Monthly Archives: September 2017

Rudy Gay shooting from the line at the Spurs open scrimmage. Excited for the season to start.

→ 2017/09/30 11:50 am

I love Nintendo. Always will. But if they can’t manufacture a 25-year-old system in sufficient numbers to meet demand, something is wrong.

→ 2017/09/29 2:00 pm

Twitter public opinion may flip

Nick Heer writes at Pixel Envy about Twitter’s half-hearted attempt at transparency on fake news and the election:

As tech companies play an increasing role in democratic processes worldwide, a regular theme has been their reluctance to admit to their own influence in a legal context. They’re perfectly happy to trot out the old Silicon Valley trope of changing the world and brag to candidates about the effectiveness of advertising on their platforms when it suits them. But when it’s time for them to be introspective about their own responsibilities, they suddenly clam up and claim that they can’t possibly have influence.

It’s time for a reckoning. I don’t know if it’s government regulation. But we are on the edge of pushback against ad-supported, ginormous platforms. Once it flips, as it did against Uber, there will be an opening for real change.

We’re meeting at Monkey Nest again next Wednesday for Homebrew Website Club. 6:30pm. Planning is underway for an IndieWebCamp in Austin!

→ 2017/09/29 12:27 pm

Going to be in San Antonio this weekend for WordCamp. Never attended before, but I need to be more clued into the WordPress community.

→ 2017/09/28 1:49 pm

Even for user accounts that get 280 characters, posting over 140 is blocked from the Twitter API. Hope this is laziness and not malice.

→ 2017/09/28 8:37 am

More on 280 characters

For this week’s Core Intuition, Daniel and I spend the whole show talking about Twitter’s 280-character change and related fallout. It makes a good complement to my initial blog post, as well as yesterday’s episode of Timetable.

And of course I liked this part of Colin Walker’s blog post:

Having gotten used to a 280 character limit on micro.blog I can honestly say it makes a world of difference.

Dave Winer wrote about the need for Twitter to take risks:

So if you think the 140-char limit is so great, why isn’t Twitter making money for its shareholders? If you were management at Twitter would you be conservative or would you take risks? As a shareholder, I want them to take risks. Big ones. Why not? They don’t really have anything to lose.

My daughter’s Twitter account has access to the new 280-character limit, so I’ve had a chance to see the new UI. Instead of counting down, it uses a circular progress bar until you get near the end of the limit. The UI is further proof that Twitter didn’t make this change on a whim. They plan to ship it.

For some reason I never enabled the “allow Apple Watch to unlock your Mac” feature until this week. Love it.

→ 2017/09/27 9:19 am

Twitter experiments with 280 characters

I had first suggested a 280-character guideline for microblog posts back in 2014. As I’ve said many times since then, and through launching Micro.blog, I believe expanding the limit will make for better conversations, less mangled punctation, yet still remain short enough that it encourages quick posting.

Twitter announced today that they are also experimenting with a 280-character limit! From their blog post:

We understand since many of you have been Tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters – we felt it, too. But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint.

They focus most of the announcement on explaining how the current constraints are different for some languages, like Japanese, which can fit far more words into 140 characters. That’s true, but it glosses over the most important point.

Longer text allows for more thoughtful posts, fewer misinterpreted shouting matches, and Twitter desperately needs to improve the tone of conversations on their platform. I’m a fan of this change.

Updated to High Sierra

I installed 10.13 High Sierra today. It takes a long time, presumably because of the file system conversion. Make sure to block out a couple of hours.

Stephen Hackett has a full review. One of the most interesting features to me is Safari’s new ability to automatically enable Reader Mode when viewing certain web sites you configure:

Safari’s stripped-down view is learning some new tricks. The feature can be set to automatically engage, displaying text, images and video in a clean format, leaving ads and funky layouts behind.

Speaking of Stephen, his kids are running the Kids Marathon to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. You can read about it and make a donation here.

I don’t think Star Trek can prop up CBS’s streaming service by itself, but we did sign up for the trial to watch episode 2. I love where they’re going with it. Likely will cancel and catch up on the season at some later point.

→ 2017/09/26 8:37 am

New version of Micro.blog for iOS is out, with drag and drop to attach photos to a blog post in iOS 11.

→ 2017/09/25 3:53 pm

Happy to hear that Tony Parker’s recovery is going well and even ahead of schedule. Spurs have a scrimmage Saturday. Preseason next week.

→ 2017/09/25 1:03 pm

Wow, that WNBA finals game 1. Minnesota down 26 points, came back to take the lead but lost it in the final seconds. Game 2 on Tuesday.

→ 2017/09/24 4:53 pm

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.