ldstephens

Inspired by a recent trend on other blogs, Manu recently shared his blogging workflow. Here's a look at mine!

Idea Capture and Drafting:

  • Drafts App: I use Drafts for all my ideas and initial writing. It allows me to easily capture quick thoughts and inspirations.
  • Starting and Developing Posts: I begin writing posts in Drafts. Sometimes, I even finish an entire post there. For longer pieces or when I need a more focused writing environment, I send the draft to either iA Writer or Ulysses.

Editing and Publishing:

  • Grammarly: Once my writing is complete, I use Grammarly to check for typos and punctuation errors.
  • Write.as: After editing, I copy and paste the markdown text into write.as, my blogging platform.
  • Email Distribution: Next, I paste the content again into Substack for email distribution to my subscribers.
  • Cross-Posting: Finally, I cross-post the blog content to Medium.

Organizing Published Work:

  • Markdown Archive: All published posts are saved in markdown format to a dedicated “Published” folder within my iCloud storage.

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Hey friends, with the introduction of new AI features, Google has added a way to revert to the old search experience. A new button at the top of the search results page, labeled Web, allows you to view only text links from websites, similar to the classic Google Search.

Switching to the Web filter eliminates AI-generated content. If you don’t see the Web button in the toolbar, it can be found in the More menu. I thought that you might find this helpful.

Source: The Verge.

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Hey friends, following up on my post “Google's AI Search Update shakes up indie bloggers and creators,” I've spent the last few days thinking about its potential impact on this blog, and I'm convinced it will be significant.

This concern was further reinforced by a recent comment from Kara Swisher on the Pivot Podcast (May 17th). She stated, “Let me just say though, the search engine is very bad news for media and other websites in general because it will reduce the amount of traffic significantly. The whole SEO world is over. As I was looking at it, I was like, oh, look at this.”

Despite this potential traffic loss, I'm committed to keeping this blog going. Thankfully, we have a strong community of RSS readers and email subscribers who consistently engage with my content.

For Email Subscribers: Our blog post email distribution is now “Powered by Substack.”

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© 2024 ldstephens.me

Joe Rosensteel “If you are someone who regularly uses an iPad, and you needed new hardware for some reason, then any new iPad hardware is an iPad for you. If you didn’t use an iPad (or had one collecting dust on a shelf) I don’t know why today’s announcements would make you want to buy an iPad. […] The consistent refrain before, and after the event is that Apple isn’t addressing the iPad software platform. […] Unlike some others, I’m not expecting any dramatic innovations at WWDC this Summer, and even if there were you’d be on a beta iPadOS until the Fall if you really wanted to use them. […] Anyway, this is my two cents, as someone that can’t remember the last time he charged his iPad Pro.”

A couple of months ago, to simplify my digital life and address the constant struggle of underusing my two iPads, I made a switch. I traded them in for an iPhone 15 Pro Max. That fucking alleviated the question of “where do iPads fit”? My iPhone and MacBook Air combo handles all my needs.

The only thing that would get me to consider adding an iPad back to my tech stack would be the addition of a legitimate clipboard manager and the ability for apps like Alfred or Raycast to run on the iPad. We'll see what happens to iPadOS at WWDC but I’m not holding my breath for that to happen.

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Since trading in my two iPads, my iPhone 15 Pro Max has become my daily driver. This shift made me re-evaluate how I use the Home Screen for maximum efficiency. Here's the thing: I despise cluttered screens with multiple pages, folders, Today View widgets, or widget stacks. So, my challenge was to access everything I needed from a single, Home Screen.

Here’s where the “Choose from Menu” action in Apple Shortcuts comes in. The “Choose from Menu” action in Apple Shortcuts is designed to streamline iOS device automation. It allows you to create customizable menus, presenting options for you to choose from when the shortcut runs. Whether it's selecting a favorite contact, choosing from a list of apps, or picking a specific destination in a navigation app, the “Choose from Menu” action lets personalize your shortcuts and tailor them to your specific needs.

I use three “Choose from Menu” shortcuts:

  • Other Apps: This shortcut houses apps I don't use daily but still need occasionally.
  • My Shortcuts: This one groups my most-used shortcuts for quick access.
  • Read-Later Apps: This shortcut brings up my favorite read-later apps like Omnivore or Instapaper.

By placing these shortcut icons on my Home Screen, I have all my essential apps and shortcuts readily available on a single page.

I learned how to create the shortcut from this article, How to Create an App Launcher Using Shortcuts | appsntips. It explains how to create it from start to finish.

This approach might not be for everyone, but if you want a clutter-free Home Screen, give “Choose from Menu” shortcuts a try!

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© 2024 ldstephens.me

So, Google has decided to shake things up with its fancy new AI-powered search tool, leaving indie bloggers and creators like us feeling a little pissed off.

