Episode 546: What Do You Stand To Gain?

Daniel gives Manton an impromptu review of the new Micro.blog home page. They talk about striking a balance between coming across like a charming one-person company vs. a faceless corporation. Manton talks about open-sourcing the React-based version of Micro.blog, they talk about the benefits of doing so, and briefly discuss the GPL and MIT licenses.

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January 28, 2023 at 3:15 am.

Episode 545: Lawful Evil

Daniel quits Twitter! Manton and Daniel talk about how everybody has a “last straw” when they quit Twitter. They compare Manton’s frustrations with Twitter 10 years ago and the new problems with Elon Musk’s Twitter. Is Mastodon a viable alternative to Twitter, and how is Facebook evil different than Twitter evil? Then they think about what kind of leader would have to come in to potentially save Twitter in the way that Steve Jobs came back to Apple.

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January 22, 2023 at 8:18 pm.

Episode 544: A Bit Of A Conflict There

Manton talks to Daniel about the forthcoming re-design of Micro.blog’s home page. They discuss the marketing importance of home pages, comparing them to the “storefront” of an online business. Are claims that an app “doesn’t have a lot of features” ever accurate, and if they are, is such an assessment valid criticism? Daniel asserts that he and Manton have lost some of their “hustle” compared to earlier years, and looks forward to plans to ship a public release of Black Ink for iOS.

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  • Many Features – Manton’s post about people underestimating the number of features in Micro.blog.
  • Keynote – Apple’s presentation app, an example of a simple interface hiding many advanced features.
  • Smart Software Bloat – Manton writes in 2006 about software bloat and hiding complexity.
  • Black Ink for iOS – Daniel’s TestFlight page for his iOS crossword app.

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January 13, 2023 at 7:54 pm.

Episode 543: A Meandering Path

For the first show of the new year, Daniel and Manton talk about themes vs. resolutions, follow up bug fix updates to the MarsEdit 5 release, and book goals in Micro.blog. They reflect on the virtue of making things rather than merely consuming them, and Daniel’s lack of an enthusiastic desire to work on “just one app”. What is the likelihood of MarsEdit becoming “the thing”?

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January 7, 2023 at 5:17 pm.

Episode 542: A Fire In The Castle

Manton and Daniel celebrate the apparent revitalization of blogging, a possible silver lining on cloud surrounding Twitter’s downfall. They talk about Matt Mullenweg’s recent podcast and public speaking appearances, and his general positivity about the future of blogging. They compare the virtue of owning your own domain name to owning your own home, and wonder whether awareness of this virtue will grow among the general public.

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December 23, 2022 at 8:52 pm.

Episode 541: No Whammies, Big Money

Daniel and Manton talk about Micro.blog trying to get more serious about marketing. How do we actually measure the success of advertising campaigns, and should we aim to attract more “influencers” to our products? Manton tries to be conscious of wrapping up high-pressure work in time to take it easy for the holidays. Finally, Daniel gives an update on his continuing efforts to get MarsEdit 5 approved in the Mac App Store.

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  • RevenueCat: In-app subscriptions made easy. Also check out the Sub Club Podcast!

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December 16, 2022 at 2:59 am.

Episode 540: Moderately Blown Away

Manton talks to Daniel about releasing MarsEdit 5, his excitement aboutthe positive reactions, and his frustration about it not being approved by Mac App Store Review. They grapple with the uncertainty that app review opaqueness creates, and Daniel wonders if he could have done anything differently to make things go more smoothly. They talk about the mind-blowing impact of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, and about the implications of machine learning on human creativity. Finally, they weigh the pluses of minuses of AI in general, and Daniel wonders whether he could fake virtually any job with the help of the technology.

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  • MarsEdit 5 – Daniel’s blog post announcing the major upgrade.
  • ChatGPT – The machine-learning based conversational text AI.
  • When the Robots Come for Me – Manton’s short post explaining that he is avoiding ChatGPT for fear of being distracted.
  • Where I Roam – Daniel’s Micro.blog post featuring a screenshot of the ChatGPT-generated rock song about Micro.blog.
  • Dithering podcast – A subscription-based podcast from John Gruber and Ben Thompson.
  • DALL·E – The machine-learning based image generation tool, also from OpenAI.
  • Midjourney – Another image-generating tool based on machine learning.
  • John Henry – Wikipedia page about the American folk hero.
  • Cut-ups – A history and description of the literary technique pioneered by William S. Burroughs.

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December 9, 2022 at 8:48 pm.

Episode 539: Frustrated On Your Behalf

Manton and Daniel talk about payments from the Small App Developer settlement against Apple. Why does Manton refuse to accept free money, and are there valid reasons to opt out of the settlement? Then they reflect on the wave of opportunity from Twitter’s drastic downfall, and whether Manton and Daniel can “catch it”. Finally, Manton remembers the IndieWeb principles about plurality and monoculture, and they discuss how that might relate to Mastodon.

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Links:

  • Small App Developer settlement — Web site for class action lawsuit against Apple.
  • Mastodon — Open source social network that has gotten very popular.
  • Micro.blog — Manton’s smaller social network that is also getting new attention.
  • IndieWeb principles — Key principles of the IndieWeb such as software plurality.
  • Ivory for Mastodon — Announcement from Tapbots about their new app.
  • ATP 511 — Recent podcast discussion about federation and Mastodon instances.
  • ActivityPub — Web protocol used by Mastodon and Micro.blog.
  • Bluesky — Another upcoming distributed social protocol.
  • MarsEdit 5 beta — Daniel’s blog post announcing the public beta.

December 2, 2022 at 9:14 pm.

Episode 538: The Last Employee At Twitter

Manton and Daniel catch up on the latest news from Twitter, including the fact that Twitter is allegedly hiring. They talk about whether Manton would accept the far-fetched opportunity to be CEO of Twitter, and what he would do in that scenario. They acknowledge the mass exodus from Twitter and the potentially golden opportunity for both Daniel and Manton with respect to Micro.blog and MarsEdit. Finally, Daniel stares down the last two week of MarsEdit 5 development before his promised ship date.

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  • No Results – Twitter’s careers page in the wake of Elon Musk’s assertion that they are hiring again.
  • Don’t Stress – Matt Mullenweg assures Laurie Voss that Tumblr will support ActivityPub.
  • Tumblr – An increasingly relevant blogging platform.
  • ActivityPub – Home page for the open standard behind Mastodon.
  • Micro.blog – Manton’s social blogging service.
  • MarsEdit – Daniel’s Mac blogging app.
November 23, 2022 at 8:38 pm.

Episode 537: With Public Squares Like These

Manton returns from the road while Twitter continues going off the rails. What is the company’s viability as they bewilder users and advertisers, and how much should Manton react to the opportunities that might exist? Daniel and Manton discuss Twitter, whether Jack Dorsey stands to gain even if Twitter fails, and the nihilistic tendencies of certain leaders. Finally, Manton checks in with Daniel on progress toward MarsEdit 5.

Download Audio (MP3, 35 minutes)

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November 17, 2022 at 10:22 pm.