I Want to Break Free, or Why I Stopped Worrying and Started Using Posterous

Freedom

A couple of weeks ago, I started using a Posterous blog to share content on Twitter, Flickr and Google Buzz. My plan is to feed it to Facebook as well, when appropriate.

Why?

The short answer: to control my own content.

Now for the long answer

Between Twitter, Facebook and Google Reader/Buzz, I share a lot of content. Usually, it’s links to interesting things I find on the Internet.

If it was just links, this wouldn’t have been a problem. I could probably send the interesting links to a bookmarking service, and I would have access to my archive of links.

In reality, however, it’s not just links that I have been sharing. I highlight. I annotate. I comment. I am curating content.

In effect, I have a Facebook blog, a Buzz/Reader blog and a Twitter blog. And I don’t control any of the data. What’s worse, there’s no good way for me to search my own archives, reference previous posts or even just browse what I’ve produced.

There Must be Some Way Out of Here

What I really need is a blog that syndicates content to other services. I post once on a service I control, and choose where it should go.

And that’s where Posterous comes in.

I find an interesting article, I select the part I want to highlight, click the Posterous bookmarklet, select the services where I want it to go (twitter yes, buzz no, facebook yes) and Bob’s your uncle.

Perfect.

Almost.

Freedom

All I really want

All I really want is to have a searchable, browsable, linkable archive of my own links. Posterous comes close, but no cigar.

  1. New overlords: My content is still largely controlled by a third-party, Posterous. However, it’s infinitely easier to import, export, search and browse.
  2. Sorry Twitter followers: When I share a link through to Twitter, it links to the Posterous post, not to the shared link. This means two clicks for Twitter users. Terrible. I’d unfollow me posthaste.

What I really, really want

Is for Dave Winer to knock his minimal blogging tool out of the park.

Fellow nerds, read on. Rest of you, go to my posterous blog and find interesting shiny objects.

When I realized that I needed a service that syndicated my content, I surveyed the lanscape for what was available. Friendfeed and Posterous came close. But, as stated earlier, no cigar.

I contemplated designing a simple service myself, and I still might, but around the same time Dave Winer (pioneer in the area of RSS and XML who has blocked me on Twitter) posted about the Minimal Blogging tool.

Here’s the kicker:

Now, one of the apps that subscribes to the feed could be an agent that posts the new items and updated items to your blog. Or it could post the new item to Twitter or Facebook. Or to whatever new corporate blogging silo is popular next year or the year after. The important thing is that you and your ideas live outside the silo and are ported into it at your pleasure. You never have to worry about getting your stuff out of the silo because it never lived in there in the first place.

Excellent. Godspeed, Dave Winer.

And unblock me on Twitter already.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)

“Of course, I aIways have believed that in that fighting liberaI facade, there must be some sort of reactionary bigot trying to get out.” — Monsignor Ryan

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner the story of a mixed race couple having their ostensibly liberal parents come to terms with their relationship over the course of one evening in the ’60s. It’s dated, for sure, but it’s iconic all the same.

None of the characters could be characterized as racist in 1967, except Hattie who gets an earful from Hepburn in the clip below. Every one of the characters, except for the couple, would be characterized as racist in 2010.

My immediate thought was that someone should do a remake where the kid brings home a gay partner, and watch the fighting liberal parents come to terms with it.

But there are two problems with that:

  1. In 2010, it’s hard to play the theme as serious drama. Probably why the Kutcher/Bernie-Mac remake Guess Who is a comedy.
  2. I just remembered- somebody already made that movie, and it’s fantastic. It’s Birdcage.

I could talk about how you should see this movie, but you can figure that out for yourself. I wanted to focus on two of the three scenes that define the movie for me.

First, we have Katherine Hepburn, in one of the most epic telling-offs in cinema (the good part starts at about 0:50s): Continue reading

4th

When President Kennedy dined in the White House with a bunch of Nobel Prize winners, he made a toast, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House – with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone”.

How To: Create Amateur Drawings on Your iPad

I created two videos to demystify the process. I don’t make the claim that either of these drawings are any good, but I want to reach out to people like me– people who loved to draw but hated the tools- to pick up one of these devices and enjoy themselves. Let all the years of pent up art-rage out. (here’s my tumblog with all my drawings so far.)

Part 1: How to Draw on the iPad (Tools: iPad, ArtStudio for iPad):

Part 1.5: