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Entirely static site built with Hugo. Blogging for a bit more than a decade now.

Show BlogScroll some love, yo!

There's no hand to overplay here anymore - the app is shutting down, and the author made it clear that is the intention. While the verbiage could've been different, that doesn't really matter. In these kinds of conversations Reddit folks could've asked for clarification, not assume bad intent (which they did, but then misrepresented).

Apollo's leverage was "We help keep power users on your platform, and keep them happy." And, as it turns out, while their numbers are not necessarily large, they are also some of the loudest and with most influence (see how many subreddits joined the blackout). What the outcome of this will be is to be seen, but it's a very shortsighted take from Reddit, in my own humble opinion.

In the game of Apollo vs No Apollo, agreed, the game is played out. Even if there's some eleventh hour agreement, reduction in API fees etc, the direction is clear - Reddit's killing these guys, just a question of when.

But in the game of Christian vs Spez/Reddit Corp, I wonder about the wisdom of posting these recordings and going this nuclear on Reddit's brand. I suspect Reddit's got some good lawyers, whether you're in the US or Canada.

Given how bad Reddit is at PR, this does seem possible.

Been blogging for more than a decade on my own site (https://den.dev).

1. Got my break in the tech industry thanks to a blog post on some reverse engineering tinkering I've been doing.

2. On multiple occasions, I ended up searching online for a problem only to land on a blog post I wrote years ago, so I use it as my own reference every once in a while.

3. Connected to a network of folks in the companies I've worked at (and continue to work in) thanks to blog posts where I tinker with APIs and all sorts of random stuff ("Oh yeah - I've seen that blog post before.") that I wouldn't run into otherwise.

4. Got way better at writing and expressing my thoughts clearly, especially when it comes to more technical topics, thanks to having a public forcing function.

There have been rumors that some of the variants that I cover in the blog post are actually somewhat playable, albeit I was not able to reproduce the results. From one side, I can understand this - testing and shipping something like Forge that is bug-free takes time. On the other side - it's been a while since a groundbreaking game mode was release.

Indeed the feature is undocumented, but it's been known for some time - its goal is to mimic as much as possible the reset button, for those situations when your computer freezes up to a point where Ctrl+Alt+Del works, but literally no other process responds. Think "Background process locked up my OS, and I can't do anything short of unplugging the computer." Especially helpful on a laptop where the physical reset button is not available.

I wonder why microsoft never implemented the Magic SysRq keys like linux: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_SysRq_key

It'd let you safely shutdown when the computer is locked up otherwise.

That's what Ctrl-Alt-Del is for.

They aren't exactly the same thing, I suppose, but there's enough functional overlap that if you already have one, it's hard to justify adding another. You don't want too many of these "escape sequences", because every kernel-side keyboard interrupt becomes a thing that:

* Userland doesn't get to use that keyboard shortcut any more.

* Someone might accidentally trigger, and if they don't know what's going on, they become stuck.

* It's another thing that anyone building a captive kiosk has to know how to disable.

The times my Linux installs have locked up, those keys never worked.

They may be disabled by distros to enhance security against physical access attacks.

It can also be challenging to actually input a magic-sysrq combo on many modern keyboards where sysrq isn't its own key, if it's labeled at all as some Fn-key contortion.

Personally I value being able to trigger oomkiller early when a process is eating up RAM, and being able to SIGKILL kwin_x11 on Nvidia or whatever other process is wedging Linux shutdown, instead of waiting multiple minutes for systemd to give up waiting and SIGKILL it directly. In terms of physical access attacks, it's just as viable and far more powerful to add a keylogger to my keyboard or Linux distro, or pull and image my hard drive, than to gasp kill processes or sync filesystem data to disk, oh the horror!

WRT the physical security argument in favor of disabling sysrq, my assumption is it's more aimed towards defeating quick-n-dirty mischief style abuse.

Ages ago I worked with a small team of young sysadmins who would often cause trouble for one another abusing things like sysrq, or poorly configured XFree86 instances without DontZap enabled (ctrl-alt-backspace termination, to a shell when startx/xinit is being used). Most of the time nothing malicious was actually done. But when you return to your screen-locked X desktop to find a fullscreen VC with a root shell blinking back at you and an empty history, guess what you'll at least have on the back of your mind for the rest of the workday?

From what I recall it needs to be enabled (or not be disabled) when the kernel is compiled and in some cases a flag must be put on the kernel command line while booting.

They always worked for me, but it's been a long time since linux has locked up on me.

What always found impressive on Windows is C-A-Del will always work.

