🎧 Modernist BreadCrumbs | Episode 8: Breadbox

Modernist BreadCrumbs | Episode 8: Breadbox from Heritage Radio Network
Bread is immeasurable, no longer bound by precepts. The new dictum of baking bread is built on shapes and sizes we haven’t even dreamt of. This episode, the proverbial breadbox of the series, will hold all the bits of bread we haven’t gotten to yet, or have yet to be made.

This episode did a bit too much waxing poetic on bread. As a result, it probably would have done a far better job of having been episode one of the series instead of the last and instead edited to provide an introduction to bread and its importance. Even more so when I recall how dreadfully put together episode one of the series was.

On the science/tech front there were only one or two vignette’s here that were worth catching. The rest was just bread poetry.

One interesting aside was a short discussion about the “free” bread that restaurants often put out. Sadly, while still all-too-common, most places really put out bad bread instead of good bread. I often think how much I’d rather actually pay for such a product at a restaurant, particularly if it’s good. Perhaps I just need to leave more restaurants when they put out bad bread knowing that things probably aren’t going to improve?

Summary of the series: It wasn’t horrible, but it also wasn’t as great as I would have hoped. The primary hosts always sounded a bit too commercial and I felt like anytime I heard them I was about to hear a bumper commercial instead of the next part of the story. Somehow it always felt like the interviewer and the interviewee were never in the same room together and that it was all just cut together in post. It was painful to follow the first episode, but things smoothed out quickly thereafter and the production quality was generally very high. Sadly the editorial didn’t seem to be as good as the production value. I almost wonder if the book went out and hired a network to produce this for them, but just found the wrong team to do the execution.

Too often I found myself wishing that Jeremy Cherfas had been picked up to give the subject a proper 10+ episode treatment. I suspect he’d have done a more interesting in-depth bunch of interviews and managed to weave a more coherent story out of the whole. Alas, twas never thus.

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Reply to Why we transitioned from Medium back to our own blog | Baremetrics

Why we transitioned from Medium back to our own blog by Josh Pigford (Baremetrics)
Where to publish something has becoming a difficult decision for a lot of businesses. You read so many stories about using various channels to distribute content and grow traffic, it’s hard to know what does and doesn’t work. Medium, in particular, has become a major player in the world of startup content, but is it really that great? [...] The numbers just didn’t make sense. Yes, I could put more into Medium and try to build up readership even more. The guys at Basecamp regularly get 250k+ views on their content. But doing that helps Medium the most in the long run. They’ve been fumbling left and right trying to figure out how to make Medium sustainable, and I’m just not convinced they’ll always do what’s best for us and our business. Switching back Now I didn’t want to throw out distribution on Medium entirely. There can definitely be some benefit to syndicating content there. It’s essentially another distribution channel to expose people to our content. So we needed a game plan on how we could still make use of Medium as a distribution channel without cannibalizing our own readership or SEO work.

This is 100% on the mark, you should definitely own your own content. Syndicating it out to Medium is a great idea, particularly when you can get a rel=”canonical” tag for the original on Medium. Incidentally Medium has their own WordPress plugin that will allow you to quickly and easily syndicate your site’s content directly to Medium without needing to separately import it. It’s also available on a per post basis.

But, even with this, you’re only getting 50% of the value of having your own website because you’ve only got one way communication out. Next you’ll need communication back in. What if I said you could get a lot of the comments, likes, and interactions from those other silos back into your website too? This way the conversations others are having relating to your content also come back to your site and enrich it there? What if you could own all (or almost all) of the conversation around your content?

Think about it, what if there was an @mention functionality that worked from website to website instead of being stuck inside Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Flickr etc.? Interestingly, it exists! And you can set it up for free with last year’s new W3C Webmention protocol which already has WordPress plugins ready to go. Roughly for WordPress you’ll need the Webmentions plugin, the Semantic Linkbacks plugin, the Syndication Links plugin, a few strategically placed rel=”me” tags on your site, (maybe some tweaks to your microformats on your theme), and a free Brid.gy account. Details for setting it up can be found on the WordPress pages of the indieweb.org website. I suspect if you’re strong enough to have figured out the tech for your article, you could probably have it up and running in under an hour or so. Then instead of feeding content from your blog to the black hole of social media, you could have actual two-way communication with many social silos! Now you won’t need to pay as much attention to those other sites as you can use your WordPress site as an “app” to interact with them instead.

I’m happy to help walk you through it if you’re interested and need help. My own personal site has some documentation of some of the above as well as examples of how it works.

