For reference: App Constellations.
First, William Shatner has a Tumblog. I’m cool with this.
Second, he wrote about Facebook Mentions — yet another app from Facebook specifically created to help “celebrities” with managing their Facebook accounts.
I’m not quite sure why Facebook released this app for “celebrities”. It seems to be ill conceived. I will probably use it to post to my Facebook when I’m on my phone but it doesn’t allow for mail or groups. I will continue to use my regular Facebook App as well as the Pages app.
Since only select people get access to this app I’m glad he took the time to jot down his thoughts and I think his review is very good. In fact, I would have disliked the same things he did.
Man, Facebook is managing a lot of apps.
It turns out, it was bigger than that.
I’ve seen a few tweets and heard a few comments this weekend along the lines of “Rap Genius raised $40M? I quit.”
Show me an horizon, an overlapping series of ridge lines or a valley stretching into the distance and I yearn to discover what lies behind those hills, just out of sight.
The concept is pretty simple; take a selfie, submit it, the community sketches something in return. What you get in return isn’t always a sketch of your selfie. Sometimes it is a message, sometimes it is a work of art. Either way, its pretty fun.
Now back to some beard-stroking:
I see my role much like a small-town praire banker in the 1880‘s. My job is to project an aura of calm, solvency, and permanence in an industry where none of those adjectives applies. People are justifiably risk-averse when it comes to their bookmarks, and they are looking for stability.
What a great service Pinboard has been these last five years. I’m a paying customer and I recommend that you consider being one too.
Many have asked how I use Pinboard and Unmark. I see Pinboard as a place for me to store bookmarks not use bookmarks. Bookmarks that I’ve put into Pinboard are easier to find later on than they are to find in Unmark. I don’t know if that’s right or wrong or whatever but that’s how I use it. (More on how I use Unmark here)
Though unannounced on the company blog, Andrey Petrov wrote about his experience working on Urllib3 at Stripe for two weeks over on Medium:
Last week completes my two week grant from Stripe to work on urllib3 full time, and I’d like to declare that these weeks were a huge success.
I recommend you read his entire post. What a great thing Stripe did. I hope we see more of it and I hope, in some small way, our company can take part in the future.
Matt Krizan paddled the California coast in a 36-day expedition. Dave Shivley wrote about what Krizan learned for Canoe & Kayak. Here is what happened on day two:
Four miles offshore, the zip-tie linking his left steering pedal to the rudder snaps. Krizan must act. He spots a channel through 8-foot faces breaking on what looks like beach, so he cautiously follows a wave in. Then he’s upside down. He rolls, but can’t reach shore before the next wave picks up his 18.5-foot Current Designs Nomad—60 pounds of reinforced fiberglass loaded with 140 pounds of gear, plus another 200 pounds draped over Krizan’s lean 6-foot-7 frame—and pitch-poles the full weight into the froth. Half an hour later, as the sun goes down, Krizan finally wrestles the flooded kayak to shore. He’s soaked and shivering, his hull is cracked, cockpit day-gear long gone, plus the deck compass and the maps on which he’d planned out his entire 840-mile transit of the California coast, the labor of eight months spent planning, cutting and laminating each chart with listed mileage and landings. Gone.
I’m still in my first season of kayaking but I plan to one day take on multiple day expeditions on lakes, rivers, and the ocean. I love these stories.
I don’t know what the future of blogging is. I go back and forth between feeling that the glory days are long over to feeling that the best is yet to come.
Some think that today’s social web, while it has stifled blogging tremendously, will still end up providing some value to independent blogs in the future.
Jim Dalrymple, on The Loop:
Apple introduced a new Photos app during its Worldwide Developers Conference that will become the new platform for the company. As part of the transition, Apple told me today that they will no longer be developing its professional photography application, Aperture.
I have a hard time caring anymore. Photo storage, categorization, etc. are pretty much broken for today’s consumer. Yes, I can go out and buy a massive amount of storage and use something like Aperture/Lightroom to keep everything straight — but it is still tedious and expensive. My expectations are at an all-time low.
Out of the box Macintoshes do not come with near enough storage to back up even a slightly trigger happy cat owner’s iPhone photos. Regardless of the software.
Apple discontinuing a mediocre, neglected, poorly competing pro app to focus on a much better consumer app is a clear win for everyone.
