Clubhouse Bed

When Logan was turning three he needed a new, larger bed. I decided to do some research on building it myself as opposed to buying one—I didn't like the designs for any I found in stores.

After having recently rekindled my love for woodworking and building stuff, I stumbled across build plans for a clubhouse bed online. Here's a quick rundown of my journey building it.

If you're interested in building it, here's a direct link to the plans which include both material and cut lists as well as instructions for slapping it together. Enjoy!

The material costs were less than $200, and the project was fun and rewarding.

Some of the diagonal cuts were precise—so you'll want a miter saw.

Another valuable lesson after not having built anything for so long: have lots and lots of clamps of all different sizes. Photobomb by a picnic table I also built that served as a workbench for a while.

If you build this you'll want to sand the staircase good, and perhaps utilize rubber pads for the end caps.

Almost done! After the final journey to the bedroom you can assemble the components and put on the slats.

It's a hit!

Email Authentications in Gmail

Google has recently upgraded their Show Original console to be much easier to read for email marketers looking to view whether or not their email's are authenticating properly. I've already written a blog on utilizing Google's Postmaster Tool, now let's look at how you can quickly see whether or not your email is authenticating in Gmail. I'm using an email from Harry's as an example.

Open Your Email

Open up the email you'd like to check for authentications. Click the show details dropdown and be sure your email is being signed.

Show Original

Here's a cool tool not a lot of people know about. In the dropdown next to the reply button in the top right, choose Show Original. This will show you the message as the computer reads it.

Check Your Authentications

This is pretty cool. Google has updated their console to table all of the important stuff up top (strangely missing TLS though, which they just started supporting recently...). Now you can see the pass or fail of SPF, DKIM & DMARC. They've even added nifty Learn More links to explain how and why they're authenticating. Click download original if you'd like to see what it used to look like.

Email Marketing Reporting Dashboard

It's no secret that most reporting modules in marketing email and automation platforms are terrible. If you pull that raw data down manually for analysis, or have it ETL'd into a more robust database, you can use Tableau to help visualize your email metrics—and perhaps catch unnoticed insights. Here's a quick example dashboard. You can download the workbook from Tableau Public by clicking on the image.

Email Marketing Reporting Dashboard

Email Marketing Reporting Dashboard

Email Subscription Snooze

So—I was perusing Gmail's deliverability resources (you know, the kind of stuff I do for fun) and I come across this little nugget.

Snooze an Email... Interesting

But, perhaps, you can snooze an email subscription too.

I don't want to hear from you right now, but, maybe in 30 days we can get after it?

Marketing automation to the rescue.

I wish every retail brand would adopt this (Filson, Outdoor Research.. AHEM). Any automation tool with decisions steps and rules that update contact field values can accomplish this. Here's a sexy example from Eloqua's new Program Canvas:

And here's something even sexier—what it looks like in HTML:

The trick is to just create a quick form POST with variable content that your tool will inject on deployment. You'll probably have had processing steps setup at this point for form posts, but a quick custom field with the variable 'snooze30' will throw the subscriber into an unsubscription status for 30 days. It'll probably feel like a treat for them once they get your email after 30 days of Jonesin' for it, because you're such great email marketers.

Reddit In April


Tableau has a series of internal qualification steps that ensure their folks are well versed in their suite of products. Bronze, Silver & Gold. Below is the visualization I created for my Silver.

The Data

This data is curated by the owner of, Jason Baumgartner and loaded into BigQuery by Google's Developer Advocate & Software Engineer for Cloud & Big Data, Felipe Hoffa. Felipe posts on Reddit frequently promoting the cool stuff launching in Google's Cloud Platform. He also posts some cool datasets up to BigQuery that are open for analysis. You can find some of those here.

The Viz

If you've perused my previous work you'll have noticed that most of my visualizations are minimalist and answer really basic (and hopefully interesting) questions. I also believe that visualizations are much easier to consume if they're pleasing to the eye, so I spend a lot of time formatting.

The leaderboard strip at the top is always a hit, and provides a quick introduction to the viz, and helps to get your head wrapped around what you're about to look at. The intent is to mitigate the confusion that happens with viewing a chart/graph/data viz for the first time. The scatter plot is purely for the pretty visual.

The subreddit leaderboard is a set of parameters that will select one sheet and hide four others, so this is essentially five vizzes using the precious real estate effectively.

Comment Trends shows a bar chart of comments per day and an overlayed line chart in red showing the running total of comments.

Voting trends show votes by day with a temperature diverging color palette and the width of the line grows with the amount. Three visual queues for one data point. The dashed reference line will flow with your datapoint selections.

The viz will be up on Tableau Public just as soon as the 64M rows are all tucked into a .tde. In the meantime, here's the workbook for download. Thanks for reading!