Updated Tweet Marker extension

I updated the Tweet Marker Safari extension to version 1.2 today. This version fixes the extension to accommodate recent design changes on twitter.com. Existing Tweet Marker paid subscribers can grab the new extension here.

Here’s a screenshot of the “Set Marker” link that the extension adds to twitter.com. Then when you launch a compatible iOS or Mac Twitter app, it will scroll the timeline to that position.

If you’d like to support Tweet Marker or use the Safari extension, you can subscribe for $1/month.

Core Int and Hour of Code

We were lagging a little after the Thanksgiving break, so we posted two episodes of Core Intuition last week. On the latest episode we talk about the Hour of Code and welcome new listeners who found our podcast from the App Store feature.

After we recorded, I helped out my son’s elementary school class with the Hour of Code tutorials. I learned a lot and came away even more impressed with the project. The reach is pretty incredible. Even if it only sways the interest of a couple kids here and there, but spread over classrooms all across the world, you can imagine how big a difference it might make.

2014/12/09 9:33 am

So busy last week that we didn’t post Core Intuition 165 until yesterday. We talk about Daniel’s iOS extension development and Manton’s reactions to yet more Twitter news. We’re recording another episode for posting later this week!

2014/12/04 9:25 am

For the first time in a few years, I have a $0/month Heroku bill. Finished moving one remaining database yesterday.

2014/11/25 1:46 pm

We’re taking the week off from the Core Intuition podcast. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Lots to talk about when we record next week.

Twitter in 2 years

Marco predicts that third-party Twitter apps will lose half of their users within the next 2 years:

“We won’t even be angry at Twitter — we’ll move to the official apps voluntarily, and we’ll look back on all third-party clients like we look back on Tweetie, vanity link shorteners, and third-party image hosts today: as relics of a quickly abandoned past before we all started using Twitter’s better, newer features.”

During WWDC this year, Buzz Andersen gave a great talk at a small venue outside the conference. With the hindsight of several years, he talked about building Birdfeed, the challenges of competing with Tweetie, with his own struggle at perfection, and many more insights on the rise and fall of third-party Twitter apps.

It left me with a lot to think about, and I loved the old stories, screenshots, and related nostalgia. But in closing out the questions & answers, one statement in particular struck me as a nail in the coffin for third-party developers: Buzz revealed that even he now uses the official Twitter app.

Mailing list for new project

I’ve been working on something new around microblogging. Some people have guessed at what it is based on discussions Daniel and I have had on Core Intuition, but only a handful of people have seen it. Soon I want to open it up to more beta testers.

If you’re interested in the project, you can now sign up on the announcement mailing list for more information. I’ll send an email when the beta launches, as well as occasional updates for major new features. Hope you like it!

Winding down my Twitter apps

I’m the guest on this week’s Mac Power Users podcast. In addition to workflow and apps I use, the discussion went off the rails a little into the Twitter app ecosystem, especially the fact that I no longer post to Twitter yet still have apps like Tweet Library, Watermark, and the Tweet Marker API that depend on Twitter. For the last 2 years this has been an odd decision on my part; I want to do the right thing for my customers, but I’m increasingly frustrated with life as a third-party Twitter developer.

Last week, Twitter announced that they’ve expanded their search index to include the full history of tweets going back to 2006. I was thrilled by this upgrade to the Twitter service. That the search was so limited for so long was the primary reason I built Tweet Library and Watermark to begin with. Unfortunately, this functionality is only for the official Twitter apps. It will not be made available to third-party developers.

It’s time for me to wind down development on my Twitter-related apps. I’ll continue to sell Tweet Library through the end of 2014, then remove it from the App Store. Watermark will also shut down at that time. Because all the tweets stored in Watermark are public tweets (by design it never supported DMs or protected accounts), I will attempt to make the entire Watermark database archive of millions of tweets available publicly. Existing customers can also sync tweets and collections to Dropbox for personal archiving.

Published collections from Tweet Library or Watermark will be maintained indefinitely. No URLs will break, ever. Updating published collections will also continue to work for anyone who already owns Tweet Library.

I will also continue to host the Tweet Marker API, but starting in January I will be more strict about requiring developers to pay for the service. Many developers have been paying for API access for a year (thank you!), but others have missed or ignored my requests to move to a paid plan. It’s not fair to the Twitter developers who have been paying for Tweet Marker access if some continue get the API for free.

Many friends have told me over the years that I have too many products. But letting any one product go is not easy. There’s an implicit promise when shipping software that the developer should maintain and improve it for customers. Stopping development on these apps is the right decision and possibly long overdue, but it’s still difficult. What gives me hope is that it will let me focus on new projects currently in development, which I couldn’t be more excited about.