The Talk Show

367: ‘Slow Moving Hurricane’, With Craig Hockenberry


00:00:00   Well, Craig, how's your weekend?

00:00:02   - Oh, pretty uneventful.

00:00:06   Hey, how about if I start it up, Elon Musk?

00:00:11   - There you go.

00:00:12   You know, I know a lot of people,

00:00:15   to me, a surprising number of people on Mastodon

00:00:17   do not wanna use the word Twitter even,

00:00:20   and they call it the bird site.

00:00:22   - Yeah, that's the similar.

00:00:23   - I don't get--

00:00:24   - I'm a little looser on that, yeah.

00:00:26   - I don't get that.

00:00:27   But again, one of the weird things, not weird,

00:00:29   I think good things about me growing older is I have way more, I think I've always sort

00:00:36   of been a, I've tried to be from my youth onward, a live and let live type person. And

00:00:43   I've hopefully only grown more open minded. And so something like that, I think 15, 20

00:00:48   years ago, I'd have really rolled my eyes at calling it the bird site. And now I just,

00:00:53   I don't pass judgment on it. You don't want to use the word Twitter. You don't have to

00:00:56   use the word Twitter. I'm not going to avoid it.

00:00:58   Right. It's everybody's personal call, right? It's like, you know, pronouns or whatever,

00:01:03   you know, do what you feel is right. I'm okay with it.

00:01:06   Stephen Colbert, who showed my wife and I watch pretty frequently, or at least we, you know,

00:01:10   watch like the first half of the monologue and everything. I don't know exactly when he stopped.

00:01:15   I don't know if it was upon Biden's inauguration or if he even, it might have even been like with

00:01:22   January 6th when he was still president, but he hasn't said Trump's name in two years. And

00:01:29   they won't print his name either. A modern TV monologue has sort of like a PowerPoint

00:01:38   or a keynote presentation next to the... You know what I mean?

00:01:41   **Matt Stauffer** Right, right, right. The scrolling thing.

00:01:43   **

00:01:43   Just a you know, like slides really next to him parents. Oh, right, right, right. Okay. I see what you know what I mean

00:01:49   We're instead of putting yeah. Yeah the host right in the center

00:01:52   The host is off to the right and there's sort of a right corner

00:01:55   It's actually I think a very nice subtle innovation to the to the late-night

00:02:00   comedy thing I would give credit to the the daily show with Jon Stewart for

00:02:06   Popularizing it but I'm sure there are things who've done it before but anyway, he doesn't print his name either

00:02:13   I forget you know in there and they have like a thing. It's actually a

00:02:16   Going back to Twitter. It is late late night with Stephen Colbert

00:02:20   listeners suggest

00:02:23   nicknames for him, you know

00:02:25   You know to be used and it is interesting and but he doesn't call out. He doesn't emphasize over and over

00:02:32   I'm not saying this guy's name

00:02:33   You just have to pick up that he doesn't say his name even though he's still frequently the butt of his jokes

00:02:38   So anyway, we can do something like that. What's your name good for?

00:02:42   for Elon.

00:02:43   Tim Cynova I think that the person who came up with Space

00:02:47   Karen was kind of that it's, you know, it's not really offensive. And, you know, I guess

00:02:54   unless your name is Karen, but and it kind of evokes, you know, it's deprecating, but

00:03:00   not offensive. And, you know, my view there is that, you know, guys like Elon and Trump,

00:03:10   thrive on the attention, right? At heart, I think they're both narcissists. So, you

00:03:20   know, the best thing you can do is just kind of ignore them. And I'm fully on with Colbert.

00:03:25   I mean, I don't mention his name either, right? There's no reason to. In fact, you

00:03:31   notice that he looks like a wreck these days because he's getting starved of attention,

00:03:37   right? The media doesn't follow him as much. What he says is not as important anymore,

00:03:42   right? He's not leading the United States of America. So…

00:03:45   Jim: Well, and you mentioned it in your, you know, one of the… I think you published last night

00:03:50   a blog post on your personal blog, not on the iconometry site. But, you know,

00:03:56   you don't have to get your license for armchair psychology to figure out that there are some

00:04:01   similarities between the two in terms of their insatiable desire for attention at any cost.

00:04:07   Yeah.

00:04:08   And so I therefore think if you are genuinely and as a lot of us are certainly with the former

00:04:17   president, and I think a lot now, and ever more so those of us who care about Twitter, and

00:04:24   It's not just Twitter itself, of course, it is the veering into right-wing nutjob promotion.

00:04:32   I don't want to go too far off on the politics, but lots of people are doing it and can do it

00:04:41   better than me. But you can also make the argument that this is not just an argument about the

00:04:46   service and is he making bad product decisions with the service. In general, there's also a

00:04:53   greater political argument to be had about the direction he, some of the changes that he's making.

00:05:00   John: Well, and it leads into a broader discussion of how social networks affects

00:05:06   that political system. Right? Yeah. Talk about another four-hour podcast if we get into that.

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00:07:42   Just in case there are listeners who are not familiar with the saga, and it's possible

00:07:47   because there might be some who either went into Twitter in the first place or tuned wisely,

00:07:52   I think in hindsight, tuned out, closed the doors, locked the shutters, got out early.

00:07:59   I sort of feel in some ways like I'm trying to think of this, you know, I love my analogies,

00:08:06   but I sort of feel like the person who like blew off the hurricane warning, you know?

00:08:11   Imagine if a hurricane, instead of being like a one-day event that you get like 48 hours notice,

00:08:18   like a slow-moving hurricane, and I was like, "Ah, this is gonna be fine."

00:08:23   - And it'll blow over. It's just a little rain.

00:08:26   - Anyway, what happened was, I believe it was Friday the 13th.

00:08:31   - Yeah. At about 4.20 Central European time.

00:08:36   So I don't know about that. I don't know either, but it's just like,

00:08:40   well, I could not put it past it. He loves his 420s for stock prices,

00:08:46   like, you know, and stuff like that. I mean, he's made two of those jokes. He once, well,

00:08:51   joke, you know, the Twitter one turned out not to be a joke, but his acquisition price for Twitter

00:08:57   was $54.20 a share. And years ago, he made an idle threat to take Tesla, which had long,

00:09:05   you know, at that point long been a publicly held company to take it private at $420.

00:09:10   Well, I don't know, Friday evening, it was late here on the East Coast, I think around

00:09:17   seven or something out there in California, all of a sudden, third party clients stopped working

00:09:24   with an authentication. And yeah, I got a, I got a text from Sean who's Sean Heber. He's the one

00:09:31   actually does the most of the development on Twitterrific in the past few years. And he

00:09:36   texted me, it's like, what does our app look like in the, in the dashboard? Are we suspended?

00:09:41   I was like, what? I logged in and immediately saw, you know, the little red banner and, you know,

00:09:48   it's like, oh, we sent you an email with details. Of course, there's no email with details.

00:09:52   (laughs)

00:09:54   - From the outside, it was a real mystery.

00:09:56   I had a friend, the first I heard about it

00:09:59   was a friend who purely, I think just genuine coincidence,

00:10:03   like me, a fellow nerd, there's a friend who's ex-Apple

00:10:06   now working somewhere else, but like me,

00:10:09   manages iOS app updates manually.

