249 posts categorized "Tools"

Anyone Else Having TweetDeck Not Show Search Results?

Anyone having trouble with TweetDeck not showing results for some columns? Today 5 of my 12 columns are failing to load with this error:

No recent Tweets.
New Tweets will appear here.

You can see part of what I'm seeing here:

TweetDeck NorecentTweets

They are all columns that are configured to show search results for certain terms. They've been working wonderfully until last night when I opened up TweetDeck on a home computer (an iMac) after being away for a week. I've tried:

  • Closing and restarting the application (multiple times).
  • Changing the search query to trigger a reload of the column.

Nothing works... and I know there are new tweets to show for some terms, in part because I can see them in other working columns... and in part because I have sent out tweets using the search terms.

TweetDeck's Twitter account shows some issues with logging in, but that works fine for me. Tweetdeck is working fine for sending tweets, sending direct messages and for some of my searches... but just not for others.

I've tweeted TweetDeck asking about this, but not heard anything yet, so I'm just curious if others are experiencing anything like this.


P.S. And yes, I know there are now many other tools... but I've been a TweetDeck user since its very early days and have my searches and systems that, until today, have worked wonderfully for me.

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Is It Finally Time To Dump Feedburner? All Subscriptions Go To Zero...

Is it finally time to suck it up and dump Google's Feedburner for RSS feeds?

The writing has been on the wall for quite a long time that Google doesn't really care about Feedburner. There haven't been any substantive updates to the service in years and in fact they've removed services and integrations.

Tonight Dave Delaney posted an update to Facebook that let us know that Feedburner's stats were now showing 0 subscribers for all his feeds. I logged in and sure enough...

My Feeds

I can't find any mention of an outage or issue on Google's pages... and so we have no clue whether this is a temporary transient outage - or whether this is a sign of a further decline in Feedburner's service.

I'm one who has continued using Feedburner for most of my sites, in part just out of sheer inertia (i.e. having many other things I want to do that take higher priority to fixing things that aren't broken) but also because I've liked the service provided by Feedburner, particularly around statistics. I've tried other services (although not in the last year) and hadn't really found anything that gave as good a view into who is probably reading your feed.

Obviously I can just start promoting the raw RSS feeds that are the ones I added to Feedburner... but they don't give a sense of how many subscribers they may be.

But if the statistics are no longer working, then perhaps there is no longer a reason to stay at Feedburner... and so maybe I do have to actually make the time to make the move.

What do you all think? If you used to use Feedburner and don't, what are you using as a replacement?

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FIR On Technology Episode 3 - Understanding Markdown

Firontechnology 300What is the Markdown language all about? How is it being used on sites like Ello, Github and in the Jetpack plugin for WordPress? Why should communicators and others involved in PR or marketing careabout Markdown? How can it help more rapidly create content for the web?

Those are all questions I sought to answer in episode 3 of FIR On Technology with Dan York that I published last Friday. The podcast is now available for listening directly on the FIR website or in iTunes or the podcast RSS feeds.

On the episode web page I also provided a list of links for people wanting to know more about Markdown, which I'm reprinting here: 

I've found using Markdown to be extremely helpful in rapid content creation. I've naturally been using it on Ello (where I also wrote about this FIR On Technology episode) and on Github, but I'm also starting to use it for some posts on a couple of my WordPress sites courtesy of the Jetpack plugin. As I note in the episode, Markdown is not something necessarily new... after all it first came out in 2004... but it has seemed to attract more interest in recent years.

One point I forgot to make in the episode is that Markdown is not the only "lightweight markup language" out there. There are definitely other similar languages, each with their own take on how to make markup simple. An example I've used on several sites in the past is Textile. However, my interest these days has been in Markdown, and there seems to be a good bit of momentum behind the language... and so hence this podcast.

Anyway... I hope you find it useful and helpful. If you do, or if you have other comments or ideas or suggestions about Markdown, please do leave a comment here - or over in the FIR Podcast Community on Google+.


