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Jeremy Cherfas

The future of WithKnown

1 min read

The question "does @WithKnown have a future?" is cropping up increasingly frequently of late. And the "official" answer is that it most definitely does, look at all the activity on github, nothing has changed. And it's true, there has been a lot of activity and things are moving, if you go and look. But for someone just looking in and trying to decide whether to use the software, the lack of outward facing activity must be a bit off-putting.

Or maybe it isn't.

I have no idea.

All this was kicked back and forth on the WithKnown IRC channel yesterday, with -- alas -- no input (yet?) from the developers.

I'm going to continue trying to understand Known because right now it seems to me the best place to continue pursuing ideals.

Jeremy Cherfas

And I say podcast discovery IS broken,

2 min read

Nick Quah's Hot Pod newsletter is a lode from which I occasionally extract a nugget. Today, in the wake of the latest Edison Report on podcast listening (in the US) he quotes a bloke from Audible who says:

To me, the fact that 40% of US adults have tried podcasting, yet only half of them listen regularly, that's astounding. Show me any other medium that has that gap. None. When people sample and don't habituate, it speaks to interest that isn't being met by the content that's available today. There either isn't enough variety of things for people to listen to —or there isn't enough of what they like to meet their appetite. With 350,000 podcasts, that seems like a strange thing to say, but the simple truth is that potential listeners aren't sticking with it — and there are only two potential reasons: not enough good stuff — or they simply can't find it. Solving this could go as far as doubling the audience for podcasting.

I wonder why "Eric Nuzum, Audible’s SVP of Original Content," even bothers to raise the straw man of not enough content. And why he does not raise the question that discovery and subscription are two sides of the same coin. Right now, neither discovery nor subscription is easy.

Nick Quah himself doesn't think discovery is a problem, and that's a problem for me. He says:

It has always occurred to me that discovery functions in the podcasting space along the same dynamics as the rest of the internet; there is simply so much stuff out there, and so the problem isn’t the discovering an experience in and of itself — it’s discovering a worthwhile or meaningful experience within a universe of deeply suboptimal experiences.

But to me that seems to miss the essential difference between audio and the other things on the internet.

It is hard to get audio at a glance. And the solution is not to make ever shorter bits of attention-grabbing audio. It is to find other ways to recommend and share audio in ways that make it easy to hear a piece, to sample a show and eventually, maybe, to subscribe.

Jeremy Cherfas

What made the Oscar fiasco possible

1 min read

I guess hiring a card designer wasn’t in the budget this year.

Simple and straightforward explanation of how the design of the card inside the envelope makes all the difference.

https://medium.freecodecamp.com/why-typography-matters-especially-at-the-oscars-f7b00e202f22#.qarf9smn8

Jeremy Cherfas

Another test of Quill editor

1 min read

Writing something nice again, but I have enabled the Markdown plugin on Known.


And maybe a headline too

Like this

Utterly bizarre; when I went to write a new post, the above was already there. In other words, the content of the post from Quill, without the block quote. >This should be a markdown block quote. I'm knackered. Will try some more tomorrow.

Jeremy Cherfas

Another test of Quill editor

1 min read

Writing something nice again, but I have enabled the Markdown plugin on Known.

So need something in HTML, like this block quote

And maybe a headline too

Like this

Jeremy Cherfas

This is a test from quill using the editor

1 min read

I'm writing something nice, as instructed.

> Does Quill do Markdown?

I don't think so, although I just noticed that there is a hover that seems to create quotes.

Let me test that.

How about tags? Like and ? Oh no, they're in the publish box.

Jeremy Cherfas

Completely mystified by editing a bookmark in @withknown

1 min read

I cannot get my head around how @withknown is handling posts.


I bookmark a page, with a quote from the page:


I don't like the yellow behind the text. So I click on edit, expecting to be able to at least look around.


Where is the quote?


Beats me.

Jeremy Cherfas

A podcast about the Indieweb

2 min read

Further to my note about a new about things, I listened to Marty McGuire's rendering of This Week in the Indieweb. I really enjoyed it, even though I had read the text version. Production and audio were top notch, and it was very clear. My only quibbles concern the pace and the audience.


Even as a native English speaker, and despite Marty's very clear diction, it seemed a bit speedy to me. I wonder whether less fluent listeners manage to get it all.


A second, similar point, about the audience. In my estimate, as a newcomer to indieweb and a less than expert person, some of the stuff whizzed right by me. But if I were familiar with it all, I'd probably be keeping up with the IRC channels and the indieweb.org pages and so I'm not too sure why I'd need an audio version. But that's just a matter of choice.


The slightly bigger question is, would there be an audience for a more discursive podcast about the indieweb? Marty would be in favour. So would Chris Aldrich, who started this ball rolling for me. There's a fair bit of audio tagged indieweb at huff duffer, but nothing, apparently, dedicated to the topic.


We certainly have the technology to produce something that captures the history, what's happening now and how things might develop. There's no way I could do that on my own -- not least because I don't know enough to ask intelligent questions -- but with a co-host or two it would be a really interesting project.

Jeremy Cherfas

Don't you want me to read your stuff?

1 min read

Further to this morning's minirant about blocking Instapaper, I've now discovered that some sites -- I'm looking at you, HuffPo -- don't want me to be able to speed read, which I'm doing with a nifty little thing called Spritz. Or maybe they're just unaware there's a problem. The good news is that HuffPo does not appear to block Instapaper, so in the fullness of time, I will read the piece anyway. It looks really interesting.

Jeremy Cherfas

Plugging away

1 min read

Bummed out by the fact that Quill wasn't enabling me to syndicate directly to Twitter, I followed up on some good advice from Daniel Gold: Back to basics, uninstall and reinstall plugins one by one. Shades of WordPress. So I did that, and here's what I found:

With IndieSyndicate configured (*via* silo.pub) I can posts to Twitter just fine, but Quill still does not see that as a Syndication target and Quill cannot post to my site.

In retrospect, that's obvious, because there is no endpoint at my site.

So I enabled IndiePub and now Quill posts fine, but it still does not see any Syndication target.

I probably just have to live with that. At least for now.

Finally, re-enabled Brid.gy and everything looks good once again.

Just for the record, here, I've decided that for now I do not need these plugins: Static pages, Firefox, Events, Custom JS, Custom CSS, Comics, Audio, API tester. That may change in time.