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Happy Friday.

It's been three months since I cancelled my World of Warcraft subscription (this time round) and longer since I stopped playing. Again. I found it boring and repetitive while continual redesigns and reworkings of core gameplay became too much and too frequent to bear. I just wasn't enjoying it and felt my time could be spent better elsewhere.

Some prominent YouTubers and Twitch streamers have also finally said enough is enough, long complaining about game quality but finally pushed over the brink by the current issues at Activision Blizzard – the lawsuit against the company for fostering an environment of abuse, discrimination and harassment. It's appalling that not only was this culture allowed to exist but that they have not taken their employees seriously when trying to report it.

Ever since the merger of Blizzard with Activision, game quality seems to have suffered. Sources have allegedly reported that all the community's fears, about Activision being driven solely by profit, have been borne out and that it is a struggle to get things done. That staff morale would have been nosediving doesn't help but it still doesn't account for some of the decisions being made.

I've said to my family that I'll probably look at WoW again come the next expansion but, with everything that's going on, who knows when that will be. The next patch for the current content is now delayed so we could be waiting for well over a year at this point.

Hopefully, by then, Blizzard itself will be in a better place and some of the previous focus can be regained. Not only do they need to start listening to their employees by also listening to their players and community. Their employees will tell them what works and doesn't work within the company while their players can tell them a lot about what does and doesn't work in game.

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Bix wrote about the idea of universally followable /now pages. This notion is a replacement for / addendum to an idea he previously had about a site or service that would show you when people have made updates to their info rather than what those updates actually were.

The key is that it would let the individual explore those updates in their own time. They are given the minimum information required rather than be overloaded.

He says:

"So that's my pitch to the /now page community: develop tools that publish these pages not just to a webpage but to RSS and/or ActivityPub, as well as tools to markup, perhaps using some kind of microformats, the underlying HTML in ways that would allow for a crawler to parse them even absent an RSS or ActivityPub feed."

Microformats2 certainly could work. There are already indieweb tools that parse pages based on markup, like monocle but RSS is far more familiar with much wider adoption. Even if people persist in saying social killed RSS or that it died with Google Reader.

Using rssCloud to push updates (I wish more feeds supported it) would be a nice addition.

This got me thinking about feed readers. They became popular because of their killer feature: convenience. They bring everything together in one place allowing the consumer to easily scan updates from multiple sources without having to navigate halfway across the web.

Feed readers also homogenise content, displaying it according to local preferences. Links will always be the same colour and other elements, like blockquotes, will always look the same. It reduces the cognitive load when consuming posts from multiple and varied sources.

But is this always a good thing?

I've written before about trying to shift away from posts just being "social units" in a timeline – that is one of the big disadvantages with certain social networks: all content is rendered the same. Also mentioned in passing before.

It makes me wonder if we're 'doing it wrong' with feed readers.

The homogenisation of post content means we lose the personality behind the words. As I have previously quoted Robin Sloan: "presentation is a form of content" – abstracting the content from how it was meant to look can do it a disservice.

I have been intrigued by the idea of having "less of an emphasis on the actual consumption itself within the reader – more of a notification system" and Bix's post brings me back to this.

The menu tray for /reader is just a list of blogs with an indication of unread posts. What if this was all it did? Just told you someone had updated their site and it was up to you, the reader, to go off and find out what.

I wondered if this approach might cause me to read less due to the loss of convenience. Conversely, it might make me interact more, leave more comments, as I would already be on the host site.

I posited an alternative view for /reader 7 months ago (wow, was it really that long) but nothing ever came of it. Now, however, I think the time is right to return to it and see what I can come up with.

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Pinned posts are now a thing. It didn't take too long to add.

When logged in, each post will have a 'pin' icon – clicking this uses HTMX to pull in the code to set the pinned option in the database and swap the icon to 'unpin'. When the blog page loads it checks each visible post to see if it is pinned in order to display the right icon and link.

The home page checks the option in the database and displays the relevant post in the same manner as the latest posts. Simple!

Pinned Posts

About Random posts

Random posts now show two completely random posts.

The hope is that doing will throw up unexpected synchronicities between items or juxtapose them in such a way as to foster new ideas.