Self Portraits ›

This is a really interesting post from Colin Walker about what we have effectively been doing on social media for the last 10 years. Painting a self portrait of ourselves over time.

I’ve never thought about it like that before, and when you add in you’re own blog or personal site, it makes for a rich and textured ongoing piece. His conclusions at the end of the post are challenging…

We can tell the stories we think other people want to hear. We can tell skewed stories as we are often not truly honest with ourselves. We tell other people’s stories rather than our own, without comment, without opinion.

What use are the wrong stories and are we doing ourselves a disservice by telling them?

I think, that without realising it, over the last few months of trying to revitalise my blog and using Micro.blog I and many others are trying to reclaim our stories and take hold of the paintbrush.

Posting to Twitter through your own site first changes the focus of the service entirely. We go from being a passive consumer, liking, retweeting, replying, with the occasional original post, to an original post being the focus. We are creating and adding to our own story rather than expanding and adding to someone else’s. Of course it’s not wrong to be involved in other people’s lives, we are created to be in community, but by creating first the involvement turns into a conversation rather than just turning the volume up for someone else. There’s a balance to be found.

Two Weeks with iPad mini ›

That’s when it clicked. When I realised I had – without really thinking – done all the things I need an iPad to do for a whole week without being forced back to a full-size iPad, I saw that the iPad mini is just that: an iPad.

When it comes to iPad, Fraser is one of those people whom I make sure to take note and listen to what he’s saying. He uses iPad a lot more than most people, so I believe his judgement on the device is one to be taken note of. I’ve played with iPad mini for about 30 mins in total over a couple of visits to the Apple store here in Cheltenham. The weight of the device and how easy it’s been to hold in one hand has me considering selling my iPad 2 to upgrade to a mini, my only reservation being could I continue to use it in my work the way I’m finding I use my iPad 2?

I have not found the mini to be unusably small, even with iOS being scaled down to fit. There have been occasional apps where certain operations have been fiddly, and I found drawing precisely with a stylus was difficult because of the relative size of the stylus tip. This might be something that can be overcome with a bit of practice but I’m not there yet.

This is now my only reservation. I use a stylus and the Paper app to scamp ideas, it beats my Moleskine because I can use subtle colours to guide my thinking. I can see a trip to the Apple Store armed with my stylus coming to maybe confirm or deny that nagging that the reduction in weight is worth me seriously considering upgrading (and curing the pain I get in my wrists after reading for extended periods).

Interview with Marco Arment ›

This is a great insight into the creator of Instapaper one of my favourite apps on the iPad and the reason it does what it does so elegantly. Marco created it for a need he had and it’s an app he uses everyday, it’s not been made for the users, it’s been made for himself. If Marco is anything like me, his worst and most important ciritic is himself. Satisfying that critic is the only way to create something truly great, which is just what he’s doing.