Relay FM

Today is an exciting day. My friends, Stephen Hackett and Myke Hurley, have announced their new project: Relay FM.

Relay FM is their new network, that will house some of their classic shows, and a few new ones. I for one, am very excited for them. My sentiments align very much with Chris’:

In as much as some­one might think a new pod­cast net­work would be bad and add com­pe­ti­tion to what I’m work­ing on, it’s really not the case. Pod­cast­ing needs to become more famil­iar to more peo­ple so that we all rise together. And the only way that’s going to hap­pen is by hav­ing qual­ity pod­casts that draw peo­ple in to the medium.

I think this new addition to the podcasting landscape is great for us as a whole. And really, the shows Myke and Stephen work on can’t really be called “new”. It’s more of a continuation of the amazing work they’ve already been doing.

Also, I’m incredibly excited that Relay FM is powered by the CMS that Will Duffy and I created. The fact that we got to work on a project like this is beyond awesome.

With that said, do your ears a favor, and follow the happenings of Relay FM. It’ll be some goodstuff™.

‘App Rot’

Marco Arment:

The app market is becoming a mature, developed industry, with vastly increased commoditization compared to its early days. Competition is ubiquitous, relentless, and often shameless, even in categories that were previously under-the-radar niches. Standing out requires more effort than ever, yet profits are harder to come by than ever.

Full-time iOS indie developers — people who make the majority of their income from sales of their apps, rather than consulting or other related work — are increasingly rare.

The struggle of the indie developer is real. It all points to the burst of a bubble we’ve been enjoying the past few of years. I for one, hope those of us who work hard to create quality work can survive the impact.

‘Not Just a Boy Scout’

The quality of shows that Moisés Chiullan produces is by far one of the best. He’s an expert moderator, and his passion for the topics really shines through.

In this episode of Giant Size, they talk about Captain America. The panel, consisting of Moisés, John Gholson, Brad Graeber and Amanda Schuckman, gives such a detailed backstory helping me understand the character a lot better.

Give it a listen. In fact, listen to all the ESN shows.

HBO Comes to Amazon Prime Instant Video

Chris Welch reporting for The Verge:

Amazon and HBO have signed an extensive, multi-year agreement that will bring many of the premium channel’s greatest shows including The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, and The Wire to Amazon Prime Instant Video. The deal also includes “early” seasons of Boardwalk Empire and True Blood. Newer shows like Girls, The Newsroom and Veep will eventually be made available to Prime subscribers, but not until three years after they’ve first aired on HBO. And other hits like Game of Thrones aren’t even mentioned as part of the deal, so HBO may be holding at least some popular content away from Amazon’s on-demand streaming.

Big move by HBO. Their first deal that doesn’t require a cable subscription; a move I never thought possible considering their parent company is Time Warner.

However, the deal doesn’t include new shows. HBO’s back catalogue is great, but most people are hungry for their latest shows. But let’s say we’re ok with getting older episodes, how long are we supposed to wait? “Three years after they’ve first aired on HBO. Ridiculous. While this is progress, they need to do better.

Presenting Goodstuff Broadcasting

On March 17th, I launched Goodstuff Broadcasting together with my good friends Chris Enns and Adam Clark.

On April 8th we did a more official launch where we did live broadcasting for eight hours, and it was one of the funnest things I’ve done in a long time. We finally got to see this thing that we’ve planned and worked on for months, in the wild. The best part? People seemed to like it.

Goodstuff is by no means a huge network. However, we saw from the beginning that we have a core of amazing people who listen to our shows. I can’t tell you how grateful I am about that. If you listen to our shows, a heartfelt thank you to you.

So what are we doing? What are we trying to accomplish? What makes us different?

Those are great questions. We want to produce entertaining and educational content spanning technology (of course), culture, news, and more. As time goes by, we’d like to do shows that cover the different niches of these topics better, but we’re doing a fantastic job for a one month old network.

In terms of what we want to accomplish, all three of us want to do this full time. As you may have heard on the latest episode of The Intellectual Radio Program, I’m so burnt out with the web. I’d love to make a transition into something else.

What makes us different? That’s actually quite simple: we’re a group of nice people working hard to make great content. Unfortunately, that’s becoming a big differentiator nowadays.