I can name hundreds of occasions from first-hand experience where it hasn't worked in the past 26 years for me on a variety of machines in various environments.

One prominent example I've seen multiple times, is hanging in the shutdown screen where no text appears under the spinning dots, and Ctrl-Alt-Del does nothing.

Me too.

Blue screen of death, for example.

Ctrl+Alt+Del invokes WinLogon, the highest priority process, that then delivers the task manager. I believe this is a kernel invocation, so regardless of user land dysfunction, it will always work. Tthis is possibly attributable as much to convenience as it is to security -- the Secure Attention Sequence[1] is intended as a login-spoofind protection which will suspend other tasks (like a spoofed login screen) before continuing forward with user auth.

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secure_attention_key

A group policy can be enabled on most variants of Windows (dating back to around NT 4 or Windows 2000, I think) to start with a dialog saying "Press Ctrl-Alt-Delete to begin", and pretty much nothing else, exactly for the reasons you describe.

Though Microsoft's current security recommendation is against setting that policy for accessibility reasons. [0]

Windows since 8 has worked on hardening/strengthening the "Secure Desktop" that login flows (and UAC prompts) happen on so that as much as possible malware shouldn't be able to run in those sandboxes.

[0] https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security/threat-pro...

> I believe this is a kernel invocation, so regardless of user land dysfunction, it will always work.

It may always work from the kernel's standpoint, but this doesn't necessarily make it usable.

Anything that blocks the display of WinLogon (e.g., the GPU has crashed and is unresponsive) would render this emergency restart mechanism unusable, and typically, situations like this are usually the only time I would need such a feature.

So what if the keypresses never get registered?

I had a situation a month ago where my computer froze up (it was a couple months old at the time) and literally nothing would respond, even control-alt-delete, but my mouse cursor would still move around. I have no idea what caused that (it was a fresh restart after installing a GPU driver) but whatever drives the cursor display must be even higher priority than C-A-Del.

Most graphics cards implement a hardware mouse cursor where the video card reads the current pointer location from memory and overlays the cursor on the screen. So I guess if the driver for the mouse and the video driver are both still running (the kernel hasn’t stopped completely) that will still work even if Winlogin is screwed to the point where it can’t show the CTRL-ALT-DEL screen.

Happy to be corrected by someone who knows more about the windows kernel. :)

Interesting I didn’t know that. Some part of the kernel was fucked for sure as even the hardware sleep button in my keyboard didn’t work but I guess if the display driver was functioning that would be all that was needed.

I feel like it worked more reliably in XP and below, ever since vista I’ve had less success. With that said, system stability as a whole seems to have improved dramatically since those days, I don’t need to reach for it very often.

> Especially helpful on a laptop where the physical reset button is not available.

Are there any where holding the power button for 10-15 seconds doesn't work? This has always been a reliable technique for me, when using linux on numerous different laptops from different manufacturers.

That's ACPI shutdown, not OS-specific but motherboard specific AFAIK, it should work an all ACPI compliant systems...

Indeed. And afaik, the specs say hold it for 4 seconds

Remote access?

BIOS issues? Though Ctrl+Alt+Delete might not work with a BIOS acting up either.

15 seconds migh be a lotof time, depending on the situation.

This makes a lot of sense if you think through the angle that their core value prop does not come from the network/data latency optimization. It's not Netflix and Dropbox - this is FedEx. Their core business value proposition comes from logistics and being able to react to the information quickly, but extra millisecond latency is unlikely to make or break the business.

In light of this, it's easier to outsource the network and data infrastructure to a provider that actually does it day in and day out and put the limited engineering resources to something that is more impactful.

Just reaffirms that quite a few companies do not want to run their own servers unless they absolutely have to.

> through the angle that their core value prop

Surely this is just one ingredient to a successful company and there are myriad factors involved. The core business of Boeing isn't to make planes its to sell them.

That's the wrong analogy. In your example, the former is required for the latter. FedEx wants network stability and a data store, most likely, but the success of their business does not depend on them hosting their own infrastructure.

My reaction to this is that it's an effort to keep users within the "walled garden" of Twitter, which is not the best thing for those that write.

Recall the story with Medium - yes, you get broader reach with less effort, but at the cost of giving up control of your content.

I know that I am talking with an overly developer-focused lens (a-la "you can reimplement Dropbox in a weekend"), but self-hosting blogs outside the "walled gardens" is not super complicated even for non-power users. Ghost has existed for years and is a very user-friendly experience. Want to be a bit more technical - go the static site route.

