Archive for January, 2012

What I learned on Twitter today

I was listening this morning to the excellent Genocide & Juice, a 1994 album from The Coup. Shortly after this album, member E-Roc left the group and not much was heard about him. I did a quick Google search and saw a passing mention that he might be “a dockworker.” I wondered if this might tie in at all with Boots’ involvement with the Occupy movement in the Bay Area port shutdowns last month.

My curiosity remained, so I took to Twitter and asked Boots if he knew what was up with E-Roc these days:

@bootsriley Do you know what E-Roc’s up to these days? Listening to “Genocide & Juice” this morning and got to wondering…Thu Jan 19 16:42:00 via Seesmic

Before long, he replied:

E-roc is a Longshoreman in Oakland. We consulted w him right b4 1st port shutdown. RT @supalaze
Do you know what E-Roc’s up to these days?Thu Jan 19 17:50:19 via web

It’s cool to see two former music partners collaborating again years later in this way.

Why I Freaking Love Pinboard

Once delicious started their downward spiral, I looked around a bit for alternatives. For months, I was in social bookmarking limbo, trying to live with delicious, then switching to Diigo but setting up all sorts of crazy mirroring to delicious because I wasn’t confident enough in the service to switch full force. Lastly, I signed up with Pinboard and threw yet another service into the mix and continued to try and bookmark links everywhere which ended up being really messy. Eventually, I decided, “Screw it. I’m going with Pinboard.”

1. I don’t have to think about where I’m linking

When I was in my post-delicious-pre-Pinboard stage I was doing all sorts of crazy nonsense with my links. I was posting some things to twitter, some to Facebook, some to Delicious. The links were all directed at different audiences, so having different links on different services wasn’t the problem, but when I wanted to find something I’d linked to, I sometimes couldn’t remember where it was.

Using a combination of Pinboard’s built-in tools and ifttt, I now pull everything into Pinboard:

  • I can post a link directly to Pinboard. Normal, regular joe stuff.
  • If I post to twitter, Pinboard can monitor up to three accounts and automatically save links that I share or retweet. If there are hashtags, those become Pinboard tags.
  • If I save something to Instapaper to read later, Pinboard will save it as well. (It can do the same with Readability and Read It Later.)
  • If I share a link on Facebook, I have an ifttt task set to save it to Pinboard.
  • If something somehow winds up in my old delicious stream, Pinboard will grab that as well.

The end result is something beautiful and simple: one place where anything I save to read or link to is archived and searchable (right now, I’m also paying the premium so that Pinboard saves the content of what I link to). Combine this with the unofficial Pindroid app and apps like Send to Instapaper, and whether I’m at my PC or on a mobile device, I can be ensured I’ll find what I need.

(Someday, I hope to be able to pull any links I “like” or “+1”  and save those as well. That’d be the topper.)

2. The Linkstream

Having all these links in one accessible place also has the benefit of having a nice stream of links that represent what I’m looking at and consuming at any given period in time. I have a “Linkstream” page on the site that gives a current view and, of course, there’s my Pinboard page for a deeper archive (which, incidentally, includes all my old links from delicious).

3. Random other niceties

Pinboard has a nice (and kind of random) feature: it can save your tweets separate from your bookmarks. Why is this a big deal? Because just try and find something you tweeted a year ago. Twitter search isn’t worth using for anything older than three seconds and I’ve never had luck with third-party tools like Snapbird. But Pinboard’s dead simple twitter search option? Beautiful and fast.

Pinboard also has read/unread and read later functionality, but I haven’t even messed with that. I suspect that could be pretty great, too.

4. Pinboard’s creator is in it for the long haul.

You can just tell. Follow Pinboard on twitter and what you’ll see is a single developer that’s taking his time, building a service that works well, serving his users with features they want while hiding ones they don’t need (prime example: his impressive support for fanfic writers without turning Pinboard into a fanfic service), and leaving the bullshit aside. It comes down to this: I trust the guy to make the right decisions about the service, something I can’t say for 95% of the apps and services I use, no matter how much I like them.

Go ahead and sign up. It’s still less than $10 (the price goes up by $0.001 with each user that signs up) and would be worth it if that were a yearly subscription fee and not a one-time charge.