Two Cameras: Two Uses →

James Tocchio on his view that the camera matters:

I’ve been missing that. All of that. And it’s really hit me this week that I’ve spent the past couple of years thinking that the camera didn’t matter anymore. But I think, maybe, that it matters more than ever.

If I am honest, I’ve not yet worked out what all the words are, they seem jumbled and don’t really get to the point. Yet, the whole time reading I was thinking about my thoughts about my camera, so I guess that’s the point.

I have two, my A7c and my iPhone 13 Pro. After spending some time accepting that I need both in my life, they now serve entirely different uses for me. Neither is more important than the other, but I am glad I have both.

My smartphone needs to have a good camera to capture all of life's moments. My kids doing things I want to let others know about, or record a memory I want to look back on. Perhaps to show the world what I am up to and post a short post about it. I often try to put come artistic flair on it, but more often than not they are candid, slightly blurry moments frozen in time.

My camera on the other hand is for expressing myself. Picking it up to do something, or go somewhere, I want to capture with my self-expression. Like painting a picture or making some music, this is my art. Granted I am still learning, but it's the way I want to express myself outside my blog and what I am dedicated to.

Goodbye For A Bit →

Colin Devroe on Quitting Social Media:

Not that I can’t focus. I can sit down and get into flow on a programming project more often than not. But when I’m still, when I’m idle, when I feel like I could be bored at any moment I grab my phone and scroll through Twitter which sends my mind into overdrive on a million topics, timelines, thoughts, and emotions.
I don’t think this is good for the human brain. I know it isn’t good for my brain.

It’s the last few words of this post that I’ve been saying for a while. I know the are are loads of positives in connecting with people, yet every time I move away I get “yeah but why”.

I know, for a fact, that when I use social media a lot I am a worse person. I waste more time, I procrastinate more and I think about things less. My desire to watch more films, play more games and also write more just doesn’t have time for scrolling through other peoples lives. My Twitter obsession started more than a decade ago and it’s time for me to take back my brain.

Yes I know I do this every so often. No it’s not going to be for a year like Colin. If Social Media is good for you, great, but the amount of push back I get is stupid. You do you.

I will check in a bit, but the last few days of only being able to go on Twitter on my desktop has been really helpful for me to see things more clearly. So if a little is good, more must be better, right?

Well, we’ll see. Goodbye for a bit. Feel free to reach out in other ways if you want to. Love you all.

Limiting Your Reach →

Matt Birchler on his need for photography to be fun:

Additionally, since Glass is paid and artists generally like people to be able to see their work, it doesn’t make sense for really talented people to post there (certainly not only there) because it’s limiting who and enjoy (and maybe purchase) their work.

Although this post talks more about Matts waining use of Glass, this little part towards the end stuck out to me. Echoing my thoughts about posting photos to Glass.

I wish I could just quit instagram, and Glass is precisely the sort of place I would quit it for. Although if I did, no-one I actually know would see my photos, so I have no choice but to post to Instagram as well. I am not bothered about building a following or anything, but the average Joe people are never going to use Glass. Then comes the obvious realisation that if I might as well just post to instagram.

So, here I am, loving at app, enjoying the photos posted, but still posting to Instagram.

Missing The Tech For LOLs →

Andy Nicolaides on the outlook of some tech commentators:

For many millions of people out there, VR could, and already can to a certain extent, open their lives to opportunities they can’t currently enjoy and experience. We’ve all heard the laughs and sniggers about watching a concert with people virtually but for so many people, VR may finally give them a chance to experience something many others of us would take for granted. The argument for and against VR and a meta verse is always so black and white, but the world is rarely so easy.

I tried really hard to not open with a social media trope but — so much, this!

I am sick and tired of people that have an important voice and an influential following making these kinds of takes. Most of these boil down to “If it doesn’t work for me, it’s stupid”. Granted, I didn’t listen to the whole show, just the clip Andy posted, as I stopped to listen to this show a long time ago because of these hot takes. So, I may be missing some kind of grand explorer or inside joke, but I doubt it.

The fact that still people can’t think outside their box is frankly ridiculous. VR is 100% never going to be for me, and I laugh more than a little at the way Meta pitch it to users, but much like Facebook itself, I can’t still see why some people would use it.

I am not sure if this is just playing to the audience, as this ‘sad VR looser’ rhetoric is a tired joke at this point. Making comments along the link of “don’t you go outside” or “don’t you have friends” misses an entire section of the population that can’t. Missing the accessibility angle (this post is from three years ago about Connected doing the same thing) is absolutely unacceptable in this day and age.

VR is already helping people access parts of life that you take for granted and the fact you can’t even be bothered to look into this make me think much less of you.

The Problem With A Closed Platform →

Isobel Asher Hamilton on the demand by scientist to see internal research:

An international coalition of more than 300 scientists working in the fields of psychology, technology, and health have published an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg, asking the Meta CEO to open his company's doors to outside researchers who need to investigate the effects of Facebook and Instagram on child and teen mental health.

This is part of the problem with Facebook. The conclusions and opinions all boil down to “we think it does this”. We all know that Facebook knows, it has all the data, but it hides it away so everyone external has to guess. The company is the only one that knows what it is doing, both in terms of changes to its platform and the effects on its users, so there is no oversight.

Sure, it’s a public company, it can’t be expected to always acts in the population's best interest, and that is precisely why we need to be able to see inside.

This recent request for research into the harm of its platforms is unlikely to go anywhere. Facebook religiously blocks attempt to study digital harm on it platform, inclusive requests from ProPublica and New York University to name a few. The PR fallout from any absolute research would be sure to set a fire under the platform that would burn it to the ground, and clearly they already know the outcome.

