS examples that I
have a hard time like just going

all in on something like flex.

Colin: Yeah, there's a lot of libraries.

I think you mentioned this one
from ShadCN here as well, which is

built on top of Radix and Tailwind.

They don't build themselves as a
component library, but I like this

idea of reusable code snippets.

It's like, how many of us have to
reinvent the wheel every single

time we want to do the same things?

We're not.

We're not at a point in web development
where we're trying to reinvent the wheel.

Like users know how to use things
and they don't want surprises.

but we also, we don't want to re
implement them over and over again.

So yeah, this one's pretty interesting.

We've got so flexes for
Ruby devs and then rails UI.

Is that

CJ: Rails UI is another, it's
just like another UI framework.

And, yeah, I don't know how any of
these are going to, how adoption

is going to go for any of them.

also I signed up to try
to get access to v0.

dev.

This is ShadCN got acquired by Vercel
and they've been working on a GPT

tool where you can like type in what
you want it to generate, and then

it's supposed to generate it for
you, which I think would just be mind

blowing, that would be so amazing.

But yeah, I haven't gotten access yet.

So I'm, waiting, with bated breath
to see how that's going to work out.

Colin: Awesome.

Yeah.

I've been looking at the Shed
CN one and then the other one.

I don't, are we saying that right?

I think so.

and then, I also, I think we're
both tailwind UI customers.

I love, being able to copy and paste
some of those, or even just go look

at okay, how did you guys build this?

so

CJ: I definitely lean
on Tailwind UI way hard.

Drew on our team is incredibly
good at Tailwind and.

As both a designer and a front end
engineer, he can look at something

and be like, Oh yeah, that's,
you just need this class here,

this class here, this class here.

I'm like, Whoa, how did you even do that?

Cause I just,

Colin: CSS,

CJ: yeah, exactly.

I'm like, I just, I'm like just
copying and pasting from tailwind

UI and it looks good enough.

Colin: I will say it's still worth
learning CSS because it's I think a lot

of people are learning with tailwinds
and they don't fully understand how

things like the box model and stuff work.

And if you do know CSS well, then
you're like, Oh, I know exactly what

helper classes to throw on here.

And it took me a long time to come
to terms with using all these class

names on elements, because I'm so used
to using like a descriptive ID with a

very separate CSS file and all of that,

CJ: yeah.

Colin: the CSS Zen garden, way of
doing things, but it's hard to deny

how fast and how like you don't have
to maintain style sheets and stuff.

It's just beautiful.

CJ: The other thing though, that
we bumped up against was that.

When I kicked off the Rails app, I
edited the generators that, Jumpstart

Pro comes with so that it would spit out,
standard HTML for all of the views that we

needed with a bunch of Tailwind classes.

And that is not very maintainable
now that we're, hundreds and...

Hundreds of views deep.

And so now we're starting to extract
some of that into things like view

components and little helpers,
not just like partials, but like

actually like proper components.

but I don't know, is something like flex
UI, if it just gave you the component

and then you had to style that, would
it be as easy to copy over the CSS into

those versus just having some HTML and
like a view component template somewhere?

I don't know.

not, not so not totally sold, but
also not, not closing my mind to

the idea that it could work out.

So if anyone has strong
opinions, let us know.

Yeah.

Colin: Interesting.

And Flex UI has an element
of a premium option.

paywall or something.

Hey, breaking news.

CJ: Yeah.

And it's also pre sale.

so I think today was like the
first sales were happening.

So this is yeah, hot off the presses.

Yeah.

Breaking news.

probably, I don't know, a few
weeks ago, whenever this episode

actually goes out, but, yeah.

Colin: Cool.

shifting into a little something
different, I think listeners

want to hear a fitness update.

CJ: Oh yeah.

Let's do it.

Let's do it.

So

Colin: going?

CJ: yeah, it's going well.

I'm down to 226 pounds, which is a little
bit past my goal of 230, which, yeah.

Thank you.