If you like what we’re doing, and would like to help us out, you can do that in couple of ways:

  1. Follow us on Twitter. Twitter is what we use to notify everyone of shows recording live, recently published episodes, and shows we’ve added to our network.
  2. Sign up for our newsletter. Chris does some really fun things with the newsletter. He updates you on the latest episodes, Goodstuff news, and more. In fact, I owe him some behind-the-scenes content about Fullscreen.
  3. Share your favorite episodes. If you really enjoyed an episode of a show, or like the whole show in general, share it with people. Word of mouth recommendations are the best and are usually trusted a lot more.
  4. Rate and Review in iTunes. This we really appreciate. We don’t really understand the black magic that is the iTunes podcast directory, but we hear that ratings and reviews don’t hurt. Plus, hosts love to see reviews of their shows. The review doesn’t have to be positive, but it should be useful and constructive. You can find the iTunes page for our different shows here.
  5. Check out our sponsors. We really appreciate our sponsors. They give us money to do something we all love doing. But, they also give us money in the hope to reach you. That’s the reality of advertising. However, because we care about both sides, we only advertise things we like and use. This way, instead of it being advertising, it’s more of a friend-to-friend recommendation.
  6. Bonus: Buy a T-shirt. You’ve got about five hours left to get a Goodstuff t-shirt. A huge shoutout to Steve for making us such a rocking logo.

In closing, thank you so much for supporting my projects. I can’t tell you how excited I am, to finally be doing this with people I love to work with. It’s the first time I’m part of a founding team, and actually enjoy it. In a short time, we’ve built a company and network that I feel fortunate and proud to be part of.

Updating My RSS Setup

Back in June, I wrote a post on my RSS consumption setup. The setup has changed a little, so I wanted to write an updated version that I can point people to.

When I wrote the first post, there were a couple of apps and services that I was using. In case you don’t want to go read the previous post, the gist was that I was using Feed Wrangler to power the backend, Mr. Reader on the iPad, and ReadKit on the Mac.

Since this post, the backend hasn’t changed at all. I’m very happy with Feed Wrangler. David Smith has done a great job with it. He’s constantly working on it to make it better, and I believe only one outage in the six months of use. That’s pretty darn good.

Plus, the Smart Streams and Filters are great. I have all of my content filtered very well into separate folders, and as you’d assume, they sync across all the devices I use. I’m more than happy to pay $19/year for this.1

What Has Changed

I’m no longer using Mr. Reader or ReadKit. Mr. Reader became frustrating with time. I didn’t like a lot of the gestures, the sounds are a bit jarring, and the interface didn’t appeal to me. Thankfully, the icon was updated to something less creepy, but I decided to go another way.

I’m now using Reeder 2. After moving away from it because updates weren’t ready for when Google Reader shut down, I’ve come back.

The new iPad app is gorgeous, using the native swipe gestures wonderfully, and elegantly. It’s one of my favorite apps on iOS, as the interface clearly follows the new guidelines, yet clearly exerts its own opinion on certain interface elements. The social and read later integration is great too.

I’ve also ditched ReadKit on the mac. I’ve said this previously, although I can’t remember where, that I don’t do much reading on my Mac. If I really want to read something, I usually save it in Pocket and then read on my iPad. Still, I decided to get ReadKit to manage RSS on the occasion that I needed it.

For me, it’s been a bit of a disappointment. It runs quite slow, and is buggy. However, I’ve heard a lot of people swear by it, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

That’s the new setup in a nutshell. If you’re barely starting with RSS, or getting back into it, I hope this helps.

  1. It might also be important to note that Feed Wrangler hasn’t been doing some of the shady things that Feedly has had its hands in. 

‘Fired? Speak No Evil’

Will Blyte writing for The New York Times:

The increased prevalence of nondisparagement agreements is part of a corporate culture of risk management that would have us say nothing if we can’t say anything nice. And yet it occurs to me that if a company isn’t strong enough to be reproached, then it simply isn’t strong enough, period.

Interesting perspective.

‘Twenty Thirteen, The Learnering’

Paul Armstrong:

…there’s no sense in just listing the things that have transpired in a year without taking full account of why they were and are important. If you can’t determine what you’ve learned, whether good and bad, then you’re missing the chance to improve your life — and believe me, there isn’t much life to go around.

I love it when Paul writes. Hell, I love it when he writes, thinks, talks, whatever. He’s got a wisdom about him and a sincerity that is difficult to find. He talks about some of the things he’s learned this past year and also gives sound advice.

On Getting the Work You Want

Daniel Mall:

One of the most common questions I’m asked about design is how to get the work you really want to do. Students often bring up the fact that they feel so far away from their dream projects. Even experienced agencies make excuses like “gotta make payroll” and “we’re too busy right now.”

First off, I’m honored to be mentioned in this post. I like both of Dan’s suggestions, but especially the second one. Seemingly obvious advice, yet can have such a huge impact on the work you do.