Linked List Archive

The Initial Charge Linked List is a collection of notable links and brief commentary, with entries regularly added throughout the week.

‘The Platforms Themselves Are Designed to Breed Confrontation’ ➝

Álvaro Serrano, on taking a break from social media:

It’s taken a lot of introspection, but I’ve realized that social media has been slowly poisoning my character in ways I don’t even fully understand. Being constantly exposed to an endless stream of negativity has made me more angry, and it has shortened my fuse significantly. My tolerance for disagreement is at an all-time low, and I find myself being defensive even when there’s no apparent reason for it. Perhaps more importantly, it’s been draining my capacity for joy and my ability to appreciate the little things in life. All of this has had an impact in my everyday life, my work and my relationships, and I’ve had enough.

It sounds like Álvaro is taking more drastic measures than I am, but I can’t fault him. The level of anger and frustration I experience from my timeline has increased exponentially over the past few years. It’s finally reached a breaking point.

I tried mitigating it with mute filters, but too much snuck through. So I’ve decided to unfollow some folks for a bit to see if that’s a more effective method. I’ve made note of everyone I’ve unfollowed and plan to refollow many of them at a later date.

Much of the tweets that leave me angry and upset are regarding news stories that I’ve already seen through other outlets — primarily RSS and Reddit. So it’s not as if I’m going to miss anything that I want to or should know about. But removing those from my timeline is a way to manage my exposure to topics that effect my mood.

And hopefully these steps will improve my mental health and turn Twitter into a service that I actually enjoy again.

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Instagram Rolls Out Suggested Posts to Create an Infinite Feed ➝

Nick Heer:

Instagram has been testing this for a while; suggested posts began showing up in my feed earlier this year. It tried something similar about two years ago, but stopped after some time.

This time, the change seems permanent, and irritates me so much that it singularly caused me to abandon Instagram. I signed up days after it launched, and posted often. I love the creativity that it encouraged. But I do not want to see photos in my feed from accounts I do not follow, and there is no way to turn this off.

This feature doesn’t appear to be implemented on the Instagram website, at least not yet. So one workaround would be to visit the site instead of launching the app. You could even add the site to your home screen, which will give you a more app-like experience without Safari’s browser chrome.

But the writing is on the wall. Instagram will only get worse with more features like this being added in the future. I’ve been toying with the idea of taking ownership of the platform in which I publish photos and this change on Instagram only further affirms my interest in doing so.

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Browsers Should Have No Default Search Engine ➝

Greg Morris:

It’s not just google, I don’t agree that any company should be the default, I believe that customer should be given the choice with transparent information about the different approaches.

What if, when you first launched Safari on a new device (or first launched any browser, for that matter), you were presented with a handful of search engine options. That would give you the option to choose what search engine you’d prefer — there would be no default.

This certainly wouldn’t solve all of our problems. Google would still be, by far, the most popular search engine. But not having a default and introducing awareness to users that there are other options would be a huge step in the right direction.

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RSS Usefulness ➝

Nick Heer:

There was a time when feed readers were built into email apps and web browsers, but that’s rarely the case now. I don’t know that there’s anything that will make it much easier for less technically inclined users to begin using RSS. It is a niche technology from a user’s perspective, but that is completely okay. Not everything needs to be dominant to be useful.

I completely agree, but if RSS isn’t widely used, there isn’t much of an incentive for websites and services to implement it. When I think about the future of RSS, that’s my biggest concern.

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‘Itso’ ➝

It’s an old one, but was recently brought to my attention when I saw this tweet from Shawn Blanc.

John Gruber:

itso — noun, pl. itsos : typographical error involving the use of it’s for its, or vice-versa. You have an itso in the second paragraph.

I like it.

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P2 ➝

P2s have been the most important tool for communication, collaboration, and documentation within Automattic for years. It is the lifeblood of our company and now we’re sharing the most recent iteration with the world. It’s excellent for remote workers, teams, extended families, and just about any other group of people.

But it’s not just for groups, P2s can be useful for individuals as well. I’ve been toying with the idea of setting up a site that I own for publishing Twitter-like short thoughts and personal photos. With P2’s front-end editor and under the hood, this feels like the perfect tool for the job.


Apple Merges Gift Card Offerings ➝

There will no longer be a differentiation between Apple Store gift cards and gift cards that are used for iTunes, App Store, and iCloud purchases. Going forward, all Apple gift cards can be used to purchase items through any of their marketplaces.

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Freedom of Speech ➝

From’s page on freedom of speech:

At, we’re committed to freedom of speech: our core mission is to democratize publishing. Our service allows anyone on the web to express their ideas and opinions, whether we agree with them or not — we don’t censor, moderate, or endorse the content of any site we host.

We believe that our openness to a diversity of viewpoints is one of the main reasons so many great blogs and sites call home. However, you may also come across the occasional blog that offends you, or that contains ideas that you disagree with. The best response to content that you find negative, offensive, malicious, or inaccurate is not to silence it, but rather to speak out. When you present your own counter-narrative, you give others a chance to see multiple aspects of complex issues and help them reach their own conclusions.

I’m so proud to work at Automattic.

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