Tweetbot 3.0 for Mac is out. There was a time not too long ago that I would have been excited. Today, I can’t see investing $10 in a Twitter client that will be badly crippled in a few months to use a service I no longer care about at all. Sorry guys. It’s not you, it’s Twitter.

Dropped the commercial and ad-supported Weather Network app from my iPhone today in favour of the indie Canadian weather app Météo. Ad-free, push notifications for weather warnings, uses Environment Canada weather data. Free, with optional patronage support.

Opting Out Update

It’s a long process, but pulling away from so-called “social media” platforms and moving to posting content on domains and sites I own has been going well. Part of this move has included moving away from ad-supported, privacy-hostile services entirely (where possible).

I started by deleting much of the content I had put on these services over the years. 50,000 tweets, thousands and thousands of Facebook posts, pics and updates, and many hundreds and hundreds of Instagram photos.

GDPR-related emails about privacy (sic) policy updates provided a nice reminder of some other services I had signed up for over the years and I deleted dozens of accounts over the past few weeks.

Instagram’s new content exporter combined with Micro.blog’s importer was a nice surprise that allowed me to bring over the last couple of years of Instagram photos to my own blog.

For Facebook, I used various scripts and some tedious manual work to delete everything I’d ever posted to that service. I also untagged myself from photos and posts that “friends” had tagged me on. Did I get everything? Probably not…so eventually I’ll need to fully delete my account. So far I’ve just deactivated it.

Since deactivating Facebook a few weeks ago, I’ve noticed the following:

  1. I’m using iMessage or SMS to talk to friends far more often. And they reply. It’s lovely.
  2. I don’t miss anything about Facebook except seeing pics posted by friends at events we were both at. I solved this by asking them to iMessage or SMS me any pics instead.

I plan to keep my Twitter account around, along with Tweetbot (as long as it still works). The same goes for Instagram and the Instagram app on my iPhone.

Both Twitter and Instagram are handy for tracking things like breaking news, transit disruptions or to get information on events I am attending (like the Vancouver Marathon). It’s unfortunate that Twitter became the de facto way to do one-to-many communications over the years. A decentralized, open standard like RSS would have been so much better.

I mostly wish that our local transit service (Toronto Transit Commission) provided service distruptions and updates via RSS. They have RSS updates for planned disruptions and changes, but not the more useful “live” updates. On my iPhone, the Transit app does a nice job of passing these along through notifications.

For following news or blogs, I’ve returned to RSS and I’m using Feedwrangler and Unread on iSO and Reeder on macOS. News is tough because it’s not well curated – I get literally all the stories from my local newspaper instead of having top stories, or some sort of categorization. Perhaps there’s a solution for that out there.

More to come…

 

We’re into the “cookies” phase of our GDPR efforts at work. Oh. My. Goodness. Embeds of iframes (videos, tweets, instagrams) are brutal for setting cookies to track visitors. No more embedding allowed on our blog. This stuff is insidious.

You can do all the research and thinking, but nothing beats putting a product or feature into the hands of users. It generally always results in a suggestion or two that we would never have considered and that also makes a tremendous amount of sense.

Woke up to a delay notification on our flight home from 8:00 A.M. to 11:45 A.M. Called and were easily rebooked on an earlier flight at 9:00 A.M. Now watching the others from our previous flight lined up for standby on this one.

Sometimes I love running marathons, sometimes I hate running marathons. Today was one for both the love it and hate it lists. Basically it was too warm for the first half, I wasn’t acclimatized thanks to a cold, long winter in Toronto, and that killed my race. Oh well…despite the challenges, I finished my 12th full marathon today with my slowest time ever and earned my medal.