P.S. I also recorded a The Dan York Report episode providing a preview of this FIR On Technology episode:

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Excellent Article on Medium About Podcasting Stats: Downloads, Listens and Listeners

Podcasting statsWhat do the number of podcast downloads, listens and listeners really mean? Which statistics can you really believe? And what do they mean?

Back on December 12, Pete Davis published a great article on Medium titled "Downloads, listens, listeners, and about those podcast numbers" that dives into all these different stats. Davies was reacting to the hype over the podcast "Serial" and wanting to make sure people understood some of the nuances of how you can measure podcasts.

As he points out, the number of people downloading an episode can be very different from the total number of downloaded episodes. One person, who we will call a "downloader" might download many different episodes. As he notes, people might have different devices or podcast apps that all pull down episodes.

And the number of downloads is VERY different from the actual number of listens that occur. I can personally attest to this - my apps download many different episodes of podcasts... but I only listen to a few of them. The others have been downloaded but will probably never be listened to.

The challenge is that finding out if people have actually listened to a podcast is extremely hard. As Davies writes:

Nobody really knows exactly how many people are listening to podcasts.

This has a lot to do with the many different ways people can listen to podcasts. They can play them in a web page... play them in a podcasting app... play them in a music program like iTunes... download them and play them in some other music app.

All we can do is make guesses... or use imperfect numbers like downloads to make some kind of estimate of the popularity of a show.

It's a good article... and as he concludes, we do need better data around all of this. I also definitely agree with his conclusion that a large part of the success of "Serial" and "Startup" is that they offer compelling content! It happens to be in audio form... but the content and storytelling expertise is what draws people to these podcasts.

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Opinion - A New iPhone App Aiming To Make Podcasting Easy For Everyone

How can podcast creation be made even easier on the iPhone? I recently stumbled upon a new iPhone app called simply "Opinion" that is aimed at making podcasting no longer just "a medium reserved for tech geeks and media corporations" but rather a medium available to everyone.

Given that it's audio, it may be best to listen... so I recorded a "The Dan York Report" podcast today using the app and you can hear my thoughts in the recording:

Opinion main screen

UPDATE: One quick production note - I recorded this podcast on my iPhone 5s just using the internal microphone of the 5s. I did not attach a headset or any other kind of external mic. (People have asked about this.) I was sitting in a quiet room, but it was just with the raw iPhone 5s microphone. Nothing else.

If you are interested in trying it out yourself, you can download Opinion in the AppStore for the iPhone. As I note in the recording, it will install onto the iPad, but in doing so it just behaves as an iPhone app (i.e. it doesn't make use of the iPhone's screen and just looks like a huge iPhone app).

You can find more info, too, at www.opinionpodcasting.com.

A quick summary of some of my thoughts:

  • The app was extremely easy to use.
  • I liked how you could stop and start the recording, generating new tracks within the same session. You can then easily move tracks around if you wanted to. For instance, I realized that I had left something out that I wanted to include earlier, so I recorded another track and then moved that back into the earlier flow.
  • The editing tool nicely lets you split tracks so, for instance, I could split an existing track to insert a new track.
  • I also used the editing tool to remove / trim the ends of tracks. I would cut the track which would create a new track with the audio I wanted to delete - and then I would just delete the track.
  • The workflow right now involves having a single "session" inside of the app. When you are done with the recording you upload it to some site or service. When you want to record again you are doing so in the same session, i.e. you need to delete some or all tracks in order to record again. This is in contrast to another app I use, Hindenburg Field Recorder, that lets you save your recording sessions inside the app. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing, as most of the time I wind up simply deleting the older recording sessions in Hindenburg Field Recorder because they take up space. This "one session" approach has its merits.
  • One thing I like about it is that I could use this workflow to make a simple "intro" and "outro" for my TDYR podcasts. It could go like this:
    • Record an intro track.
    • Record an outro track.
    • Record a main episode track and then move it between the intro and outro.
    • Upload the finished episode to SoundCloud.
    • The next time... delete the main episode track.
    • Record a new main episode track.
    • Move it between the intro / outro tracks.
    • Upload the new finished episode to SoundCloud.
    • Repeat....

    This could be quite cool!

