Monthly Archives: July 2016

Reflecting on the convention, Democrats really pulled off an incredible week. Both a progressive platform and a patriotic theme. And Trump is playing right into their hands: Hillary’s “Stronger together” slogan was revealed weeks before Trump’s “I alone can fix it”.

→ 2016/07/30 10:50 am

Watching the DNC roll call vote, and negativity from the disruptions yesterday are starting to fade away. Democracy is pretty great.

→ 2016/07/26 5:05 pm

Reading a lot of political coverage lately, finally got tired of the New York Times paywall and subscribed. If I pay for tech blogs and ESPN Insider, might as well pay for “real” news too.

→ 2016/07/25 5:09 pm

Only the most hardcore Bernie supporters are at the convention. The delegates on the floor still want a contested convention, going against Bernie’s own wishes, and they don’t represent most supporters.

→ 2016/07/25 4:06 pm

This is Hillary’s week

The Democratic National Convention starts today and the latest round of polls are out. FiveThirtyEight’s polls-only estimate of the election now shows Trump in the lead. Just in case you think we can not vote or not volunteer, and Hillary will coast to a win anyway… we can’t.

As a long-time Hillary supporter — I recorded a podcast episode about the primary process back in 2008, which I’m still very proud of — I’m increasingly frustrated to realize how much damage has been done with the constant attacks against her character over 20 years. She’s held to a different standard of perfection than everyone else. But she’s a very good candidate and fundamentally honest.

Let’s not forget how historic this election is. From a New York Times profile by Gail Collins:

You can argue the pros and cons of Hillary Clinton’s character, or her potential to change the nation, or her position on trade policy. But you can never take away the fact that she was the one who made the idea of a woman becoming president so normal that many young women are bored by it.

If Hillary wins, future generations will grow up learning about how Republicans (and even some Democrats) threw everything at her for decades, and she never gave up on politics. Success isn’t just the best ideas, the best product, the best marketing. Success is perseverance.

There are many people alive today who were born before women had the right to vote. Trump is wrong about what makes America “great”. The country is great because it is progressive, even if progress takes a long time. Electing the first woman president isn’t supposed to be easy. Hillary is a strong Democrat, and her place in history is worth fighting for and celebrating.

An open Twitter starts with the web

Dave Winer wants an open alternative to Twitter:

I want it to be friendly to Twitter, because as a user and a shareholder, and a developer who uses their platform, I want to see it thrive. But I also strongly believe we need the open system, the Central Park to Twitter’s condo buildings on Fifth Ave and Central Park West.

John Biesnecker, reading Dave’s post, suggested XMPP because it’s an open standard and federated. But as great as XMPP is for messaging, it seems too different from the web; it would be like starting over. The nice thing about building on independent microblogs is that we can leverage the existing open web infrastructure: all the WordPress installs, RSS feeds, and new work from the IndieWebCamp.

That’s what I’ve tried to do for Learn from the UI innovations of Twitter — the fast timeline experience, the effortless posting — but without skipping the important first step of independent web publishing.

Core Int 242, Swift, and verified Twitter

From the show notes for today’s episode:

Manton reacts to negatively to the Swift 3 decision to disallows subclassing by default, while Daniel tries to see the bright side. The two discuss Twitter’s new invitation to apply for @verified status, and Daniel’s attempt to do so. And they quickly touch base on the upcoming Apple-sponsored reality show, “Planet of the Apps.”

Believe it or not, I was kind of holding back a little in my Swift ranting. But it was the most critical I’ve been on the show. And it’s totally okay for you to disagree! Maybe even good for the platform if you do.

GOP train wreck, day 2

I agree with Dave Winer’s summary of day 2 of the Republican convention:

It’s one thing to nominate a grade school bully from a racist family with a potty mouth and an emotional age in the single digits. That’s pretty bad, but to call for the other party’s candidate to be jailed, that’s over the top. To let those words come out of your mouth, even as an anonymous person in a crowd, you all have crossed a line that will be hard to come back from.

History will reflect poorly on the Republicans of 2016. And nearly as bad, while flipping through national TV networks last night, I saw little or no condemnation from the news. Maybe we need a multi-party system just so the GOP stops getting 50% of the air-time.

I called it a mob last night. The only good news: the arena seemed literally half empty.

Stunning to watch the GOP convention turn into a mob tonight as Chris Christie spoke. I wonder how many undecided voters they scared off.