It might be a lost battle to convince the majority of the social media audience of this (after all, can't beat the convenience and the cost of $0), but I really do not see this as beneficial to those that deeply care about their long-form writing accessibility and sustainability.

Twitter already has login walls to just read tweets, so I'd imagine the same is likely to apply to long-form content as well.

I would just love to get rid of the obnoxious writing style that twitter thought-leaders use when they're posting a thread. They always start with a fairly obnoxious click-baitey sentence. Then usually a fairly narcissistic hook about how "i'll explain" then "a <thread>" and "/1". And then each tweet needs to be punchy enough in 240 characters to keep people reading which produces a particularly annoying writing style. Then you need to use something like threadreaderapp to make it halfway readable.

I'd rather have those posts just written long-form, where people didn't have to use weird-ly stilted language because of the post format.

I wholeheartedly agree with all of what you said, but this stands out:

> And then each tweet needs to be punchy enough in 240 characters to keep people reading which produces a particularly annoying writing style.

I also find this writing style insufferable (every sentence a punchline), but though it may seem obvious in hindsight, the explanation that otherwise people won't keep reading had escaped me. I thought that was just a "Twitter" thing.

Twitter revolutionized online discourse. However, for whatever progression it brought us, it also brought with it a degeneration of interpersonal communication. Everything is a punchline, one-upping, echo chambers, Twitter mobs, brigadiering, and the half-life of a lot of information deserving of thoughtful processing has been reduced to hours.

/1 The existing Twitter limitations strongly encourage conciseness, which I often like.

/2 Blogs, articles, and HN comments like this, can ramble on and make diversions that I don’t always care for.

/3 I would like a dynamic slider control where I could contract someone’s writing to their essential point (tl;dr) or expand it (longreads).

/4 Bonus boffin round: a control to vary depth/complexity. I mostly would use simplification à la ELI5 or simple.wikipedia.org.

I'm unable to find the specific company and website in my old emails, but I have seen an example on the web of what you're describing. The reader could select whether to expand or collapse sections (e.g., I want more detail on this subsection).

The web interface was similar to a medium blog post, but the amount of work for both the writer and the reader was more than I think most folks are willing to invest.

I’ve stumbled across something similar. It was a personal portfolio / bio site. The owner wrote several versions of each section, using different styles and level of detail. The various versions were selected by the reader with some sliders or something.

I thought it was pretty neat. A huge pile of work to write all that, but neat.

It's interesting if you consider the time spent writing versus time spent reading. This post will take me less than a minute to write, you less than a minute to read, but perhaps five/ten people will read it - a 1:10 ratio.

Popular content will have a much larger ratio - if I am a popular writer I might spend a day or two on a fancy blog post like described above, but if 60,000 people spend 10 minutes reading it that's 600,000 minutes - 10,000 hours! Now spending a bit more time to make it more useful/enjoyable/readable seems worth it.

Sounds like a job for GPT-3. The author writes the long form version of each section and then GPT writes the simpler versions.

Something like this? https://quillbot.com/summarize

This "depth slider" is called the Inverted Pyramid [0]. The first paragraph has the main information (aka tl;dr). The next the secondary points. And as a reader, you just have to keep reading as you want more details. You know the next few paragraphs don't have more important information than what you've already read.

That's how the print media wrote their articles. They've already sold the paper/magazine to you, so now the goal was to make you feel like you have as much information as you would like with as little effort as possible, so you're willing to buy the next issue.

Nowadays, with the attention economy, the writing style has changed. The main objective is to keep the user reading for as long as possible.


You already have a "dynamic slider control" for everything you read, it lives in your brain and it's called "skimming." Well-written articles already expose the essential point in an easy-to-find way, and I couldn't imagine what a "give me the tl;dr now" button would do to our already ruined attention spans. The tl;dr might exist for some articles, but most of the time, the essential point requires a lot of build-up and context to understand; you can't just take that context away.

To paraphrase you:

tl;dr: skim-read good articles, dummy.

Longer version: here’s a thoughtless snark ignoring that you said you wanted longreads and ignoring you wanted to dial complexity to 11. Society’s tuned to custard, get off my lawn.

Extended version: I really like to show I am the smartest, most condescending, person in the forum. Let me state the obvious. Nobody listens or uses their brains these days, because TikTok. Your idea of a slider is lame. Normally I would just ignore it, however I felt compelled to make a sweeping commentary on society and your inane comment was just the hook I needed. I really wanted to correct your spelling and grammar, and comment on your smell, but I did remember that is against the guidelines[1]. If would love to downvote you to oblivion, but even talking about voting is illegal on HN: long live 1A</sarcasm>. Ironic huh?