It feels

Colin: horn?

Insert air horn here.

CJ: the accountability like cohort thing
that I did on a, which is like a group

of dads on Facebook, that was huge.

Just having to record every single thing
that I ate and show them pictures of it.

And also they could see
like my workouts every day.

And they, we would call each other out
if someone was slacking, like, Oh, hey,

where's your, pictures of your food today?

Or, Hey, it looks like you
took it too easy on that ride.

Like, why don't you ride a little harder?

so that worked really well.

It ended and I've like definitely
plateaued a little bit since it ended.

but I'm also okay, I gotta
take a little break and then.

Next stop is 2.

15, so we're gonna keep going.

Couple things that I learned and
would recommend checking out.

I have used MyFitnessPal a ton
for tracking calories, but there's

this other one called MacroFactor.

the UI is different and, it feels
a lot quicker and it's more modern.

And, my buddy Jeff is having
a great success with this.

The way that it works is you put
in the same details and as long as

you're tracking correctly, it can
calculate your basal metabolic rate.

Based on like your weight and the
calories that you're entering.

So it can figure out like, Oh,
here's exactly how many calories

you should be eating each day.

And then make recommendations
automatically based on that, instead

of you having to go and do research
and then enter in certain things,

it gives you a more intelligent
of, your diet, which is cool.

And I think I mentioned on the last,
episode, but this book called The

Ultimate Guide to Body Recomposition,
which was like super dense and

scientific, I really liked it, and it
gave me a lot of things to chew on.

I'm like definitely in the camp of More
data is better and nerding out about,

Oh, all the different, proteins and, the
exact number of like grams of carbs that

you should be eating based on your weight
and based on your gender, based on your

activity level, et cetera, et cetera.

So that was pretty cool.

yeah, it's going well.

Colin: Yeah, I've been looking
at an app called chronometer.

I guess I haven't talked about on the
show, but I've just passed a hundred

and something days of being vegan.

and one of the concerns there
is like making sure that you get

all of your nutrients and things.

And so chronometer will break down.

I think my fitness pal and macro
factor might do this too, but it

goes really in depth that way.

If you record your food, Yeah.

It'll show you like this meal was
like hits your targets on like certain

vitamins and minerals that you need,
because that's one of the concerns.

There's a lot of people end up
eating vegan junk food and never

getting what they really need.

and so things like B12, different, are
you just eating salts all the time and

everything's just overwhelmed with sodium.

Those kinds of things are important.

I think I, I was mostly doing it to
just try something for consistent

a hundred days and see how it goes.

And now I'm waiting to, gonna do a blood
test, as part of my just annual checkup

at the end of November and we'll see if
we'll stay on the vegan train or not.

But,

CJ: How do you feel?

Colin: I feel pretty good.

I haven't noticed too many things.

I think for me, like my weight is
more consistent and I've actually been

losing weight in a, fairly healthy
way without doing much workouts.

and so like I have a new normal basically.

but I also don't crave a lot of
the stuff that I used to crave.

I've really figured out how to make it
easy in social situations as well as

going out to eat and things like that too.

yeah, we're hacking all
the things over here.

It sounds like both of us.

CJ: Yeah, I think it's like a good thing
to experiment with your body, with your

diet, , I think it also builds your
confidence, if you can control what you

eat, just like just being able to do
that I think reflects like a certain

level of discipline, which trickles
down into so many other areas of your

life that I don't know, it feels good.

Colin: Totally.

So you guys are hiring, you've
been playing with some UI stuff,

what else have you been building?

CJ: Yeah, right now on the side,
I started, I've just been trying

to learn more and more of these,
machine learning and natural

language processing and GPT tools.

And so I'm building a tool
that will write fiction novels.

Or help you write fiction novels.

Obviously, you still have to be
very involved in the process, but

trying to use GPT to like help
be a, co pilot or tailwind for

authors to, to write these books.

So that's been really fun.

There is some tooling
in the Ruby ecosystem.

