Monthly Archives: January 2018

Snapthread

A couple years ago on a trip, I finally tried Instagram Stories. Because I don’t like posting things that disappear, I planned to keep copies of all the short videos from my story, and then stitch them together in Final Cut, add some music, and publish them to my blog once a week. It didn’t take long to give up on this. Instagram and Snapchat make it easy to share on their network, but difficult everywhere else.

I much prefer Snapthread’s approach. Becky Hansmeyer has created an app that does exactly what I was trying to do, but instead of fumbling around with Instagram and Final Cut, it’s effortless. And it works with live photos. Highly recommend checking this out in the App Store.

Austin folks: NSDrinking is switching to last Wednesday of the month. That’s tonight! 8pm at Radio. Have a coffee or beer and chat about iOS/Mac development. I’ll be there.

→ 2018/01/31 12:32 pm

No applause for retweets

DHH writes about how Basecamp is experimenting with removing their “applause” feature — the clap icon that Medium has also recently adopted:

But as I read through the replies from the few dozen people who answered the question on any given day, I was faced with the dilemma of the clap. If I applauded an update from Sam yesterday, but don’t today, does that mean I’m expressing discontent with the most recent work? If I don’t applaud for Javan on the same day as I applaud for Sam, does that mean I’m parting favor of one over the other?

The problem with these “just click a button instead of sending an actual reply” features is that they fool us into thinking we’ve done something meaningful by clicking. Anyone can click a Twitter heart button to show that they’ve noticed a tweet or enjoyed it. It takes very little effort and doesn’t mean much.

On Micro.blog, favorites are private. They are just for your own use, like bookmarks. We’ve found that the lack of public likes encourages people to reply to posts instead, even if it’s just a quick “Thanks!” or “That’s great!” or other comment. It’s a little more meaningful because it requires a bit of effort.

In an interview with Piers Morgan, Trump said something revealing when pressed on his retweets of a racist group:

Well, I know nothing about them. I did a retweet. You know, retweets… sometimes you do… retweets are very different. When you do your own tweeting, when you do your own social media, it’s fine. When you do those retweets, sometimes they can cause problems.

What Trump is trying to say is that retweets aren’t as important as a tweet you type yourself. Retweets encourage a sort of thoughtless approach to sharing.

We don’t like retweet counts or follower counts in the UI of Micro.blog, because it’s another place for judgement — “this person must not be very interesting if they have so few followers” — instead of letting someone’s content speak for itself. Likes, claps, and retweets aren’t a substitute for a real conversation. We’ll eventually have some form of public reactions on Micro.blog, but we aren’t in any hurry to get there.

Micro.blog theme updates

Over the last couple of days we’ve shipped a few improvements to Micro.blog. There’s an update to the Mac version with some bug fixes and better support for showing the title field when you’re writing a longer blog post. The default themes have been updated too.

It’s also much easier to preview themes for your microblog. Under your account there’s now a “Preview Themes” button that lets you click through and test out the themes. Here’s a 10-second screencast recording to show how it works:

Minor update to the Mac app out with a few fixes, including a better Markdown-aware character count. “Check for Updates” to get the latest.

→ 2018/01/29 7:54 am

Rolled out some theme changes today, including blog post titles on your microblog home page, and a new “Preview Themes” screen to click through what the themes look like.

→ 2018/01/28 5:48 pm

Every day we roll out a half dozen little improvements to Micro.blog, with big stuff thrown in when it’s ready. This week my favorite tiny change was making block quotes look better in the iOS/Mac timeline. Doesn’t seem like much, but 100s of these changes add up.

→ 2018/01/26 2:32 pm

Sunlit beta update

Yesterday we sent Sunlit 2.0 to beta testers. The feedback has been great so far. We just pushed a new version with several important fixes, especially to publishing existing stories.

It’s a little overwhelming to ship a brand new app in the middle of everything going on with Micro.blog — opening the platform to new users, trying to stay on top of bugs and feature requests, and planning for the future. But it just feels right that Sunlit should be part of the Micro.blog suite.

We love photos and we love blogs. Sunlit combines those things in a way that accommodates more advanced features than can fit in the main Micro.blog app.

Micro.blog makes it as easy to write a quick short post as it is to send a tweet. The timeline and simple posting interface are part of that. Sunlit supports microblog posts while taking a different approach in the UI, focused around stories and longer blog posts, whether they’re hosted on Micro.blog or elsewhere on the web. And we can do it without much fanfare on the Micro.blog server side because the technical scope of the platform already supports it.

Just sent Sunlit to the beta group. Looking forward to hearing what people think. (Make sure to read the TestFlight release notes for a few gotchas with the beta.)

→ 2018/01/24 4:24 pm

Sunlit 2.0 demo

Here’s a short screencast demo of the upcoming version of Sunlit. We’ve rebuilt it for blogging and Micro.blog. You can create stories with photos and text to publish to your blog, with editing and filters, plus a new Discover section for browsing photos.

If you’d like to try the TestFlight beta, email help@micro.blog. You don’t need a Micro.blog account to use it — it also supports publishing to WordPress — but we think it makes a great companion to Micro.blog. Enjoy!

Waiting for the HomePod excitement to settle down a little this morning before posting about something new.

→ 2018/01/23 9:59 am

Micro Monday: @Aleen. On her microblog she posts about everything from books and journals, to podcasting and technology, to her work with App Camp for Girls. Thanks for being part of the community, Aleen!

→ 2018/01/22 4:12 pm

Rolled out a change to show replies on the web version of user profile pages. Should be more consistent across the web and apps now.

→ 2018/01/22 1:41 pm

Apologies for the unexpected downtime early this morning. Still looking into what happened, but plan to add some more servers soon to minimize this. (Hosted blogs remained up.)

→ 2018/01/22 7:51 am

Played HQ for the first time tonight. I was juggling something else when it started and my tap didn’t register on question 1, so I was eliminated immediately. Maybe this isn’t for me. 🙂

→ 2018/01/21 10:14 pm