01/02/2018

#

I think this might be the first time I've ever achieved this. Okay, so my move goal is artificially low because I'm still off work, but it still feels good!

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# On a related note, yesterday was hopefully my last visit to the doctor. I've got a call with Occupational Health tomorrow to discuss my return to work (yes, an actual call, as in speaking to someone on the phone) which will probably be a phased reintroduction.

The doctor isn't sure if my voice will ever be exactly the same or if it will retain some residual 'croakiness' but it's good to be able to speak again however it sounds.

The last several months have really made me appreciate how we take things for granted, whether it be our voices, our sight, hearing, taste, touch.

You hear about people who've had near death experiences gaining a new lust for life and, while this may not be on the same scale, I understand how that happens. Things are so fragile and there's no guarantee they'll be here tomorrow or the next day so we have to make the most of them while we can.

# Dave Winer writes that he can't live without Twitter even though it's a silo:

"I find it's an ideation tool for me. Sometimes just entering a series of connected ideas w/o the ability to go back and edit, forces a certain kind of thinking to come out that might succumb to too much editing."

Dave is an inspiration and part of what I've done here (specifically the Today and date views) arose because of ideas from his blog.

I get what he's saying - by handing over control you've got no option than letting it stand and there's a certain freedom in doing so - but wonder if he's being too literal.

Subscribed to his RSS feed it is readily apparent that he often blogs like a thread of tweets, a paragraph at a time, each appearing as a separate item in your feed reader.

As Dave writes, and constantly tweaks, his own blogging software I imagine it would be fairly simple for him to negate the need for Twitter by constructing an environment where he can't go back and edit his posts once published. At least not without a degree of friction.

(I don't know how his system works.)

Not to put words in his mouth but maybe, because he has absolute control, he feels it would be too easy to return to posts regardless of whatever measures he puts in place.

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# I've been a happy user of Feedly since Google's decision to close Reader and just as happy with their mobile apps, both Android and iOS.

That the Feedly app in the Mac App Store hasn't been updated since 2014 (and it shows) is disappointing but illustrates that they intend for PC users to utilise the web page.

Using Fluid to "convert" the web page to an app is a good solution but I've been wondering about other apps for a while. Reeder has always come well recommended so I stumped up the £4.99 and installed it on my phone.

Here are a few first impressions:

  • the article list feels a bit cluttered
  • I wish there were more options to tweak the display, especially in the article list, like spacing and size of extract shown
  • I'm probably too used to the Feedly app but I'm not sure about navigation between items - I'd like the option for swipe left/right rather than up/down
  • that would mean an alternative to swiping left for sharing options - I'd be happy with a button for this
  • I like the way you swipe left or right in the articles list to mark as (un)read or star an item

Why the turnaround? Why move away from Feedly if it's been fine until now?

I think part of it is because I'm soon to close my Gmail account and am trying not to rely on Google at all. When I signed up with Feedly I used the option to bring my account settings straight over from Reader so it's still linked to my Gmail account and requires Google's 2FA whenever I log in.

I'll probably export my feeds and set them back up under a non-linked account, although I have also been wondering about other solutions that correctly support the RSS spec, but am not sure about the extra expense.

As things stand, switching to Reeder doesn't really change much except having to learn a new UI. What it does afford me, however, is the benefit of choice for the future.

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# OPML exported ✔️ Created new (non-Google) Feedly account ✔️ Re-imported OPML ✔️ Old Feedly account deleted ✔️

It's a start.

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# Liked: inessential: Why Micro.blog is Not Another App.net...

"We could be excused for thinking that Micro.blog is like App.net — a Twitter alternative greeted with enthusiasm but that eventually closed... Micro.blog is not an alternative silo: instead, it’s what you build when you believe that the web itself is the great social network."

Brent makes some excellent points in this post but, as I've said on numerous occasions, App.net wasn't really App.net:

"Most people, even many that used it, viewed the example application, Alpha, as App.net despite founder Dalton Caldwell emphasising it was just a proof of concept. The name Alpha was almost never used."

Just as micro.blog "has learned the lesson that people really like a timeline of short posts" so App.net chose a Twitter clone to illustrate how its "backbone for the social web" would work.

The idea behind App.net was good, where multiple sites and services could all interact via common APIs and feeds (the web as the social network) but became a silo due to the choices made even though this was never the intention.

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COLOPHON
Colin Walker Colin Walker colin@colinwalker.blog