Monthly Archives: August 2017

Considering the iPhone Pro

The iPhone SE was an incredible value when it first shipped — a perfect balance of size, great camera, and nearly-flawless design. I still love mine. It’s arguably the best overall phone Apple has ever made.

The iPhone SE likely won’t see an update until next spring. At that point, the camera that was competitive at launch will be 2 generations behind. This isn’t a surprise; we knew this was coming. It’s just the more I see the photos from Traci’s iPhone 7 Plus camera, the more I’m pulled back to the cutting edge. The dual-camera approach is a major step forward.

Apple will announce new iPhones in a couple of weeks. Unless the design of the high-end “pro” version is a disaster, I plan to go for it.

Finished writing an update for Kickstarter backers that I’ll send out soon. Need to get into more regular updates, especially with everything planned for the fall.

→ 2017/08/29 1:27 pm

Our neighbor’s tree fell into our yard from the wind last night. Hope everyone’s staying safe as more rain dumps on Texas.

→ 2017/08/27 2:56 pm

Inadvertently broke some JavaScript (especially for handling forms) with today’s rollout of custom pages. Fixed now.

→ 2017/08/25 9:32 pm custom pages

As I mentioned in this morning’s post about Medium, it’s important that sites can have their own domain name. Some people use their microblog to supplement an existing web site. Others use itself for hosting their full web site, because the focus on short posts makes the site easy to update.

Today we’re introducing a new feature for hosted microblogs: custom web pages. These can be used for expanded “about” pages, contact information, lists of current projects, essays, or whatever you want to write about on your web site. pages use Markdown and are automatically included in the navigation for your site.

Here’s a screenshot of an example page being edited:

Pages screenshot

If you have a site, check out the pages list under Account → “Edit Domains & Design”. Enjoy!

Medium stumbling forward

Dave Winer isn’t optimistic about the recent Medium changes:

We’re in the long tail of the demise of Medium. They’ll try this, and something else, and then another thing, each with a smaller probability of making a difference, until they turn it off.

This has been the concern with Medium since the very beginning. Because they defaulted to Medium-branded user blogs on instead of your own blog at a personal domain name, there was a risk that if Medium didn’t work out as a business, many great posts would disappear along with the service. You might get more readers in the short-term, but it’s a bad trade-off when links break and you have to start all over again.

Nick Heer wrote about the “sameness” of Medium sites — how the sites blur together as just pages on Medium’s platform. Several prominent sites have left:

Earlier this year, Film School Rejects and Pacific Standard moved away from the platform; this month, the Awl announced that they went back to WordPress with their old custom theme. The Ringer and Backchannel also left Medium. Once again, I can tell those sites apart from each other.

I think Medium has good intentions. But the premise was wrong, with an emphasis on URLs that aren’t portable, and no obvious way to get a custom domain. Getting this right is IndieWeb 101.

That’s why on the microblogs are by default. It sounds like a small thing, but that difference is everything. It’s easy to swap out for a personal domain name, with free SSL hosting, multiple themes, custom CSS, and it’s based on Jekyll so that it can be moved to any host.

Medium is stumbling forward, trying to find the right path because their initial foundation wasn’t right. I hope they get there.

Introducing a new feature for hosted microblogs tomorrow. Should be great for anyone using as their main site.

→ 2017/08/24 6:37 pm

Going to head downtown early and work a bit at Jo’s Coffee. NSDrinking is 8pm at Ginger Man.

→ 2017/08/24 5:19 pm

Domain name prices should be down, not up. Still a major unsolved problem to make domain names more accessible and perpetual.

→ 2017/08/24 12:47 pm

Inspired by Breath of the Wild, we’ve been picking up all the old Zelda games again. Latest is Ocarina of Time on the N64.

→ 2017/08/23 4:59 pm

Rolled out some more improvements to @-mentions on Still tweaking the behavior, but should be more consistent now.

→ 2017/08/23 7:45 am

I like what Ryan Irelan is doing with his running microblog:

In December 2017 I will run my first marathon. This microblog will document my training and experience. I’ll start with a little background and then get into actual training stuff.

→ 2017/08/21 4:19 pm

Flip the iceberg

Many people are initially confused by because they are expecting a strict clone of Twitter. They are expecting another But as I said in the Kickstarter video, clones of Twitter and Facebook have come and gone. They’ve all failed. A different approach won’t guarantee success, but it is required to have a chance.

I plan to stay the course. I’m inspired by the work of the IndieWeb, which was founded 6 years ago and is still gaining momentum today. I hope that the solar eclipse photos posted to indie microblogs today will last through the next North American eclipse 7 years from now, and longer.

There was a great article on AltPlatform about how compatibility between new blog-focused platforms could eventually become bigger than any one social network:

Open source tools like WordPress, and are creating many small networks of publishers, and popular tools like Twitter and could peer with them. If all of the social networks outside of Facebook interoperated at some level, they might eventually “flip the iceberg” and become the dominant form of social networking.

It’s going to take a while, but I have no doubt that this “flip” is exactly what will happen. The entire web should be the social network. It’s too big of an idea to be contained on a single web site.

The eclipse I remember as a kid must’ve been 1984. We didn’t have glasses, but everyone at school went outside to watch the shadows.

→ 2017/08/21 2:59 pm

Difficult to get work done with so many eclipse-related distractions. Really cool day. Looking forward to Austin’s total eclipse in 7 years.

→ 2017/08/21 2:00 pm