00:10:12   Like what I like to do, I don't have it automatic.

00:10:14   I just, you know, whenever I, you know, once a day,

00:10:17   I, at this point, I have so many apps

00:10:18   and updates are so common, you know,

00:10:20   it's sort of like a daily tour, but I just go in

00:10:22   and I want to see what's new.

00:10:23   And that's the thing, you get to get you a chance

00:10:25   to read the release notes if there are any

00:10:27   and that kind of thing, yeah.

00:10:28   - And it's, you know, and often sometimes

00:10:30   it's a good reason to think, ah,

00:10:32   there's an update for this app.

00:10:33   I don't use that one anymore, I'll just delete it.

00:10:35   You know, sometimes I just say that.

00:10:36   Anyway, he manually applied a Tweetbot update

00:10:40   and then couldn't log in and thought that the,

00:10:43   you know, the update was--

00:10:44   - Yeah, made the correlation.

00:10:47   - And I said, oh, I haven't uninstalled any updates

00:10:49   and ooh, I can't get in either, authentication error.

00:10:52   And then the wheels started turning.

00:10:55   So, background, so what we now seem to know

00:10:59   as we record here on Monday is that it's exactly

00:11:02   what we feared, that Twitter made the decision

00:11:06   to kill popular third-party clients

00:11:09   like Tweetbot and Twitterrific and--

00:11:12   - Yeah, it's pretty clear that they had some sort

00:11:14   of internal threshold of usage,

00:11:17   that if an app was over a certain number, they got the axe that they were under. Because,

00:11:23   for example, our iOS client got the axe, but our macOS app, which is the same code except

00:11:29   for the UI bit, it's fine still. And for the moment, they'll probably hear this podcast

00:11:36   and go, "Oh, shit, we missed one."

00:11:38   Yes.

00:11:39   But...

00:11:40   So, it is...

00:11:41   Yeah.

00:11:42   Yeah, let's... I would love to hear an explanation for this to make, because I don't know the

00:11:45   exact details. But the gist of it is they didn't shut down the API servers. And I think they can't,

00:11:52   because I think your apps like Twitterrific are using APIs that are used by posts.

00:11:57   Tim Cynova They use them in their own apps for some of the stuff. Yeah,

00:12:00   there are some of the, in fact, they have their own private OAuth keys that let them

00:12:07   access the normal API plus extra stuff. So it's, you know, it's, there's, and because, you know,

00:12:16   Twitter has evolved over so many years, right, I'm sure that the mixture of, you know, the private

00:12:21   and the public in their code base is pretty, it's probably pretty well entangled. So if, you know,

00:12:30   I don't think they will ever be able to completely pull the public API,

00:12:37   but they certainly can can kneecap it, you know, with rate limits.

00:12:42   Yeah, so basically what they did is just instead of shutting down API servers,

00:12:48   which they effectively can't do and probably wouldn't want to do, but they don't have to,

00:12:52   what they did was revoke the OAuth credentials. Each app has effectively an ID within Twitter.

00:13:01   Brian Kardell Yeah, every app has basically a public key and a private key,

00:13:07   and each one of those tokens has a secret. So, you know, there's a handshake that happens there,

00:13:13   and if at any point during the handshake, you know, somebody says, "No, this is no good," then

00:13:19   you're not going to be able to connect. And I mean, we could have blocked off access to Twitter

00:13:24   if, you know, we'd done a similar thing on our end, but there's no reason for us to do that.

00:13:29   But, yeah, that was the point of OAuth, you know, it gives power to the individual who has,

00:13:37   you know, you can go on Twitter and look in your apps section of settings and see the apps that

00:13:43   have requested tokens. And if you see one or there's an app that you think is misbehaving,

00:13:47   you can go remove it. That's another one of the ways to cut off access to the API.

00:13:53   And essentially what Twitter did is they did that across the board. They basically, in fact,

00:13:59   if you go look in your app section of, you know, twitter.com and the settings, you won't see

00:14:05   Twitterific, you won't see Tweetbot, you won't see any of the apps that were previously granted access.

00:14:10   Ah, as a user you're saying? Yes. Gotcha. Yeah. Yeah. If you opened up, you know,

00:14:16   the Twitter website right now and navigated the settings, you will not see Tweet.

00:14:20   You will not see Twitter. And because it just removed.

00:14:24   And Twitterrific for Mac, like you just said, somehow escaped the reaper, almost certainly

00:14:30   because they set some sort of threshold and Twitterrific for Mac must be under the threshold.

00:14:36   But the other key difference is that you guys use a different ID for Twitter Effect for iOS

00:14:42   than Twitter Effect for Mac, whereas Tweetbot, I think, uses the same ID?

00:14:46   Yes, they have, they use the same key pair for their Mac and their iOS apps,

00:14:55   which I don't remember, honestly, why we did that, but there was probably a reason at some point

00:15:01   where we needed a separate one just maybe. But I probably went back to the Kickstarter

00:15:06   because it was kind of a separate thing.

00:15:07   Yeah. I remember that. Right.

00:15:09   Yeah. But, you know, it's... And honestly, I do not see long-term. I don't, you know,

00:15:18   but a lot of people have been noticing that Twitter for Mac still works and are downloading

00:15:24   it and buying it. And, you know, we're going to eventually hit our heads on that, whatever

00:15:30   that limit is and have to shut it down there too. So, which...

00:15:35   So part of the frustration here, I mean, number one, those of us who use these

00:15:41   clients or like in your case, make them, love them. I mean, truly, truly do love them. And

00:15:48   to me, it's not just like a minor convenience or nicety versus the official Twitter app. It's

00:15:57   almost an altogether different experience. And to me, and I've written about this maybe not

00:16:03   recently, although I guess now is the time to revisit the theme of Twitter clients as a UI

00:16:10   playground. And I've used that too with weather apps where I think because the, and I'm not,

00:16:20   I think you understand that I'm not underplaying how significant Twitterific is and how complicated

00:16:28   big and how many features it is and how difficult a lot of it is. I'm not trying to say, "Ah,

00:16:34   just a Twitter client. It's easy." But the scope of Twitter is so minimal.

00:16:40   David Schanzer Right. Right. Right. It's a small API footprint,

00:16:44   really, when you look at it. There's not a lot there. But there is a lot.

00:16:49   - Right, well, and in part, it's part of what makes,

00:16:52   to me, Twitter, a brilliant idea.

00:16:56   The original concept is so brilliant

00:16:57   because it is conceptually so simple.

00:17:00   And even with such a simple concept,

00:17:03   it eventually evolved to be truly complex and wide-ranging.

00:17:08   And it just shows you how, you know, compared to,

00:17:17   Well, at this point, even Instagram, right, Instagram is so wildly, you know, it's it's

00:17:22   effectively three or four social networks crammed into one app in one service and one

00:17:28   namespace, right?

00:17:29   There's the traditional Instagram that is sort of like Twitter, but for images and video.

00:17:35   And now there's the whole thing with the fleeting stories at the top, and the vertical videos

00:17:43   in the middle, and it's also an instant messaging client, and blah, blah, blah. And, you know,

00:17:49   go even more complex to Facebook's blue app. And they've never had third party clients,

00:17:55   but if they did, it's to encompass all of Facebook is it's almost impossible.