So there's a project called LangChain.

rb that is, that's got like
some stuff in the toolkit.

and so what I'm finding is oh,
I get to like deep dive into

the approaches that these.

Libraries are taking and really
it's just like several interactions

with different large language
models to get different results.

Oh, first I want you to.

Do a search based on this query to
find similar results from the past.

And then I want you to combine those
together as input into the next query

and then give me the ultimate result.

So combining or summarizing or splitting
or thinking about or, planning or

like all these different like steps
that you can do in the middle.

I'll share more details later, but,
I heard on the radio somewhere that

Amazon just changed their rules
about self publishing and at some

point, like you could self publish
as much as you wanted on Amazon.

And they recently made it so
that you're only allowed to self

publish three books per day because
people were just like plowing.

It's yeah, generating a bunch
of stuff and self publishing.

And I was like, huh, wouldn't it be cool
if there was like a tool that helped

you do that self publishing, but also
like lets you edit in the process.

also slightly inspired my, Nicole and
my mom, went to Salem, Massachusetts.

During October, which there's like all
of this like crazy, tourist activity

around like the witch trials and stuff.

And there was a couple of really
interesting, like historical

figures that they learned about.

And then when they came home, they
were like, Oh, I wish there was a.

historical fiction book
about this specific person.

I would love to hear and
learn about their life.

And maybe I should write a
book that, talks about that.

And in my head, I'm like, Oh my
God, like I could feed all this

like historical reference data to
GPT and then help help be the co

pilot for writing a fiction novel.

And so that's a combination of
several different like ideas

that are plowing into that.

So

Colin: Very cool.

CJ: yeah, it should be fun.

Colin: It's fun to work on something
that's not work specific too.

CJ: Yeah.

Yeah.

I'm also like trying to be more
fun with it and just like crazy

colors and, move as fast as possible
and, working on it with the kids.

So that's always fun too.

Colin: Nice.

CJ: Yeah.

How's, the conference app going?

Colin: Good.

Yeah, I think we've talked about this
one a lot, calendars in general, but I

finally decided I'm in this accountability
group and we're building it.

So I've got four more weeks.

It might not be fully featured
by then, but I'm hoping we have

to do show and tell at the end.

So at the end, I'll have the ability
to at least have the iPad app show.

And it's just going to be
a react website for now.

It's not going to be a native app,
but, turn red and green when it's been

booked and then the ability to log in.

Create an account and actually click
and drag and book the meetings,

which I think I'm gonna look at full
calendar like you mentioned last week.

just because as much as I would like to
use the really cool tailwind calendars.

I am not building all of that.

CJ: Yeah.

Yeah.

I am really curious the structure
for the accountability group.

And like, how did you find
out about it is, yeah.

Like how often do you meet and how
does that, yeah, how does it work?

Colin: Yeah, so we, it's
part of our co working space.

it's like a perk of being a member and
we meet once a week for eight weeks.

and I'm the facilitator for it.

So I guide them through
picking one project.

we seem to attract very.

ambitious members who they're like, I'm
going to work on all three of these things

and they make no headway on any of them.

And so we have really tuned the project.

Like we've done this probably 20
times over the last couple of years.

And We've learned to really make people
dial into one project, do less than

you think you can do in eight weeks.

Cause we're only meeting for an hour
and people are probably only carving

a few hours out of every week.

but we have somebody who's practicing
and rediscovering their love for guitar.

We have someone, trying to work
on a course that they're doing.

someone's working on
a curriculum for yoga.

Academy, like there's all kinds of
different things, which is really cool.

and it'll be fun.

Cause show and tell for the guitar
person is going to be, them performing

a song and then we'll see, like
the conference room app and things,

so yeah, it works pretty well.

Cause man, eight weeks goes by so fast.

CJ: Yes, totally.

Do you find that the day before
you're, you meet with the other people,

you're just like hustling to try to get
something done to show like the next day.

Yeah.

