RSS reading in late 2020

Yesterday’s IFTTTs remap made me think about how I’m reading sites. RSS never fully went away for me, but now that I can’t rely on IFTTT, I’m going to lean on it a bit more.

My new rules for RSS:

  • No Fire hose websites. If i see 50+ articles a week,” I’m out.
  • No publications. Twitter and Nuzzel are pretty good about lifting the more timely and interesting stuff from verticals.
  • Newsletters are A+ RSS material, because most people write 1-2 a week. Newsletters have been the new blogs for a while now, and I’m still surprised how easy it is to just put a /feed in front of a newsletter URL and it just works.
  • Check it when you remember. No notifications, no apps on the home screen. The whole point of an RSS reader is it’ll keep it until you need it.
technology rss blogs

Microblog Thoughts, August 27-September 25 2020

  • I love that Twitter’s algorithm places Charles Manson in entertainment and Satan in politics.
  • Someone remake Lovecraft Country episode 2 as a six episode mini series please and thanks
  • Please, I’m begging you all. Stop posting screenshots of text nobody can read. Just, like, publish a blog post. It’s very easy.
  • So there’s just no cure for snoring huh
  • So for the Oscars this year, uncut gems right?
  • Microsoft could move its two big Duo features - App Pairs and opening a new app while keeping your last app active on the left screen - over to Windows 10 proper and everything would be pretty good.
  • I can’t wait to see what phones and laptops look like in two years after engineers have spent all that time at home.
  • Oh no I like Notion
  • What makes Peloton leaps and bounds above any other video workout thing is, they don’t stop. There’s a new video almost every hour. You never ever feel like you’re stuck watching a repeat. not that Apple won’t try. But that’s the challenge. it’s like the difference between Netflix and Disney+. Netflix is just relentless.
  • Just give me the ability to sync an Apple Watch to an iPad. Isn’t that like, maybe the perfect combination of devices?
  • What’s the right number of Apple Watch pals? I’ve got two. I feel I could handle two more before all the exercise notification send me into a loathing spiral
  • I’ve owned two 3DS models: the original in purple, and the XL. The XL is so good I might just keep it charged forever, and I’ve still got a dozen or so games downloaded I want to finish.
  • The emoji search bar is the sleeper best feature of iOS14 🤩🥂🎉
Logbook my stuff tweets

IFTTT clean-up

Ifttt changed their business model. I can’t say I blame them. I have 83 actions running, and I almost never think about them. But IFTTT is now asking me to think about them, and the thought I’m having is: how many of these do I really need? So I went through them. IFTTTs new model is that you can have 3 custom recipes before having to pay them money (and it really isn’t that much money). But it turns out I could get by with just three. All three automate parts of this blog.

  1. If I review a movie on Letterboxd, copy the review into a text file in my Dropbox, creating my monthly Good Movies posts.
  2. If I create a new public bookmark on Pinboard, create a text file with Date and Tag parameters, proper block quote and attribution stuff all filled out for me. This creates link blogs for me.
  3. Any new tweet gets saved to a dropbox text file, creating my monthly microblog thoughts post.

I do have more logbook-style posts than these, but none of the others are automated at this level. The other recipes were all about sending blogs to my Pocket account so I could read them on my Kobo, but it’s not something I need to automate anymore.

So, I guess I’m not a power” IFTTT user anymore. I’m just a free user now.

IFTTT technology blog

Video Game Time, September 2020

Games Played

  • Animal Crossing New Horizons
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Dragon Quest XI
  • The World Ends with You

Games Finished

None. Those are all long boys.

Games Bought

  • Gorogoa
  • Katamari Damacy for the switch
Logbook video games

Today is Today, September 24, 2020

I moved my novel from Scrivener to Notion. Notion does a lot of what Scrivener was doing already. Not everything. Scrivener is really amazing. BUT. But. I found myself avoiding Scrivener. It being this other thing was partially getting in the way of me touching my book. I’m in Notion a lot right now. Put the book where you are. Don’t ignore it.

I emptied out my drafts folder and published a handful of link posts today. A while ago, I set up a Drafts Action that sent links to my Dropbox so I can turn them into proper link blogs. It works, and I just rarely remember to actually post them.

While I was there, I updated the last two episodes of Fran’s Not Here on the blog. We’re trying new things!

I brought up our winter stuff only for it to be twenty degrees today. It’s like raaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiin.

Tags are great but they break so easily. I just realized I’d tagged a bunch of blogs with tech” instead of technology.” This is stupid and only I care but that bugs me.

today is today notion novel writing

Fran’s Not Here S03E03 - Borg Frasier

Show Notes:

Tell me about your stupid dog or whatever

Fran’s Not Here is a show about Toronto, co-hosted by Sawyer Paul and Robert Pilgrim. Read blog posts about each episode. The show is hosted at Anchor, where you can subscribe however you want.

podcasts fransnothere

A little advice

Ethan Marcotte:

Set up a blog somewhere, anywhere, and write as much as you can. If I’m in a position to hire you, I don’t just want to see the quality of your final mockup, your finished set of templates: I want to learn how you got there. I want to read what worked, what didn’t, and the decisions you made along the way.

I probably should blog more professional stuff. Not just what I’ve done, which is on my Behance and linkedin or whatever, but my theoretical work. Rough drafts, scraps, ideas.

links advice

Apple Watch at 5

Horace Dediu:

But although being a computer allows the Watch to do all this and more, no PC can do even one of these things. Nor does a PC have GPS, or Cellular connectivity or NFC and is certainly not swimproof. You don’t wear a PC in bed and it does not stay with you 24×7.

My Apple Watch has been a great purchase so far. I put it off for so long because it didn’t replace anything I already had. I couldn’t not have a phone, for instance. But I really missed the point.

links apple watch technology

How to Write a Blog Post

Rands in Repose:

Transfer all of your edits into your piece. Enter your writing into your favorite publishing platform. Proof your final piece once more because the Internet is a cruel copy editor. Hit publish and tell yourself you don’t need validation. Wait for validation and once more wait until you randomly think of a thing.

Turning off any analytics, and barely ever promoting my blog or telling anyone about it has given me such a sense of freedom. Blogs are dinosaurs now. They’re mostly ignored. This is really nice.


Stop Trying to Change Yourself—Change Your Actions

Mark Manson:

We don’t know what change is because we don’t know what the hell we are. If I wake up tomorrow and do the exact opposite of everything I do today, am I a changed person? Or am I simply the same person who decided to try something different? And more importantly, who fucking cares? I don’t. And neither should you.

Yes I’m writing this here for encouragement for me.

links advice