Categories
Personal

Say Hello to Clicked, My Weekly Newsletter

After a lot of thought I have decided to start writing a newsletter. In fact, it is going to be my primary avenue of content. Say hello to Clicked.

Before I break down what the differences between the newsletter and this blog will be I want to explain why I decided to do this in the first place.

Why a Newsletter?

One common thread I have harped on over the years on my blog has been consistency. I tried to blog everyday for one month, which got me about 6 days in a row before I fell off the wagon. The way that I see it is that if I have a deadline I will make it so I meet that deadline. I have always worked better under pressure, and I think the having a weekly newsletter is exactly what I need.

What it will have

One thing that I am most excited about this newsletter is that amount of added content I can put in it that I didn’t put in my blog posts.

My blog mainly consisted of link posts and the occasional original essay, but nothing more than that. With this newsletter I can do things like a Q&A, Siri Shortcut Requests, and other more interactive things with those that subscribe. Not to mention the fact that because I am dumping everything at once every week it is going to be stuffed with other things like quick links, short reviews, and small pieces that otherwise wouldn’t make it on the blog.

With this newsletter does come some downsides for those of you who don’t sign up for the newsletter. I will only be posting a month-old original essay once a week on my website. The reason is because this newsletter is my new way of connecting and sharing the things that I want to the people that want it.

 

When does it launch?

This newsletter will launch Tuesday, January 21st and will come out every Tuesday thereafter.

So please, join me on this new adventure and Subscribe.

Sign up to get a weekly email from me with more content than I would ever put on my blog. Things like original essays, interviews, videos, Q&A, and interactive things with my subscribers. All for free!

New Patreon Plans Coming in May

From Patreon:

We’re announcing new creator plans, which will be available later this spring. Current creators on Patreon will see no change to the fees they pay or the features they have, unless they are interested in some of the new stuff we’re launching!

Patreon has grown, and our community of creators has grown with us. We now serve so many different types of creators, from a painter with 100 fans to a creative business with 100k fans and a staff of 25. This allows us to tailor our offerings to different types of creators. We’re also introducing new payment processing rates for future creators, including a new low rate for payments of $3 or less.

These changes will help us invest in the features and services all our creators depend on, and create a strong and independent Patreon that creators can build their businesses on for decades to come.

From FAQ:

Why the New Plans?

The new plans better serve new creators by offering options, including more powerful tools for those that are ready for them. And they allow us to develop new features like Team Accounts and Merch for creators who really want them. We want to be around serving creators for decades to come. These changes set us on a solid path toward that goal, and will fuel investments in core product quality to improve the experience for all creators. Learn more about the plans.

The Plans

Patreon Lite

This plan is for future creators who want a simple option to launch a membership without tiers and benefits that they can get up and running within minutes. This plan has no tiers; just a creator page with a ‘Become a Patron” button that allows patrons to enter any amount they wish.

Patreon Pro

This plan includes everything Patreon creators have today plus some new perks! It’s for creators who want more tools to build and grow a thriving membership. All creators on Patreon before the plans launch automatically get this plan at their current pricing.

Patreon Premium

This plan is for established creative businesses with a large following who need advanced features and a higher level of service. Premium will have limited availability at launch. If you’re interested in Premium, you can sign up to be notified when it launches.

Patreon is also offering a new feature for Pro plans called “Creator-led Workshops.”

What are Creator-led workshops?

Creator-led workshops are livestreamed workshops taught by creators who are successful both on and off Patreon. We’re introducing creator-led workshops because we’ve heard from creators that they want to learn from other creators in their respective fields, i.e. musicians want to learn from other successful musicians, podcasters want to learn from other successful podcasters, etc. Creator-led workshops will cover topics like how creators are making Patreon work as part of their creative career, as well as other topics specific to the creator’s field. As we build out the program, we’ll be taking requests from Patreon creators to find out more about which topics you’re most interested in.

Are Creator-led workshops different than the Patreon workshops?

Yes. Patreon workshops are available to all creators on Patreon regardless of the plan they choose. They are taught by Patreon staff and focus on Patreon specific topics like optimizing your tiers and benefits and how to market your membership.

Who are the creators teaching creator-led workshops?

We are currently building our roster of creator teachers.

The other new feature for Pro plans is “Priority Customer Support”

Customer support emails from creators in the Professional plan and above will be prioritized, with a minimum first response time of 6 business hours.

Patreon also had their CEO Jack Conte explain in a video the new plans, which you can watch here.

As I mentioned in a previous article about Patreon changing their fees back in late 2017, Patreon has addressed that in their FAQ section of the page.

