Dear Manton and Brent


What Great Names

… but that’s not what prompted this post - that was this (cough  … a few years ago … I’m just catching up on some background reading). In that post he referenced Brent’s post where Brent highlights the issue of typing a long email and sending it to one person - yet wouldn’t it be cool if it was just out there. I know what he means - I have a few posts in here that started life as an email. So this one is unusual - this is a post first - and then I will email a link to both the chaps - not these chaps - Brent and Manton. Manton is someone that I have read about because I do follow Brent and of course Dave Winer and Gruber (in fact I think it was through Gruber that I first learnt about Manton’s new project) and though I am not a techy (according to my techy friends), I do like the freedom and openness of the web (not Facebook), the ability to write and publish whenever I want, about whatever I want - and who knows sometimes people may actually read what I write. I am also a big fan of Mars Edit - mainly because I am old fashioned and love the idea of a solid client to do your work in - rather than sitting inside a browser window. (I even have my many google mail accounts set up inside mac mail - so much do I reject the browser) - but that is yet another thing. That said, I don’t always use it, historically it just seemed that sometimes the overhead of using the product was just too much. But I am writing this post using the new Beta Software - have to say … nice. Very nice. It might actually switch me across completely. I love the power of RSS - though I do wish I understood it more so that I could better control what it looks like when it comes out of my blog and is exposed into the wild world of RSS Readers - but that’s another topic - entirely. I use WordPress as my blogging platform but I also have a few Twitter accounts, Tumblr, even a 1999 account - that Dave released onto the unsuspecting world last year. It runs on servers that I have in a data center somewhere - as a sub domain to this blog called - that taught me an awful lot about what all this stuff is not ready for prime time. Nothing to do with Dave’s software - all to do with how to make that software work for you. Dave has this notion of there being a class of people he refers to as poets .. you will know by now that I fit into the poet group ( just don’t tell any poets). I have also requested access to Manton’s - because I do naturally like to tinker (no luck so far - maybe this post will win him over :-) ) and there is definitely something that is needed between twitter and wordpress. In a lot of ways that could have been Tumblr - but it isn’t - and now that it is part of Verizon - I worry for it. Dave’s 1999 stuff was actually pretty good - but it isn’t ready for prime time. (Not the product - but the support for the product). I don’t need to be hand held, but I do like to be able to get help in setting stuff up when I get stuck. That is why I froze my activity there back in April - it was just getting too hard. I have left it up, because during the experiment I pushed up nearly 300 posts (which I think probably made me the most prolific poster on 1999 - barring Dave himself - but that didn’t seem to matter in getting help). So they are there and readable for posterity. It’s hard just to throw all that away. So twitter - I dunno - 140 characters - still? Things like Dave’s PNGWriter are interesting work arounds - but why should I. I tried back in the day - great promise - but it didn’t cut through the clutter. I signed up for Mastodon - love the idea of a Federated system. If I can work out how to automatically block the bots - then it might work - but to me there was a flurry …. and then there wasn’t. And of course there is Wordpress. Which I give a little more love to these days - but is not a place that you post a couple of sentences to. So yes - there is a gap in the middle …. so, what do I want? Manton wrote (my bold)

Not having an RSS item title might take some getting used to for mainstream blogging clients and readers. Most RSS apps assume that all posts have a title, even though titles are technically optional in the spec. But I think this is an important distinction because if you think about Twitter-like posting, it should be fast and convenient; making up a title first interrupts the flow of posting.

… since I got back in here and started to clean this blog up, I have settled into a format that works - for me. The title is actually the opening to a flow to the post itself - look up there ^^^ to see what I mean. So I do tend to think in titles (maybe its the structured part of my brain). In fact with Dave’s 1999 you can publish without a title, but the fact is that even if a short post didn’t need a title - I always put one in. For me, it kind of finished it off for me. But then I tend not to be a ‘thought train’ poster that would benefit from the no title approach … but if I had that and it was more thought trainy - I could do that. I have often thought that a product like DayONE could do a great job in this. If I was jouralling everything into DayONE and that there was just an extra check box - set to default on or off - to accept or deny that post to drop into your microblog - isn’t that ‘job done’?

In conclusion - what do I want Manton?

  • I do want a micro-blog. A modern micro-blog.
  • It should integrate with my small and big world writing - imagine if I was writing in my stream on my micro-blog and then I jumped across to Wordpress to write a bigger post - something in the microblog should allow me to pull that post, the excerpt, something … so it appears in the stream.
  • It should allow for the new Web Mention standard that is emerging. (I do have a web mention plugin installed on this site.) And the annotate one aswell?
  • The 280 character thing … to me that still might be a bit short. 500? maybe 560 to keep it ‘multiple of twitter count’ compliant? (Mastodon is 500 BTW)
  • But when you write “Does not have an RSS item title” - I would nuance slightly to "“Does not have to have an RSS item title”
  • Title characters should be part of the total character count

Hope that helps my friend.

July 22, 2017