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 river.beyondbridges.net - 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 micro.blog - 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 App.net 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.


This Was Originally Posted To Beyond Bridges

The site has been closed down and the material moved to this site for posterity.

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