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

PS: Hopefully this amuses you: I am being facetious, but I am also trying to give you the gist of how your comment comes across to me, in my opinion. I am not a bad guy, and normally I try to write higher quality comments.

Just gonna say that your original comment definitely reads like the tone that you’re pretending to have here, so it might actually just be you.

Fair point.

I was trying for a playful positive tone. I will try harder, but it is difficult, eh?

I suspect the difference I have with the person I answered is that the primary interaction I have with Twitter is links from HN, which are often short, relevant and to the point. I don’t see the flames because I’m not involved with the fire.

"Twenty-volume folios will never make a revolution. It's the little pocket pamphlets that are to be feared."

-- Voltaire

Epigraph to Andrew Potter, On Decline.

> the explanation that otherwise people won't keep reading had escaped me

I think you had it right the first time: the medium is the message. Twitter posts can only be 240 characters, and there is no explicit mechanism relating those "1/n" threads together; you can't even "link to a thread", you can only link to a post. Therefore, each independent thought must fit in 240 characters, which naturally leads to punchy tweets.

I love tweet threads. It's a great way to write, forces concision, and as a reader, a quick way to get the gist of a complicated subject.

I learn a tremendous amount from Twitter and vastly prefer it to needing to buy a book that I then need to skim to get the same info, or read a news article. Blogs have some advantages, but you can't really find them anymore, and I find my Twitter feed is higher signal than my carefully curated RSS feed ever was.

> I learn a tremendous amount from Twitter and vastly prefer it to needing to buy a book

Is this "learning"? You sure get entertained, quick-and-easy-to-digest facts, good for short attention spans, and 5-10 minutes later you go back to whatever else you were doing. Or hop on the next "educative" twitter thread or somesuch. But have you actually learned something?

If I ask you a week later to summarize your new insights, will you be able to? Will you even remember that you read about this? I sometimes find an old tab in a browser window that I had forgotten to close a while back. I skim through the contents, oh right! That thing! That was interesting! Turns out, a twitter thread, barely a week old, about something interesting, "I really learned something!", but I had already forgotten about it again, and if somebody had asked, I'd mainly have answered "Oh yeah there was this thing, don't remember the details, or the conclusion, or anything really, but I think I read something the other day", which is just hot air.

We should not treat such twitter threads as educational content. They are short-term entertainment, and good at that, but in essence not very different from a tiktok clip of some girl dancing on the beach.

If you really want to learn something, you need to invest time. By reading a book, by discussing with knowledgeable people, by trying something out yourself and/or trying to put your own words down. This takes energy, patience, time and can be frustrating at times. But twitter threads can't solve this for you.

It depends. There's a utility to accurate takes and bite-sized concepts.

Only wanted to look up etymology at first https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/concision


1. (somewhat rare) Conciseness, brevity or terseness.

2. A form of media censorship where discussions are limited in topics on the basis of broadcast time allotments.


huh... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concision_(media_studies)

Also see points 4. and 5. in your first link above.

Randall thought similarly: https://xkcd.com/1045/

I think there are places for both. However, reading up on a lot of business case studies, I noticed that a major tipping point for a company is often when they decide to step out of their niche.

Diversifying can handicap a company if they aren't careful, because it reduces resources to the core product.

However, it can also be a real boon (see: Microsoft + Azure, which now makes most of their revenue)

Microsoft doesn’t provide a revenue number for Azure. Their entire cloud + server division accounts for 29% of overall revenue.

My bad, I was working from memory. I probably did an s/Microsoft/Amazon/ in my head.

Amazon disclosed in its quarterly earnings announcement that AWS revenue totaled $18.44 billion in the quarter [snip]. That works out to about 16% of Amazon’s total revenue.


Wow, I am really getting a lesson in how inaccurate our memory can be. Thanks for the info!

- "If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter."

For all the horrible UX that Twitter, is, one thing I really appreciate is that the thought-leader (or anyone, really) was forced to sit down and write Pascal's shorter letter; i.e. to take their time and think hard how to convey just the essential ideas they want to express, without fluff or narrative detours (which, if preferred, can be found in other longer form media)

But you can just write a thread of arbitrary length or take pictures of text.

You can, some people do it from time to time, but in general terms it is not a common practice in the platform, at least not among the people I follow.

Same! This is what makes me realize I'm on the algorithmic feed rather than the reverse-chron feed. Almost nobody I intentionally follow uses this awful device.

