Category Archives: Blogging

April Blogging Challenge

Fellow Automattic colleague, Justin Shreve, challenges us to publish a post on our blog daily for the month of April. On one of our internal sites, I said I’d participate to hold myself accountable.

A few things:

  • I published notes from several speakers at Write The Docs EU the last two days, and ran out of steam near on the second day.
  • I write my ideas in Simplenote with each item tagged “blog”.

While it’s minutes after midnight in Budapest, I’m going by the Pacific Daylight Time since I live in the Los Angeles area. I’m two for two this month. Yay!

Interested? Possibly intrigued? Read his post for more details, join us, and leave a comment. Ignore the date and give it a try for the rest of the month.

You can publish from any site, but we’d also love for you to setup a free blog at WordPress.com. I’m proud of our work, and we’re always happy to help. :)

Tip: Need ideas? Check out the free eBook 365 Writing Prompts by The Daily Post at WordPress.com.

Enjoy!

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How I organize my life with Simplenote

I meant to blog about something geeky and exciting. After starting to re–organize my slew of notes in Simplenote1, I decided to write about this instead.

Let’s call this a very tiny weekly review. ;)

(No, come back! Phew. Thank you.)

Simplenote feels like the perfect fit, and it doesn’t hurt that the guys that started it are super rad. (Hi Mike and Fred!)

So, I love the speed and flexibility of plain text, as well as Markdown. I’m also really glad WordPress.com finally supports Markdown, too.

Here are a few ideas on how I use Simplenote:

  • Agenda notes for coworkers, family, friends.
  • Tasks (personal or shared).
  • Blog post drafts.
  • Inventory.
  • Tracking data that doesn’t need to be displayed in pretty graphs.
  • Health notes, so you can discuss issues to your doctor, dentist, or optometrist with a shred confidence.
  • Restaurants. (A whitelist. These dishes are delectable! Or, a blacklist. That place was not good.)
  • Business hours of places you frequent (e.g. stores, malls, mechanic).
  • Late–night sparks of inspiration.

I also love how you can use other apps with Simplenote, like:

  • nvALT for Mac, which I previously used.
  • Listary for iOS, which Amy and I use to share a few todo lists.

Things is still my main task manager. When talking with my coworkers, in the flow of typing within Simplenote, I sometimes slip the word “TODO” inline with the note, which I can quickly find later and import to Things with more context.

Pro tip: Date everything. You never know if you’ll need it later, and you can always cull or delete later.

Brett Kelly raves about Drafts for iOS (which I finally bought last month and still use), and it feels like Simplenote opens and works just as fast.

If you’re curious about “embedding” images and files, I’d suggest uploading them to your favorite file sharing or hosting service — like Cloudup! — and paste the link into your note.

Is your brain percolating? Do you have any other ideas to get the most out of Simplenote? I’d love to hear them. :)


  1. The Simplenote Mac and iOS apps are gorgeous! 

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 46,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 17 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Roll Your Own Photo Blog – WordCamp Los Angeles 2013

Wow, I had a blast speaking at WordCamp Los Angeles 2013 (WCLAX) explaining how to set up your own photo blog. Thank you all so much!

I described my talk as such on the WordCamp LA site:

Refusing to tie your content into third–party services like Instagram, Flickr, or Google+? Setup your own photo blog — no developer needed! You’ll learn how to organize your photos on your blog, look into image processing, and even delve a tiny bit into image metadata and copyright.

I just uploaded my Keynote slides to Scribd, but some slides are messed up.

If you’d like me to clarify anything, leave a comment here or send me an email through my contact form (especially if another service is better). I’m happy to discuss things over. :)

Thanks for your encouragement before and after my talk, listening to my thoughts and suggestions. Also, I wanted to give a special thanks to my wife, Amy, for being super helpful with preparing and rehearsing — and choosing cute photos of our cats. ;)

My Blogging Mission for 2012

I’m setting a few guidelines for my blog this year. If I don’t, it’ll be easy to neglect All Narfed Up for another year.

  1. Post at least three times a week. I’m in favor of quality over quantity, and scared to hold myself to one per day. I’m going to aim for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
  2. Categorize and tag my posts. I have over 1,500 uncategorized posts from the move to WordPress.com, so a target of 15-20 per day should get those organized in a few months. (Quick Edit will be my friend.)
  3. Share long form articles. I think I’m a heavy Instapaper user. Rather than configure Instapaper to post my likes to Twitter, I’ll link to those here with a short quote that caught my eye.

Furthermore, if you’d like me to write about something, head over to my contact page and bug me about it. I appreciate the ideas!

What'd you like me to write about?

The latest trend for most of my posts are my photos. (After all, this is a photoblog.) I’d like to take that further, but I need your help.

Do you have any questions about my photography from the past year that you’d like me to discuss in depth?

I’ll use those questions as fuel for future blog posts in the coming months.

Several ways to reply: comment or email.

Thanks!

P.S. I know about Skribit, but I’m not sure I want a permanent widget in the footer of the website.