“So let’s not think about our pages of content anymore, let’s think about bits of content. Let’s think about stories as collections of resources, meta data and links that never have a beginning, middle and end. Let’s think of our stories as adaptive. And let’s build systems so we can make them that way.”
Stephen Hackett offers a new monthly magazine style publication to his site’s members. I love the idea — it fits in well with my current thinking on curation, carefully selecting and creating content for an engaged audience.
I’m betting we’ll be seeing more of this in the months and years to come.
It’s term that has changed a lot in the past ten years ago. Even five years. One way to approach self publishing is to host a personal blog, like this site or Shawnblanc.net. This type of setup is fun because it’s so flexible. Running a site under your own name allows you to write on any topic that interests you.
Another approach is to be focused. Take one subject that you’re passionate about and stick to that. I like this concept as well because, if the publisher follows the general rule-of-thumb, you know what you’re going to get as a reader. As well, the publisher knows that his regular audience is indeed interested in the topic.
But a third option is emerging. It’s almost a blend of the two — a personal site (perhaps stream is a better word) where the content is focused on one thing only. A perfect recent example is Coffman Camera, a photoblog from Method & Craft creator Phil Coffman. It’s a beautiful project — a minimalist but stylish site with large, tasteful photographs. The focus is on the images and art direction Phil takes with his tools, but all wrapped up in a stylish package.
Not only that, but the tools we have available make a process like this both easy and fun. Phil is using VSCO CAM on his iPhone to take his photos and Tumblr to publish them. I don’t know the exact details of his setup, but it’s not difficult to guess. A few minutes of tinkering and I was up and running with the same setup to post images from my iPhone camera app of choice (Path), posting images to my Tumblr account.
We can share these moments, these artifacts of our creativity with such ease in 2012. It amazes me. At the same time, it causes me dwell for a moment on curation (a subject dear to me). Not only do we need to sharpen our focus with our input, but with the frictionless of today’s self-publishing, we also need to rein in our own desire to share. That is something this guy admittedly struggles with and spends a lot of time thinking about.
But I know this — our output needs a sharpened focus as well.
The current movement to curation is fascinating to me. We’re inundated with options — mostly self-inflicted — so any resource that culls out the content that is targeted to my interests is a welcome one. Although the content is not my cup of tea, the Evening Edition seems like a great implementation of this idea. I recently subscribed to an email newsletter (With Links) that does fit my interests and it’s been a welcome addition to my inflow.
There are apps that perform similar functionality, but I must confess I prefer options where I know there is a live human being on the other end. When it comes to curation, taste trumps automation. It’s simply a matter of finding trustworthy sources.
Cameron Moll highlights the importance of visual hierarchy with a great example.
This is a really thorough look at how to get yourself prepared for giving a talk.
Naz Hamid on the habit of liking on impulse:
On that first pass, what I’m doing is a snap judgment rating of things that caught my eye. On subsequent passes, I’m more discerning, more critical, more interested in what else is presented to me. I can judge better, absorb better, and like better. This is how it should be. Or used to be. This is what’s seemingly lacking now‚ a sense of real consideration and criticism rather than an effortless swathe of likes.
I’d like to improve my own habits in this regard. Although I like to indicate the enjoyment or satisfaction I have in a piece of content, I do want that expression to be meaningful. Without making rules, the best way I can think of doing this is to share it from my own site. It takes more time and effort, but that’s the exact kind of filter Naz refers to as “slow liking”.
If I’m going to post something on my blog, it’s has to be of a higher level of quality than what would normal instigate my clicking a heart/star shaped icon.
Interesting looking (simple) CMS from Bastian Allgeier. There are days when I wish for something less complex than EE and with slightly more configurability than Tumblr. There are a few simple blogging tools available now, but Kirby is the one that intrigues me most.
After my post on Pocket as a save-anything-for-later bucket, a distinction is needed. I received a few questions about whether Pocket would replace Gimme Bar for me. The answer: an emphatic no. Pocket is to save for later, Gimme Bar is to save forever.
Forever being a relative term aside, I see Gimme Bar as my permanent archive location for things on the web. It has been designed and developed with this purpose in mind (as described in Orbital Content). When you save items to Gimme Bar, the app does its best to save the content itself, rather than just a pointer to a web page. With the life span of internet items being brief, a tool that can save items for longevity is needed.
Pocket makes a great inbox due to its inclusion in so many apps on iOS, but the items saved there are meant to be processed. Pocket and Gimme Bar may work well side by side.