Writing Everyday Is Exhausting →

Joshua Ginter’s thoughts on publishing every day:

There are nights where you just want to veg and play video games rather than throwing something together for the blog. There are times when you don’t have a fully formed opinion and you sort of puke it out into existence. Or you create filler pieces to get through a few days.

This whole piece covers some of the thoughts that have been floating around in my head since publishing more often. I thought about posting something similar later on this week but Josh does this far more eloquently than I would. So I thought I might as well throw some of my own words behind his.

When I first set my goal to publish every week day for a month I had loads to go at. Ideas where flowing and at one point I had 4 days worth of posts ready to go. This gave me some runway to slow down a little and let thoughts arrive, and of course they arrived less and less as the days went by. So as I got closer to days were nothing was sat in my ideas tray I began to feel the pressure. Rather than writing when I had something to say, I wrote because I had to say something.

Some posts I am proud of, some not so much, but I have learnt a lot along with way. My practice of writing every day is years old at this point (most of my words are just for me) but it helps me get ideas straight in my mind. Writing blog posts is no different. I often start with a small idea, pull on that thread and it evolves into something new, and often interesting.

I love thinking about things and blogging is me doing that in public. It gets tiring giving yourself pressures and goals, so I will slow down, but I still want to keep the momentum going somewhat as I love doing it.

Seriously Stop Worrying →

Arthur C Brooks brings the fire to make you understand that No One Cares

If I wouldn’t invite someone into my house, I shouldn’t let them into my head.

I highlighted far too much of this article to share, the quotable things just kept coming. So I had to go back and read it again, just to make sure I got the real feel of the words on the page, and found it quite revealing.

To discover something that Marcus Aurelius observed almost 2,000 years ago that applies perfectly to todays worries is quite shocking to me. “We all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own,” should be a waring post on social media. Why worry about what others are thinking when you should really be worrying about yourself?

Because it feels very personal when we feel socially harmed, even if that is only perceived. Our brains are made for < 150 person groups of gatherers, not thousands of people online so it's important to remember that there is no need to worry about what others think, because in actual fact they don't care.

Longer Thoughts Are Truer Thoughts →

Josh Ginger on honeymoon phases with new devices:

By then, it’ll all be too late.
But at least it’ll be true.

It’s as if Josh had been reading my mind. The rate of publishing and the things being published has been a big theme of my thoughts of late. I’m not worried about being the first or the best, but I like to write things that mean something.

I got pretty good at telling what devices were going to be useful when reviewing numerous phones. Sure, I still got caught up in the excitement, but devices like the Galaxy S21 Ultra and the Galaxy Fold 3 I could tell within a day or so if they made any difference to me. But of course, I had to handle a lot of tech to do this.

If anything I am the reverse now, I dismiss things and then when I actually read or watch reviews I start to see where they could benefit my workflow.

With all this said, I always try to take in reviews after time with the device. I have lost count of the number of videos reviews I watch claiming the device is the best thing ever, only to have another on a few weeks later on why they are returning it. Some of this is of course YouTubers being YouTubers, but the honeymoon period feelings are strong and should be considered.

No-one Makes Content For Facebook →

Casey Newton noticing Facebooks plagiarism problem:

Facebook’s report details the top 20 most widely viewed posts on the network over the past three months. One of the posts was deleted before Facebook published it. Of the remaining 19, though, only four appear to have been original. The remaining 15 had been published in at least one other place first, and were then re-uploaded to Facebook, sometimes with small changes.

It’s interesting to think about where people post things and in what order. Instagram Reels is clearly full of TikTok made videos that are redistributed. Which doesn’t seem to matter because they can monetise it anyway, and the same can be said for Facebook itself.

When the odd breakout personality does exist on Facebook, sure they can make money, but the content has to be very niche. The biggest touted success such as ‘Ladbaby’. Content is typical of the people that still use Facebook. Just take a scroll down the most viewed pages report, and you will see pages such as “Do You Remember When” and “That ain't right”. Which tells you all you need to know about the people spending the most time using Facebook.

Communities and groups are one of the biggest drivers of serious Facebook traffic. That same report shows pages such as “The Typical Mom” and “All Things Mamma” raking in 96m and 92m views per quarter. So, clearly there are people using Facebook, and loads of them, but they are not creating content for the site. They are interacting with others, forming groups and seeking advice.

I have always considered Facebook a bit of a distribution space anyway. Words go on a blog first, videos always got to YouTube first and photos go on Instagram. The fact that the Newsfeed is filled with plagiarism is not really a surprise to anyone.

Facebook could have fixed misinformation spread two years ago →

Alex Kantrowitz reforming the Share Button :

A simple product tweak, the research indicated, would likely help Facebook constrain its misinformation problem more than an army of content moderators — all without removing a single post. In this scenario, adding some friction after the first share, or blocking sharing altogether after one share, could help mitigate the spread of misinformation on Facebook.

Seems like another day, another revelation from the ‘Facebook Files’ and I am sure there are lots more to come. You can of course push back and claim that the leaks were of information gleamed from internal documents and not form actually decision makers but it’s clear that they reflect the overall nature of the beats.

When it comes to misinformation, internal Facebook research noted that people are at least 4x more likely to see misinformation from a shares post. That is that if the original post users see is from outside of their friends list is four times more likely to be false, and up to 20 times in some situations. Lets that just sink in for a moment.

Two years ago, Facebook discovered that users were seeing false information shared into their newsfeed and apparently did nothing about it. The research goes on to make a recommendation that adding friction to sharing or blocking sharing all together would help mitigate the issues they were facing. Whilst it’s not known for sure if any action was taken, employees did openly discuss the findings on internal systems, it is clear they did not make any meaningful changes.