>makes me realize I'm on the algorithmic feed

Does Twitter change this setting against your will?

Yeah. "Twitter reverts back to the algorithmic timeline after you're away for a while. You need to perform the above steps again to see the chronological timeline."

source https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-use-twitter-timeline-algorit...




Thanks, I gotta remember to mash that button if I haven't done it recently.

“Let me explain”

No thanks.

Buttermilk is marrying Humperdink in little less than half an hour.

> twitter thought-leaders

Real question. What even is a twitter thought-leader? An expert of twitter or an expert using twitter, or something else? If it’s an expert using twitter I would assume the way they use it would vary, so this must be something else?

The most famous got famously banned after a number of years of thought-leading.

And today's most famous is trying to buy twitter itself.

Really? I like the Twitter writing style. It forces authors to cut to the chase and avoid fluff.

Brevity is the soul of wit.

Counterpoint: it also rewards oversimplification and hyperbole.

It provides acres and acres of self-confirming thoughts, reminds me of:

> Hobbits delighted in such things, if they were accurate: they liked to have books filled with things that they already knew, set out fair and square with no contradictions.

You can go to twitter for confirmation on what you already think, and amusements, but things that go against your worldview are basically impossible to do in short tweets, so you begin to filter them into a self-reinforcing bubble. And the algorithm notices and reaffirms.

I find a Gish Gallop of misinformation is far more obvious on a platform that forces you to break up your points. It also provides more effective rebuttal on a point-by-point basis.

And the self-confirming problem is less about the 280char thing and more about allowing people to create filter bubbles, which is intrinsic to social media.

I don't see how that's the case. Misinformation thrives in low-info, high-throughput environments. You can't check everything you read, and Twitter will default to showing you all of the misinfo points in series but make you hunt for rebuttals. So most people don't see them. They see the zinger, they go "yeah that feels right", and before you know it they've incorporated it into their worldview.

Point-by-point rebuttals are extremely ineffective, because by the time you move on to the next point, they've already duct-taped the previous one back together. Nobody is keeping score, nobody goes "aha, I counted and he rebutted 7/9 of your points, so I don't believe you anymore!"

Do you know that Twitter still does not show link previews reliably? It does for big sites like Youtube, but if you link your dinky little self-hosted blog, with all the right OG meta tags, it's 50-50 whether Twitter decides to show the link preview image.

At this point, one must assume that Twitter will do nearly anything it can to disincentivize clicking out to a 3rd party site.

At least it's better than Instagram, which doesn't let you post clickable links at all in your posts.

just as an FYI, someone made a tool specifically to preview what twitter was going to do for a card when you gave it a link:


It seems like Twitter made a tool to specifically do this, not just an altruistic individual.

I think ultimately you're getting to the _why_ of the equation - there is a big desire to keep you, the customer, within the app rather than let you abandon the feed. Going back from a note to scrolling through Twitter is easier than jumping back from your browser app to the Twitter app.

I haven't had issues with link previews on my own content, but that very well could be the case for other sites.

As a non twitter user but searching for my site a few times I've always wondered why that is and what I am doing wrong. I didn't know it is a general issue since I don't use it.

> Do you know that Twitter still does not show link previews reliably?

This seems like it might be a somewhat good thing, for privacy. User generated trackers could be included in topical tweets.

Is that image not just resolved once, while posting? I remember Apple solving it in a similar way for iMessage - the sender always generates the preview.

I would assume this is what they do. Places like Discord and Facebook will usually cache it on their CDN and display the image from their CDN.

Even if I direct link an image on discord, it essentially just rehosts that image on their CDN and displays it from there. Discord even allows that cached image to be hotlinked on any site. I have seen people use it like an image host for things like their "signature" on forums.

I've seen embedded videos auto play directly from external sites, in the app. Making the video fullscreen just expand what appears to be a frame, with ads and all present.

With the "walled garden" comment, I'm wondering - nowadays, all sorts of discourse seems to depend on these types of proprietary services/platforms, that employ armies of engineers to keep them running, develop new features, etc.

Attempts to make things decentralized all seem to be aggregating into central controls, i.e. "Web3/crypto" -> coinbase, kraken, etc

Why aren't older decentralized "services" protocols being looked at, or developed further - i.e. UUnet/newsgroups, torrent, etc?