How is this different from the fee changes Patreon made in Dec 2017?

In December 2017, Patreon made some changes to the way we charge for payment processing, and within a week of the rollout, reversed the changes after hearing feedback from creators. There are 2 big lessons we took away from this event:

1) We got in between creators and their patrons. Our plan in 2017 was to move payment processing fees so they would be paid by patrons instead of creators, and creators were frustrated by the decision. Moving forward, the right way to build a sustainable Patreon is to charge creators, not their patrons.

2) The fee change we proposed overly penalized low dollar pledges. The new payment processing rates we’re announcing for future creators will be transparent and predictable for creators as well as providing savings on small pledges. And current creators on the platform will see no change.

Payment Processing

With these new plans from Patreon comes new payment processing for new creators. This is the breakdown of them.

Founding creators: no change. You will keep the same processing rate you have today. Learn more.
Future creators: There will be two payment processing rates

For pledges of $1 to $3: 5% plus 10 cents per successful pledge

For pledges over $3: 2.9% plus 30 cents per successful pledge

For all pledges from patrons outside the US who use PayPal, regardless of the amount: An additional 1% per successful pledge

There is also a table breaking this down comparing what each of these new plans get which you can see here.

My Thoughts

There is a lot to unpack here and Patreon seems to be restructuring their platform to offload the smaller creators with smaller memberships so that the team can focus on the creators that are creating more revenue for the company. From a business perspective this doesn’t seem nefarious or anything that would raise eyebrows. That said, we are talking about creators income and potential livelihood. Therefore, I will be watching one of there many livestream sessions they are offering. You can also sign up for them as well. They have many in different times available from March 19th through March 22nd.

After I attend to the session tomorrow morning I will be providing more information and thoughts on this new chapter in Patreon.

Gawker 2.0 Implodes as Its Only Reporters Quit

Maxwell Tani writing for The Daily Beast:

The two reporters said they decided to leave the new Gawker after Bustle Digital Group—which bought the shuttered Gawker.com domain and its archives in a mid-2018 fire sale—refused to oust Griffith over offensive workplace comments about everything from poor people to black writers to her acquaintance’s penis size.

Kosoff and Breslaw said they met with human resources to complain of several instances in which they felt personally uncomfortable working with Griffith.

In particular, Kosoff—a former colleague and personal friend of this reporter—described to human resources an incident in which Griffith forwarded an unsolicited chain email showing the editorial director’s friends boasting they knew the penis size of a prominent businessman.

“My one good memory from the…trip (besides meeting carson) is him in a swimsuit,” one of Griffith’s friends wrote, according to a copy of the thread reviewed by The Daily Beast.

“Hung?” another friend asked.

“Ha! Omg I feel like that is a question Carson would know :),” Griffith’s friend responded.

The two reporters also relayed to human-resources instances in which they believed Griffith—who holds a management role at the site—expressed an uncomfortably negative attitude on issues related to workplace diversity.

In a Slack message reviewed by The Daily Beast, Griffith seemed to brag to Gawker staff that she had gotten them out of a company-wide diversity training session, though neither Kosoff nor Breslaw had asked her to do so. The two ended up attending.

During one of Breslaw’s interviews for the job, Griffith mentioned the snack selection at the office, and noted that she had a snack saved in her pocket.

“That’s so poor person of me,” she joked.

Kosoff additionally told HR of an exchange in which Griffith took a dismissive stance towards the recruiting of a writer who identifies as non-binary.

Kosoff, who was tasked with recruiting some new editorial staff, wrote in a Slack message that she was going to meet with a potential staffer “who is a person of color and nonbinary (uses they/them pronouns).”

When she returned from the meeting two hours later, Griffith initially laughed off the preferred pronouns.

“lol is [name redacted] a girl?” Griffith asked.

I wish I could say that this surprises me, but nothing about Gawker shocks me anymore. I hope both Kosoff and Breslaw find better work elsewhere.

As for Griffith, I am sure she is happy with all this attention. Most villains in media are when they get attention, good or bad.

Things 3.8 Brings Dark Modes to the iOS Task Manager

Ryan Christoffel writing for MacStories:

This fall when macOS Mojave introduced a systemwide dark mode feature, Things added support for the new mode in version 3.7. The iPhone and iPad versions of the app, however, were left out. A lack of feature parity across platforms is always unfortunate, but that was especially true this time around because our John Voorhees  highlighted Things as having his single favorite dark mode implementation.