00:18:01   Because that's one reason I the Facebook even before all of the reasons people may,

00:18:08   including me, don't like Facebook today existed. I never got onto it because I never understood it.

00:18:14   Whereas Twitter, it was so easy to understand, and that's what made it so rich as a playground

00:18:21   for tinkering with the presentation. The key word there was a playground, right? Especially in the

00:18:30   early days, we had no idea what we were doing, right? In fact, all there was on the Twitter

00:18:35   website was, you know, "What are you doing?" You know? And a lot of those early tweets

00:18:41   are just like, one of my early ones is "Is experimenting." Because it's like, and

00:18:47   it was presented on the website as "Craig Hockenberry is experimenting," or "Is

00:18:52   having lunch," or it was just kind of a, "Wow, this is an interesting way to let

00:18:58   people know kind of what I'm thinking right now. And, you know, then it involves, you

00:19:05   know, with, you know, you needed a way to identify people. That's where the whole

00:19:11   @screenname thing started. That wasn't even a part of it, right? It's like, you know,

00:19:17   one of my early tweets was @Dan, right? Well, which Dan? It turns out it was Dan Benjamin

00:19:23   because, you know, he was the only Dan I knew on Twitter.

00:19:25   It might have been the only day. It was like two Dans on Twitter.

00:19:28   Right. Yeah. And then Dan Morin joined up and was like, "There's two Dans now."

00:19:34   And, you know, the hashtags. I think it was Christmas scene that came up with that.

00:19:43   And then Robert Anderson came up with the @Reply thing, you know, a reply change report.

00:19:53   And it was just like the thing that was so important and exciting at that time is how

00:20:00   it was evolving. Right? And that's kind of one of the frustrations over the, you know, the last

00:20:07   maybe 10 years or so is there hasn't really been a lot of evolution on Twitter.

00:20:14   Tom: Well, it is wild, you know, and now is the time to look back and

00:20:20   pour one out for Twitter, but it is wild how many of the,

00:20:23   I'm sure there are others, but hashtags and mentions

00:20:27   are certainly two of the ones that it's hard to conceive

00:20:30   that the product didn't have those as first-class citizens.

00:20:33   They were just user conventions.

00:20:36   And nothing, they weren't treated specially.

00:20:40   So if you made a joke and I replied @ChalkenBerry,

00:20:45   and here's my witty comeback, that was just a tweet

00:20:49   that happened to start with the characters

00:20:51   at sign Chalkinberry.

00:20:54   - Right.

00:20:55   - And it would just show, you know, it would go,

00:20:58   anybody who followed me just got that tweet

00:21:00   as a regular tweet.

00:21:02   And there was no, there were no APIs to tie stuff together.

00:21:06   So you couldn't, if you tapped on your original tweet,

00:21:09   I mean, there was no concept really of replying

00:21:12   to a specific tweet.

00:21:13   You were just entering the--

00:21:15   - You're just throwing it out there.

00:21:17   Yeah, everybody could see it.

00:21:18   But you know, and fairly, in fairly short order,

00:21:21   that really took off.

00:21:23   And you know, and then I guess,

00:21:25   I think before Twitter adopted it,

00:21:27   clients like Twitterrific could do things

00:21:29   like filter those, you know, you could do it on your own

00:21:32   once you had those tweets sucked in through the API.

00:21:35   But then Twitter, you know, embraced it.

00:21:37   And it's obviously, you know, famously with hashtags, right?

00:21:41   I mean, it's, you know.

00:21:43   - Yeah, well, the hashtags and the, you know,

00:21:45   the in reply too, that was actually a field

00:21:47   that they added to the API response

00:21:50   that allowed us to do interesting things, right?

00:21:53   And that was something that,

00:21:56   where we had to work with Twitter engineering

00:21:59   to make that happen, right?

00:22:01   That was not something that we could do on our own.

00:22:03   That's not something that Twitter could do on their own

00:22:04   because it needed kind of both the front end

00:22:07   and the back end to work simultaneously on this thing.

00:22:10   And that was great.

00:22:13   I mean, but that hasn't happened for years, right?

00:22:16   just not been a collaborative thing between... The thing that kills me is that in...

00:22:24   Prior to the purchase by Elon Musk, the Twitter API people were starting to open things up.

00:22:34   Pete: Yeah.

00:22:35   Tim: Right? In fact, after the purchase was announced, or, you know, he put a bid in,

00:22:42   And I got an email from one of the people working on the Twitter API stuff, and they

00:22:50   were opening up group DMs.

00:22:53   They wanted to provide third parties with the ability to do group DMs, which is something

00:22:57   that people have been asking us for for years, right?

00:23:00   It's like the official client can do it, why can't we?

00:23:02   Well, we don't have API.

00:23:04   Well, so they started to open things up, and that was like—

00:23:07   And when there's—

00:23:08   couldn't say to him, it was like, "We're going to wait and see on this because there's this guy

00:23:14   named Elon Musk and I don't trust him." And the guy who was working on that was one of the,

00:23:23   I think he was a part of the first round of layoffs. So, you know, they were so close.

00:23:31   They were really close to getting it again.

00:23:34   It cracked me up from your blog post about the, as you called it, the shit show.

00:23:42   You mentioned and put a link to the first tweet you posted through their APIs back in

00:23:49   December 2006.

00:23:52   And again, it made me laugh twice because first it just says, the whole tweet is, thinks

00:23:58   he's finally gotten the posting code right.

00:24:03   that made me laugh because like you said in those or in that at least for that first year

00:24:08   that that was the convention to pat to to tweet in the sense of that you you it was personal

00:24:16   right it was usually it was your personal status and it was i i think largely inspired

00:24:21   by like aim statuses right and all yeah yeah yeah i chat i chat was what was it what did

00:24:27   they call it was i chat messages or no i i chat was the original client that apple made

00:24:32   to talk to AIM and yeah yeah yeah yeah who had one and there were a couple of others that were

00:24:39   they were all effectively had the same features but one of the things that that they had that

00:24:48   modern messaging like iMessage and WhatsApp and all the other modern ones have don't have is a

00:24:55   status right and you could set your stats the defaults were like available was green away was

00:25:02   was red. It meant like, "Hey, I'm here and my client is running, but I'm busy, so don't

00:25:10   bother me." And then you could—

00:25:12   Yeah, I probably had one at one point, because it was a point of creativity, too. I probably

00:25:16   had one at one point, it was like, "He's locking the chalk," something like that,

00:25:20   right?

00:25:21   Right, so you could make a custom one and set whether that's green or red. And Jack

00:25:26   Dorsey's idea was, well, what if there was a universal service for those sort of things,

00:25:29   could just say, you know, that you're, you know, you could just post an update that you're eating

00:25:34   lunch at such and such cafe and your friends who are nearby could maybe see that and say,

00:25:41   "Oh, I'll go stop by and see Craig. It was like a live, what are you doing?" And that convention

00:25:47   of posting with like an active verb with your name implicitly filled in as the beginning was

00:25:56   part of the presentation of tweets, like you said. It would look like that as you looked at

00:26:01   Twitter's interface. And it's just, to me it's a sign, the fact that that's not how Twitter turned

00:26:07   out to be isn't a failure. It's the, usually the sign of a great idea is when it expands into

00:26:14   something that the creator didn't originally envision, but it works well.

