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March 5, 2023 Issue 8#

Dear Bodhisattvas, greetings!

The main content of this issue is a summary and reflections of my thoughts during this period.

The following is the main text of this issue, with an estimated reading time of about 9 minutes.

1. Why are there more short videos?#

When we go online, we find that short videos are everywhere. Whether it's on social media platforms or e-commerce websites, whether it's on mobile or desktop, we can see the presence of short videos. From the initial Douyin, Kuaishou, and Xiaohongshu to Bilibili, which focuses on medium and long videos, to QQ, WeChat, and various photo editing apps, as well as global platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Vimeo, Snapchat, and Reddit, all of them include short videos. This phenomenon is not limited to China, but has become a global trend. The popularity of short videos can be said to have reached the global population.

I was once puzzled and thought that these companies lacked determination and were willing to lower the quality of platform content to compete for users. But when I learned that the main internet markets around the world are basically in a state of saturation competition, I suddenly understood why major platforms have made short videos their "killer move".

Saturation competition in the internet industry refers to the fact that the number of internet users has reached saturation, and existing users are no longer the main target for internet companies to expand, but rather the attention and stay time of users are the focus of competition among major internet companies. This is because with the popularity of the internet and technological advancements, internet users have basically covered the global population, and the growth rate of new users has slowed down. Therefore, internet companies need to compete for more market share among existing users in order to maintain and increase their market position.

So, how can internet companies compete for more market share among existing users? In recent years, internet products have boomed, with various software and services emerging endlessly. This makes users' time and attention scarce resources. Internet companies need to continuously improve user experience and provide better services to compete for users' time and attention in order to increase their market share. Short videos have emerged in this context.

Short videos can greatly enhance user experience and satisfaction. They allow users to obtain sufficient information and entertainment in a short period of time, while also increasing user engagement and stickiness. This makes short videos an important means for major internet companies to compete for user attention and stay time.

At the same time, as competition among internet companies intensifies, users are no longer passive recipients, but active participants and creators. In order to meet the growing needs and expectations of users, internet companies need to continuously improve their products and services. This is also why major internet companies continuously launch new features, upgrade products, and improve user experience.

The reason why short videos stand out is because they can greatly enhance user experience and satisfaction. The concise and powerful content allows users to obtain sufficient information and entertainment in a short period of time, while also increasing user engagement and stickiness. This effect is like nuclear weapons in the arms race during the Cold War. You must have them, and if you don't, you can declare yourself out of the game. Because short videos are an attention black hole, they attract all the traffic from other functions. With short videos, there is an infinite amount of traffic, and with traffic, various businesses can be developed. Conversely, if you don't make short videos, it's like losing the game directly.

Therefore, in order to gain more user attention and traffic in the saturation competition, these companies have all joined the field of short videos. It is well known that short videos have certain characteristics that can meet the needs of users in a fast-paced life:

  • Firstly, short videos are short in duration, allowing users to obtain information or entertainment in a short period of time.
  • Secondly, short videos are easy to produce and do not require professional skills, allowing more people to quickly learn and share their lives and experiences.
  • Thirdly, short videos have low production costs and do not require complex post-production and special effects, making it easier to attract a large number of users.
  • Fourthly, short videos have diverse content, allowing users to easily find content they are interested in.

For internet companies, they not only need to compete for user attention, but also for advertisers' placements. By placing short videos on their own platforms, internet companies generate huge daily views and interactions, making short videos an important marketing channel for advertisers. The forms of advertising are also more diverse, including brand integration and direct placement of short video ads. These advertising placements not only bring considerable revenue to internet companies, but also provide advertisers with greater exposure and sales opportunities.

For users, short videos have also become a way of entertainment. In a fast-paced life, people pay more and more attention to the use of fragmented time, and the characteristics of short videos just cater to this demand. Users can browse multiple videos in just a few minutes, gaining entertainment and relaxation. This is also one of the reasons why short videos are so popular.

2. The Four Steps to Building New Knowledge#

  1. Understand existing knowledge: Before building new knowledge, it is necessary to understand existing knowledge. This includes acquiring existing knowledge through reading, observation, listening to others' opinions, and other methods. Based on this, one can identify unresolved problems or areas that require further research.

  2. Creative thinking: Creative thinking is the core of building new knowledge. This requires avoiding traditional thinking patterns, advocating cross-disciplinary thinking, and constantly generating new ideas and perspectives. This can be cultivated and developed through daily practice, brainstorming, innovative games, and other methods.

  3. Practice: Building new knowledge requires continuous practice and experimentation. Through practice, one can continuously optimize and improve, test and revise one's ideas and perspectives, gradually building one's own knowledge system.

