Thursday Pam and I bought new iPads. I worked all afternoon getting them set up and now I am using mine to write a blog post with Fargo. It is nine o’clock and I have to go to work in the morning. I still need to exercise. That is going to cut this session short. I will come back and see if it is worth posting sometime later. In the mean time, I am going to see if I can use my iPad to watch Netflix at the gym.
I got Netflix installed and found the password and went to the gym and exercised. The new iPad looked and sounded great. I took it to work the next day. It was exciting to have access to my personal stuff all day. I still need to get the ssh tunnel set up through the firewall again. The new iPhones arrived a little after seven thirty. I tried to sit and watch TV with Pam but I was so tired that I went to Bed at eight twenty four.
Today, we went to the Grand Opening of the new wing of Lowe Mill. It was a lot of fun but Pam over did it and ended up being exhausted by the time we got her to leave. We went to Rosie’s for an early dinner. Then we came home.
After we got everything arranged from the shopping trip I sat down to activate the new iPhones. I got them both backed up and got Pam’s setup. Then I started getting mine setup. It is still working as I write this. I am very excited.
I’m going to go ahead and publish this. If I don’t, I probably will let it sit for a couple of more days. It has been several joyous days in a row. I’m a very lucky man.
Dave Winer said that we can build a better news network (please read his post for exactly what he said).
The problem is that most people are just listening to figure out when it’s there turn to talk. They aren’t paying any attention to the substance of what the other person is saying. I think the abbreviation tl;dr is indicative of how that same principle translates into the print medium. I have lost all confidence in the news organizations in this (or any other) country. I feel less informed about the world than I ever was before the digital revolution. I can talk to someone on the other side of the world individual to individual but when the media is involved it all boils down to who stands to gain financially and who has paid whom the most to get their spin broadcast. I would like to see the internet give rise to a better news system as you advocate. What can we (users and developers alike) do to help bring this to life?
After struggling with getting links to this blog posted to Facebook and Twitter (manually, I am having trouble getting my process down to use Radio3), I discovered that Dave had replied to my comment:
Right now, the answer is simply to post using a tool like Radio3, which can post to the corporate networks as well as to the open Internet. So we get a chance to use your links to bootstrap a new open network. You sacrifice nothing, your posts still go to your current subscribers. That’s the outline of the plan.
I haven’t got Radio3 set up to post to Facebook through my corporate firewall so I am still figuring out the process to get this to work while I’m at work. Perhaps I should just refrain from posting while I’m at work. Any way, thanks for the response, Dave.
I have a blog called Occasional Comment. I am attempting to set up a facility to automatically cross post links to my blog posts to my Facebook account. This is a test of that capability.
I just updated WordPress and I want to be sure that I can post from Fargo.
I’ve been thinking a lot about writing lately. I’ve read some advice that various writers, in particular Neil Gaiman, give to aspiring writers. As I thought about it I came to some realizations.
First, writing is difficult. If it were easy, everyone would do it. The difficult part is thinking. Everyone has random thoughts. They are interesting to them but not necessarily to anyone else. The trick is to think about things that other people find interesting.
Many writers advise to write about things that you feel passionate about. It seems that this is the best way to write things that interest other people.
Another common piece of advice is to write a lot. And then write some more. This is very good advice. The only way that you learn to do something is to practice doing it.
One thing that I read recently surprised me. The author said that he doesn’t recommend that his students “write what they know”. He goes on to explain that when they try to follow that advice novice writers tend to report their experiences as they happened instead of exploring the infinite possibilities of what might have been. A work of fiction is an exploration of an imaginary place inhabited by imaginary characters, not a recapitulation of reality.
So much for capturing some of the advise about writing that I have collected and thought about recently. It only took me three days to wrap this post up.
Dave Winer wrote a piece about a lesson that he learned from listening to his users. In it, he talked about how he saw his product, Fargo as an outliner and Mathew Ingram wrote an article calling it a blogging tool.
I think what we have here is a case of two different concepts of blogging. I think that blogging is more about the content than the medium. A blogger could write a blog with a text editor in raw html and post it to his site using ftp.
A different concept of blogging is that it is anything that is published in a blogging framework like WordPress or Blogger.com. I have seen more than a few WordPress sites that were anything but a blog. It turns out that the templating facilities of blog publishing tools make building a more conventional site easier too.
An outliner is not synonymous with a blogging tool. It is like a word processor. It can be used for a lot of things. The fact that it can be hooked up to a blogging API is incidental to it’s primary identity as an idea processor. As Dave points out in the “What is Fargo?” Document section What outliners are used for, it can be used for:
- 1. Notetaking.
- 2. Organizing projects.
- 3. Course outlines.
- 4. Bulleted lists.
- 5. Narrating your work.
- 6. Thinking.
- 7. Presentations.
- 8. Brainstorming.
- 9. Writing.
- 10. Design.
- 11. Programming.
- 12. Specifications.
I think that what often happens is that someone sees that Dave has come out with a product, associates Dave with blogging, and naturally assumes that the intent of the product is as a blogging tool. I think it is fair to say that is one of the uses of Fargo, just not the only one.
I must acknowledge that Dave learned one important thing from Mathew. You’ve got to listen to your users. They are the ultimate authorities on what your product is good for. We have heard a lot of interesting ideas that people are using Fargo for in the Fargo Community Forum.
I suspect he already knew it, as he has been advocating for users for the entire time I have been reading his blog — some fifteen or twenty years now.