00:26:18   Right, right. The evolution. In fact, it was interesting to me that it was things like

00:26:24   South by Southwest where Twitter really kind of got its foothold because it's a group.

00:26:29   It's a place where a lot of people group together, right? And you need that ability to know

00:26:35   where people are, what they're doing. Same, you know, the early WWDCs. I mean, we were fighting,

00:26:42   you know, getting a connection on the Wi-Fi, number one. Number two, we all had new iPhones

00:26:47   and the batteries were running low and we needed to know where everybody was.

00:26:51   Yeah, I don't remember exactly how we used it. So I used to, yeah, I don't either. But I know we

00:26:58   did. I remember I was very, you know, I forget which years I was at South by Southwest, but it

00:27:04   encompassed at least March 2006, maybe 2005, too, but before Twitter, then there was March 2007.

00:27:14   And that's that was the South by Southwest where Twitter exploded and the fail whale came up

00:27:19   multiple times during the conference. And the Twitter crew was at South by Southwest, so God

00:27:27   only knows how they were fixing it. But they did a good job. But we didn't have iPhones yet. The

00:27:35   iPhone had been announced in January but wasn't coming out until June. And South by Southwest

00:27:42   took part in the middle, but somehow even without iPhones yet, we broke Twitter during I think,

00:27:49   honestly, if my best guess is because I remember doing it a lot is when you would go to a conference

00:27:54   back then, you'd have your laptop in a backpack and every you know, in between sessions, you just

00:28:00   sit down in the hallway with your laptop on your lap, literally, you know, right, your email or,

00:28:06   you know, and check Twitter and you could, you know, so we were effectively using our powerbooks.

00:28:11   I think they were powerbooks at the time. Maybe the MacBook had come out, but you know,

00:28:15   we were using our laptops as cell phones. Yeah. It was mind blowing, though, what it enabled in terms

00:28:23   of like you're saying, like, where we could say, hey, we're gonna have beers at paradise at five.

00:28:29   And the people who followed me on Twitter, and we're there with Gruber and Krager, Gruber and

00:28:36   and whoever else are gonna be at paradise at five.

00:28:41   And then, you know, they could meet in there.

00:28:43   - Yeah, it was connections, right?

00:28:44   It was just, it was a way to connect with people.

00:28:47   I remember that between the release of the Mac client,

00:28:52   then it was just like, oh, less than a month later,

00:28:58   the iPhone was announced.

00:28:59   And it was again, you know, it was announced

00:29:01   and then we had to wait until June

00:29:04   in order to get the devices.

00:29:05   And I, by the time that WWDC rolled around, I had had jailbroken.

00:29:13   I had that first version of Putter effect running on the phone.

00:29:17   And my battery was dead before I got to San Francisco.

00:29:21   It's just like, because it's like, I had no idea that the radio used so much power.

00:29:28   And you know, I'm just like, I'm leaving the radio on all the time.

00:29:32   I mean, even like, you know, the shut down in my pocket radio was on.

00:29:36   So which and you know, it was it was that that was part of the evolution, part of the learning process, part of, you know, making a product that that would work in extreme environment.

00:29:47   So while we're while we're going down this style, Jelena, I'm trying to think of the timing of when so the iPhone came out in June, end of June, 2007.

00:29:58   Jailbreaking started very soon thereafter.

00:30:02   And it's shocking, really, to me, it still is, how without any help from Apple, that developers,

00:30:14   a small crew of very, very clever developers were able to sort of backwards engineer how to get Xcode to generate binaries

00:30:24   that you, if you had a jailbroken phone that you could install and then all of a sudden we had

00:30:31   native third-party apps without any native third-party app support from Apple. And they were

00:30:38   good. I mean, yeah. No, again, back to, you know, conferences and people getting together,

00:30:45   and it was at C4 in Chicago where I met Lucas Newman and saw his lights off or lights out. I

00:30:52   I can never remember what it is, but that was like, okay, this takes an iPhone.

00:31:00   It's very Apple-like.

00:31:02   Oh, by the way, he used the Apple APIs that we all knew, right?

00:31:08   It was, they had a UI table instead of an NS table, right?

00:31:13   It's like that, it was pretty clear to me that the Apple had done a smart thing, right?

00:31:18   They had basically taken APIs and ways of programming that they knew worked really well

00:31:26   because they've been using them on the Mac since, you know, or they've been using them

00:31:30   actually since Next.

00:31:31   And got those running on a mobile device.

00:31:36   And that was one of the reasons why things took off, right?

00:31:40   Because it was something familiar, right?

00:31:43   It was just something that people latched onto.

00:31:45   And then that's, you know, I basically came home from Chicago from that conference and

00:31:50   started working on a Twitter client.

00:31:52   I was that, you know, that enthused by it.

00:31:57   And got a bit of a head start, you know, and at that point there was no SDK either, right?

00:32:00   You know, as you were saying, there was, Apple had said nothing about how you build these

00:32:04   things.

00:32:05   We kind of figured it out.

00:32:06   You know, basically there's this thing called Class Stump that lets you take any Objective-C

00:32:13   binary and suck all the strings out of it and put those strings in a format that is

00:32:21   familiar for people who code against those APIs. So, you know, it was, I mean...

00:32:28   And basically...

00:32:29   Twitter at that point only supported an XML API. There was no JSON. That was like, you

00:32:35   know, that shows you how old the API was, right?

00:32:40   And the only way I could get on the jailbreak, the only way I could decode the XML was to

00:32:47   call something in the framework that was used by the Microsoft Office file viewers, right?

00:32:55   Because, you know, at that point, Office was using XML-based files and, you know, they

00:33:01   needed them.

00:33:02   to on your iPhone you wanted to preview a Word document, you needed to decode that XML.

00:33:06   So I was, I'd found that and I was like, okay, now I can do it. So I'm, you know,

00:33:12   I'm using the Microsoft Word code to, you know, display tweets.

00:33:17   It was kind of, but that was, that was, it was fun and exciting because you could put

00:33:24   that in your hand and take it with you, right? I'm probably the first person in the world

00:33:29   who knew how great it was to be standing in line, you know, to check out on groceries

00:33:35   and look at Twitter. Right? You know, or just, you know, those moments where, you know, you

00:33:41   got nothing else to do. You're just kind of waiting for something, you know, you're,

00:33:45   you know, getting your car repaired or something like that. And you're just sitting there,

00:33:49   you know, where as you said, we're saying, you know, we used to break open the laptops.

00:33:53   Now you just pull out the phone and, you know, do some stuff. And I think that affected the

00:33:59   evolution of the service and the product a lot. It was originally conceived as being usable from

00:34:07   phones and I've talked about this on the show before it's actually why there was a pretty

00:34:12   character limit of 130 because SMS was limited to 160. I think I always get this wrong a little bit.

00:34:20   It's 160 or 180 something like that yeah they needed some space for for screen name and stuff

00:34:26   or metadata. They were like, so if we're maxed out by SMS's limit of 160, let's say that we'll

00:34:33   claim 20 characters for ourselves if we ever need them, and tweets will be limited to 140 characters.

