Reducing Complexity


A step by step image upload workflow
I’ve been looking for workflows to allow me to post these articles more quickly, easier, with less pain. I forgot one key thing in this search, the writing. In my quest for easy I added so much complexity I completely forgot to “do.”

Look at this post. It was composed after my lunch break, as opposed to creating an image workflow with 39 steps just to find, edit, and upload an image.
Just do it. I might have stole that from a well known brand somewhere.

Uber and bad PR


In the midst of a hostage situation in downtown Sydney, Australia, Ayn Rand’s favorite car service, Uber, turned on its wildly expensive surge pricing for customers trying to get away from the armed siege. And lest you think this was the fault of an insensitive algorithm that detected high demand, the company tweeted that it was aware of the attack and had raised prices for the fleeing people’s own good.

This is where the saying “there’s no such thing as bad PR” starts to ring false. Everyone talks about the negative Uber stories. So much so, I’d think twice before using them instead of their competitors.

Twitter Introduces ‘Fabric’


After repeatedly angering third-party apps by cutting off access to its API, Twitter will launch a new app development platform called Fabric to bury the hatchet with scorned developers, according to a report.

In my mind, cutting off 3rd party services is where Twitter turned a corner from “upstart startup” to “money-grabbing corporation.”

It sounds like Fabric is a little more of the same, a platform for data collection. I just hope developers take to it, users enjoy it, and Twitter remains about user experience, and not simply about money.

Google’s Panda Algorithm and Your Content


Google has tweaked its Panda Algorithm for the last three years. Panda, is Google’s attempt to battle content farms; reducing the search rankings of low quality, or “thin” content.

This most recent update to Google’s Panda Algorithm occurred sometime in the middle of May, and had extreme repercussions for press release sites. You can read more about Search Engine Land’s Search Metrics Report, and the impact it had on these site’s search engine visibility.

So, how do you avoid being penalized by Panda? Common sense.

In more depth, write newsworthy, original content. Don’t have a template of content, where you duplicate half of your press release every time you publish one. Don’t steal content you’ve found around the web.

In fact, just don’t duplicate content at all.

If you need more information on content marketing, Google has two posts on the topic:

Another step to reward high-quality sites

More guidance on building high-quality sites

Moves Changes Privacy Policy


Mere days after the fitness-tracking app Moves assured users about their privacy after its acquisition by Facebook, the company has changed its privacy policy to allow itself to share data with third parties. The Wall Street Journal reported the changes late Monday, which were pushed as an app update to Moves users.

Is anyone surprised that Facebook, a company built on having as much of your data as possible, would change the privacy policy of a new acquisition?

When I first heard Moves was acquired it made perfect sense. Now Facebook would have both a fitness/health app and a way to track user location 24/7 to better target advertising.

Copyblogger Removing Comments from Blog


The content marketing blog, Copyblogger, has come to the decision to remove comments from its blog. They cite the following three reasons:

  1. There are a multitude of places to continue the conversation. Some places might even be even better than the comments section of a blog post.
  2. Fleshed out comments would be better suited as stand-alone blog posts. It also seemed like Copyblogger wouldn’t mind the SEO benefits of more inbound links.
  3. Spam, which finds its way through even modern, sophisticated spam filters.

I can’t comment on the spam. My commenters are all so insightful, and easy enough to manage on my own. All one comment I’ve received.

If it weren’t for the second point, I probably wouldn’t be posting this recap. It makes perfect sense for smart comments to become their own entities.

My biggest umbrage with their decision boils down with their number one reason for removing comments: the conversation can continue on social media in a number of social media networks.

The best part of blogs are the living entity that occurs in the comments section. By not giving a consolidated place for readers to give their opinion, blog posts lose that spark of life.

While social media might allow a better place for conversations than a blog post, the sheer number of social outlets leads to a conversation diaspora. How an individual will find and consume these points of view is past my view.

I hope this is only a temporary experiment. Even more so, I hope this doesn’t become an overarching trend.

Microsoft Releases OneNote for Mac


OneNote LogoMicrosoft finally brought its popular notebook software OneNote to the Mac today. Rumors are Microsoft is eyeing Evernote, and trying to compete in the online notebook space.

I’ve only used OneNote briefly, but it was a very powerful tool. I was sad to find out it didn’t have a Mac counterpart. Unfortunately so much of what I do is on mobile and iPad that I need a universal storage system for my thoughts. The most recent update to the iOS OneNote apps are from December. Microsoft hasn’t updated the app for iOS7, or even gone into the description and changed the references to SkyDrive.

If you’re interested in OneNote for Mac, you can download it from the Mac App Store.