Sipping tea and building a story.

When The Power Goes Off

And the temps go down … what is there to do?

Grab a hot cuppa tea … well that works if there’s electricity. When there’s not, then I’ve found that a Mac is not the best company for the lap … it’s one cold chunk of metal.

Time to trade the trusty but chill’n Mac for the warm body of a wife. In the morning, a quick glance to the clock told me that the power still had not been restored. My wife and I tried to keep each other warm for awhile longer, but a day has to start sometime.

We moved on to sweaters, then neighbors with power and hot water. A cup of chai is till warming my frosty fingers, but there’s one thing I know.

When the switch goes off, there’s a way to find heat elsewhere.

When Tumblr went MIA this past week, I had already set in motion a plan B. In my case, WordPress became the other corner to put markdown thoughts into pixels. I knew Tumblr would return, but my new found passion for WordPress and need to eat my own dog food, meant that I should have another corner to blog from.

I don’t need much, just a little spot to write something in markdown about markdown, HTML, CSS, socializing, tea or whatever might spark my interest at the moment.

I think I have it figured out now. Tumblr will be the corner for the light and mundane while that other corner will be for the occasionally professional. Both corners are just places for me to be go to when I feel like writing for myself or am just in need of being sent to the corner.

Let’s see how this goes. I probably should post more images here on Tumblr, but I have a thing for simple plain text. I do like the heat that you’re making with your own posts. I hope you don’t mind if I rub my hands together and enjoy the warmth of your tumbling thoughts.

If you can’t take the heat, don’t tickle the dragon.

Tickling my bearded dragon didn’t produce any heat for me today (he was kind of cold too), but having a couple of corners to run back and forth to should help heat up the grey matter.


Bring Your Own Title About : tag1, tag2, tag?, then tumbl here > tumblr url

Because I’m still not satisfied with the way Tumblr will splice up the title of an auto-tweeted post, I’ve mashed my own solution together using IFTTT (If This Then That).

I’ve written about this in the past but I figure that you probably can create a captivating title in an interesting way that captures your own attention.

I’ll supply the tags of my Tumblr post in a tweet (if I want to tweet it).

As for the title … DIY.

That’s my tumbling policy.

Ask Away For The Next Hour

I’m feeling a bit cruddy today. I figure that if I help someone turn a few Tumblr screws to fix an HTML issue, it might help make me feel better - or at least help me not think about feeling cruddy.

So ask away, if you have a question. Maybe I can help.

Split Path

Tumbling Down The Blogging Path

I suppose it’s time to formally mention that I’m wandering down the Tumblr path. Although I’ve painted myself as a Posterous fan in the past, their recent acquisition by Twitter has left me seeking a plan B platform.

I’ve used Tumblr as much as Posterous (I actually wander and wonder through all of the blogging platforms) and have to say that I’m happy to hang my hat on the Tumblr door once again.

Tumblr’s design is quite slick - just take a look at the login screen. It’s the subtle design choices that make it a nice place to be. There are plenty of themes to choose from but I can always dive in under the hood to edit the HTML and CSS to my liking. That’s a major win for me.

Perhaps the most helpful feature is the capability to discover other tumblogs using tags and saved tags. This search and discovery process was critically missing on Posterous.

Of course, Tumblr’s support of markdown makes this my happy spot. Anyone who spends a few moments with me on the topic of blogging or writing knows that I have a fetish for markdown. It’s a lean way to write anywhere knowing that what’s written will look just fine anywhere. Markdown lets me write with complete focus on the actual content.

Tumblr supports markdown as an editor option from the web. I’m hoping that they will support it soon from the recently updated iOS app too.

The Tumblr team is listening to feedback and that makes me feel pretty good about this place. Their recent response to a tweet about supporting markdown and saved tags from the updated iOS app, reassured me that the team is keeping it’s eyes on the user experience from the social media side. They didn’t actually say that they would support these features but acknowledged that the feedback was received and appreciated. I think they’ll do the right thing about these features and add them, but they are listening and that carries a lot of weight in my book.

Tumblr is not plan B anymore - it is the A-team in my workflow now.

# Are You Markdown Savvy?

If the phrase below is emphasized (in italics), then the new Tumblr app passes.

If the phrase is surrounded with asterisks (*), it fails.

Here we go : *I Tumble*

## Where’s The Love?

If you see ## above, then the question stands.

If “Where’s The Love?” appears as a nice heading (h2 to be exact), then Tumblr has shown me the .md love.

Markdown is an option on Tumblr and I’m hoping that Tumblr supports it on the new iOS app because it is the best thing since goldfish crackers.

- See my previous post

- Also, where are my saved tags?

Oh, Tumblr … I’m glad you’re trying with the new iOS app to polish up the UE side, but please fix these items.

Make It An Interesting One

After trying out Tumblr’s built in Tweet feature, I have to ask:

Does anyone really think this looks good?

The horrible parsing of text and lack of good Post Title usage results in a rather horrible looking auto-posted tweet.

I killed that option quickly and figured that maybe @ifttt would offer a better solution. I give them credit, I know they probably tried their best but Post Titles just seem to be a strange concoction on Tumblr.

Whatever … I won’t contribute to horrible looking tweets when I post a tumblog. I really dislike seeing tweets cut off in mid sentence.

Instead, I’ll let you make up your own interesting title.

This is smart social outsourcing practice, wouldn’t you say?

So if I post a Tumblog and want to tweet it too, you’ll probably see this kind of tweet from me :

Tumblr ate my post title. Make up your own good one about ( list of tags used in the tumblr post ) and click here > (Tumblr post URL)

[Update : 5.02.12]
Make up your own Tumblr title (version 2.0) :
Tumblr ate my blog title. Make up your own good one about : ( list of tags used in the tumblr post ) and click here > (Tumblr post URL) … and yes, ifttt provides the backbone for this creative solution. I created the task and all is right as rain now.

I figure that at least the tweet will be cut off around the URL part, still clickable, and you will be able to tell what the post is about by the listed tags. You can create your own imaginary title. If it’s a good one, maybe you’ll choose to click the link to my Tumblr post.

Please make up a good title.

Also, ignore the tweetit tag in the tag list. It’s hogwash as far as you’re concerned or in other words, the trigger for this whole hackish affair.

Blame Tumblr for this odd hacky workaround. At least my tweeted blogs won’t look like trash on Twitter - hopefully. I’m also making my own statement about design and user experience along the way.

Why Did I Tumble?

First, I apologize for the many posts today. Why wasn’t I sipping tea instead?

  • Posterous (the other site) is a little mucky (and murky) on the user experience right now
  • Recent DNS issues with Posterous for the entire user base
  • Twitter involvement with Posterous may be good - or bad
  • Tumblr platform feels speedy
  • As long as I can get to the HTML and CSS, I’m tumbling
  • Reblog, Like and Disqus support
  • Spiffy platform design
  • Discovery of other Tumblrs
  • You’re here ,-)

I won’t over-tumble. I just put on a fresh coat of paint and will be here more often.

I enjoy being social, having a dragon perch on my shoulders and tweeting in the moment.

Enjoying the minimalist or condensed layout.  UI is nice but lacking in areas.  Why has search been kicked so far down?

The community would have probably appreciated more effort on raising your capacity level though.

Just a thought.

Might want to check out Twitter and the tweets for @tumblr too.  Appears, there are quite a few unhappy users around.