Roundup, March 30

Newsletters

I'm seeing a few people are starting newsletter-format web things. Example a: Ed Vielmetti's Vacuum; example b: Chris Salzman's newsletter blog posts. The format is attractive as a writer because it's not daily and you don't have to write too much about a subject. Just add a heading and type a paragraph. I should try it.

Blogging

People are also blogging more. While I have a professional incentive to encourage blogging (did you know you can get a free blog at my employer, WordPress.com?), I also think there's value in re-distributing the web. You can read much deeper thoughts about that from Dan Cohen's Back to the Blog, (via Kottke, who shares his thoughts on 20 years of independent blogging)

Making the world worse

If you want to make people angry online, show people this tweet:

You can also download the blank bracket if you want to start a fight IRL (note the filename).

You can also make people angry by showing them Smelvetica, an annoyingly-kerned fork of Helvetica:

Movie Order Soundtracks

One thing I have discovered is that my kids prefer to listen to soundtracks in movie order. For example, compare the Frozen soundtrack album with the Frozen Soundtrack in Order playlist. The soundtrack front-loads all the hits, while the playlist mimics the movie. We've also been known to put the Moana – Movie Order playlist on repeat. I couldn't find a Coco playlist, so I created one (corrections welcome!):

We've also experimented with using Plex on a mobile device to stream just the audio of Coco to a Chromecast Audio at bedtime, but that was a little too engaging and didn't actually put the kiddo to sleep.

Checkins

  • Blackrocks' Murray Project – I appreciate an Imperial IPA under 9%. Very good if you can find it, better balanced than a lot of IIPAs.
  • Bell's Oberon – It's nice to have one on release day. Post-over-hype, it's still a good American Wheat. If you want to know what Saaz hops taste like, it's this.
  • Uinta Rise & Pine – Black IPAs where everywhere 5 years ago, now they're almost impossible to find. The Juniper is interesting, but I think I'd like it more with a hop. I love Uinta's Hop Nosh from when I worked remotely for an office in Utah, and am glad to see them distributing in Michigan.
  • El Barzon – very nice Mexican food and very nice Italian food in Detroit. Not fusion. We had the kids with us but it'd be better for a date night. I wonder if this side of Corktown will go nuts if Ford buys the train station.
  • Sidetrack – I guess it's been a while, since they seem to still be expanding. Better service, same great menu.
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Looking to upgrade ArborBlogs

ArborBlogs is starting to get a little long in the tooth, and I’m not too happy with the Drupal aggregator codebase. The ability for people to post to the site was under-utilized, to say the least, so I’m looking for a pure-aggregator to replace it.

Some of the things I’m looking for are:

Support for the 9 versions of RSS and Atom. Should be obvious in this day and age, but I had to hack Atom support into Drupal’s aggregator (with a little help from Magpie).

Ability for non-admins to add feeds. I don’t want my disinterest in my inbox to prevent people from getting added. Bonus points if people can put in their blog’s URL or a username for hosted services and have it auto-detect the feed.

Extendibility. While I’d like features like a blog directory, tagging or the picture aggregator to be built in, as long as the package supports some easy way to add new modules I’ll be happy to put in a few hours adding the stuff I want. Prefer Ruby or a scripting language that starts with “P”. Ben Trott may have made Perl the perfect choice with WWW::Blog::Metadata, but Technorati’s web services gather a lot of the same info.

So far I know about Planet Planet, Chumpologica and Planet PHP, all of which don’t seem to have a web front end for adding feeds. Rails Planet looks promising, but the code isn’t available yet.

Any suggestions, Lazyweb?

[Updated 2005-10-14] Looks like someone already asked MetaFilter, and Josh even pointed to ArborBlogs as an example. Not a lot of leads there, either.