The infovegan

Information consumption also has a consumption chain, just like food does. Most news, for instance, comes from a set of facts on the ground, that get processed, and processed and processed again before it ends up on your television set boiled down into chunks for you to consume. But it also gets filled with additives— expert opinion, analysis, visualizations, you name it— before it gets to you. If this was food, a vegan would want none of it. They’d head straight to the data, to the source, to the facts, and try and get as much of that additive business out of their way.

Clay Johnson – Why Infovegan. via Daniel.

“Phone” is to the iPhone as “RSS reader” is to ?

A reader is for engaging with information; it’s a tool for consuming, managing, and using knowledge. In addition to presenting new information to consume, I also want it to pay attention to, infer insights from, and make accessible in an evergreen matter what I’ve already read. For me, this presents the pinnacle of personal information management — an intelligent tool that can reinforce what I already know and help guide me towards what I need to know.

Daniel Bachhuber – “Phone” is to the iPhone as “RSS reader” is to ?.

Scaling my long-form writing

Earlier Daniel asked me about starting a blog circle of sorts to help each other work on longer form writing that requires research, editing, and more careful thought. I think it’s a great idea. There’s a few things that I’d love to explore in more depth here that I don’t have a good structure in place for right now.

A benefit to attending a liberal arts school like Whitman was the sheer amount of writing I did every semester. Many classes required 4 papers a semester each of 5-7 pages. It meant I was writing something almost every week.

Since graduating the frequency of writing I’ve done has gone up drastically. Whether it’s on this blog or in my work at Automattic I’m writing far more and in far more varied contexts than I ever have before. That’s fun. What I’m not doing is the type of sustained, long-form writing that causes me to dig deeper and push my abilities. That’s also fun but is more difficult to do on a blog than as part of coursework.

There’s a few ideas that have been kicking around in my head that may fit for getting back into the swing of things with research and in-depth writing.

First, I’ve been thinking more about how news organizations need to think of themselves as crafting a product. It’s something I’ve written about before and is something I’d love to dive more deeply into. There could be an interesting line to trace here between the history of news publications and the growth of technology companies that more readily grok what it means to create a product.

Second, it’d be great to spend more time researching how WordPress can play a role in a rebooted school system. I think our current system of schooling is on its way out. Something may take its place and I think WordPress can, and in many cases probably is, playing a role here. Collecting those stories and theorizing a bit about what a more sustainable school system could look like would be fun.

We’ll see how this goes. It’d be a blast to get back into writing pieces longer than 500 words.

Improve software by using it

Daniel recently moved his site to and had this to say in the comments of his announcement post:

I want to be good enough that I can sincerely recommend it to my friends and family, but in some cases has better features, flexibility, etc. There’s still work to be done; actually using our software is the best way to discover what needs to be done.

This is why every developer of a publishing tool must be a consistent and active user of the software. The best way to learn how to improve something is by using it regularly.

My site will be moving back over there hopefully next week. I just need to carve out an hour or two to customize a theme a bit and get all the content moved over properly.


Cleaning… iOS 5 introduces a terrible change to cache management that prevents apps like Rdio and Instapaper from storing persistent data on a device. Totally ruins Rdio’s offline storage mode. Sad Christmas.