  4. Reflection: In the process of practice, continuous reflection and summarization of experience are needed. Reviewing one's own thinking and actions, identifying shortcomings, and making improvements. Through reflection, one can better understand new knowledge and continuously improve one's abilities and level.

3. Ten Insights#

Recently, while on a business trip, I have been experiencing the beauty of our motherland. On the evening of March 1st, while having dinner and taking a walk with Zeze, we naturally turned the conversation to reflections on life. Therefore, I have summarized ten insights.

  1. Never stop learning: Learning is a lifelong pursuit, both in personal life and in professional career. Continuous learning of new skills and knowledge allows one to stay competitive and better adapt to the constantly changing environment and demands.

  2. Failure is the mother of success: I have never liked the word "success". On the one hand, everyone has a different definition of success, and on the other hand, sometimes success means "achieving success at the expense of others". But I also hope that I can succeed. Success is not achieved overnight, but requires experiencing multiple failures and setbacks. Facing failure, summarizing experiences and lessons, and continuously improving methods and strategies are the necessary paths to achieve success.

  3. Teach what you know to others: I discovered during my student days that sharing my knowledge and experiences helps me better understand and apply them, and it can also help others. This is also emphasized in the Feynman Learning Technique.

  4. Don't make assumptions, question everything: Since I was young, my father has always advised me not to blindly accept others' opinions and views, but to come to my own conclusions through my own thinking and investigation.

  5. Objective analysis: Objective analysis is the key to problem-solving. It requires analyzing and judging without bias or emotional coloring, but based on facts and data. Based on my experience, objective analysis helps me better understand the essence of problems, identify their root causes, and thus better solve them.

  6. Respect constructive criticism: In both work and life, we inevitably encounter various criticisms and opposing opinions. Learning to respect constructive criticism and learn from it is one of my life lessons.

  7. Cherish the present: My mother often says, "Don't wait until you lose it to appreciate it." After embracing Buddhism, I realized that only by cherishing the present can one live wholeheartedly and truly understand the essence of life. The cultivation of compassion also needs to be established in countless present moments.

  8. Hope is an embrace of the unknown: Hope is a strong desire and belief, an expectation and longing for the future. And the future is full of unknowns. Without hope, it may be difficult to sustain and continue.

  9. Treat others with sincerity: "If you love others, others will love you; if you respect others, others will respect you." The longer I navigate in society, the more I realize that only by treating others with sincerity and honesty can one gain the trust and respect of others.

  10. Take initiative: Actively face the challenges and problems in life and work, not waiting for fate's arrangements, but actively shaping one's own future and creating one's own value.

4. P.A.R.A is Multilevel, Not Single-level#

I used to think that P.A.R.A only had one level, so I was struggling when building the tag system in Heptabase. It was not until yesterday's discussion with ChatGPT that I realized that P.A.R.A can have unlimited levels.

For example, in Heptabase, I first established the first-level tags: Project, Area, Resource, and Archive. Then, within the Project tag, there is a second-level tag called "Second Brain".

By using the Tags database view, four properties can be established as third-level tags.

So, Project is the notes directly related to the Second Brain, Area is the notes indirectly related to the Second Brain, Resource is the notes related to the Second Brain's resources, and Archive is the notes related to archiving the Second Brain.


Now I no longer struggle with how to manage tags. Each odd-level can use P.A.R.A to establish four tags, and then nest them infinitely.

This method can also be used to manage files in DEVONthink.

5. Updates to Paid Columns#

6. Blog Updates#

Since the end of last year, the lightweight server I have been using on Tencent Cloud has been occasionally experiencing downtime, even though the longest downtime was only about 20 minutes. This has made me extremely unhappy, and coupled with the content review that happens several times a year and the inability to enable the comment function, it has also been very annoying. So I migrated the content of my website to Notion and used to power it.

Although it is more convenient than using Typecho before, still has many incomplete features, such as the lack of integrated comment function and RSS function. I know that many friends have subscribed to my website through RSS, and I apologize that the subscription address generated by Fetchrss still cannot display the full content in some RSS readers. I have given feedback to several times, and I hope they can complete the features as soon as possible.

7. The Zen Teachings of Bodhidharma#

You repay me with your life, and I'll repay you with my death. You've been my debtor since the beginning of time. Because of this, you're born and die again and again. You love me, and I'll love you. You hate me, and I'll hate you. Because of this, you're born and die again and again. Quoted from the "Lankavatara Sutra"

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Best regards,

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© 2023 Shu Cheng Leslie

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