Ello to the future of social media?

Standard

Thomas Hawk on his movement from Facebook to ello.

I’ve been increasingly disappointed with my experience on Facebook. I find that fewer and fewer of my friends are seeing what I post and engagement is increasingly going down.

I’m seeing more and more “sponsored” posts and advertising crowding out organic content, which probably plays a part in this…

I have danced with completely deleting my Facebook account for quite some time. There are a few reasons why I haven’t done so yet, but I view content there occasionally and post content there rarely. When I do post to Facebook its generally reposting from a blog post, or cross posting from my Instagram feed.

Again, Thomas Hawk nails it:

I feel respect for my content on Ello, which is shown large in full high res glory. This is why I put more of myself into my art and photography on Ello than any other site. The respect feels greater.

I am playing with ello too (find me at ello.co/desparoz and will certainly try out posting some images and words there to see what feedback I can get.

For me, for now, DesParoz.com remains my main venue to posting content (images and words), but some social media will continue to play part of communicating that – and will be an increasingly important part of the conversation that continues after the post. [1]

I have lots of questions about the future of Ello, but at this time Ello is seriously interesting.


  1. While comments are currently still enabled on DesParoz.com, I prefer the conversation to happen elsewhere – such as on the commenters own site, linked back, or perhaps now on Ello. I like John Gruber’s approach of keeping the site clean, an approach that sites like Re/code are now following.  ↩

Narrabeen Pool

Standard

Sydney has a lot of wonderful ocean pools, most of which are photogenic, particularly at sunrise and sunset.

The pool at Narrabeen on the Northern Beaches is perhaps one of the most interesting photographically, and is an extremely worthwhile destination for pre-sunrise photography.

The beautiful light in the morning twilight, coupled with still waters yet to be disturbed by keen swimmers makes this an excellent location.

This image, of course, use HDR techniques to capture the beautiful range of colours visible to the eye, but invisible to most cameras.

This image was created with a Panasonic Lumix GX–7 micro four-thirds camera and an Olympus 9–18mm lens, at the widest range.

View this image on 500px or Flickr.

IT ‘experts’ and Mac Biases

Standard

David Sparks discusses anti-Mac prejudices he has experienced when presenting at various functions.

Many (but hardly all) of the IT professionals serving these industries have been far too busy earning Microsoft certifications to pay any attention to Apple and they are not only unhelpful, they can actively lob hand grenades at your attempts to get any work done with your Mac.

I have a number of friends and colleagues who work as IT professionals who, seemingly, have similar anti-Mac biases.

Macsparky is on the money with the idea that Microsoft Certifications, at least in part, at the core of the problem. Microsoft has done a good job convincing employers that they should hire people with these skills, and thus lots of IT specialists chase those certifications.

In my own pre-Mac days I undoubtedly had similar biases. But it is certainly my own experience in the past six years of Mac usage that plug and play functionality is stronger in Macs than in Windows machines.

I personally try not to present if I am forced to use a Windows machine.

Putting the recipient last… With Let.ter

Standard

Email is one of the most important ways people communicate in the contemporary world, yet it is one that is often frought with problems, most of which seem to stem from a lack of attention to detail before hitting the send button.

Over at MacDrifter, Gabe Weatherhead discusses a simple concept:

The last thing you write is the recipient address

Gabe discusses writing using non-email apps like Drafts on iOS and nvAlt on OSX.

I also use Drafts to prepare up new emails on iOS (both iPhone and iPad), but have found what I think is an ideal for preparing new emails on the Mac – the wonderful Let.ter app.

Let.ter starts with a simple blank screen, with four easy steps.

  1. Enter a subject
  2. Write the body in plain text / Markdown
  3. Enter the recipient(s) email address(es)
  4. Preview and then send

In both Let.ter and Drafts I extensively use TextExpander so they are both powerful yet simple apps for sending email.

I think that the utility behind Let.ter is that it is truly minimalist, and that it allows the use of Markdown. But since reading Gabe’s post, I am also thinking that leaving the recipient address until last before previewing is part of what makes the app useful.

The Middle Ground

Standard

Over the past few months I have started drafting a number of posts that I have yet to complete.

I setup the Around the Web link blog on Pinboard as a place to track links of interest, with the idea being that I could have short comments. These, in theory, get rolled up into regular Around the Web posts. For several reasons – some technical, some personal – this process has been a little broken.

The idea was that these would fill a gap between Twitter posts and longer form posts, which would become the focus of writing here. I think this gap is too great.

Apparently I am not the only one, with people like Andy Baio, Gina Trapani and Jason Snell deciding that their blogs will be for anything longer than a tweet, even if it is only a paragraph or two. Of course people like John Gruber have taken that approach all along.

So, this blog will probably have more regular, short form comment. Some posts might be quick thoughts while others might be expanded links. Of course, the occasional long form post and semi-regular Photos of the Week will continue.

Themes will continue to focus on workflows in productivity, photo and presentations, and the technology that empowers them. But I will continue to post other things that interest me.

I hope this will become a better middle ground of posting for me.

Around the Web for August 28th through September 7th

Standard

These are my Around the Web links for August 28th through September 7th:

Around the Web for July 4th through August 20th

Standard

These are my Around the Web links for July 4th through August 20th:

  • Let.ter – Just picked up the Let.ter app after a this reminder from @MacSparky — I had previously read about it, but was pleased to see it released.

    Let.ter is a minimalist email sending (only) app for OSX that is built on Markdown.

    Loving it

  • Keanu Reeves John Rain Television Series – I enjoy Barry Eisler's series of thrillers based on the character John Rain, and look forward to a potential TV series with Keanue Reeves in the lead role
  • Little Snitch to Keep LTE Costs Down – A worthwhile reason for looking into the use of Little Snitch
  • A Candid Look at Unread’s First Year – The upfront pricing model is a scary proposition for devs, especially if a 'successful' app like Unread only generates a moderate income in its first year. Where is the incentive to keep developing. This is a concern not just for devs but also for users who won't get updated apps if the money isn't there for the devs.
  • App Rot – A compelling take on the viability of the App Store model to sustain development, especially given the up front pricing model. Worth a read.
  • Trey Ratcliff & his GoPro Quadcopter – DigiDIRECT TV Ep 078 – Blunty of DigiDirect TV presents a video of Trey Ratcliff showing off his Phantom Quadrocopter at the recent Game of Thrones photo walk I attended in Sydney. Good fun.

No Diving No Dogs No Stairs

Standard

Sunrise at Mahon Pool, near Maroubra in Sydney’s east.

On a morning with sunrise potential, there are often photographers out at Mahon Pool. Most are shooting the sun rising over the pool or the nearby rocks. After the sun has risen, most pack up and go, but it is worth hanging around for and look at what the sun is doing on the interesting rock formations on the nearby coastline.

I was quite taken with these stairs to nowhere – clearly a relic of some bygone era. The current stairs are in the background, but these were quite interesting in how they just stop.

Not only is Mahon Pool a great spot for sunrise photography, it is also one of Sydney’s best shore dive spots, but only in a calm sea, due to the rather exposed entry and exit point.

View No Diving, No Dogs, No Stairs on 500px or Flickr.