Micro Matt

Micro thoughts and mini posts.

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.


Spent the last hour creating a very minimal desktop app for Write.as / Musing Studio customer support. It’s just a bare-bones browser that only loads our forum — which is where all public and private support requests go right now.

My earliest thoughts today were about my digital work environment, and how it’s basically just the browser, and how distracting that is as someone who always has 50-plus tabs open at any given moment.

I think it’d be much nicer to, in the morning, click an icon on my desktop that opens my digital “office.” It’d only show me exactly what I need to work. And at the end of the day, I’d simply close out of the app. Maybe this is a step toward that.

#digitalOffice #apps #dev #experiments

Thoughts? Discuss...

This week, I started to crack a little bit, mentally. I've let a lot of work slip recently, which I feel bad about. Feeling bad about not responding to emails and not making progress on code has led to me feeling even worse, until eventually I'm too paralyzed to do those things, even if I wanted to.

As this awareness in me came to a head yesterday, I finally spent some time writing last night. Opening my favorite notebook, I realized I hadn't actually done that in about a month. I started to write about what I've been seeing in myself, solidifying those light feelings that appear, but often go neglected for some stronger external stressor.

I had a shallow sleep last night, which is unusual for me. I kept waking up, feeling like barely any time has passed, and I was still just trying to fall asleep. After my dog woke me for an early breakfast, I laid in bed for a while, trying to train my mind onto something other than everything on my plate, all my to-dos and obligations. I tried to think only about what I would do first after getting up. I thought about how things had started to pile up in my apartment; about how I normally just get up, check my phone, and sit down at my computer, letting the metaverse sweep me away in whatever trouble is happening there.

I didn't want to do that today. So instead I picked up the apartment, washed last night's dishes, sorted through my junk mail. I put clothes away, cleared space on my desk, jotted down my perspective this morning.

There was a practice I started last November where I wouldn't start working until I did something completely unrelated, creative, etc. At some point I fell out of it, but I think I'll start that again. Here's today's entry toward that end. Now to start the day.


Thoughts? Discuss...

Had a nice weekend camping with writer friends and acquaintances on the north shore of Long Island. I’ve always enjoyed camping alone, for the solitude and communion with the wind and the trees and such. But it’s also nice to be with people out in nature, enjoying all the space, playing in ways the city doesn’t afford. I didn’t do much writing or drawing like I planned to, but I shot a few pictures on the film camera, and enjoyed some privately epiphanous moments on the beach at 2am.

Thoughts? Discuss...

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