Tag Archive for ‘Weblogs’

A Birthday Gift ➝

Matt Mullenweg:

It’s true, it’s true, I turn forty years old in ten days.

What do you get the guy who has everything? […]

Publish a post. About anything! It can be long or short, a photo or a video, maybe a quote or a link to something you found interesting. Don’t sweat it. Just blog. Share something you created, or amplify something you enjoyed. It doesn’t take much. The act of publishing will be a gift for you and me.

What a delightful idea.

➝ Source: ma.tt

‘Hey, World!’ ➝

Jason Fried:

Email is the internet’s oldest self-publishing platform. Billions of emails are “published” every day. Everyone knows how to do it, and everyone already can. The only limitation is that you have to define a private audience with everything you send. You’ve gotta write an email to: someone.

So I thought, why not expand the possibilities here? Of course still let email be email, but what else could email be?

The folks at Hey.com are experimenting with a weblog publishing platform where your email client is the editor. It’s an interesting idea. It is worth noting that other platforms already have this as an option. But I get it, they have their own take on the idea.

I am curious how editing an entry would work, though. On WordPress, if you were to publish by email, you still have an editor you can go to for changes after publishing. Would this service offer something like that?

It would be weird if that wasn’t option, but truthfully, anything that gets more people publishing is good for the web.

Andy Nicolaides, on the announcement:

A blogging platform in this style will also remove one of the elements that always feels like a bit of a blocker for me, the design and naming of my blog. I’m consistently unhappy with the design of any blog I make, and then when I do write I spend too much time worrying about adding images and making it look nice instead of just getting the words out / down.

In addition to the publishing by email, HEY World is also de-emphasizing the design of your site. Their thinking is that it causes too much friction. I can understand the sentiment, but fortunately that isn’t something that has been too much of a barrier for me personally.

Back to Jason:

For now, this remains an experiment. I’ve got my own HEY World blog, and David has his. We’re going to play for a while. And, if there’s demand, we’ll roll this out to anyone with a personal @hey.com account. It feels like Web 1.0 again in all the right ways. And it’s about time.

I’m not a Hey.com user, but I am excited to see where this goes. And speaking more broadly, there does feel like something neat is happening right now. An undercurrent of interest in moving away from the existing social media sites. I hope many will move to publishing on their own domain, but at the very least, it would be nice to see the Facebooks and Twitters of the world shrink a little bit — both in active users and influence.

➝ Source: world.hey.com

Conversations on Weblogs ➝

Matt Birchler, in a bit of an aside to his response regarding our conversation on App Store editorials by RSS:

On another note, this interaction is exactly what I love in the blogging world, and it doesn’t happen that often anymore. […]

Personal blogging is fun on its own, but it’s even better when it turns into a conversation.

Absolutely. Conversations on weblogs don’t happen as often as they should. And that’s a shame. I sort of hope that folks like Matt Birchler, Michael Tsai, Nick Heer, myself, and others in the community will eventually change that.

➝ Source: birchtree.me

Bringing Humanity Back to Weblogs ➝

Josh Ginter, on expanding the topics that he is willing to write about on his weblog:

Gone are the days where I feel weird posting a Bible review on one day and then a list of Star Wars predictions the next. Gone are the days where I feel odd talking about money and finances.

I’m going to write and post things that interest me. Things I like. Things I’m trying my hand at.

I’ve started to come around to this line of thinking too. Although I still tend to focus on Apple-related products and software, I’ve starting writing a bit more about writing in general, the open web, and some more personal life stuff.

The days of earning a living off of a personal site are mostly behind us and with that comes a bit more freedom for the folks who are still writing about their passions — Matt Birchler recently shared a great list of writers, if you’re interested. Removing that financial incentive means that there is no longer the need to stick to a specific niche, we can expand out a bit and write about the other interests we have.

I think this is good for weblogging. I started following independent publishers in the days of Google Reader because I was interested in alternative takes on on tech products and services. But I stuck around and kept reading because I liked the people behind the sites. That humanity slowly disappeared as the possibility of earning a living seemed attainable. But now that the money has moved elsewhere, that humanity is returning again and I’m enjoying every minute of it.

➝ Source: thenewsprint.co

You Choose ➝

Brent Simmons, on the idea that weblogs are dead:

You choose the web you want. But you have to do the work.

A lot of people are doing the work. You could keep telling them, discouragingly, that what they’re doing is dead. Or you could join in the fun.

Again: you choose.

The only reason that so many people believe weblogs are dead is because they believe weblogs are dead. But the web is what you make it — we all have the ability to create websites and publish our thoughts, after all. The web is us.

And if we choose to continue sharing our best work on Twitter, Instagram, and Medium then those will be the services that hold all the power. But if we start publishing on our own domains and syndicating that content with RSS readers, we’ll be able to take that power back and build a web that’s more akin to what we all enthusiastically imagined it would be 10–15 years ago. We can make it that way, but we have to consciously choose to do so.

➝ Source: inessential.com

Surrendering Curation and Promotion ➝

Seth Godin:

The platforms are built on the idea that the audience plus the algorithm do all the deciding. No curation, no real promotion, simply the system, grinding away.

This inevitably leads to pandering, a race to the bottom.

This is a thought that I just keep coming back to, but I think we’d all benefit if there was a bit more activity on weblogs and a bit less activity on algorithm-powered social networks. Personal curation matters, taste matters, and algorithms will never be able to replicate it.

Signal v Noise Exits Medium ➝

David Heinemeier Hansson, writing on Signal v Noise:

Writing for us is not a business, in any direct sense of the word. We write because we have something to say, not to make money off page views, advertisements, or subscriptions. If some readers end up signing up for Basecamp, that’s great. But if they just like to read and not buy, that’s also great.

Beyond that, though, we’ve grown ever more aware of the problems with centralizing the internet. Traditional blogs might have swung out of favor, as we all discovered the benefits of social media and aggregating platforms, but we think they’re about to swing back in style, as we all discover the real costs and problems brought by such centralization.

I sure hope this is the case. Writing on the web has always been a passion of mine and although I partake in some aspects of the centralized web — like Twitter and Instagram — I sure would like to see thoughts and ideas shared through more distributed means, like weblogs.

Luckily, the barrier to entry has never been lower. You can buy WordPress-specific hosting from places like Bluehost for about $3 a month and a domain name for around $10-15 per year. There’s plenty of great, free themes available and you can start publishing in a matter of minutes.

And you can always start publishing on WordPress.com, where you can get support from Happiness Engineers like myself. We’ll help with just about any aspect of your site — from choosing the best theme to setting up widgets and using the editor. And if you eventually feel like moving to self-hosted would be a better fit, we can help you export your content and point you in the right direction to move it elsewhere.

(Via K.Q. Dreger.)