There’s good news though: we didn’t have to wait long for Things’ dark mode to make its way to iOS. Launching today in version 3.8, Things has added two different dark modes on both iPhone and iPad, one of which is suited particularly well to OLED iPhones.

Cultured Code has been on my list for a while of developers that make the iPad great. Things 3 adding dark mode is one of my favorite things to see with Things 3. Sadly, I am still going to keep using OmniFocus strictly because it is the task manager that I consistently go back to when I am no longer “on the market” for task managers.

Announcement: Build Your OmniFocus Workflow

Today I’m very excited to announce a book: Build Your OmniFocus Workflow. I’ve been hard at work on this for the last 3 months – but not alone. My fabulous co-author, Ryan Dotson, has been hard at work right along side me (admittedly with a timezone difference) – and we have 150 pages ready for you!

This book is designed, as the name implies, to help you build a workflow which works for you with OmniFocus – whether you’ve never used the app before, or if you’ve used it for years and just want to improve your setup. It is comprised of five sections:

  • First Steps: Getting OmnIFocus set up with a basic setup.
  • Fundamentals: Walking you through the default perspectives, and expanding on your current setup – plus diving into settings.
  • Advancing: Diving much deeper, including custom perspectives, creative uses for tags, review and onwards.
  • Final Horizons: Honing your workflow to get the most out of your system.
  • Our Workflows: Ryan and I get personal and tell you about how our setups work.

Throughout the book there are tips, notes, personal comments, and most important of all: activities for you to complete in order for you to create a set up which allows you to be productive and which will hopefully also allow you to feel like you’re fully in control of your life.

Rose has been doing amazing work as long as I have followed her and this is no exception. I bought this instantly and I am about halfway through it right now. While some of the things aren’t new for me (I have been using OmniFocus off and on the past 5 years), it is still a great way to rethink how I use OmniFocus. I am taking this book as an excuse to start a whole new database and use the teachings of this book as my guide. So far, it’s working great for me.

Go buy yourself, or someone you know, a copy of this now before the price goes from $25 to $30.

Katie Floyd is Leaving Mac Power Users, Stephen Hackett Filling Her Shoes

Katie Floyd from Mac Power Users Forum:

After nine years and more than 450 episodes, the time has come for me to say goodbye to Mac Power Users.

Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the success of this podcast or the opportunities it would create. I would not be where I am today, personally or professionally, without this show. I owe a debt of gratitude to our sponsors, listeners, and most of all, to my co-host David Sparks. You have lived with me through life, loss, new homes, careers, and nearly every other significant milestone. Throughout it all, MPU has been there.

To everything, there is a season. I’m turning to a different season in my life. December 31st will mark my last episode of Mac Power Users. I have not come to this decision hastily, it’s something David and I have been talking about for several months and the end of the year seems a natural time to wrap things up.

The show will go on. We are pleased to announce Stephen Hackett will be the new co-host of Mac Power Users with David starting in January. I can think of no one better. Stephen is passionate about the Mac platform, and I am confident leaving knowing that the show is in good hands with David and Stephen at the helm.

Stephen Hackett on 512 Pixels:

Katie is leaving big shoes to fill, and it’s why I was deeply humbled when David asked me to step in as his new cohost. I am beyond thrilled to announce that I will be taking up the mantle on Mac Power Users starting in January.

[…]

David and I have been hard at work planning our first episodes. If you are a MPU listener, let me put your mind at ease: we aren’t radically changing what has made the show so good for so long. We will still be diving deep into topics, comparing apps, interviewing guests and getting our nerd on about all sorts of topics.

If you don’t subscribe to Mac Power Users, I’d encourage you to check it out. It’s pretty different from my other shows, and a challenge I look forward to meeting each and every week.

Mac Power Users was one of the first tech podcasts I ever listened to and I have had a long-standing relationship with this podcast.

I was just listening to an older episode about setting up a new Mac (more on that later) and I just loved the back-and-forth both David and Katie had about David first getting an iPad Pro, then later “stealing the thunder” from Katie after buying a new MacBook Pro like she had. Something about the two of them doing that show was infectious and one of the few podcasts I would have go straight to the top of my queue when it came out.

I think Stephen will be a good match as a co-host with David. To be the yin to his yang as Katie said. It is sad (but also exciting for Katie’s “offline life”) to see Katie go, but I couldn’t have thought of a better person for her to pass the preverbal baton to then Stephen Hackett.

I look forward to what the next few episode of MPU will hold with Katie, and I am equally excited to see what comes in the new year with David and Stephen having a podcast together.