In some sense, hopefully this post on my site will be an interesting exemplar. I own it and “loaned” or syndicated copies to Disqus and Twitter. Comments, likes and reposts you make to the Twitter copy will automatically be ported back here after the fact using Brid.gy. (Sadly, Disqus isn’t supported–yet.)

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🎧 This Week in Tech 651 Occupy Fiber | TWiT.TV

This Week in Tech 651 Occupy Fiber by Leo Laporte, Greg Ferro, Iain Thomson from TWiT.tv
Elon Musk's great ideas: Tesla, SpaceX, flamethrowers. Apple HomePod arrives next week. Google Clips camera is not at all creepy, we swear. Nobody won the Lunar X Prize. Amazon Go officially opens. Montana, New York, AT&T, John Deere, and Burger King take up the Net Neutrality battle. Intel's Spectre patch is a garbage fire.

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📖 Read pages 1-38 of Henry and Beezus by Beverly Cleary

📖 Read pages 1-38, Chapter 1: Ribsy and the Roast, of Henry and Beezus by Beverly Cleary (William Morrow & Company, , ISBN: 978-0062652362)

The chapter title really gives it all away, so you see it all coming from a mile away, and yet somehow it’s still funny. I love how close the Grumbie’s last name is to the cognate word grumble.

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👓 TinyLetter will fold into MailChimp in the future — but it’s not going to happen in 2018 | Business Insider

TinyLetter will fold into MailChimp in the future — but it's not going to happen in 2018 (Business Insider)
MailChimp bought TinyLetter in 2011 for its simplicity — the same elements which built its cult following among indie writers.
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👓 Marijuana goes mainstream by Jeremy Cherfas

Marijuana goes mainstream by Jeremy CherfasJeremy Cherfas (jeremycherfas.net)
Legalized marijuana is going the way of all agricultural commodities in the United States, and that shouldn't be a surprise. A really interesting analysis by 538 reveals that the price of pot has dropped for grower and dope fiend alike, and with big money at stake -- $6.7 billion this past year and $20 billion the dream for 2021 -- big money is very interested.

Jeremy has some great insight in looking at marijuana as a simple staple crop. It would be interesting to view this as a simple agriculture problem and compare the economics of it for the first several years to other crops like soybean and sorghum. I’m relatively sure of where things will end up, I’m just curious how they differ until things reach scale. This is a particularly interesting economics problem because it provides an experiment that isn’t an easy one to recreate at these scales for how often does a mass consumable crop get discovered?

🎧 This Week in Tech 650 Frumpy Rump | TWiT.TV

This Week in Tech 650 Frumpy Rump by Leo Laporte, Lindsey Turrentine, Tim Stevens, Georgia Dow from TWiT.tv
EVs and self-driving cars at CES and the Detroit Auto Show. The first cashierless Amazon Go shop opens January 22nd. Apple HomePod is nearly here. Apple hands out $2500 employee stock bonuses as part of its huge cash repatriation plan. Google wants your selfies. Facebook wants you to tell it what "high quality" news is. Twitter emails 677,775 users to tell them that they shared Russian scams.

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Backing up Lanyrd

Since the old Lanyrd site was back up over the weekend, I went in and saved all of the old data I wanted from it before it decided to shut down again (there is no news on when this may happen). Sadly there is no direct export, but I was able to save pages individually and/or save them to the Internet Archive.

I also just noticed that notist seems to have a relatively nice import/export path which may also be available for some too. I love that their site says this:

One thing we very much believe in is that you should own your own data. As such, we didn’t want to just suck your data into Notist and leave it at that. Instead, we’ve built a tool that gives you access to the content as HTML and JSON, ready for you to take away today.

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👓 Fitness Tracker App Exposes Security Flaw at Taiwan’s Missile Command Center | The Daily Beast

Fitness-Tracker App Exposes Security Flaw at Taiwan’s Missile Command Center (The Daily Beast)
A ‘heat map’ of Strava users published this weekend revealed sensitive military bases across the world—and hackers could do even more with the data.
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👓 Paul Manafort, American Hustler | The Atlantic

Paul Manafort, American Hustler by Franklin Foer (The Atlantic)
Decades before he ran the Trump campaign, Paul Manafort’s pursuit of foreign cash and shady deals laid the groundwork for the corruption of Washington.

What a fantastic and stunning piece of journalism this is. Maybe one of the better in-depth pieces I’ve seen in the past couple of months.

It does make me really wonder about Trump’s claim to want to “drain the swamp” now that I’m aware of more of Manafort and Roger Stone’s histories and the fact that they seemingly singlehandedly created the swamp.

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