Notes

Wonderwalls Exhibition – You Should Go

Those who follow me on Instagram might have seen pictures and I already also told you about the Wonderwalls Exhibition in Düsseldorf. This week it is the last chance to visit the exhibition – and you should do so.

The photo is showing Selim Varol in his storage space, sitting on his packed, collected art.

After this week the exhibition of Selim Varol, who was a guest in my German Podcast neu•gierig, is closing its doors. I have been there a couple of times and it always takes me back into my childhood and youth.

I myself am taking my kids to Wonderwalls in the NRW Forum Düsseldorf today (sadly my oldest daughter isn’t here today) and visit it one last time, before it comes to an end on Saturday. If you go, maybe you are lucky and Selim is doing one of his tours, which makes it even more special.

Information about Wonderwalls

How Tools/Apps Can Shape Your Experience

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When I joined Mastodon in 2018, I liked the concept and am always excited and curious to try new things. But like others described already, it somehow did not feel right. Maybe I wasn’t ready for the concept, maybe I was comparing it too much with Twitter – I don’t know. In the end it was something it did not bother to communicate through too much.

A couple of months ago, yes I think Musk has played a role here, Twitter, which somehow lost more and more attraction for me anyways, but the reason why would bee another blog post, Mastodon gained traction again and people started registering and – which is the more important part – using it. it felt different, but still I was asking myself a lot of questions and was sceptical. I tried different apps, Mastodon in the browser, but I wasn’t getting the “Yes, let’s go with it” moment. I did not feel it ;) I was using Mastodon, reading what other people said and also posting myself.

A couple of days ago, when I opened Tweetbot, I got an authentication error message telling me, I need to log in again. On my phone and my Mac. I checked the web if something was not working with in general, but Twitter seemed to be up and running. Just the apps I was using weren’t working anymore. It turned out that Twitterrific users had the same problem and actually any 3rd party app using the Twitter API. No one had information and an update on the Twitterrific blog stated:

Updated January 17th, 2023: We still have not received any clear communication as to why Twitter deactivated Twitterrific on January 13th. We have been respectful of their API rules, as published, for the past 16 years. We have no knowledge that these rules have changed recently or what those changes might be.

On the same day, Twitter stated, that they were intentionally blocking 3rd party apps like Echofon, Tweetbot and Twitterrific and wrote that Twitter is “enforcing its long-standing API rules” and that this “may result in some apps not working” on Twitter … well … that’s it with any 3rd party app.

Tapbots reacted and quickly used their knowledge (and party of the code base?) for their new app Ivory, which is an app for Mastodon and which was released in an early state yesterday (for anyone who wants to read a review about that version, here is a nice and complete one by Federico Viticci on MacStories)

Now, why am I writing all this and started with my feeling and experience of using Mastodon? Actually I can quote a Mastodon post of Marco Arment from yesterday, as it exactly expresses how I felt and how I feel about the release of Ivory:

Before @ivory, Mastodon felt like a Twitter clone that I wasn’t really “getting”, bouncing between apps and not finding any that fit me.
With Ivory, Mastodon became not only a drop-in replacement for Twitter for me, but an upgrade that’s actually so much better than Twitter that I don’t think about it at all anymore.

Tweetbot Is Also Officially Dead Now

Tweetbot was the app of my choice for Twitter for most of the time since I started using Twitter in March 2007. I think it always was a reason that I still use Twitter nowadays, as I was able to see a chronological timeline and could filter the content the way I wanted it. Event though some features of Twitter have not been allowed on 3rd-party apps, I preferred using Tweetbot over the Twitter website or any official app that ever existed.

Now, like Twitterrific, Tweetbot was announced dead by Tapbots:

We’ve invested over 10 years building Tweetbot for Twitter and it was shut down in a blink of an eye. We are very sorry to all of our customers who chose Tweetbot as their way to interact with Twitter’s service and we thank you so much for the many years of support and feedback.

It might just be an app, but I find this very sad, as with this I can’t see myself using Twitter as before anymore. Maybe it is time to move on, like many others did already. And maybe the loss of those 3rd party apps only shortens my time of still being kind-of active on Twitter.

Let’s not look back, but forward and be excited by what is coming. Like using Mastodon instead and Tapbots Ivory – even though I can’t tell you anything about it yet as I never had a chance to get on the early access program.

