Digital Detoxing

I am reading Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism and trying to detox for the hundredth time. I am fed up with Facebook allowing disinformation to spread on its platform. I removed Facebook app off my phone and temporarily deactivated my account. I am logging off Twitter as well. I’ll spend this weekend hanging out with the kids and reading Newport’s book. Have a great weekend, folks.

Learning Typography Resources

My book, Professional Web Typography, has been mentioned in issue #30 of “Web Fonts & Typography News.” Jason Pamental writes:

Donny is a deeply talented designer and typographer, and has released a second edition of his book recently, updating it to include variable fonts and some other newer developments. It’s very well written and an incredible resource. Well-deserving of a place on your digital bookshelf.

It is an honor to be included along many of my favorite books on typography. If you are new to web typography, this issue is a great introduction. If you haven’t already, you should subscribe to “Web Fonts & Typography News.”


Lunarpages, my hosting provider, has been acquired by HostPapa. They are making infrastructure changes. As a result, all my websites, including this blog, will be down for four hours today. Here’s the notification from HostPapa:

In order to perform important infrastructure updates, your service will experience downtime starting on:

Wednesday, October 9, 2019 10 pm (PST)

And ending on:

Thursday, October 10, 2019 2 am (PST)

During this maintenance period, your website and email will not be available.

I’ve hosted with Lunarpages for almost 20 years. They have done a great job with minimum downtime. I am not sure what will happen with HostPapa. Just keep my fingers crossed.

Run, Walk & Roll

Our sons, Đạo and Đán, will participate in the Laurel Ridge Run, Walk & Roll on October 11, 2019 to raise funds for their school’s education enrichment and teacher supplies. If you would like to support, please make a pledge.

Monetizing My Content With Coil

I have been blogging for 16 year and still loving it. I put too much time and effort into it, but I have not been able to monetize it. I thought of serving ads, but I hate ads. I am sure my readers do as well. I have a reader-support section at the bottom of this blog, but it has not been too successful.

I am now trying Coil after seeing some bloggers using it and tweeting about it. Coil seems like a promising way to get paid for what I post online. I also added Coil to Vietnamese Typography and Professional Web Typography. Will see how it goes.

Phong Lê lồng tiếng Chris Rock

Tôi mê danh hài Chris Rock từ lâu và muốn chia sẽ cùng những người Việt không rành tiếng Anh. Hôm nay xem phần lồng tiếng của Phong Lê làm tôi cười té ngửa.

Read The New Yorker

If you are looking for some enlightening reads, check out the following essays from The New Yorker:

A Lovely Letter From Susan

This letter from Susan made my day:

Hello Donny,

I’m Susan and I’m a college student from Louisiana. I’m emailing you to give you my thanks for creating your online book, Vietnamese Typography.

How I found your webpage was accidental so I’ll explain it to you. I’m a Vietnamese-American and my parents were refugees from Vietnam. They worked hard for me in so many ways, one of them being providing me with the tools to learn Vietnamese from a young age so I could be as fluent as possible. Watching educational videos from Thế Hệ Trẻ, going to Sunday School at my Vietnamese church, attending summer school for even further learning, and talking with my extended family are some examples of how I learned to read, write, and speak so much Vietnamese as an American-born.

Now fast forward to June 2019. My boyfriend, a Filipino-Canadian, has requested that I teach him how to read Vietnamese. He searched up some alphabet charts while I went to find some sort of guide to teach him about dấu. Your website appeared first on my Google search. Initially, I was completely unaware that this site was meant to help typographers, as the Google search only directed me towards the “Tone Marks” page. Upon further reading though, I can see that this site offers the utmost respect to our language and simultaneously teaches typographers how to create optimum designs for its use on the screen. My boyfriend casually remarked that he wanted to know the history of the Vietnamese language. I couldn’t impart such knowledge because I was never taught about it, and yet, there is a chapter dedicated to this subject readily available on your website. This is a wholesome page.

I’ve also reviewed your portfolio website. Your work is beautiful and your passion for our language is quite inspiring. I have never seen this sort of appreciation for Vietnamese by a Vietnamese person before. I’m glad to have found Vietnamese Typography and I’ve donated $5 via the support page. I wish you all the best, Donny.

Keep up the good work,

My response to Susan:

Dear Susan,

Thank you for supporting my Vietnamese Typography book. Furthermore, I appreciate your wonderful story. I am glad that your boyfriend wanted to learn about our beautiful language. When someone is willing to go that far for you, it’s true love. Congratulations!

My hat off to your parents. You probably didn’t appreciate their effort then, but you must be pleased now that they had instilled Vietnamese into you. I am encouraging my kids to learn Vietnamese as well and it is not easy; therefore, I understand and respect what they had done for you.

Reading your letter has confirmed that I made the right decision, which was to make this publication online for free. I am happy that it has reached you.

Thank you,

Donny Truong

Can “Indie” Social Media Save Us?

Cal Newport writes in The New Yorker:

Despite its advantages, however, I suspect that the IndieWeb will not succeed in replacing existing social-media platforms at their current scale. For one thing, the IndieWeb lacks the carefully engineered addictiveness that helped fuel the rise of services like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This addictiveness has kept people returning to their devices even when they know there are better uses for their time; remove the addiction, and you might lose the users.

I have not tried out any new IndieWeb social media platform simply because I still can’t get rid of Facebook. Twitter I can control, but Facebook is still addictive. I do lots of cross-posting on here and Facebook as well.

Thinkpoint Creative

My friend Jim Van Meer started Thinkpoint Creative, the intersection of design thinking and design doing. I am proud to be part of the talented team as Web & UI/UX Director. We just launched the website. Read more about it on my professional portfolio.