I’m so convinced by the central argument of Breaking Bread with the Dead by Alan Jacobs 📚 that I keep pausing to pick up older books.
M.G. Siegler has a post describing what I thought Twitter’s new Fleets feature would be and goes into why it really doesn’t fit with Twitter in its current state. I agree with the assessment that this functionality just doesn’t make sense on this platform the way it does on Instagram.
I could see a world in which Fleets work, but as a different version of the product which was launched. No one is asking for my product ideas, so I’m going to give them. I would keep Fleets — which is a great name — simple: they’re tweets that go away after a set period of time. They reside not in some unnatural carousel at the top of the feed but in the feed itself. They’re highlighted in some way to showcase their impermanence.
I can accept that I’m in the minority when I say that Dave Grohl’s greatest legacy is being the occasional drummer for The Bird and the Bee.
Medium recently changed their mobile reading experience. It’s still in beta, and you have to toggle a preference in settings to turn it on, so you won’t see it by default. They have been signaling its coming for a few months, though. The tag line they’ve been using is that it makes Medium “more relational.”
From Medium boss Ev Williams himself, on his blog Evhead, comes a concise explanation of the change.
So what’s different? As Russ wrote, instead of starting with an algorithmic feed of stories, the new app is “reoriented around following — so that readers can be sure they’re not missing anything from writers they love, and those writers and publications can more actively engage and grow their audience.”
First and foremost, the focus is on the stories from people or publications you follow. In other words, it’s a bit like RSS. The visual indicators of new posts from sources to which you subscribe feels very much like browsing through a feed reader.
I like the new way of offering content, but it does feel like an homage to RSS, without actually acknowledging how great that technology is and how it gives the readers control over what they see.1 It’s good to see Medium going in this direction, as I believe it’s far better than shoving recommendations made by an algorithm into someone’s feed. It allows the user a level of self-determination not seen in previous versions of the service.
Of course, you can also still subscribe to your favorite Medium writers and publications via RSS. ↩︎
It has been revealed that a $1 million donation from Dolly Parton helped to fund Moderna’s new COVID vaccine. This woman is one of our greatest national treasures.
In a politically charged year when the circus can’t be completely avoided, this interview with Barack Obama is one of the best things I’ve read.
I want to pose something to others who are writing on the internet. You don’t have to write think pieces to refute bald-faced lies. If someone tells you the sky is green and you can easily determine that it is blue, you do not bear the burden of proving the sky is blue. Particularly if the person saying it is green is known for nothing so much as the outrageous and provably false lies they constantly tell.