Colin: I think that helps because you
have to show something and we alternate

between a rose and thorn update.

So something that went well this
week and something that, was

a challenge or a speed bump.

and then sometimes it'll be like, what's
the thing that you ran into that you're

interested in learning more about?

and so It's really nice because some of
our members, they come in and they work.

If you've been to a WeWork or any of
these places, like you don't really get

to understand what people work on, what
they're doing, what their challenges

are, it becomes a little bit of group
therapy where everything that happens in,

in, in cultivation stays in cultivation.

people get a little bit vulnerable if
they're a freelancer and they're like,

yeah, no clients are paying me on time.

What, my, sometimes that project might be.

I'm just going to figure out my invoicing
and billing and getting a better system in

place that makes people pay me up front.

And it's really helpful.

Cause then there's other people
who probably were in that.

position in the past that
they can offer some advice.

So

CJ: And you said you've
run it like 20 times.

Colin: yeah, we've been
doing it since 2017, I think.

So it's, yeah.

CJ: Okay.

Colin: So we do, I think, three a
year and they take about eight weeks.

CJ: Are there certain cohorts?

That you remember thinking like,
wow, this one was really, like

good results versus others.

And then maybe were there like certain
things that you took away from that?

Colin: Yeah.

the, it's so different how, like one year
we had somebody who was running a packaged

food company that was like a granola bar
that people have heard of, and they're

like, my goal is to hit a certain millions
of dollars in revenue by the end of this

program, and it's okay, I'm just wanting
to just get my shit together and have

a to do list by the end of this, right,
So it always is so wildly different.

And, but what's cool is that each
member learns from a very different

industry, very different type of work.

cause some of them are remote employees,
some are startup folks, some are

freelancers, some are just striking it
out on their own for the first time.

And so you get.

A lot of cross, cross communication
and learning and those members end up

knowing each other so much better too.

And so outside of the program, selfishly
for us too, they end up staying longer,

in terms of being coworking members
because they're growing as part of it.

And so it's like a no brainer to
stay a member, even if they don't

need the physical space anymore.

But yeah.

anything else, what things
are you digging into over

CJ: Ah, man, just so much, so much
of it is around this AI stuff.

You know what's been really
surprising is like, how good

LLMs are at giving you back JSON?

So you can just be like, Hey,
generate this story with 10 characters

and put the characters in a JSON
array that looks like this, it'll

come back like super well formed.

And it's almost always right,
at least with GPT four.

And so that has just been like mind
blowing that you can Tell it to do

stuff and give you back well structured
data that you can use as like part

of programming something and not just
like making an API call to generate

a name and then making an API call
to generate an occupation and making

an API call to generate a background.

It's no, just generate a bunch
of stuff for me all at once.

Colin: Yeah.

We have like a.

An AI discord that it's very
similar to chat GPT, but like

being able to say here's a bunch
of country codes for localization.

And I'm not going to go look up
each of these country codes to

see which countries they are.

And I'll just say create a
table with all the country names

and whether or not we support.

In this case like payments in that
country and it just generates it for

us It always you always like I feel
like you need to spot check it and be

like, okay Is there anything wrong?

Did you hallucinate or anything?

but for factual stuff like
that, it's really nice.

I think it's when it starts getting
a little bit creative or I found

that because I haven't worked
with it as Directly as you have,

sometimes I'll give it documents.

Like I actually gave it a city council
agenda and I was like, can you please

just summarize this whole thing for me?

And it took the densest, like when
you're thinking of being like a

city council representative, you
would think that agenda should be

approachable by the common person.

And it's the exact opposite of that.

It's AB four, five, six, seven.

We're going to be talking about this
and you're like, what the hell is that?

And it went through and found.

All I was like, who is in attendance
of the meeting, who's presenting,

which bars are asking for liquor
licenses and stuff like that.

So it's almost like being able
to ask questions about, just a

meeting, which is pretty cool.

but it's sometimes forgets the context in
between where they're like, Oh, we don't

know who is going to be at this meeting.

