Social Software

Update on RSS

I started a post a few weeks ago after reading Dr. Dang’s piece: The RSS mess and his follow up piece: More RSS mess but I got distracted and never finished the post. These are excellent pieces of thinking and writing on the current state of RSS aggregators and clients post Google Reader.

Reading the good doctor’s two posts assured me that I’m not the only one still using RSS as my primary way to get updates from a variety of web sites I follow, and that not everyone has abandoned this excellent technology for the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

Even though this site is running on WordPress.com I’m not in the habit of using WordPress’ internal “Reader”, preferring to use ReadKit on my Mac and Reeder 2 for iOS (iPhone and iPad). I used to use Reeder for Mac and in writing this decided to download and test it again, we’ll see. I use Feedly as my cloud aggregator and for the most part this is all working well for me.

Since the Mac OS X.10 Yosemite upgrade, my entire computer including my RSS setup has become a bit more unstable but I’m pretty sure Apple is now releasing software with more bugs in it than in years past and this stuff will hopefully be cleaned up with a Yosemite update.

For me, RSS and my feed reader remain the most used and most important technology and application on my computer and on my iPad (Air 2), to a lesser extent on my iPhone (5S) simply because the screen is too small for me to follow things I want to read to their host web site.

Here’s a list of the various posts on RSS I’ve made here over many years:

Experience and memory in the age of GoPro

Experience and memory in the age of GoPro

Nick Paumgarten has written a great piece for The New Yorker on the history and significance of the GoPro camera. This is really worth reading, whether you have or use a GoPro camera or not.

Woodman had the good fortune to invent a product that was well suited to a world he had not yet imagined. The ripening of the technology in his camera, after a half decade of tinkering, coincided with the fruition of broadband and the emergence of YouTube, Facebook, and other social-media platforms for the wide distribution of video. GoPro rode the wave. What might have been just another camcorder became a leading connector between what goes on in the real world and what goes out in the virtual one—a perfect instrument for the look-at-me age. Its charm lies perhaps in its sublimated conveyance of self, its sneaky tolerable narcissism. GoPro footage is related to the selfie, in its “Here I am” (or “was”) ethos, and its wide view and variety of mounts often allow the filmmaker to include himself, or some part of himself, in the shot. But because it primarily points outward it’s a record of what an experience looks like, rather than what the person who had the experience looked like when he stopped afterward and arranged his features into his pretested photo face. The result is not as much a selfie as a worldie. It’s more like the story you’d tell about an adventure than the photo that would accompany it.

Sharing photography online (or not)

Things I Learned After My Photo Hit #1 on Reddit, and Why I Probably Shouldn’t Have Posted It

Kris J B posted an interesting story at PetaPixel about the balance between posting images online freely and not posting for fear of theft. The comment thread is worth looking at as well as the detailed story.

I had a similar experience with this image which I described here.

In the end, I continue to post images to Flickr and post embed of them here, as well as allow my contacts on Flickr to embed my images elsewhere. Have I been ripped off? Absolutely. Do I care? Absolutely. Will it stop me from posting images online? No.

Theme Issues

I’ve been noticing issues with the theme I’ve been using at this site which is called Twenty Twelve. The most important issue is that images embedded here at 640 pixels wide are distorting when the site is viewed on an iPad or iPhone in any browser (not just Safari).

I’d like to embed even larger images here and a two column theme makes that tough.

I’ve come across the McKinley theme which looks good to me: simple, free, full width images, seems to work well on iOS browsers (scales properly) and is a bit more modern than Twenty Twelve.

So, I’m going to be doing some construction here in a bit and we’ll see how things work out. If it doesn’t work out I’ll switch back to Twenty Twelve and keep looking. If it does, welcome to a new theme.

Note: McKinley has no sidebar and pushes search, archives, tag cloud and recent comments down in the footer area. Because of this I’m limiting the number of posts on a page to eight for the time being to make it quicker to get to the navigation area.

Note also that I’ve made a new tab called “Curated Posts” where I’m pulling out posts and collections of posts that some of you may have missed.

Thanks for your patience and stay tuned. Your feedback (both positive and negative) is always appreciated.

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after critical tweet

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after critical tweet

This is fascinating to me.

1. The gate agent was following the rules. Maybe a bit too rigidly but still, following the rules.

2. The guy must have used #southwest or something but someone at Southwest Airlines picked it up in real time and called the gate. Amazing.

Obviously everyone who publishes anything online, and Twitter is a publishing platform, needs to be careful of what they publish. I don’t know how many people were following this passenger but if he used a popular hashtag, like #southwest or whatever Southwest Airlines uses, his tweet might have been read by thousands if not tens of thousands of people very quickly.

I may be ignorant, but I tend to think that many on platforms like Twitter have no clue that their tweets might be read by a larger audience than the people who follow them. Between hashtags and retweets things can go viral very quickly.

Careful what you tweet.

Word Crimes

Weird Al Yankovic is on fire. Great stuff. Both my wife and I thought it was a tad fast but in fact, it’s the right speed for its intended audience.

You should never write words using numbers, unless you’re 7 or your name is Prince.

Listen up when I tell you this: I hope you never use quotation marks for ’emphasis.’

Flickr Turns 10

Flickr Turns 10: The Rise, Fall and Revival of a Photo-Sharing Community

A well written history of the photo sharing site flickr of which I’ve been a member since 2004, just after it launched.

For me, flickr continues to be a great online community and I’ve made many friends there. And, I started posting images there for embedding here because I was attempting to save bandwidth but now I’m enjoying embedding and sharing other people’s images as well as my own. Few other services in flickr’s category allow this.

While I’m not crazy about Yahoo’s site changes, flickr remains an important part of my online activity and identity.