  • I haven't tried it yet, but the app has the ability to import music from your iPhone's Music library. You could then bring in songs or other audio. In my case, I could record my intro or outro on my regular computer, complete with music, then upload it to my iPhone via iTunes... and then have it available in Opinion.
  • The app worked really well from a usage perspective with having very nice touch gesture support.
  • Recording up to 10 minutes of audio is free - after that it is $5 for unlimited recording space. Definitely a reasonable price.
  • I'm not a big fan of the name as it's really generic... but I can see what they are getting at.

Let me end my just pointing out that Opinion has some nice export options. SoundCloud has a dedicated export function, but you can also send it via email or, more usefully, the "More" button lets up export to DropBox, Evernote or other apps and services you have on your iPhone:

UPDATE: Sadly, the Opinion app does NOT let you upload to DropBox yet. I asked the developers on Twitter about this, and they said they are considering this for a future version. (So I would encourage you to ask them on Twitter about this, too, to let them know you want it.)

UPDATE #2 Yea! The developers have implemented DropBox support and it will apparently be out in the next version.

Opinion export

All in all I found it a rather impressive app!

What do you think? Will you give it a try?

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Ello Adds Feature To Share Posts Out To Other Social Networks

The team over at Ello yesterday added the ability to share out posts you write on Ello to other social networks. When you are logged in to Ello, there is now a small circle-and-arrow icon below a post: Ello sharing link When you click/tap the icon you get the typical kind of "social sharing" box that you see on many social networks:` Ello social sharing You click on the social network to which you want to share and you get the usual kind of sharing windows you see for that given social network. As co-founder Paul Budnitz notes, there was internal discussion about whether to offer this capability, but they decided:
On the other hand, we've have had many requests from Ello users for this function — especially from people who want to make Ello the central place for all their online activity, and need to post out to friends and followers who are still using other networks.

It will be interesting to see how widely this gets used and whether this is an incentive for people to use Ello as one of the places they primarily post content.

If you use Ello, what do you think about this feature?

UPDATE: The Ello team also released a wide range of other interesting features and fixes.

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FIR On Technology Episode 2 - Known and the Indie Web

Firontechnology 300What is “Known” and how does it relate to the IndieWeb? What is the difference between the Known software and the Withknown hosted platform? How do these compare to the new Ello social network? And what value are any of these to communicators?

Back on October 29, I released episode 2 of "FIR On Technology with Dan York" where I had a discussion with Shel Holtz about the new Known platform and what it can do. If you haven't taken a listen yet, I encourage you to do so!

I would also encourage you to read my article from September 26: "The Importance of The 'Known' Publishing Platform And The Rise Of The Indie Web", as that was the basis of what got me interested in Known.

Please do explore, too, the lengthy list of links in the show notes that connect you to many different aspects of the Known project as well as to the larger IndieWeb movement.

As I noted, I am experimenting a bit with the hosted version of Known at http://danyork.withknown.com/. I'll be quite honest and say that I'm not yet ready to replace one of my primary publishing platforms... but I'm intrigued by what they are doing with Known and have been watching the ongoing updates to the platform on Github.

I have some ideas for some future projects and might consider Known... although I must admit that most of my work these days is heavily invested in WordPress and I'm trying not to have too many more platforms. However, there are some projects that don't need the full power that WordPress provides - and they might be perfect for what Known is trying to do.

Regardless, I think it's great to have another potential publishing platform out there - and I very much like the ideals of the IndieWeb movement!

Anyway... please do enjoy episode #2 of FIR On Technology - and please do let me know that you think of the podcast!

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Reflections On Ello - October 5, 2014

Ello logo 180 pixelsAs people who follow me on Ello know, I've been experimenting a good bit with the platform. In order to capture some thoughts for own recollection (and also for the FIR report I need to record this morning), here are some quick thoughts and links about Ello that reflect what I've learned over the past few weeks.

First, as I wrote, we have to remember that Ello is not Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc., and we have to just go in with an open mind.