I was like, I just gave you.

The list of people.

So I'm like, Oh, my apologies.

Here's the list of people.

So sometimes it forgets between
calls, but, I'll have to tune

that a little bit and figure out
how to make it remember better.

CJ: Yeah, there's a, I've been really
surprised that, using Claude, like

the Claude version, the context window
is so much bigger, like they give you

a hundred thousand, I think it's a
hundred thousand tokens or something.

it's ridiculous.

so you can give it just like a humongous
file or document it and ask questions

about it versus, a GPT three or four
where you're limited to like 8k or 32k

tokens, in which case You might have
to do like some creative approaches

to like splitting up the document,
generating embeddings for it, using a

vector database to use semantic search
to pull out like the relevant chunks

of the document, and then using that
to feed GPT and tell it like give me an

answer based on these three sections.

but yeah, it's getting really good.

There's this tool inside a lang
chain called the conversational.

Buffer memory.

They're like trying to build out
these concepts of memory because you

have that limited context window.

So imagine you have the super long
running conversation, or you try to feed

it all of the meeting notes from every
city council meeting ever, and then you

want to talk to it, like eventually it's
going to run out of that memory space.

But like one of the approaches
that there's, teams are starting to

explore is if it's an older message.

Try to keep it in the context window
by summarizing the older messages and

just keeping it as information dense
as possible and then give me space at

the bottom of the context window or
whatever to ask my question and have

enough left over to get a response.

and so this is something I've been trying
to build with Rails where it's okay, build

up the memory of different characters and
like the traits of different characters.

And then when we're crafting a section
of the story where A subset of characters

are involved, pull their character traits
and then also maybe a sample from their

memories where it's like relevant to the
part of the story that we're writing now.

So it's all fun.

Yeah, it's like it's so crazy
to me that any of this works.

Colin: Yeah, and I was having a meeting
with some folks who are trying to

figure out how to make City Council
be more transparent, and that's where

that idea came from, and it was just
interesting to see, we deal with

tech all day long, and, some of these
folks were past City Council members.

in the 2000s.

They're a little bit older.

They just don't use tech as much as we do.

And they're like, yeah, now they
like split the agenda into multiple

agendas and multiple files.

And I was like, computers
do not care about that.

Like it makes it harder for people
to follow, which is unfortunate

and intentional probably.

And sometimes the topics, if you're
interested in a certain proposal.

It might change names between councils.

And it's okay, do we assume
it's making it more specific?

Or is this out of is this out of just
like negligence or is this intention?

That they intentionally
don't want you to follow it.

I was like, we should be able to know,
and that, that memory that you're

talking about, I would love to have all
of the city council database, right?

All of the, all of them, because I
want to know not only the agenda,

but also the transcript of every
meeting, and say, tell me all the

meetings that this person attended.

Tell me, all the meetings
where this topic was discussed.

without having to go pay, a
paralegal or somebody to go

through and find all these things.

And I'm sure this is helping
a lot in the legal space.

I know Joshua Pig, spigford on Twitter.

He has been working on detangled.

ai, which is pretty cool.

You can give it a legal
document and it spits out.

the, run of the mill, give it to me
straight, summary, which is awesome.

I think that's pretty cool.

CJ: So for the city council stuff,
would you imagine like a sort of

chat with your docs type situation
or like question and answer?

Like you want to just ask
Hey, what happened here?

Or,

Colin: Yeah, their default thinking
was to create yet another newspaper.

And I was like, that
does not scale, right?

even if you had the summaries that
you gave to a person to then write

up the summaries and create some
perspective, like almost every

issue has two sides or more, so
there's going to be editorial bias.

And if you're in support of
this thing, if we report on it.

That's going to be obvious from this
perspective versus I'm more interested

in what's Factually happening or
happened not necessarily editorializing

on it I think doing questions would be
interesting But I think the thing you

the problem with any of these things
you gotta get people to use it and

I think would be more interesting to
say CJ signed up for his local council

watch and I see Jay live in this ward
and I'm interested in these topics.