→ 2016/07/19 9:07 pm

GOP convention on TV tonight. I’ll be watching the NBA Summer League final game on ESPN2 instead.

→ 2016/07/18 4:26 pm

Backed the new Glif on Kickstarter. Love the idea of multiple tripod mounts. Also some nice shots of Austin in the Kickstarter video. (Hoping for a new episode of Thoroughly Considered this month with more backstory on the project.)

→ 2016/07/18 12:03 pm

Summer co-working

I’ve settled into a new work routine this summer at a co-working place. But after working at home for over 15 years, spending time with family and enjoying a flexible schedule, I’m not going to completely throw that out for a daily commute. Also, despite trying several options for parking or taking the train, I seem unable to shake the extra cost of just being downtown.

For 2-3 days a week, it’s worth it. Whether half days or all day, this time away from the house lets me focus uninterrupted. It doesn’t hurt that they have cold-brew coffee on tap, either.

The right balance of working from home or out of the house is different for everyone. James Glazebrook, writing for Basecamp, says that co-working doesn’t work for him, but that it might for you:

“If this doesn’t describe you, by all means — consider coworking. Everyone is different and each person works differently. Maybe your job is isolating and you’re craving human interaction. Perhaps your projects would benefit from an outsider’s ideas or their complementary skills. You might not have space at home to dedicate to an office, or the desire to own a printer-scanner-fax. Or you just want to get out of the house more.”

I’d add to his list: you might have kids at home who open your office door whenever they want. My home office is currently shared with anyone who wants to use the extra iMac or printer, and the kids often need rides to appointments, camps, and friends. For me, summer is the most important time to get a more formal schedule.

Focusing in that way actually frees up the rest of the week, letting me spend time away from work without the nagging stress that I’m not being productive enough. It’s widely understand that no programmer can be productive 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Instead, limited runs of about 4 hours of work are perfect for me, and it doesn’t have to be every day. Co-working is just solid time that I can count on to move my projects forward.

Twitter and .blog

Dave Winer has a good comment for anyone questioning the web:

So when they tell you they know for sure that the web is dead, or that everyone wants to host their blogs in locked-up silos, or that you can’t build a great open social net on RSS, you might want to lower your glasses down your nose and look out over the top and ask Reallly? Are you sure?? ;-)

Nothing is certain in business. For every success, there are many “sure thing” failures.

I posed a question on this week’s Core Intuition as we were talking about Automattic’s upcoming .blog domain name registration. The gist of it was: what is more likely to survive for the next 50 years, Twitter or .blog? Twitter is huge, dominating the news and seemingly unstoppable, but social networks don’t have a great track record. I’d put my money on a new top-level domain, both because of the vision of empowering users to control their own content and also because domains were designed to last.

Companies aren’t exactly designed to fail. But that is their default outcome.


Earlier this week I sent an email to subscribers of the announce list for my microblogging project. These are people who signed up, wanting to hear more about what the project was and when the beta would be available.

I talked about this on Core Intuition 241 today. Some people signed up a year ago, and the longer I went without sending an email, the more nervous I became that I was missing an opportunity to sustain interest in the project. I was stuck on the idea that the first email to the list had to be when there was a product to either test or pay for.

These decisions of when to release a product, what to write about, how to communicate new ideas without overwhelming potential customers — they seem so monumental, but the truth is it just doesn’t matter that much. When the feedback started rolling in over email, I quickly realized that I was worried for nothing. People were excited and supportive.

I have a lot of work to do over the next couple of weeks before it’s ready to open up to real users. As I’ve talked about a few times on my Timetable podcast, I’m planning a Kickstarter project to complement the web app. I’ll be sharing more soon.

Taking the train downtown to work today. Pretty sure if I stayed home I’d be watching ESPN all day and reloading news sites about Tim Duncan. Just gotta avoid searching Twitter hashtags.

→ 2016/07/11 10:52 am

This photo I took a few months ago is worth a re-post. Happy to have been able to see Tim in the finals and playoffs the last few years. I should’ve gone to more games, especially earlier in his career.

→ 2016/07/11 9:32 am

Tim Duncan retiring. One of the all-time greats. And he went out with a strong game: 19 points on 50% shooting, and the best +/- of anyone on the Spurs in game 6, nearly coming back to beat OKC. Congratulations on an amazing career.

→ 2016/07/11 9:10 am