The Ello platform is very definitely still a "beta" with a long list of features that they want to add, but over the past bit there have been some changes of interest:

I love the display of photos in Ello, but there's one bit of brokenness that does bother me:

I asked the question of why should Ello have to have a mobile app and wondered about how Ello behaved different from other apps... and I learned a bit more about why (and what you can do)

Clay Shirky had two great posts about Ello being a conversational versus annotative medium:

He also had two other good articles and threads:

Oh, and there's now a parody social network... Owdy! :-)

Please do join me on Ello if you are interested in the continuing experiments... and please feel free to share your own tips and insights!

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R.I.P. Orkut, The First "Social Network" Many Of Us Used

Orkut logoI find it somewhat ironic that as many of us play with Ello, the newest social network to catch our attention, today marks the end of Orkut, one of the first "social networks" that many of us used. Google has shut it down, and the Orkut home page now is the home to the "community archive" of many of the group discussions that happened there over the years. A Google support page has more information about the shutdown - and how to export your data if you want to save it.

Orkut was quietly launched in late January 2004 ... ten years ago ... and I can dive back into Advogato where I used to write in those days and see that:

And... then that's pretty much all I seem to have written about Orkut... outside of a post in 2008 about Orkut planning to use OpenSocial (remember OpenSocial?).

And that's somewhat symptomatic of what happened to Orkut... other sites and social networks emerged that captured more of our attention. As the Wikipedia article about Orkut notes, the site became for a while a huge community for users in Brazil and also India... so huge in Brazil, in fact, that the site wound up ultimately being managed by Google's office in Brazil (and this is undoubtedly why the "community archive" appears in Portuguese).

But for many of us outside those regions, we moved on. Some to Friendster and MySpace... then to Twitter in 2006... Facebook... and tens of other social networks that are now lost to history... (ReadWrite has a nice timeline about the rise and fall of Orkut, including how Facebook overtook Orkut in Brazil in 2012.)

When Google announced back in June that Orkut would be shutting down today, it had been so many years that I couldn't even easily find my account on Orkut. With all of Google's various "accounts", there were a bunch of "Dan York" accounts... and my Orkut account wasn't among them. Obviously I'd missed that point in time when Orkut users were supposed to link their Orkut accounts to their Google accounts.

Still, it's worth pausing for a moment to remember Orkut. It was the first time that many of us dealt with "friends" and "fans". It's instructive to read this rant from danah boyd, venting my contempt for orkut... the whole "social networking" thing was so brand new in those days. Friendster was around, and a few others, but not many. Danny Sullivan's piece from that time is a good read, too.

And sadly, we never really got the "protocol for networking the social networks" that David Weinberger thought might arise (although there have been many attempts (recent example, the "IndieWeb", although that is more about linking publishing sites than true "social networks", but there is a 'social' aspect to it)).

R.I.P., Orkut ... you had a good run... and you helped introduce many of us to the concepts that would become simply part and parcel of the "social" world in which we live today.

UPDATE 1 Oct 2014 - Interesting infographic about the history of Orkut: Bye bye Orkut – A Look back into the History of Orkut

You can hear an audio commentary on this topic on SoundCloud:

Watching 'Known' Grow... via Github

KnownIt's kind of fun "watching" the Known publishing platform grow - and growing it is... each and every day in terms of new features and functions. Known, as you may recall from my recent post, is a new publishing platform available in either a hosted platform (withknown.com) or as software you can install on your own server. Last week I wrote about why Known and the "Indie Web" are so incredibly important.

But the cool part about Known is that like most open source projects it has an open issue tracker... in this case Known uses Github. The overall Github account is https://github.com/idno ("idno" was the original name of the project before they changed it to "Known") and you can find repositories there for the main Known source code (/idno) as well as various plugins that work with Known, themes and other materials.

But it is the "issues" that I find most interesting. If you go to:


You'll see all the currently open issues along with the ensuing discussion. Perhaps more interestingly you can see the closed issues at:


to see all the great work the Known development team has been doing.

Being a Github user, I have "watched" the idno repository and chosen to receive email notifications when there are new issues or new posts about issues.

The result has been a fascinating glimpse into the development process of the team... and it's just been fun to watch how they continue to build more functionality into the platform. Great to see!

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