> Attempts to make things decentralized all seem to be aggregating into central controls, i.e. "Web3/crypto" -> coinbase, kraken, etc

Coinbase and Kraken are not "central controls" as you not only can use either and they are exactly fully interchangeable, but you can use any number of other similar services--or even deal directly with another user and keep your credentials locally--all of which are exactly fully interchangeable.

Off topic but I wanted to say thanks for all of your contributions to the iOS jailbreak scene :)

Walled gardens exist because it costs money to keep the garden flourishing.

Keep in mind, in this walled garden, all the walls do is make you log in, everything else is still free.

Decentralization still requires someone to pay for keeping these services alive. You could argue every user somehow be able to own and run their own platform, but in reality most of the users will not opt for the overhead when you can get it for "free" from a provider. And in a semi decentralized world where a few separate providers keep the lights on, the providers would still need to be compensated for the time and resources they invest, which again brings you back to a different kind of a walled garden.

The thing is - other providers exists, it's just they are not as convenient as the walled gardens. That's a big part of the challenge. You can own your blog on your own domain and site, but you need to be able to set that up, not forget to renew your domain, potentially deal with availability issues if the site goes down, etc. Compare that to basically just putting your content somewhere where someone else worries about all those things.

It's a trade-off that folks are willing to make, and for the "average user" (definition can vary depending on service/area) that is a very straightforward choice. I just hope that more folks understand what rights they give up by becoming attached to one platform as their publishing medium.

> Why aren't older decentralized "services" protocols being looked at, or developed further - i.e. UUnet/newsgroups, torrent, etc?

Where will the money come from? The only reason there's any investment in software at all is so that a monetizable product can be built on top of it. And nothing monetizes better than vendor lock-in.

Government, universities, hobbyists.

That's how we did it the first time.

The tools are available to them right now, nothing's stopping them except the fact that people want to spend their time in walled gardens.

I can't help but think that walled gardens are attractive places to spend time, not that people want to spend their time in them.

You don't need a new protocol. HTTP(S) is great for blogs and writing.

Because for the vast majority of users, they just need something they can post once in a while (if at all) and maybe the ability to form little groups. They care nothing more and need nothing more.

But some of those become popular and famous, and then there's little incentive to move elsewhere, as their "fans" are on the platform and so it continues to grow.

You don't need to look far for this. To be fair, my comment was much less about decentralization and more about the existence of tools for content portability and control. For example, you can have Markdown + Ghost + custom domain. Worst case scenario, you move to another hosting platform, but you're not locked to one particular service and its own goals of growth.

distribution/eyeballs is the issue with having your own site/self hosting though. Albeit I feel like if there were momentum in that direction, someone should do the RSS reader killer app for that. I.e. something like Reeder w/ Overcast/Apple's podcast directory...

You could also still post links to your content wherever your audience is - it's just a matter of being able to maintain control over the content itself.

More like "walled garbage"

Medium has turned in such a unusable shitshow now, it should be a lesson for anybody who seriously considers using twitter as a writing platform.

It amazes me how Medium held the shrine for the BEST blogging platform and the best reading experience for a few years around 2015. Which didn't last long as it became one of the worst platform for writers and readers alike.

How can a company shit the bed so bad?!

Twitter itself used to be very usable. You used to be able to just open a link to a tweet, that was just rendered as HTML. Replies in thread below.

Now it loads the SPA, you get a spinner, 1/5 times the API fails to load the actual tweet data. If you're not logged in you get bombarded with signup popups. Cookie banners come up from time to time even if logged int. Instead of the replies to the tweet, you get other supposedly related tweets as in replies, you have to click "Show more replies" over and over to load more of the fucking thread you opened.

Bait and switch, we see it every day. Acquire users with a good product, then squeeze the shit outta that without remorse.

How does that follow? They are entirely different companies. Twitter will make its own mistakes. (Perhaps Musk-related, who knows?)

Same cofounders or some other strong relation, idr

you get broader reach with less effort, but at the cost of giving up control of your content.

And you never know when years of hard work will simply disappear.

I'm not even talking about being kicked out for expressing opinions that aren't trendy.

I once wrote for a large blog That just disappeared one day. It was after Google took over Blogger, and searching for help with the problem turned up hundreds of other people whose blogs disappeared. Some managed to get Blogger to admit it was a technical problem. A few for their content back. Most didn't.

If you're going to trust someone else's platform for your livelihood, make sure you have a Plan B ready to go at all times.

I agree. However I doubt it'll be long lived. Twitter gives up on features all the time (fleets, I doubt spaces will be around in a year). They'll try this out and abandon it like most of their experiments.

