It’s the fourth issue of the new format, and it’s time to introduce another small section that will be happening every now and then (Ideally every 4 weeks), Podcasts! I listen to loads of Podcasts every day, and I thought it would be a good idea to share a few of my absolute favourites.
There’s nothing new on the blog this week, so I can’t link to anything there, but I have a variety of interesting links and videos for you.
A subway-style map of the Roman roads of Britain
This is pretty interesting, as most of the places still have similar names!
Random Shopper — Randomized Consumerism
A project that started way back in 2012 by Darius Kazemi, that purchases random items every month from Amazon! It’s giving me some ideas.
Developing for iPhone Pro – Allen Pike
Very interesting ideas about the new layout that is surely going to take some shape in the rumoured iPhone pro.
747-8 Captain shared pics with Singapore… – Jamaica Aviation Spotters
Pilots used AirDrop between planes! In the sky!
Beme News Update #3: This Is Not A Film Review
An interesting video on the background of the Dunkirk film, and what things were like around that time.
Podcasts (All links for Overcast)
- The Infinite Monkey Cage: Oxygen: A Matter of Life and Death
- AppStories: 14 – Pick 2: Ulysses and FullContact
- Immutable: 97: Shapes and Colors: Trend of the Year
- Cortex: 53: Worst Business Decision Ever
- The Infinite Monkey Cage: Are We Living in a Simulation?
- Cortex: 54: An Episode Out of Time 3: Time Strikes Back
What I’m Up To
I would say this week has been a partially productive week, in that I finally started my mini web analytics project. I won’t write up too much technical details here, that will be written up in full and posted to my blog within the next few days I hope.
But essentially, I wanted a super minimal way to track how many views my blog was getting, and whether another url referred it.
The only data that’s stored is the title and url of the webpage that was loaded, so just a url to a blog post of mine, and also the referrer url that is stored in the DOM. I’ve already noticed that this is usually blank, and therefore is only partially useful, and then of course the date and time it was loaded.
It’s live now, so all visitors on my blog will be logged (I wouldn’t call it tracking), and while I have a way to look at the raw data, the next step will be to create some kind of dashboard for myself.
However, the few bits of data that I mentioned, will be the only ones that are ever collected. So I’m not looking to invade anyone’s privacy. Plus, the data isn’t being anonymised when I store it, because there’s literally no personal data even being sent to the server.
Looking back at the past few paragraphs, I probably did explain it in more depth than I was going to, but oh well.
If you read the last issue of my Weekly Links newsletter, you may of seen my comment about my desire to expand the content. With this weeks issue, I’m going to take a step in that direction.
The past issues have simple been a list of links from all over the internet that I find interesting, it’s pretty simple and very minimal. I’m not saying I want to rich newsletter full of embeds, and images, but I’m going to be separating content into sections, which will lead me into including more content in general. For the beginning at least, it will still be a basic email containing hardly any formatting, but loads of links.
The sections that will be included from this week forward are:
- Interesting Links
- On the Blog
- What I’m Up To
They’re pretty explanatory, but the basic idea behind the transition is that the simple list of links is a bit unorganised. And some weeks, it’s simply not very long. But I’ve got content that I post on the blog, there’s tons of great videos that I watch, and I’m always working on something random. So why not share it here?
In the future, I want to add a podcast section, because I sure do listen to a lot of those. But adding a list of everything I’ve listened to isn’t good for me or anyone reading it. So maybe this will be my favourite/recommended episodes, and probably will end up being a less regular section. I was thinking every month, but this is a weekly newsletter, so every 4 weeks is a good alternative.
Anyway, you can sign up for the newsletter right now, which means you’ll have access to the past (boring) issues, and one new one which goes out tonight. All issues are usually send out on the Friday evening, but occasionally I’m busy and it gets pushed to Saturday morning.
Also, for the sake of my sanity. I’ll be starting the new issues at #1.
A few days ago I started to use Pinboard, which if you didn’t know, is a personal archiving service for links/notes.
I’ve known about the service for a while now, and it seems to be rather helpful to people, and while finally checking it out, the philosophy behind it really resonated with me. It’s a paid (only $11 per year) service, that has a huge focus on the actual content that you save, and letting you do whatever you intent to do. Nothing gets in your way.
I was looking into the various different settings of Pinboard, and then of course, had a look at the API. It sort of resurrected the idea in my head, where I would send out a regular newsletter to people, simply containing interesting links from around the web.
So I got creating a workflow, and in about 15 minutes I had a rough draft on a workflow that exported the days links, that featured a certain tag. My idea was I could then use this content in a super minimal email, and send it out at the end of every week.
This then evolved quite a lot, with the workflow being able to ask for user details, and then return the links (still for a specific tag) since a given date. It would then put it in a simple Markdown format, and convert to Rich Text for export purposes. I made a few cleanups, so if you want to try it for yourself, you can download my workflow.
Starting this Friday, I will be using my fancy workflow to compile a list of my most interesting (hopefully) links, and send them out that night. I chose Friday, because then there’s always something to read over the weekend!
You can either head to the direct newsletter sign up page, or subscribe below:
I’m going to keep it as simple as possible, with a complete lack of images, or over the top HTML styling. By subscribing to this, you will receive a lost of what I find to be interesting, every week.