I wrote something similar about Medium back in July to what Ben Werdmüller writes now. Medium isn't doing something bad, it's just that they changed directions over the last years. From being a platform, where anyone can write anything and anyone can read anything for free, it's now something like a paid magazine anyone can contribute too (and earn some money from it).

What Medium isn't is a generic blogging or publishing platform. It's narrowed its focus into being more like a magazine that everyone can contribute to (and I'm told that more changes are coming in the New Year). In doing so, it inevitably loses some of its early users - and it adds features like a paywall that may drive some casual readers away.

And that's actually a good thing:

But in building a magazine that anyone can contribute to, Medium has opened the door to a more diverse community of writers sharing their lived experiences and getting paid for it as part of a business model that promotes value over blind engagement and doesn't need to profile you all over the web.

People, who used Medium as the generic blogging platform, now experience why provider lock-in should be avoided. If you want to blog (and don't want to generate some income from it), start a blog with your own domain and the possibility to move platforms. I learned my things: There's a Medium archive on my blog with articles I originally published on Medium.

I'm currently still in a year-subscription for the Membership until March 2020, but I'm not sure I want to extend the Membership after that. It's just that I find those stories on Medium not interesting enough to spend 5€ per month or 50€ per year on it.

What I really wish Medium to fix though, are those banners (Membership ads and cookies). Please make them a bit less annoying.

The end of the year is coming and so came a mail from Spotify telling me about my musical year in review. I didn't use the same Spotify account the whole year, but needed to create a new account somewhere around summer because the student discount (5€ instead of 10€ per month for Premium) expired after some years, although I'm still a student.

It seems I have a very mixed music taste and don't define myself via one genre. I don't care about genres at all, I listen to the music I like and that can change almost daily. 😅 Spotify tells me my top genres (from the second part of the year) were “Tropical house”, “Pop edm”, “Pop”, “Uk dance” and “Groove room”. My top artist were Suprafive, Brennan Heart, Nora En Pure, Trettmann and Kesh.

The great thing about music streaming and especially Spotify is, that as someone without much knowledge about or interest in music, you can just stream music you like and Spotify suggests you more music that fits your taste. There are all those auto-customized playlists like the “Weekly Mix”, “Release Radar” and the “Mixtape"s.

This article is from 2018, but it's so true! It contains a lot of good reasons why Google AMP is bad for the health of the web. To do my part, I don't implement AMP for my sites.

Google can go to hell.

Who are they to decide how the web should work? They didn’t invent it, they didn’t popularise it – they got filthy rich off of it, and think that gives them the right to tell the web what to do. “Don’t wear that dress,” Google is saying, “it makes you look cheap. Wear this instead, nice and prim and tidy.”

F#&! you Google, and f#&! the AMP horse you rode in on.

Thanks to AddToAny, there's now a “Share” option on my blog. If you find an article share-worthy, simply click on that link and select how to share this article. It should be pretty simple.

In Hugo I use the following line of code to create a share link:

<a href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url={{ .Permalink }}{{ with .Title }}&title={{ . }}{{ end }}" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">{{ T "share" }}</a>

{{ T "share" }} is a translation string, but if you don't care about translations, simply replace this with your preferred string.

These are the Nextcloud apps that are activated on my Nextcloud instance:

  • Accessibility: Has an option to activate a dark theme
  • Activity: It's really nice to have an activity log of created, changed and deleted files
  • Brute-force settings
  • Calendar
  • Checksum: Lets you calculate checksum of files
  • Deck: I often use this when organizing the learning for exams
  • Deleted files
  • File sharing
  • Gallery
  • Log Reader
  • Markdown Editor
  • Metadata: Lets you see metadata of pictures etc.
  • Monitoring
  • Notes: I use it for all my notes, there's a great Android app
  • Notifications
  • Optical character recognition
  • PDF viewer
  • Preview Generator: Lets you pre-generate preview images of new photos via a Cronjob
  • Privacy
  • Right click
  • Share by mail
  • Tasks: I don't really use it, but it may be a good alternative to Todoist and other tasks managers
  • Text: Nextcloud's new text editor. It's really nice and supports markdown
  • Theming
  • Versions
  • Video player
  • Viewer
Today I got up at 7 am (although I could have slept a little longer) and instead of eating breakfast, I started directly turning on my PC and finishing an open programming assignment. It took me about an hour, but after finishing it, I felt so good. It reminds me that about 2 years ago I got up very early every day to run. It feels so good to have already achieved something productive in the morning right after getting up and before breakfast.
I just found this article on how to create a basic ActivityPub server. It let's me think about adding ActivityPub support to my hugo-micropub project (which then becomes more than just a Micropub endpoint for my Hugo setup). It's definitely a project I finally want start once I'm done with this semester. I still need to think about whether or not to ignore inbox queries and if yes, how to handle them?

iPrivacy

Matt Baer, the creator of the writing platform write.as, writes about Apple's privacy focused marketing and how that doesn't matter when your iPhone is full of apps like Facebook, Instagram or Google.

Though I appreciate the ads for what they are, it's silly to see iPhone advertised as a privacy panacea when every one has Facebook, Instagram, Google, Pinterest, and every ad-supported “free” app in the App Store installed on it.

But instead of hoping to be rescued …

We don't need to wait on Google or Apple to build feel-good features into their products, and we don't need a new marketing campaign about the “privacy” they offer.

… we can do something ourselves for more privacy! Just using the phone less:

Simply make it a less integral part of your life and you'll automatically reduce how much it knows about you

Don't rely on Apple or Google to care about privacy:

Some of what's truly good for us is bad for them. So let's not rely on them to tell us when we finally have privacy, or digital wellbeing, or whatever will comfort the masses today.

I usually prefer using LibreOffice over Microsoft Office because it's free / libre software and I can use it on Linux. However, while writing a seminar paper, I noticed one feature that LibreOffice Writer is missing and that made me use Microsoft Word for the paper: literature index. I need to make references following the IEEE style. While it's pretty easy to create a literature index and select whether it should be IEEE style, APA or one of the many other styles, literature indexes in LibreOffice are a pain.
Jan-Lukas Else
20 years old student who writes about everything he cares about.