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I'm debating a return to Simplenote. I used this service a few years ago until they lost a whole bunch of my notes. Since then I've been using a combination of Dropbox iOS text editors (notably Nebulous Notes, Notesy and Byword) and Drafts.

Drafts uses Simperium as its sync service, and Simperium is produced by Simplenote. I have found Simperium to be reliable. I use Drafts on an iPhone and an iPad and have never lost a note. Now that Simplenote has been acquired by Automattic, I have been looking at the product again. I trust WordPress, and I trust Matt Mullenweg.

Of course, trust means many things. I trust the ethos of Automattic, I trust the stability of their cloud (I pay them for VaultPress to backup my Sasstrology blog), I don't know if I trust them in the "create a backdoor for the NSA" sense, although I would like to believe that they are the kinds of people who would put up a fight.

I am not keen on using a notes service in which I do not control my data. With a self-hosted WordPress solution, my blog contents sits in a database on my own webhost. With Fargo, my OPML files are stored in a Dropbox folder on my hard drive. Same for the Dropbox iOS text editors. And I only store stuff on iCloud that I am not too attached to.

Simplenote does have various export options, but that's not the same as having the data stored on something that I own (or rent, in the case of web hosting). Although Simplenote uses the same sync service as Drafts, the latter is meant as a temporary holding bay for ideas that will be sent to other applications, whereas Simplenote is for archiving text notes.

I suppose my decision may come down to the user experience. I've read that Simplenote is blazing fast. Is it better than any of the Dropbox iOS text editors that I use?

I will report back when I have an answer.

Tags: text, sync, apps

09/25/13; 03:49:43 PM

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is not being able to dance.

I've had a cold since last Monday, and already took two sick days. I usually dance two times per week, and unfortunately I barely have enough energy just to put in my 8-hour workday and do family-time and house cleanup.

Life feels incomplete without the boogie.

09/25/13; 03:34:39 PM

I found this satirical video about rape culture hard to watch. It's troubling how much women are blamed for men's actions. And this is such a universal issue -- nearly every culture is patriarchal.

Tags: rape, feminism, patriarchy, video

09/25/13; 01:04:56 PM

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After I was laid off from my first full-time job in digital, I decided to focus completely on my blog. I had a nice sponsorship from a psychic company plus some Adsense income and rev-share from selling a dating ebook. The money I was taking in was not nearly enough to support my family, but I reasoned that just putting the rest of my expenses on credit cards until my blog was more profitable was worth it.

  • In retrospect, I was suffering from the delusion that I could earn an income comparable to that which I earned as a full-time employee. Instead, I just racked up debt.

I enjoyed working from home. I had company (my wife) and if I absolutely needed to get out of the basement office I could bring my laptop to the library or local cafe. I didn't have to commute or get dressed, I got to snack on food not created for consumption by Corporate America, and I had my own schedule.

Unfortunately, the psychic company eventually realized they were not getting enough bang for their buck, and pulled out, and I had to re-enter the workforce. Now I'm a full-time digital worker bee, publishing/editing my blog in my spare time.

I've reorganized my priorities on the blog such that I only do stuff that I enjoy.

  • I only work with really good writers.

  • I focus on the technical and business aspects of the blog, not the astrology.

Knowing What I'm Not

  • Although I read Fast Company and Inc., I don't think I will ever start a real business. I blog for self-expression or to share something geeky I wrote (an iOS URL scheme, an action in Drafts, a snippet of javascript or PHP).

  • I do not feel gung-ho about working full-time in Corporate America until I retire (if I'm lucky enough to work in digital that long), but I'm not sure I see what other options I have. I've done freelance work before (building WordPress sites); I've "consulted" (astrology readings); I was a psychotherapist working at fee-for-service clinics for a few years. I don't want to go back to counseling, and although I would not mind building WordPress sites for a living, I'm neither a designer nor an experienced coder, and I don't think I can truly stand out in the professional WP marketplace if I don't design themes or work on the backend (e.g., plugin development).

    • Don't get me wrong -- I'm grateful to have a job with benefits. I can pay my mortgage, feed my family, and pay for my daughter's braces.
  • Also, I'm not very good at hustling for clients, which limits my ability to thrive as a solopreneur

Knowing What I Am

  • I'm more of a jack-of-all-trades than a specialist. I can write, edit, tinker with CSS and PHP, crop and resize images, work the FTP. Basically, I can run a big blog without anybody's help.

  • If only the blog had five times the traffic, I could still work at home in my sweats.

Tags: career, wordpress

09/20/13; 09:43:56 AM

The outliner part of Fargo has been open-sourced. Although Fargo gives users the ability to post a headline and all of its sub-content to WordPress, it would be cool if you could outline right within WordPress. You know how there are already "Visual" and "HTML" tabs in the editor? A plugin could add an "Outline" tab, where Concord lives. Outline your blog post right there and hit Publish.

The downside is that your outline lives in some mysql database instead of an OPML file in Dropbox. But the upside is that the source of your content is in the same place where you publish it.

I don't have the PHP skills to create this, but I invite developers to run with the idea.

Tags: wordpress, concord, opml

09/18/13; 12:53:49 PM

For much of the first decade of the new millenium, I identified on the internet as an astrologer. I blogged about astrology for about a decade, and I still publish a popular astrology blog. I also "did readings" -- I stopped astrology consulting a few years ago as well.

It is not the case that I no longer believe in astrology, it's just that I don't want to identify as a Career Astrologer. I still get email inquiries asking for free advice, and I occasionally get referrals from colleagues. All I can do now is politely decline inquiries, or just not respond at all.

Astrology does not factor into my consciousness like it used to. I don't keep track of lunar cycles or where a particular planet is. If I'm curious about an incident or inner experience, I may look up my transits (the angles that current planetary positions make to the planetary positions at the moment of my birth). I don't think I will ever forget the knowledge I have acquired as a consultant and writer, even if I stop editing posts for my blog. And I don't think I will have a "crisis of faith" and one day decide that astrology is bogus. I just am not very invested in it.

I wish there were an easy way to make this known all over the internet. I don't think I need reputation management -- I don't believe that my association with astrology harms my current career trajectory. I just wish people wouldn't email me about it. It's over and done with. A past life.

  • I still care about my astrologer colleagues, because I have cultivated some of these relationships for close to a decade. I just don't want any new astrology colleagues (or clients) unless the association benefits my blog. (Totally utilitarian.)

Tags: astrology

09/10/13; 02:40:27 PM

I've been paying Amazon about $20 per month to host a remote instance of Windows Server running the OPML Editor, which "polls" OPML files on a regular basis to produce Rivers of News (for me and my astrology blog).

Not sure if this is worth the money. I paid a one-time licensing fee of $35 to host Fever on my VPS. It isn't costing me extra to run the software (i.e., the added bandwidth falls within my current hosting plan).

  • The astrology river garnered less than 1000 pageviews over the past month and yielded one penny in Adsense income.

  • I mostly look at my tabbed rivers to see what Dave Winer has posted, but I can just as easily add all his feeds to Fever.

Tags: rss, opml

09/06/13; 11:58:55 AM

Last built: Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 12:50 PM

By Jeffrey Kishner, Friday, September 6, 2013 at 11:58 AM.