I have the same hunch, to be honest. The core value proposition of Twitter, at least to me, is that it's short-form content - quick updates from the network that I care about. I don't go there to either write long-form content or consume long-form content directly (although I do get pointers to others' newsletter and blog pages).

My guess is that this is an attempt to replace long threads (1/n), but those have their own place and mechanics and I don't see how getting people to write Twitter Notes is in any way a 1:1 replacement or improvement for that.

Time will tell.

You still need to engage with the major social networks to build up traffic to your own domain name. Otherwise, posting on your blog is like talking to a brick wall. You can choose where you publish, but there's no escaping the leveraging of existing audiences.

My earlier comment is not contradictory to this statement. Indeed, you need to be on social media sites to reach a broader audience, but you can post links to your content that is external to those sites rather than giving it up wholesale within the network.

I love ghost but it's always been pretty expensive for just a blog.

It seems like they've maybe shifted prices down a bit, it used to be more than $10/mo, and measured based on page views. Now they're really pushing their content creator angle.

Ghost is also just one way to do it - there are others that still allow you to have ownership of your content and the portability/domain connection that allows you, the writer, to manage your content in whatever shape you want.

I strongly agree with this comment in general.

One small nitpick: Twitter says there will not be a login wall for reading Notes[1]. "Additionally, Notes will have unique URLs that people can navigate to from outside of the Twitter platform, whether or not they are logged in to Twitter, and even if they do not have a Twitter account."

So that's nice and somewhat unexpected. However, I don't see any signs of an RSS feed, which is table stakes if you care about interoperability at all.

[1] https://help.twitter.com/en/using-twitter/notes

i think it's pretty easy to see the simplest motivation for this project: all the twitter users who post screenshots of the iOS notes app. they literally gave it the same name.

is this better than a screenshot of the notes app? IMHO the answer is a pretty obvious yes. how it compares to various other blogging platforms isn't super relevant. it's not a blog, it's a feature for people who are already on twitter and already using twitter to publish longer-form content in suboptimal ways.

I would generally agree, _except_ with the fact then this just defeats the entire point of Twitter - it might as well become the next Medium then. Which, let's be realistic, can be a strategy too - become a content publisher rather than an aggregator of links and short opinions. But then again, that's not why I am personally on Twitter. YMMV.

again, people already accomplish exactly this thing by posting screenshots of text. but that's less accessible, less searchable, and an overall poorer experience than letting people post actual text instead of screenshotting it first.

and if you don't personally use twitter, i'm not sure how qualified you are to judge whether or not something defeats the purpose of twitter.

I am an active Twitter user and I know what you mean by screenshots of walls of text. There is no endemic use of such modality across Twitter, with few exceptions.

I stand by the statement that Twitter moving into publishing long-form content puts it on the same pedestal with Medium and defeats the purpose of the platform. Which is OK - strategy evolves, and someone did the math that this is going to be more beneficial.

My other comments reflect my stance on their decision, but I am neither a product manager at Twitter, nor do I have any knowledge of the "whys" so take this with a boulder of salt.

> Recall the story with Medium - yes, you get broader reach with less effort, but at the cost of giving up control of your content.

Exactly and no Medium seems to be dying, I haven't read anything on that site in a few years since they added popups asking you to login before you can read.

Most blog content from companies, sad to say, are created to boost the authority of your domain in a SEO sense. I.e. if you got good content people search for and read your domain will appear higher. Posting to another platform, without a canonical link, is counterintuitive.

If one wants a blog with self-hosted comments, then there not so many options and those that exist are not particularly simple. For example, standalone Wordpress can do that, but setting it up and running with all relevant plugins requires skills that few authors have access to.

Comments is a _secondary_ component to the core of what I am talking about - long-form content. I can still post a link to my blog post on Twitter and have all the commentary from my audience without donating the content itself to Twitter.

What do you mean "donating the content"? Ad clicks? Subscription fee on your blog?

Is your blog making you money?

You can have your blog make you money if you want to, in whichever way you want to. "Donate content" is just that - when you write long-form on any platform that you have no direct control over, you're handing over the rights to said content. From Twitter's own ToS[0]:

> By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods now known or later developed (for clarity, these rights include, for example, curating, transforming, and translating).

[0]: https://twitter.com/en/tos

You lose exclusivity, but you do not lose all other rights. Nothing stops you from posting your content on 10 platforms, even if each one gets a license to your content.

Yes and no. You lose exclusivity, and the ability to manage where and how your content can be used. Once you post it on Twitter, you can see from the ToS that they can basically do what they want with it - plug it into ads, print on billboards, publish alongside other content producers, etc. This is a suboptimal position to put yourself into if you care about your content.