00:34:40   And of course, it being 2006, there were issues then about, well, what's a character, right?

00:34:48   Right? Because...

00:34:50   - Yeah, ask somebody in China what a character is.

00:34:52   Or, you know, and I don't, you know, emoji hadn't really, I know that they existed in Japan,

00:34:56   but like the explosion of emoji and the modern emoji of thousands of emoji that are available,

00:35:04   which are actually, I think you can have up to eight bytes for a single emoji, you know,

00:35:08   or maybe more, probably more with the combining characters. So if you tweet a Santa Claus emoji,

00:35:17   but set this skin tone to like one of the darker skin tones. There might be like eight bites,

00:35:23   which is eight. Yeah, yeah, yeah. There's the original character, the variation selector.

00:35:27   All sorts of fun. It adds up. Anyway, all sorts of fun with that back then. But the other thing,

00:35:32   though, was that the idea, you know, the, but this is how. And people were using that weird input

00:35:37   mechanism to do this, right? You know, that, that you're going to go one, one, one, two, two, three,

00:35:42   "333-345-3545."

00:35:43   I could never do that.

00:35:45   And that was, again, when the iPhone came along,

00:35:47   it's like, "Oh, wow, keyboard now."

00:35:49   - I jumped on Twitter very early,

00:35:51   but only as a web interface.

00:35:53   And I don't know that Jack Dorsey,

00:35:55   I mean, of course you'd make a website,

00:35:56   2006 was late enough in the web era

00:35:58   that of course there was a website,

00:36:01   but when you were on a phone before the iPhone

00:36:04   and before Twitterrific and before the modern concept

00:36:07   of how you would tweet from a phone,

00:36:09   The idea was you would just have an old fashioned keypad phone, not even a smartphone type thing,

00:36:18   and you could get text messages from the people you follow.

00:36:22   And so instead of a...

00:36:23   There was no timeline.

00:36:25   It would just be a text message from 011738, which was like Twitter.

00:36:30   I don't know what...

00:36:31   I'm making the number up, but they had like a five digit number.

00:36:34   get it and it would just say, you know, @chockenberry, you know, eating a sandwich. And that would

00:36:40   be it. The idea that you would do a timeline, and obviously their website had what we would

00:36:46   consider a timeline from the beginning, but the idea that you might, that one might have

00:36:51   a timeline like that on their phone was, it took Twitter to the next level. And because

00:36:59   obvious reasons. It's these little snack sized nuggets of text tweet length were the perfect

00:37:08   size for consumption on a phone. And you could put many of even on the old original 3.5 inch iPhones,

00:37:17   you know, you could put quite a few of them on screen, the iPhone scrolled so well, and so

00:37:23   smoothly that, you know, for things other than tweets too, but you can just, you know,

00:37:29   you could consume Twitter and it was one of the few things where it felt like it was just as good

00:37:36   to use Twitter on an early iPhone as it was on a desktop. Whereas…

00:37:40   Tim Cynova Yeah, it actually was actually probably better, I would say.

00:37:43   David Schanzer Yeah.

00:37:43   Tim Cynova Because the whole scrolling thing was very visceral, right? It just like, it just kind of…

00:37:47   David Schanzer Yeah.

00:37:47   Tim Cynova Your, the physicality of it. That, in fact, that's what excited me, right? It's like,

00:37:53   oh, this thing is physical and this thing that I work on works great with that physical input.

00:38:00   Trenton Larkin I remember there was Twitter itself by 2008.

00:38:04   That was, you know, a, you know, another groundbreaking, very memorable specific

00:38:10   South by Southwest. It broke Twitter again. Twitter was already huge, but everybody at

00:38:15   South by Southwest had iPhones. And it was m.twitter.com, not mobile, just the letter m.

00:38:23   But what it gave you was a web-based interface to Twitter through them that was optimized,

00:38:31   effectively optimized for the iPhone, let's face it.

00:38:34   But what that meant in 2008, when our iPhones were on the edge network, which if you're

00:38:42   not, you might think, oh, yeah, I'm sure edge was slower than...

00:38:46   Yeah, you got no idea.

00:38:47   Edge was slower than 3G, I'm sure, but it was so slow.

00:38:51   I mean, you can look this up. I guess I'll put a link in the show notes to like Wikipedia's entry,

00:38:56   but everybody was using it. Everybody was everybody had it. Everybody was like thirsty

00:39:02   for it. And it's like, you know, there's one cup of water for you know, 1000 people, right? So

00:39:08   they're all in all everyone has a little straw. They're like, so in addition to Twitter breaking

00:39:14   during South by Southwest, because of that AT&T's coverage in the convention center area in Austin

00:39:21   was flaky wiped out. And yeah, and the best possible edge connection you could get was

00:39:28   really slow. But so m dot twitter.com did not show avatars because even if they like compress

00:39:34   the hell out of them, it would be all sorts of extra data. It was just the text, but it's all

00:39:42   you needed. Right. And right now in some ways, your distinctive username, you know, it worked

00:39:48   for you. And that carries back to the text-based era of the internet, right? When we were doing

00:39:55   everything through Telnet and everything was in a terminal window, you just recognize people's email

00:40:01   addresses or like on a BBS, everybody just had a nickname or IRC still to this day. IRC is a

00:40:09   handle-based file. That's how you identify people, by their handle. And Twitter worked great for

00:40:14   that. It really did. And again, it's super primitive by what we expect today with LTE and 5G

00:40:23   and the ability for those things to stay up, even when you're at like a football game with 70,000

00:40:29   fans. You know, we expect our phones to continue working, and they do. But by…

00:40:35   David Schanzer 0 Yeah, no, there's been a lot of technological change

00:40:39   in the last 16 years that we've been working on Twitterrific.

00:40:43   They're an immense amount, you know, phones, network speeds, CPUs, you know, that, you

00:40:51   know, you think about the first CPU that was in the first iPhone versus, you know, what

00:40:55   we've got now with the A, I even forget what the number is, 16, 18, something, you

00:41:00   know, it's just like so fast.

00:41:03   What hasn't changed, though, is people, right?

00:41:06   The humanity behind it, the need to connect with other people, the need to kind of know

00:41:11   what your friends are doing. That's important to a lot of people. And that hasn't changed in that

00:41:17   period of time. So you had, while we're on memory lane, you had Twitterrific running, I mean, and it

00:41:23   was good before the SDK was out. And it was like on Cydia or someplace too. And it was very much

00:41:32   a niche kind of thing. But it wasn't just my favorite third party app. It was probably, you

00:41:39   it instantly became my favorite iPhone,

00:41:42   more favorite than all of Apple's own,

00:41:44   maybe other than Safari, of course,

00:41:46   'cause having the web on--

00:41:47   - Yeah, that was killer. - On the phone was killer.

00:41:50   - Yeah, that was the best.

00:41:51   - It was nice to have mail, but email is so verbiage.

00:41:56   Most emails I write are longer,

00:41:59   you don't wanna peck 'em out with your thumb.

00:42:01   It still is great to have email on the phone,

00:42:03   but it's not better on the phone

00:42:06   than on a desktop with a real keyboard.

