Monthly Archives: May 2015

I actively try to avoid Google services, but Google Photos is compelling. I’m giving it a try. Photos are probably the most important files my family has, so I think it’s worth it to have an extra backup and new way to search.

→ 2015/05/29 6:26 pm

Twitter Island

To cope with his dislike for how Twitter treats the microblog part of their platform, Brent Simmons has adopted a strategy of deleting old tweets:

“So I haven’t deleted my account or made it private. I will respond to some messages. It’s just that I’ll delete my response after a day or a week or whatever so that Twitter is a chat-only service for me.”

Justin Williams joked that Brent and I are now the sole inhabitants of “Manton Island”. That’s funny but it’s actually backwards; it’s Twitter that is the island. Everyone is there, though, in an overpopulated mess, so they don’t realize they’re cut off from the rest of the world — the open web, designed 25 years ago as an interconnected system of countless islands.

The risk on Twitter Island is that the monarchy can change the rules. Cars that once were great now can’t run on the road. Windows that once had a beautiful view now only look inward. Eventually maybe the whole thing sinks, with waterlogged tweets (which you thought you controlled) floating above the surface like lost bubbles over Atlantis.

The rule of the open web is much simpler: you own your content if it’s on your domain name. That’s why I have my microblog posts here on and with their own RSS feed.

I’ve been working on a new project that I think is the next step for microblogging. It still has elements of being an island, as most web apps inherently do. But mine isn’t just an island; it’s an island builder, with massive bridges to the mainland, to other nearby islands, to places we haven’t even dreamed up yet.

Cancelled cable TV again

We went probably 10 years without cable TV, then splurged a couple years ago — HBO, Showtime, the works — to catch up (and keep up) with our favorite shows. Then we got sucked into other channels that made it “difficult” to cancel, such as Fox Sports Southwest for all the Spurs games this year. Sadly that final reason ended Saturday night as the Spurs lost to the Clippers in the final seconds of game 7, wrapping up the greatest first-round matchup I’ve ever seen.

Time Warner will try almost anything to keep you as a customer. 30 minutes and 3 phone calls later, we’re cable TV free but still have internet with them, upgraded to 200 Mbps. To offset our loss of channels, we’ve got TNT, AMC, and HBO through Sling TV. It’s significantly cheaper and we can have a small Roku in the living room instead of a giant, loud, overheating DVR box.

Watermark transition plan

I sent an email to Watermark customers over the weekend, letting them know that the service as it currently exists will be going away on May 15th. As I wrote about last year, Twitter has improved their search enough that a part of what Watermark is good at is no longer as necessary as it once was. However, I still see interest in Tweet Marker, from developers and users, so I wanted to keep the web-based timeline and sync from Watermark and make it available to all Tweet Marker subscribers.

You can learn more about Tweet Marker here. I’ve had to significantly scale out the backend servers this year, including adding a second load balancer, so I’d love your support. The new timeline feature will roll out later in May.

While I’m happy to keep offering a part of Watermark (now back in Tweet Marker), I have less good news for Tweet Library. I’ve found it very difficult to justify the time to finish the new version. It’s now looking likely that the current version will be the last.