Monthly Archives: September 2017

Overthinking stats

Manuel Riess has been writing about why he didn’t stick with previous blogs. On the topic of paying too much attention to stats:

When using WordPress, it’s easy to get the basic numbers of interest: how many visitors, from which part of the world etc. The next level is Google Analytics… what a plethora of settings and numbers! I stared at them all the time after a new post went up, it was exhausting.

I highlighted Manuel’s microblog in an email to Kickstarter backers recently, as an example of using custom domain names. You can follow him on Micro.blog.

I still haven’t looked at stats for Timetable. And I’ve resisted adding follower counts and page view stats to Micro.blog for the same reason. If all that drives you is the number of likes on a tweet, or subscribers to your podcast, it’s easy to get discouraged when the numbers don’t pan out. Or worse, overthink your writing when you know a bunch of people are paying attention.

Everyone has something to say. Write because you love it, or to become a better writer, or to develop an idea. The stats should be an afterthought.

“I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal. I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried.” — John McCain

→ 2017/09/22 1:54 pm

Micro.blog post editing

Micro.blog users have wanted the ability to edit microblog posts for a while. We planned to add it, but first I thought we needed an edit history and probably a window of time during which edits are allowed, to prevent people from abusing edits by changing the meaning of a post in an earlier conversation.

While I still want those things, I realized that they were just excuses to put off implementing the feature. And with full pages and longer posts, editing was increasingly a big omission.

This week I rolled out a complete overhaul to the posts interface under your Micro.blog account. The layout is better, it’s more prominently linked in the UI, there’s an easy way to switch between posts and pages, and you can finally edit posts.

Micro.blog screenshot

There are a couple quirks of the UI still to improve. For example, if you’d like post edits to be reflected in the timeline, you should click the Remove link in the timeline so that Micro.blog pulls the latest version from your microblog. I’ll be working on polishing those areas over the coming weeks. But already it is much better. Enjoy!

Timetable 54

I posted a new episode of my Timetable microcast. Here’s a bit from today’s episode about blogging and tweeting:

My “blog first” strategy is actually really simple. I just follow the rule that I never post directly to Twitter unless I’m replying to a question. If I want to post something to Twitter, I fire up MarsEdit on my Mac, or I open the Micro.blog iOS app, and I post it there. Then of course Micro.blog sees that and sends it to Twitter for me.

I’m getting back into the groove of publishing these episodes. This was the third episode of Timetable this week.

Motivation for folks who have only blogged a few times this year: I’ve posted 468 times. The key is a “blog first, tweet second” strategy.

→ 2017/09/21 3:16 pm

Still hot outside, but working from one of my favorite coffee shops: Mozart’s on Lake Austin. Wrapping up a redesign to M.b’s posts screen.

→ 2017/09/21 2:43 pm

Listened to a lot of clips of Hillary to find the right one for yesterday’s Timetable. Still can’t bring myself to read the book. Soon.

→ 2017/09/21 2:20 pm

Published a couple new episodes of Timetable this week. We also recorded a new Core Int, likely out tomorrow.

→ 2017/09/20 2:26 pm

Now that I’ve got a couple pre-iOS 11 releases out of the way, I’ve been testing the new stuff: drag and drop, and iPhone X design tweaks. My app’s design is standard enough that the changes are minimal. Just hope I can get the X in the first shipment.

→ 2017/09/20 8:59 am

Micro.blog for iOS version 1.1.1 is now available in the App Store. Bug fixes and refinements to the new 1.1 features.

→ 2017/09/20 7:48 am

Updating my SE to iOS 11. I’ve had the beta on my iPads, but resisted installing on my main phone until release day.

→ 2017/09/19 3:35 pm

iPhone 8 standards

So many great iPhone 8 and iOS 11 reviews out today. My favorite aside has to be the headphone jack mini-rant in Nilay Patel’s The Verge review:

And I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that there’s no headphone jack, which is still routinely annoying on every phone that omits it. Apple’s own headphone dongle is one of the lowest-rated products on the Apple Store, with just 1.5 stars. It’s been a year, and the Lightning audio ecosystem is still extremely immature.

When I was at STAPLE! last week I bought a t-shirt from an artist who had to enter credit cards into the Square app manually because he had lost his Lightning dongle for the Square reader. Minor inconvenience, and fixed with an extra $9 purchase from the Apple Store, but nevertheless a real compatibility issue that will never go away.

We’ll eventually get used to this. Many people already have, thanks to the AirPods. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t the wrong decision, though. (I’m happy to give Apple full credit when they embrace a standard, like Qi charging or USB-C.)

I don’t see the iPhone X notch going anywhere. Even if it does nothing other than give Apple space to improve the front camera, it stays.

→ 2017/09/18 2:44 pm

Micro.blog iOS 1.1

Micro.blog for iOS version 1.1 is now available. This release adds a number of new features:

  • Added support for longer posts with titles. Type more than 280 characters to reveal an optional title field.
  • Added Markdown syntax highlighting while typing.
  • Added formatting bar for common styles. Select a phrase and tap the link button for easier markup.
  • Added support for uploading multiple photos.
  • Added a Browser sharing item to open the current post on the web.
  • Fixed a potential crash in profile links and glitch when holding down to select text.

Here’s a quick screencast showing some of the highlighting and title support:

Hope you like the update. You can download it from the App Store