00:42:08   And messages was obviously,

00:42:11   people forget how the presentation,

00:42:13   the modern presentation of a messaging app

00:42:16   was pioneered by messages on the iPhone.

00:42:20   - Yeah, green bubbles.

00:42:22   Everybody complains about green bubbles.

00:42:24   For a while, that's all you had.

00:42:25   - Well, and that they're conceptually sorted

00:42:28   by who the chat is with, right?

00:42:30   Like on those old Nokia T9 phones,

00:42:33   you just had a list of the messages.

00:42:35   And so like, if I got a message from you,

00:42:39   then a message from my wife,

00:42:41   and then a message from my wife,

00:42:44   and then a message from you,

00:42:46   your messages would be like numbers one and four

00:42:49   in a single list with two from my wife in between.

00:42:52   And it was just, you know, just showed as--

00:42:54   - It was hard to read, right?

00:42:55   Yeah, it was not good.

00:42:56   There was no-- - No threading.

00:42:58   There were no threads. - Yeah, well,

00:42:59   there was nobody thinking about user interaction, right?

00:43:02   the phone companies were never good at making usable software. They still kind of aren't,

00:43:08   but you know. But the concept was effectively like, like remember those pink pieces of paper

00:43:14   that we used to use for phone calls when you were out at work? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So,

00:43:19   you had a stack of these and if the phone rang in and somebody wasn't there, then somebody,

00:43:24   you know, it was like phone call and then you'd write who it was, what time, what date,

00:43:29   and what they said to tell you,

00:43:31   and then you'd get back to your desk

00:43:33   and there'd just be a stack of these pink papers

00:43:36   from maybe two of them are from the same person,

00:43:39   maybe they're from seven different people,

00:43:41   but that was the concept of SMS on phones before iMessage.

00:43:45   I mean, I know that Apple didn't,

00:43:46   Apple actually just called it SMS originally,

00:43:49   but I'll call it Messages,

00:43:50   'cause it's obviously the same app.

00:43:52   - It was the messaging app, yeah.

00:43:53   - So that was a big one, but Twitter was just mind-blowing,

00:43:56   'cause like you said, I honestly think Twitter

00:43:58   on the phone was better than Twitter on a desktop. It was the one thing that was better

00:44:03   on the desktop. 'Cause, and—

00:44:05   Well, the thing too is because it was better, I totally agree that it was better on the

00:44:10   phone than on the desktop. But even in those very early days, right, in the jailbreak days,

00:44:16   there were actually a couple of different apps. There was another one called Twinkle,

00:44:21   which was—they took a totally different approach. So that whole UI playground idea

00:44:27   started really early. In fact, back then there were also websites that people were using the

00:44:39   quote unquote sweet solution to get Twitter, and they were making their own, they were hitting the

00:44:46   API, doing their own thing, XML HTTP requests, filling in a timeline, and we were kind of all

00:44:55   seeing what this new thing could do. And yeah, it was...

00:45:00   Well, so what happened? And then once they announced the SDK, you were already working

00:45:05   on Jailbreaking and Steve Jobs said, "Okay, okay, we hear you. We're going to do an SDK in a couple

00:45:11   of months. Give us some time to get it right." And then they announced it in March. I believe that

00:45:16   was the first event JAWS ever hosted. JAWS, I remember, hosted the... Here's our keynote

00:45:23   introducing the developer SDK. And then you did the smart thing and adopted the official SDK as

00:45:31   opposed to staying jailbroken, even though in some ways it was more limited because instead of having

00:45:38   access to all of the private APIs that you had figured out, it was like the first public APIs

00:45:44   were the, here's the subset of them. Yeah, I was pretty happy to stop digging around in the

00:45:51   Microsoft XML parser. It was obviously a better way to go. It was worth the wait.

00:45:59   It also gave us some time to sort of step back. And I view that the original jailbreak one is just

00:46:10   the experimental phase. All of our products kind of have a experimental phrase. We typically don't

00:46:17   do those in public. With the jailbreak, we were kind of that we that was the only option to do it

00:46:23   in public. So, yeah, we kind of stepped back and thought about, okay, what do we want to do given

00:46:30   the constraint to the phone? You know, like my experience of, you know, killing the battery by

00:46:34   keeping the radio on, that was like, okay, how are we going to deal with that? Right? There are,

00:46:40   you know, you search it when you experiment with something new, you quickly learn what

00:46:46   constraints are. And that, for software development, is hugely important.

00:46:50   Yeah. Yeah. You got to play test to figure it out. You had to make it.

00:46:53   Yeah. Yeah.

00:46:54   You know, start with an idea, but then don't be, you know, strong ideas loosely held, right?

00:46:59   Right.

00:46:59   Here's how I think it'll work. Let me get it working. And then you start using it,

00:47:02   and you're like, oh, this would be better.

00:47:05   Well, remember that early version also had a transparent background because we thought

00:47:09   it'd be nice to see your – and then it's like you take it out in bright sunlight and go, oh,

00:47:13   this is a bad idea.

00:47:15   Then by 2008, June, you know, one year into the iPhone, there was already an Apple design

00:47:23   awards for the iPhone, right? It was the very first year the SDK was literally only four months old,

00:47:32   April, May, June, maybe three months old.

00:47:35   I seem to remember we had very little time from the SDK drop to the point of,

00:47:41   you know, submitting the stuff for the App Store. It was just like, how are we going to do this in

00:47:46   three months? Well, we did it. Here's where my memory is, you know, well, it's halfway like

00:47:53   Swiss cheese at this point. And yeah, it's funny. It's funny because as my memory gets fuzzier,

00:48:00   it's not just that I don't remember certain things. It's that I'm not 100% sure if what I

00:48:06   remember actually happened or not, or if my mind sort of turned the way you wanted it to be.

00:48:13   It's sort of like what you're, well yeah, it's like an adaptation, right? So like,

00:48:17   if you take a 500 page novel and you want to make a two-hour movie out of it, you've got to

00:48:23   consolidate some characters, right? So instead of having three police detectives, you just make one,

00:48:30   and it's that character has all three of the roles from the the novel and but here's here's a memory

00:48:37   I have I remember that when when you won when when icon factory won that apple design award in 2008

00:48:45   for the twitterific three months into the app store it it was so joyous I can't remember if

00:48:52   it's if you were my first friend to win an ada or not probably not because you know no I think

00:48:58   cable. Yeah, those guys. Steven probably. Yeah, the Panic guys. Yeah, they were the pros at that point.

00:49:04   But it was always, you know, the ADAs are still, you know, prestigious, but man, in that

00:49:11   in that 2010-20-2000s decade for our indie pals, the ADAs, that it was just so joyous whenever

00:49:21   somebody we knew won, and it was so, again, it was just, oh my god, this is awesome, and it should be

00:49:27   no surprise because the Twitter effect was just so amazing, but you never know. Apples taste in the

00:49:36   ADA, like everything else about Apple, can be inscrutable. But you won. And what I remember

00:49:41   was that was the night where me and you and the panic gang went to...

00:49:48   to...

00:49:49   Cory.

00:49:50   Chevys.

00:49:51   Oh God, yeah.

00:49:52   Chevys.

00:49:53   And had those giant margaritas.

