This afternoon, Adam sent me the greatest gift of all—the complete archive of @everyword so far. I built a search engine for @everyword a few months ago but it was sorely incomplete. Now it searches all 90,000 words that @everyword has taught us.
After filling up the dictionary, inspiration helped me build something new: presenting searcheveryword for sentences! Now you can type a sentence and take home a page of embedded tweets for every word you’re after. Great! Great use of my day!
In case you haven’t noticed, The Stag with Silver Antlers is one of the most important things in my life right now. If you care about themed attractions, narrative theory, stagecraft, or me, you should be reading this blog. And liking it on Facebook! And following it on Twitter!
While designing this sweet little thing for Keith and Casey, I came this close to finally knowing what a Hunger Game is. Not close enough, but still, this exists now.
Speaking of Instapaper. Here’s another useful thing by my well-dressed friend John Holdun:
Like now is a bookmarklet for Instapaper that saves, likes, and archives the page you’re looking at in one click.
I find myself wanting to like something I read without the aid of Instapaper quite often, and this is perfect. Especially useful if you use Instapaper’s social features.
I don’t think I ever told many people about this, but now nostrich has and so now so have I! He’s pretty well-dressed too, ya know.
Slides is a new photo-centric premium theme by Zach Klein, David Cole, and John Holdun. Hey, that last one is my name!
Did you know that Twitter now wraps every link you tweet in a t.co short URL? I love these for many reasons. Mainly because we no longer need to care about how long our URLs are, but also because these t.co guys show up as referrers in your analytics software and they’re unique to each tweet. That means that when you see that 243 people visited your site via http://t.co/zdOF0Fke, you can know with certainty that it’s because they clicked the link in some particular tweet.
It’s easy enough to find that tweet by searching for the URL on Twitter, but I made a thing to make it a little easier. It’s called Tortilla.
Enter a t.co URL (or a partial t.co URL; Google Analytics gives you just the /uNiQuE bit and that works just fine here) and Mark Wunsch’s cool Twitcher library will find the tweet it’s from. Tortilla is at the mercy of Twitter search, which means you’re not likely to find a tweet that’s more than about a week old, but there’s not much we can do about that, so stay on your toes.
Now we just need more analytics softwares to trace these guys automatically. I’ve been working on that but that’s a story for another time.
None of the third-party Instagram viewers work quite the way I want them to so I wrote a little app that hosts my Instagram feed in its entirety on my own site.
You can use it for your own account if you’d like; setup is not very user-friendly but the code is on Github.
Hi, I’m busy making sure this is working smoothly but Umagram launched Twitpages today and it’s super awesome, look at it, give us all your money
Finally wrote a little script to retrieve all the notes on the 20 most recent posts of any tumblelog. It uses the new API which means it requires a key, but it actually works quite nicely. Phew.
There’s an iOS-home-screen-ready PHP version too.
Vimeo released a nice feature a few months ago allowing users to create custom URLs for the videos they’ve uploaded (it was announced in this blog post). It’s just a redirect to the ID-based permalink, but it’s a lovely feature.
YouTube offers no such feature, and what’s more, their URLs are incredibly ugly (query parameters in 2011?). They do have a short URL system that is very easy to use, though: take the video ID—the part after the
?v—and append that to
http://youtu.be. Easy enough, and looks a lot better.
Here’s a bookmarklet that will give you a short URL and put the video’s author name and title after a
hash , so someone receiving your link can tell what it is before clicking, kinda like what Vimeo does. Throw this in your bookmark bar and click it on any YouTube video page to get a sweet descriptive URL ready for copying. Okay!
The tumblr dashboard won’t show you the bookmarklet properly. If that’s where you are, click through.
Next on my list of things I wish Tumblr did better: notifications. The community feedback system—post notes—are the reason I stick around, but it can be difficult, comparatively, to find them. I can ask TumblrBot to email me when someone follows one of my blogs or reblogs one of my posts or sends me a message but likes and replies, which are (at least for me) the most common type of feedback by far, are stuck within my dashboard.