I agree. Aperture was great but was quickly falling behind Lightroom. But a pro app isn’t something all of us need. We simply need to A) be able to store all of our photos and B) be able to find them again. Maybe new software will help with B but something has to change to help with A.
I hope Photos for iOS and Photos for OS X helps do exactly that. But I’m not holding my breathe. I think we’ll be in the age of deletion (wherein people have to delete much of what they photograph or record) for at least another five years.
Richard Banfield, on Medium, in a piece titled The Myth of the Design Studio Turned Product Company relates how he feels it got started by 37Signals:
I’ll just state, flat out, that not everyone is cut out for product work. Nor is everyone cut out for agency work. But, as my friend Jonathan Christopher points out in his reply — the two shouldn’t be posited against each other as one being better than the other. And, that you should really ask what your motivation for switching to product work really is.
Again, Brazil is the favorite, but with a 32% chance to win now. After its impressive victory against Spain, the Netherlands’ odds jumped to 23.5%: it is now the second favorite. Germany (21.6%) and Argentina (8.6%) are following. There is thus, according to our model, an 86% chance that one of these four teams will be champion.
It has Brazil vs. Netherlands in the final with Brazil coming out on top. Looks like I have to disagree with Alpha on this. Go Netherlands!
It should be fair because WWDC and I/O are both developer conferences. WWDC and I/O both begin by largely attended, well rehearsed, staged keynotes by top executives at each company. It should be fair because Apple and Google both have incredibly talented employees, great products, deep pockets and the incentive to do great presentations for both developers and the tech media.
In general it speaks to how the perks of the modern-day tech company are really a waving-of-the-hands to entice people to work there — when in reality the perks don’t really add up to perks at all.
From the outside this seems like an excellent fit for both teams. But, also important, it will work out for those of us that loved Editorially in two key ways. One:
In addition to bringing the three of us into the fold, Vox Media is also acquiring the technology behind Editorially. We know many people have asked what we have planned for the Editorially codebase; happily, we can now report that we and the Vox Media team agree that the best thing for everyone is to share as much as we can. Together, we’re going to identify the most sensible way to release parts of the code via an open source license, so that others can learn from and build on our work.
And, happily, two:
Absolutely no user data — no names, email addresses, documents, or any other user data — will be transferred to Vox Media.
This is an important distinction. This rarely happens. However, since Vox Media is not a company that is looking to “buy users”, the Editorially team ends up being able to close this chapter of the story in a great way for customers.
Dave Morin, CEO of Path, recently did a small AMA on Product Hunt. He pointed out this article on Wired about Path breaking apart its mobile apps into other applications. Something I wrote about recently as well. Here is some interesting bits from the article.
It is hard to argue with this thinking. Just about every week “the masses” switch from one app to the next. Not just in social networking but also camera apps, messaging, etc. So if Path is repeatedly a source of new apps, rather than simply a single app, then perhaps they can be a choice.
Have you ever wondered when would be a good time to go pee during a movie? Or, whether or not you should wait through the end credits? RunPee will tell you these things.
The design of the app leaves much to be desired but if it works it is an excellent idea for an application.
Writing and publishing a book is hard. Here‘s the tough part: you have a window of approval on your own work. For me, I typically only like the last 2000 words I‘ve written. This is hard if you‘re writing a 30,000 word book—you‘re constantly tempted to go back and “fix“ the previous mistakes to improve it. Doing the work makes you better, but also makes you dissatisfied with the work you‘ve already done. I suppose any big project is like that.
We all know what he says is true but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it described so well. On every project I’ve worked on for more than a month or two I see this same phenomena… the temptation to go back and fix things.
Writing a book must be incredibly challenging from this perspective.
PaperLater lets you save the good bits of the web to print, so you can enjoy them away from the screen. If you’ve used something like Instapaper, Pocket or Readability before, it’s a bit like that, but in print.
Or Unmark, Tom, but who’s counting?
The Verge has a great piece on PaperLater today.
Each newspaper comes neatly formatted with an Andy Gilmore-esque front cover, complete with a note on the number of articles, word count, and a whimsical fact on the rarest words included.
I find this service intriguing. I can only think of two instances where I might want to use this service — 1) while I’m on vacation and, 2) if there was an article I’d want to frame like one about Barley or Unmark or our business in a publication.