Micro Matt

Micro thoughts and mini posts.

Here’s the workshop I’ll be teaching this Saturday at Photodom in Brooklyn, on how to create a website / portfolio without social media. Really looking forward to it, and hopefully it’ll be the first of many to come.

Portfolio Workshop, October 15th at 1-3pm, Photodom Studios, 1717 Broadway, No. 205

Thoughts? Discuss...

I’ve started settling back into shooting black & white. Right now, Kodak Tri-X 400 is most consistently giving me the look I want.

This one was shot on Lomography Lady Grey 400, which I also like a lot:

#photography #film

Thoughts? Discuss...

Looks like the workshop I wanted to start is moving forward! I talked to the camera shop where I get all my film developed about doing it there, and they liked the idea. Will be talking through the details on Monday, and doing the first one in mid-October if all works out.

Thoughts? Discuss...

Inspired by the news of Starbucks getting into Web3 yesterday, I made a bot that generates news about other companies getting on the bandwagon, using an old list of Fortune 500 companies and buzzwords from Wikipedia.

You can follow the bot on Twitter and in the fediverse: @web3pavestheway@botsin.space

#web3 #bots #fediverse

Thoughts? Discuss...

I'm thinking of teaching an in-person class on how to start a website, aimed at writers and artists. The goal would be to teach people the basic building blocks of a website (domain name, DNS, website host), so they can go out and choose whichever platform they need to accomplish what they want.

I think this is the missing piece for anyone who knows they want to create their own site — whether it’s because they don’t want to use social media, or they want to start something bigger, like a store. Basically, even when you use a website builder like Squarespace or Wix, they act like they’re the only game in town, instead of being part of the wider ecosystem that is the World Wide Web. So even as you escape the walled garden of social media, they just pull you into their own; you’re not only stuck there through feature lock-in, but knowledge lock-in.

This course would try to bridge that knowledge gap, so once you make the move to the independent Web by setting up a site, you can get the most out of it by choosing the exact tools that fit your goals — and knowing you can move / change them at any time.

Thoughts? Discuss...

As I’ve started doing film photography again, I’ve also been looking for avenues to publicly share my work. This summer, I was excited to see that three of my photos were selected for a group exhibition at Atlantic Gallery in Chelsea. Last Thursday was the opening reception, and some good friends came out to support me — it was a great night.

Those photos are listed on Artsy, and will be in Atlantic Gallery through August 28th.

#photography #nyc

Thoughts? Discuss...

A couple weeks ago, I started working on a personal marketplace for selling JPEGs — or NFPs (Neat, Fun Pictures), as I jokingly call them, to poke fun at web3.

Today, I finished the basic application and added it to my site on baer works. Basically, anyone who buys a photo there gets both a high-resolution version for personal use, plus some recognition on the storefront as a patron (listing your name is optional).

In that spirit, I’m calling the tiny application powering it “Fund Your Friends” and I’ve created a GitHub repo for it — I’ll release the source code once I’ve cleaned it up and made it easier to manage.

Thoughts? Discuss...

This summer is an experiment in finally taking some time off from work, as someone running a one-person company. Here's how it's going so far. 🧵

I've been spending a lot of my time these past few months making friends and finding community in a new home. I've settled in with creative people — writers, photographers — and started doing those things more seriously as purely creative pursuits. It's been wonderful.

Now I'm organizing a regular photowalk around NYC. Some of my photos will be part of a group exhibition at a gallery next month. I've never felt this personally fulfilled — but also guilty for neglecting the business that supports me.

It normally runs fine without my full attention. There's very little critical product development needed on Write.as — it's mostly just marginal improvements. Normal customer support takes maybe 8 hours per week, tops.

But, just yesterday I saw some automated systems I have in place had started to block people out of Write.as. And it'd been doing that for a month 😞

It suppressed new sign ups, new customers, and locked out existing free / trial users. I fixed it quickly once I sat down to figure out what was going on. But it's been difficult finding the motivation to actually sit down and focus on the work lately.

At least it pushed me to do that, and get back in this mindset. Yesterday I mostly cleared the support backlog. I patched some things, and today I'm feeling motivated to knock out a few requested features.

The week before, I decided to abandon the 9-5 schedule I've kept for the last three years.

Especially with new pursuits, no full-time employees, and no major clients for the summer, I don't need to adhere to normal business hours anymore. I only procrastinate, anyway.

So now I feel like the work (running my business) can finally blend with the newly-found vocation (making art, etc). Fortunately enough, that vocation can also inform the work, since I'm building software for artists.

It's all just a process to find the balance. And stepping back far enough from the work, even as a solopreneur, has been key to finding it for me.

#threads Original Twitter thread.

Thoughts? Discuss...

Fixed a pretty bad issue with our spam prevention system today. It was likely impacting people for roughly the last month. 😞

I thought the drop-off in daily new users (about 80%) was due to spammers slowing their usual onslaught, but it turns out it was mostly this issue. I'll be keeping a better eye on that in the future.


Thoughts? Discuss...

Haven't talked much about this here, but I've been more seriously doing photography over the last couple months. I picked up my old film cameras, and started going to some photowalks around Brooklyn in the spring — mostly ones put on by different camera stores and film labs.


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