> not the best thing for those that write

I disagree. I think this is mostly meant to steal market share from other walled-gardens such as Medium. People who write on self-hosted blogs and the like will continue to do so.

If I were a writer I would post my work to make it easy for twitter users to read, but I would sprinkle the writing with enticing links back to my own hosted site.

People on internet seek engagement else why eve write a blog. Twitter is indisputably better for engagement.

What's wrong with linking to your blog? Twitter was once explained to me as short form blogging which I thought at the time was absurd but I kind of get it now.

The problem is when you try to be all things to all people you fail. I'd so much like someone like Elon Musk to take over Twitter. In the case of Musk I trust his judgement over the team running Twitter now. Can you imagine a group of two dozen people working a year trying to reinvent blogging? Knowing Twitter, sadly I can.

> What's wrong with linking to your blog?

Nothing, except that no one will click on your link.

i don't see that it's functionally any different than what was displayed in that gif. In both cases there's a card to the longer content that needs to be clicked on.

If your argument is that no-one will click on the card then twitter notes will fare no better because it's literally the same presentation.

You're right: it isn't functionally different. But the quantified user behaviour absolutely is.

I don't read thread, but I click on link to articles.

I believe it. Perhaps you are not representative of the general population.

Also would recommend this: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/powertoys/awake

Disclaimer: I built the tool.

Hey - developer of PowerToys Awake here. Would be happy to investigate. Feel free to open an issue in the GitHub repo (https://github.com/microsoft/PowerToys/issues) and I will look into it.

This is an interesting take on documentation - mainly because I fail to see the value proposition in paying for the functionality provided.

Speaking from my own experience:

- Notifications. I am not sure that I've ever needed to know when a doc is updated, because if there is anything radical coming on the market (or in a spec proposal), there are other avenues to find out about it.

- Collections. That is already a functionality in the browser that is not locked into just one documentation site.

- Offline mode. There is Zeal[0] if you like client-side software and devdocs.io[1] if you like browser mode.

Combine all that with the fact that it's just for MDN, and the appeal kind of disappears. YMMV, of course.

[0]: https://zealdocs.org/

[1]: https://devdocs.io/

Re: notifications I think it's a smart move. Back when I was content lead for https://web.dev I was floating around ideas along the same lines. Web developers learn of great new feature X and are disappointed to learn that it's only supported on a single browser. They then forget about the feature for years even though in the meantime it has been implemented on all their target browsers. Notifications of some sort solves this problem. I agree however that whether people will pay for this feature is debatable. Browser vendors should be incentivized to provide this feature for free somehow because it's in their own best interest to increase adoption of new web platform features.

Also, things like collections have been on sites like docs.microsoft.com[0] for some time. I find it somewhat odd personally to gate documentation-related features behind a membership fee, but I do not have full context on MDN product decisions or roadmap.

[0]: https://docs.microsoft.com/azure/app-service/quickstart-node...

The value is that they've documented every front-end DOM api for you and done a lot of leg work for free for years. This will fund their efforts and they do more than just web, they've also been adding documentation on doing back-end web development as well. I'm sure the more subscribers they get, the more they can add. I sincerely hope MDN keeps the majority of the income from these efforts. For front-end work I skip Google or Stack Overflow and look through MDN.

>The value is that they've documented every front-end DOM api for you and done a lot of leg work for free for years.

If that's the value, why don't they lead with that and leave the rest out?

Marketing people aren't necessarily developers. This is a case where you should let a sane developer do the marketing.

Think of it as an easy way to donate to Mozilla

Or, better, for your employer to do so. It’s really hard to get permission to donate money at many large organizations but if the CIO kicks in $20k/year for support, training, etc. the accounting department won’t even blink.

This way seems pretty easy: https://donate.mozilla.org/ I just set up a recurring monthly donation there specifically because I'm repulsed by the idea of anything that even approaches "pay-for-play" within the sphere of technical documentation.

I don't see a way to leave a comment on my donation, unfortunately, so I came here and hit `ctrl+f donat`, in hopes of finding someplace to put my comment.. So. Hi!

Mozilla, please carry on with your primary mission and eschew common corporate strategies. I hope the dollars help. Godspeed! p.s. MDN Plus? No thanks..

Notifications for new web standards/implementations is actually something I wanted this morning, but I just went to https://caniuse.com and added its news page to my RSS reader.

That devdocs as a PWA is really handy, thanks.

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