I had hoped that the announcement of a new, unified inbox would include aggregated post notes. Maybe that’s still coming. I can hope. In the meantime, I wrote another stylesheet.
With this little bit of CSS, the UI and all posts on a tumblelog page are hidden, leaving only the notifications it has received. Since I don’t use the dashboard, these are the only pages I visit frequently, and most times I’m just seeing things I wrote, which is not very helpful. With this, I can turn them off on command.
The stylesheet is available; if you’re using Safari, save this somewhere on your computer, open the Advanced tab in Preferences, and choose this file for your “Style sheet” field. (If you already have a user stylesheet then you know what to do—append this to your other.) It will be active for every page you visit, but the rules are unique enough that this shouldn’t be a problem.
To activate the style, visit a tumblelog page and append #dashboard_index to its address. Disable it by removing that bit again. It looks a little odd after page 1, but it seems that notes only exist on the first page. (Is this a recent change?)
This is a fragile half-solution and if any of the markup for the dashboard changes it will likely break, but until we have something else, it’s better than what we’re given.
I like RSS a lot. The Tumblr dashboard is nice, but I don’t use it because I prefer having all of my feeds for everything in one place, rather than looking at tumblr blogs here and blogs that rest on any other platform over there. When I find a new tumblelog I like, I’ll hit Follow, of course, to signal to its author that he or she is appreciated, but then I subscribe to the blog in Google Reader and never need to think about that follow again.
Tumblr has done good things for blogging but the far corners of the room tend to be a little dusty. Their RSS support is just not great. Not everything is represented in each post, some things just poorly so, and we’re unable to change that. Not directly, anyway.
Look at my tumblelog’s new third-party RSS feed. You can also see one for any other tumblelog using this system too, like Tuneage. I wrote a thing that takes a tumblelog’s API output and re-wraps it as RSS, which allowed me to fix some problems:
An audio post’s ID3 tags are actually displayed. They’ve been in the theme tags forever and in the API since the recent past, but they’re nowhere to be found in RSS (or, curiously, on the non-mobile dashboard), so I always duplicate them in my post. (I hate duplication.) The song’s artist and title become the title of the post in RSS. Album art is not part of the API for some reason.
Titles are omitted for other posts if…they don’t have titles. In the standard RSS feed, the post’s caption is truncated and thrown in the title, but a title on an RSS item is actually not required (just ask Dave Winer). Some RSS readers will probably wig out about this, but in others (Google Reader) it works just fine, and stuff is actually easier to read.
Tags show up now. Just…they do. It works.
I’d love to be able to include a post’s author on group blogs, but that’s not exposed in the API and so there’s nothing I can do about that. But it seems that the standard practice is to include an author tag, and tags display now, so that’s kind of a solution?
You can subscribe to these feeds in your reader instead of the standard one if you like, and use the service at will for your own blogs, but I make no guarantee that it will stick around. Your best bet is to fork the project on GitHub and host your feed yourself. You can customize the output then, too, if you want.
It’s also possible to include Like and Reblog buttons in every post with this tool (if you fork it and make the necessary additions). I started doing something like that a while back in another one of tumblr/RSS projects called Darsshboard. You are welcome to connect the dots.
I haven’t tested this completely, so things might go wrong. You should email me if they do. Meanwhile, I have a new RSS feed for my blog. If you’re reading this in your feed reader, I suggest you update your subscription to point to this new feed!
Did you know that tumblr has an (undocumented) alternate feed that sets a link post’s URL as its permalink? It’s available at e.g. http://johnholdun.tumblr.com/rss/link. I’m not allowed to create a redirect page for
/rss, as the URL is “reserved,” so I’m going to put mine at http://johnholdun.tumblr.com/rss/fixed.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to clean up some audio post descriptions.
From idea to
git push in about an hour. Nice.
We unveiled an updated design today. This was a lot of fun to make!