Tablet Habit is now Rocket Panda

As of today Tablet Habit is now Rocket Panda. Before I go into the full reasoning why I wanted to share with you what has been going on with me for the last few weeks.

To make a long story short, I have been having a bit of an issue defining my blog. As I have said before, Tablet Habit was a blog for me to explain how I use the iPad as my main device and it was a way for me to express my love for iOS and the iPad. That all changed once I started using my 2017 MacBook Pro.

I started to slowly move more and more things to my Mac and less work on my iPad. Which brought on something of an identity crisis. I gained readers because I was an “iPad guy” and drifting away from that seems like I was cheating my readers out of what they wanted.

My first idea was to move things from Tablet Habit over to Mac Habit.

Logo for Mac Habit I made
Logo for Mac Habit I made

After a lot of work building a new website from scratch and importing all of my old posts over, Mac Habit was inches away from taking over Tablet Habit. I was excited, nervous, and anxious to show everyone the new website I was going to be using. But then a question popped in my head.

“What makes Mac Habit any different than Tablet Habit?”

The original answer I had was Mac was a more universal term for Apple blogging, and it was something that wasn’t tied to anything other than Apple. It wasn’t a device-specific name like Tablet Habit. Which sounded fine, but I wanted something even more freeing than Tablet or Mac as my name.

I spent days, even weeks, trying to come up with a new name. Then, during a shower I was taking the name Rocket Panda came to my head and I loved it. It wasn’t specific to any kind of topic or idea, and the name stuck with me like glue. If you ask me what it means, I will say it is just a cool name that I enjoy, and that Rocket Panda doesn’t need a topic or underlying meaning. It is just something that is catchy and easy to pronounce and type out without any kind of mispronouncing or misspelling. In short, I like the name way more then Tablet Habit or Mac Habit.

Seeing as this is my blog, and has always been a personal endeavor for me, having a name that isn’t tied to a specific topic seemed to be the right choice.

This website will still have all the things you loved about Tablet Habit, including all the old posts. The only change you will notice about this site is that it has a new name and a new color scheme to match the flames coming from the Rocket Panda logo. I may deviate from posts about Apple, but this is and forever will be a personal blog where I share my thoughts on things. It will always have my authenticity in it and I like to think people read my stuff because of my personality I put to the page, not the topics that I write about.

If you want to follow Rocket Panda on social media or make sure you have the right RSS feed subscription you can find all the links below. If you have any questions, comments, concerns feel free to mention Rocket Panda on Twitter or email me directly.

I thank all of you for being loyal readers and sticking with me over the last year with Tablet Habit. Here’s to many more with Rocket Panda!

🚀🐼

Links

Apple’s Radical Approach to News: Humans Over Machines – New York Times

Jack Nicas writing for New York Times:

In a quiet corner of the third floor, Apple is building a newsroom of sorts. About a dozen former journalists have filled a few nondescript offices to do what many other tech companies have for years left to software: selecting the news that tens of millions of people will read.

One morning in late August, Apple News’s editor in chief, Lauren Kern, huddled with a deputy to discuss the five stories to feature atop the company’s three-year-old news app, which comes preinstalled on every iPhone in the United States, Britain and Australia.

National news sites were leading that day with stories that the Justice Department had backed an affirmative-action lawsuit against Harvard University — a good proxy that the story mattered, said Ms. Kern’s deputy, a former editor for The New York Times whom Apple requested not be named for privacy reasons. He and Ms. Kern quickly agreed that it was the day’s top news, and after reading through a few versions, selected The Washington Post’s report because, they said, it provided the most context and explanation on why the news mattered.

[…]

“We put so much care and thought into our curation,” said Ms. Kern, 43, a former executive editor of New York Magazine. “It’s seen by a lot of people and we take that responsibility really seriously.”

Apple has waded into the messy world of news with a service that is read regularly by roughly 90 million people. But while Google, Facebook and Twitter have come under intense scrutiny for their disproportionate — and sometimes harmful — influence over the spread of information, Apple has so far avoided controversy. One big reason is that while its Silicon Valley peers rely on machines and algorithms to pick headlines, Apple uses humans like Ms. Kern.

The former journalist has quietly become one of the most powerful figures in English-language media. The stories she and her deputies select for Apple News regularly receive more than a million visits each.

[…]

Apple’s executives grandly proclaim that they want to help save journalism. “There is this deep understanding that a thriving free press is critical for an informed public, and an informed public is critical for a functioning democracy, and that Apple News can play a part in that,” Ms. Kern said.

For me, I will always choose human over machine when it comes to getting news, and Kern seems to be the perfect person to lead the way for the Apple News team.