00:49:54   Yeah, Chevys was a Mexican, big, big Mexican restaurant.

00:49:59   The type of big Mexican restaurant that was exactly at the right location.

00:50:04   Cat-A-Corner from a convention center.

00:50:06   Yeah.

00:50:07   And they served margaritas the size of Craig's hands.

00:50:12   Margaritas.

00:50:14   Margaritas that looked big even in your hands.

00:50:18   And we were all on cloud nine, of course you especially.

00:50:21   - But I remember getting off the stage

00:50:25   and I just, I tweeted just holy shit.

00:50:30   And that was it.

00:50:31   And everybody who followed me knew what that meant, right?

00:50:35   It was like, I didn't have to say,

00:50:36   oh, I just won an ADA award.

00:50:38   Here's me, it was just like, it was very raw at that point.

00:50:41   - Here's the other thing that I remember.

00:50:43   I think it was when we were coordinating,

00:50:45   where should we go?

00:50:45   And before we just said, hey, you know,

00:50:47   the panic eyes are going over to Chevy's, let's meet them.

00:50:49   I forget, it was about, I don't know, about 10 of us there.

00:50:52   But I remember, and this could be a false memory,

00:50:55   but I seem to recall that you and I were in the,

00:50:58   at the bottom level of, street level of Moscone West,

00:51:01   like in the lobby, waiting to figure out what should we do,

00:51:05   where should we go, and people were coming up

00:51:07   and congratulating you, people easily recognized you.

00:51:10   And even people who maybe didn't know

00:51:12   that what you look like or that you're rather tall,

00:51:16   They knew you after they had just seen you go on stage

00:51:19   to take the award, right?

00:51:20   You had just been on stage.

00:51:21   - They go, "Holy shit, that guy's tall."

00:51:22   - And a mutual friend of ours who was at Apple

00:51:27   on the secret iPhone team on their performance team,

00:51:31   and I believe is still there

00:51:33   and might still be on the same team,

00:51:34   so I'm not going to say his name,

00:51:36   but I think you know who I'm talking about,

00:51:38   came up to you to congratulate you

00:51:41   and then dropped like a bomb on you,

00:51:44   like, hey, and by the way, for scrolling,

00:51:47   what you really probably wanna do is embed a UI view

00:51:52   in a UI view instead of using a table,

00:51:55   something like that, right?

00:51:57   Like, you had been doing a certain thing.

00:52:00   He knew exactly what you were doing, and he--

00:52:03   - Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

00:52:04   Well, they had like a two or three year head start

00:52:06   on the scrolling.

00:52:07   - Right, and he knew exactly what you were doing

00:52:11   and said, yeah, we ran into that with this,

00:52:15   two or three of them,

00:52:16   named some of their first party apps.

00:52:18   And what we figured out is if you embed sub views

00:52:21   and do this, and it was gibberish to me.

00:52:24   - It was all, yeah, for the technical listeners,

00:52:29   it's all about flattening the view hierarchy, right?

00:52:31   It's like, there was actually Azure scrolling,

00:52:33   those views had to be created and views that contained views

00:52:37   were less performance, less performant

00:52:39   than if you just created a snapshot,

00:52:42   basically created a snapshot of the view, right?

00:52:44   Let the GPU do all the work.

00:52:46   And I was like, oh yeah, of course.

00:52:51   And a while later, met up with Lauren Brikter

00:52:55   and he kind of relayed the same thing.

00:52:58   It's like, that's one of the reasons

00:53:00   why Tweety was so awesome.

00:53:02   Because I mean, Lauren actually did the cover flow

00:53:05   on the original iPod app.

00:53:07   Was it the iPod app?

00:53:08   I think it was called the iPod app or iTunes.

00:53:11   - Yeah. - Way back,

00:53:12   whatever it was called.

00:53:13   - Yeah, it was called iPod. - I think it had the cover flow.

00:53:15   And you know, the guy who makes cover flow

00:53:19   is probably gonna make a pretty good Twitter kind,

00:53:21   you know, scrolling, so.

00:53:23   - But I just remember the, yeah,

00:53:24   that I understood the, you know,

00:53:26   I know enough about programming

00:53:28   and I understood the idea of flattening the view

00:53:30   and then therefore having way fewer

00:53:33   of these object instantiations for each one.

00:53:36   And while you're scrolling fast,

00:53:38   And one of the things that's still fun to do on an iPhone

00:53:40   is just scroll fast as like a fiddle toy.

00:53:44   I just remember though, when he dropped that on you,

00:53:47   it like, you instantly went from the euphoria of,

00:53:52   holy shit, we just won an ADA to,

00:53:54   oh my God, I know exactly what he's talking about.

00:53:58   And it's really bugged you all along

00:54:03   that Twitterific wasn't scrolling as smoothly

00:54:06   as like say, Messages was, right?

00:54:07   That's true.

00:54:12   You weren't there the next day.

00:54:13   I met a guy named Rizwan Sattar, who was at that point working on the AOL app, I believe

00:54:19   it was.

00:54:20   And he's like, I was asking all these questions about the scroll view because I was having

00:54:26   trouble making things snap like the Photos app did, you know, when you scroll a photo,

00:54:32   kind of snaps into place.

00:54:33   And I had written a bunch of code to try to emulate that.

00:54:37   And I was like, this is really hard.

00:54:40   He came up to me after one of the presentations

00:54:42   and said, you know, there's just this flag you can set.

00:54:46   I was like, I literally spent like, you know,

00:54:49   probably three or four weeks on doing my own implementation.

00:54:53   - Right.

00:54:54   - And again, it was because I missed the documentation.

00:54:57   Right, it's like the, you know,

00:55:00   I was doing a lot of this stuff before even the, you know,

00:55:02   Apple was publishing the SDK, but it wasn't, you know,

00:55:06   like, you know, description forthcoming kind of thing, right? It's like, they had a lot of work

00:55:10   to do as far as documentation. So, yeah.

00:55:13   John Greenewald So in addition to missing documentation period,

00:55:16   there was also the fact that a big part of it was the best practices for how to use them.

00:55:21   Tim Cynova Yeah, yeah.

00:55:22   John Greenewald So you could read, let's just say if you're a

00:55:25   superhuman developer and you could read the API documentation from start to finish and memorize

00:55:33   at all. That still didn't tell you how best to do something to get like performance scrolling.

00:55:38   But you, but it was so good as it was that you won the Apple Design Award and it was

00:55:45   and revolutionized the way people think of Twitter. Other things, and I know we've covered them before,

00:55:50   but why not cover them now? Twitter-ifics use of Ollie the bird as the icon predates Twitter having

00:56:00   a bird as its logo. Like, and you guys mentioned it and rightly so, you know, that the, it,

00:56:06   it, it, the, the story behind that is the Mac app, which we started working on late

00:56:13   2006, released early 2007. Now I'm a developer, right? And I just put this crappy little icon

00:56:20   in the app that, that, you know, I knew it was a placeholder and we were all using the

00:56:25   app and David Lanham just one day sent me this little blue bird.

00:56:32   Now David is one of your colleagues at iConfact.