The Search Generative Experience (SGE) promises users direct answers to their burning questions right there in the search results. But guess who is getting shoved to the bottom of the fucking pile? Yep, you guessed it we are.

Tech research firm Gartner predicts traffic to the web from search engines will fall 25 percent by 2026. Ross Hudgens, CEO of search engine optimization consultancy Siege Media, said he estimates at least a 10 to 20 percent hit, and more for some publishers. “Some people are going to just get bludgeoned,” he said.[…] People who rely on the web to make a living are worried.

This has me thinking about the future of this blog. A considerable amount of its traffic comes from Google searches. Over the past few years, that traffic has dropped off. However, it appears that Google search results will soon come to an end for small indie blogs. The only other sources of traffic for this blog are email subscribers and RSS. Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing how many RSS subscribers I have. So, the question is: am I wasting my time and money continuing this blog? Buckle up, fellow indie bloggers and creators. We have some decisions to make.

If you follow this blog via RSS please let me know by sending me a quick email. Thank you for being a reader!

Source: Gerrit De Vynck and Cat Zakrzewski, The Washington Post

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We're about to get faster, slimmer, better-looking iPads next week. What the iPad needs is the software this device deserves.

David Pierce: “Before they even launch, I feel confident telling you these are the best iPads ever. But after all these years, I still don’t know how to tell you whether you should want an iPad. Or what you’d want to do with it. This has been true forever, of course. The iPad is the jack-of-all-trades in Apple’s lineup, a terrific device in many ways that still feels increasingly redundant now that so many people have big phones and long-lasting laptops.”

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Hey friends, if you've ever wished you could set a default maps app on your iPhone, I've got a workaround for you. Map Redirect is an app extension that lets you set your default map app.

With Map Redirect, the days of being stuck with Apple Maps as your only option are gone. Instead, you get to choose which app handles your map links. Whether you're a die-hard Google Maps fan or a devoted Waze user, Map Redirect lets you open map links in your preferred app. You can set it to always open links in your chosen app or Map Redirect can prompt you each time, allowing you to pick the best app for the job on the fly.

If you're tired of Apple Maps this may be what you're looking for.

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While sitting at my desk the other day, I realized it was time to streamline my RSS reading routine. I was constantly bouncing between apps: Reeder as my RSS client, Goodlinks for saving articles to read later, and Omnivore for highlighting and listening to articles.

This juggling act felt inefficient. I decided to centralize everything in Reeder. With Reeder's built-in Read Later functionality and its integration with Instapaper, I can now manage all my reading needs in one place. I added my Instapaper account to Reeder as a “save to location,” allowing me to also read my saved Instapaper articles directly within Reeder.

But that's not all! By opening an article in Instapaper for highlighting, and thanks to the new Obsidian plugin for Instapaper, my highlights will effortlessly flow into Obsidian. This new approach promises a smoother, more integrated reading experience!

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Aisha Malik – TechCrunch “President Biden has signed a bill that would ban TikTok if its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, fails to sell it within a year. The bill, which includes aid for Ukraine and Israel, was passed by the U.S. Senate in a 79-18 vote late Tuesday after the House passed it with overwhelming majority over the weekend. The bill gives ByteDance nine months to divest TikTok, with a 90-day extension available to complete a deal. If ByteDance doesn’t sell TikTok, it would become illegal for app stores to distribute the app in the U.S.”

M.G. Siegler – Spyglass.org “The Chilling of TikTok Of course it won't play out this way. First and foremost, there will be lawsuits. Second, a change of control in Washington may happen before a change of control of TikTok. Third, none of this may matter anyway. By passing this bill, Congress has draped the service in a scarlet letter. And damned it to be bogged down in bureaucracy for its remaining days. Regardless of the merits of this action – I happen to agree with the sale/ban, not because of the fear of data or overt propaganda, but the more subtle subversion where what is simply omitted from feeds sways the masses – I don't believe it will ultimately matter what happens in the end. TikTok's model is predicated around advertising and again, this mark and even just the uncertainty is going to make that a very big challenge going forward. The audience is massive and the demographic is key, but how is, say, McDonalds going to feel about advertising on a platform that the government has effectively deemed an enemy of the state? […] But again, this feels like the end of TikTok regardless. Unless a white knight comes riding in quickly – and it sure doesn't sound like China is going to allow that to happen – the die is cast. The sale or ban may ultimately be put on ice. The chilling effect will linger.”

I have expressed my opinion on the ban here Update: TikTok: It's 'a weapon of war' and here TikTok: It's 'a weapon of war'.

I feel bad for the folks who have built their livelihood on TikTok The hard lesson that TikTok creators may have to learn.

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