Tell me any time bike infrastructure
pops up on a city agenda.

And then you get emails letting
you know, but then we can

also say this is how you can.

Call in, write in or show up to
a meeting based on the things you

care about, because unfortunately we
can't create a whole bunch of public

comment off of a government website
and then submit it for public comment.

'cause they'll be like, oh,
these trolls on the internet.

it has to go through actual
government, proceedings and

meetings and stuff like that.

CJ: But it could, as I think a lot of
people aren't familiar, number one,

like, how to call in or show up or
have their voice heard, but also, it

might be interesting to, give examples.

To them like, okay, here's a, yeah,
here's a drafted email for you to send.

And here's the email address you should
send it to and have the, this is how you

can have your voice heard or whatever.

Colin: oftentimes you see those
templates and they're exactly the same

and they just get tuned out by staff.

But if you can regenerate the summary
every time or at least give them a

starting point, be like, what's your name?

What do you care about?

Where do you live?

What ward?

And then we generate a little
thing that's custom to you.

And with Twilio and stuff,
we could even send it.

yeah, it starts to get interesting.

It's mostly like a civic engagement thing.

It's do we just bury our
faces in our phones more?

Or do we use this tech to
actually get people more engaged?

Because people do care about where
they live and the decisions being made.

But like these meetings are
during the middle of the day

when most people can't go.

and so we want to tell you like.

If you're going to take time out of your
work day, if you're going to call out

sick or PTO, like this is, here's a letter
to your boss one, to get your time off.

But we want to make sure that
you go to the most impactful

meetings and not waste your time.

I may be surprised city
council in the process.

You're like, you want, civic engagement.

We're going to make you
make people show up.

CJ: I love that idea.

That's very cool.

And I also hadn't thought
about like a monitor.

Like a GPT based monitor.

That's just tell me anytime bike
infrastructure comes up in these

meetings and then it could parse the
docs and if it, even if it says bicycle

instead of bike or whatever, like
bike lane, whatever, like it's not,

Colin: and in Reno, they're calling
it micro mobility or multimodal.

And I'm like, use the
words that humans use.

CJ: Yeah.

Colin: these are city planning
and like architecture, grad

student words, which is great.

But if you got an email that says come
vote on micro mobility, whatever, like a

lot of people are going to tune that out.

but then you look at the bike
organizations and they're like

sending an email with save
the bikes in all caps, right?

One of those emails is getting
open and one of them isn't and so

there's these little nuances that
come up and Yeah, maybe i'll have

to dig into some nlp stuff here, too

CJ: sounds like a fun project.

Seems like a wrap.

What do you say?

Colin: yeah, I think there's Some
topics here we can talk about

next time, but, we've got some
great shout outs for the show.

So welcome to any new listeners
out there and things for the

shout outs, Connor and Jesper.

if you've, been enjoying the
show, you can also help us out by

leaving us a review and whatever
podcast app you're listening to.

we have never really asked for this.

We forgot that's a thing, podcast reviews.

But it definitely helps other people who
are building cool stuff, find the show.

give us a review, give us a
rating, share it with some friends.

we're going to keep doing the show
as long as people like hearing it.

And we always have things to
talk about, so we'll keep going.

CJ: Totally.

That's all for this episode, folks.

As always, you can head
over to buildandlearn.

dev to check out all the links
and resources in the show notes.

We'll see you next time.

Colin: See ya.

View episode details


Creators and Guests

CJ Avilla
Host
CJ Avilla
Developer Advocate @StripeDev. Veteran. 📽 https://t.co/2UI0oEAnFK. Building with Ruby, Rails, JavaScript
Colin Loretz
Host
Colin Loretz
I like to build software and communities. Building software at @orbitmodel 🪐 Coworking at @renocollective 🎙Sharing software learnings on @buildandlearn_

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