See you there …

Craig Hockenberry being Polite

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I bet this is a version where Craig Hockenberry had people revising a lot already. Still you can hear the frustration of him, when he has written the blog post.

There’s no sense in clinging to the personal whims of a clown leading a shit show. Especially when his circus will end up being a $44 billion version of MySpace.

As I have written earlier last week, I can’t imagine how the people behind Twitterrific or Tweetbot must feel, after Twitter, without notice, cut off everything – well, a little bit as the pandemic was for me and beyond tellerrand, what Musk is for them.

This, plus the massive amount of layoffs makes me think a lot these days. And I am sorry for all the people who are affected.

Autumn

Even though I’m sometimes absolutely not looking forward to taking the dog for a walk, because, well, I have to and it’s not a matter of choice (unless I train her to go to the toilette), I do enjoy the stroll through the forest. I enjoy it any time of the year as each has its nice bits. Autumn creates a morbid atmosphere sometimes. Trees drop their leaves to the ground, where they rot. Nothing really ever gets dry in this time. The fog in the morning feels mystical and the trees without their leaves can appear a bit spooky.

Paypal Usability

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Trying to verify my phone number on the German Paypal website …

Description: In the video you see a part of the Paypal web interface and me trying to click a link in a flyout-menu to verify my phone number, but before I am able to click it, the menu disappears.

Mastodon Pt. II

No need for me to write anything that has been said already. But here are some links about what people said.

Bastian Allgeier has written a longer post with his opinion about and his experience with Mastodon:

Suddenly there was this old Twitter vibe. Real conversations. Real people. Interesting content. A feeling of a warm welcoming group. No algorithm to mess around with our timelines.

Also Jon Hicks has written down his personal view on how he experiences the first couple of days over there on Mastodon:

After the initial learning curve, I'm finding a community much like the early days of Twitter, and feeling more relaxed about posting.

In his article “The IndieWeb for Everyone” Max Böck writes:

Maybe its time to rethink some of these expectations. Maybe we need some of that early internet vibe back and be ok with smaller, closer communities. Maybe we can even get some of the fun back and start exploring again, instead of expecting everything to be automatically delivered to us in real time.

I think, if you take all the posts written – and I guess many more will be written – you find the truth somewhere in the mix of it. Yes, Twitter is broken for a long time, but I can’t just kill my accounts. I made most of my business via Twitter and grew my network with the help of Twitter massively.

I don’t expect Mastodon to be the new Twitter or a replacement and here I am with Max: we need to stop replacing things and trying to change old things to hopefully make them better. Maybe it is time to think about if it is time to stop something, to start something new.

Oh, and like I said in August 2018, you can find me on Mastodon also

iA Presenter

For many years my number one tool on any of my computers is iA Writer. I love it and use it more than anything else. it does exactly what it needs to do, is fast and does not distract me from what I want to do, using the tool: writing.

Now iA is working on a text based presentation tool. Of course I had a look at it and so far I really like what I am seeing. The approach of iA Presenter is a completely different one than as for known tools like Powerpoint or Keynote. As iA Presenter is text based, the focus is on your written text. It is easy to then create your slides based on your paragraphs, after you have written what you want to say. Regularly written text is only visible to you, a little bit like presenter notes are in known presentation tools. Headlines that you define will be automatically shown on your slide. Split and join slides easily afterwards to create you structure. Integrated images are easy to configure to create interesting layouts that are full responsive, which means you don’t need to worry about fixed resolutions of your presentation or the resolution a projector has at an event you are presenting at. 16:9? 4:3? Landscape or portrait? All done with just the single version of your presentation, which – I think – is super handy. I also really like how easy you can define on which screen your presentation will be shown and where to see your notes.

In addition iA Presenter comes with a couple of really nice templates you can use. Whether you like color or more minimal use of colour, you pick and choose and surely you can also add your own templates to be used in your presentation.

It certainly feels very different to any presentation tool that I have used before, which mostly is Keynote these days, but I really like this approach and will give it a try for my next presentations.

If you want to give it a try, let me know. I have a couple of beta invites.

Sirenia by Felix Braden

Once more Felix Braden has released a very tasty typeface over there at Floodfonts. It is called Sirenia and feels very organic.

The whole set contains 1270 characters and includes many decorative elements as well as swash variations. I really like the warm look and feel and can’t wait to give it a play for the right purpose. Maybe already for next beyond tellerrand in Düsseldorf ;)

But have a look yourself and see how nicely Sirenia looks and feels.