00:56:36   He was a colleague. He's now out on his own, but yeah, he's a super talented artist, great guy,

00:56:44   and he sent me this icon and I could not get that into our software repository fast enough. I mean,

00:56:49   It's just obviously this just works. And yeah, that predates Twitter's icon for, I mean, at the

00:56:59   time, all they had was the wordmark. You know, the big fat round Twitter letter. And that was it.

00:57:05   Pete: And then as a, if they needed something smaller and square, they just used the T from

00:57:12   - Yeah. - It's like Twitter, Walmart.

00:57:14   - And that whole, you know,

00:57:17   David coming up with the Bluebird, that was the first step.

00:57:22   And one of the challenges I had in that early app

00:57:26   was coming up with verbs and nouns

00:57:29   because we had no name for these things.

00:57:31   - Right. - Right?

00:57:32   It's like, you know, they were SMS posts,

00:57:37   they were posts of some other kind.

00:57:41   And they, and in developing the UI, it's like, I needed to say, you know, something

00:57:46   that, you know, refresh what we call, well, okay, let's call it a timeline, you know,

00:57:52   post what am I going?

00:57:54   I'm not going to say post a post.

00:57:55   I'm not going to, you know, you know, I'm not going to say send a post.

00:57:59   It's just, it was really kind of, I was just like, okay, I'm going to put a

00:58:03   placeholder in here.

00:58:03   I'm going to call them twits.

00:58:06   So the first version of Twitter, if it used Twits, and it had the, the, the bluebird icon

00:58:16   and folks at Twitter were actually using this app.

00:58:19   They loved it, right?

00:58:20   That they were like, Oh wow, this, somebody's making something awesome with our API.

00:58:25   They were all into it.

00:58:26   And Blaine Cook, one of their, he was actually the guy that was helping scale the app, getting it, you

00:58:33   you know, so they wouldn't fail whale and all that.

00:58:36   Just sent me an email one time, he says,

00:58:38   you know, tweets is not a very good name, you know,

00:58:41   if you thought about maybe calling them like tweet,

00:58:43   and I was like, that was fucking,

00:58:45   - Yeah. - The bird tweeting.

00:58:48   Yeah, okay, great. - Right.

00:58:49   - And that was the first, you know,

00:58:51   first time anybody called them a tweet.

00:58:53   - So the bird came first, and then from the bird

00:58:57   as the icon came the verb and noun tweet.

00:59:01   - Yeah. - That's amazing.

00:59:02   It's unbelievable.

00:59:03   Yeah.

00:59:04   All right.

00:59:05   Yeah.

00:59:06   No, and see, it was very experimental at that point.

00:59:08   It was just everybody...

00:59:10   Nobody knew what they were doing, right?

00:59:12   It was just...

00:59:13   We were just kind of all like...

00:59:15   But you knew when it was right.

00:59:17   Like I knew when that Bluebird came along.

00:59:20   That was it.

00:59:21   Well...

00:59:22   That was what we were missing.

00:59:23   And among...

00:59:24   And then Tweak came along.

00:59:25   It's like that's another thing we were missing.

00:59:27   And among other things, in terms of innovations that were driven by third party...

00:59:32   And it speaks both to the role of third-party developers on iOS, moving iOS forward in the

00:59:38   idioms and also Twitter itself right at the intersection of it was that in his, after

00:59:46   Lauren Brikter left Apple and struck out on his own, he made Tweety and invented pool

00:59:52   to refresh.

00:59:53   Yeah, that was another thing.

00:59:55   I was like, oh, I wish I thought of that.

00:59:57   So we, one of the things...

01:00:00   One of the things…

01:00:01   That was a really good thing.

01:00:02   And then it kind of goes back to, you know, these innovations in Twitter were far-reaching,

01:00:08   right?

01:00:09   You know, there are screen names at GitHub.

01:00:11   There are hashtags.

01:00:13   Anywhere you look, there's a hashtag.

01:00:15   You know, the notion of replying to somebody's thing, right?

01:00:20   There are these linkages between, you know, thought.

01:00:23   This stuff is spreading, right?

01:00:24   You know, it's like they're, you know, pull to refresh.

01:00:28   If you're on App to .NET pull to refresh now,

01:00:30   it's like, what the hell are you thinking?

01:00:32   - It reminds me of like back in the classic Mac OS era

01:00:36   when Mac TCP was like shareware, right?

01:00:39   And so the extension that you installed on your Mac

01:00:44   to do TCP/IP networking didn't come from Apple.

01:00:48   It was like a community project.

01:00:51   And the idea that pull to refresh in a list

01:00:55   on these touchscreen devices didn't come from Apple.

01:00:58   But I think easily, it was so obvious

01:01:01   that even within a year, Apple adopted it

01:01:03   and had APIs and figured out,

01:01:05   here's how this can be part of it.

01:01:07   It did not take long. - Yeah, that little segment,

01:01:09   they even came up with the little segmented control

01:01:11   that kind of spins as you pull down.

01:01:13   And that was all they,

01:01:15   it was clearly, they had the same reaction that I did.

01:01:18   It's like, ah, geez, I wish I thought like that.

01:01:20   - It was just such an exciting time

01:01:22   and innovations were coming left and right.

01:01:24   All right, let me take another break here

01:01:25   and thank our next sponsor.

01:01:26   It is our good friends at Nebula.

01:01:30   Nebula is a streaming service created and owned

01:01:33   by some of the internet's most thoughtful creators.

01:01:36   And that's, it really is true, it's important

01:01:38   that they are in fact owners, they have equity

01:01:41   in the service, and they offer full length

01:01:44   and ad-free videos earlier than anywhere else,

01:01:47   as well as Nebula exclusive content.

01:01:51   Fully produced Nebula originals like Anita Sarkeesian's

01:01:54   that time when or impact.

01:01:57   Rene Ritchie, friend of the show,

01:01:58   I don't know if you've ever heard of him,

01:02:00   Rene Ritchie has a channel on Nebula.

01:02:02   For example, he's got like a feature length retrospective

01:02:04   on the launch of the iPhone.

01:02:06   He also posts a lot of his stuff,

01:02:08   and a lot of the creators on Nebula do the same thing,

01:02:11   where they'll post the same stuff that they post to YouTube,

01:02:15   but put an extended version on Nebula.

01:02:17   And if you've ever been listening

01:02:18   to a lot of YouTube channels,

01:02:19   you might hear them say at the end of their YouTube videos

01:02:22   that you could check them out on Nebula.

01:02:23   You don't just get them ad-free

01:02:26   as opposed to YouTube on Nebula,

01:02:27   but you get extended versions.

01:02:29   And it is to YouTube what HBO was

01:02:34   to regular commercial TV back in the day.

01:02:38   It's the best of the best.

01:02:40   And it is, you know, you get what you pay for.

01:02:44   They've also got Nebula classes.

01:02:46   So like this whole online learn at your own pace

01:02:49   through video expertise in small nuggets

01:02:53   and have them be professionally produced and edited

01:02:59   and so that it doesn't feel like doing homework.

01:03:01   It actually, while you're learning,

01:03:03   it actually feels more like entertainment.

01:03:05   So they've got nebula classes for all kinds of stuff,

01:03:08   including an introduction to programming

01:03:10   called What Is Code from creator

01:03:12   and NYU professor Daniel Schiffman.

01:03:15   So that might be of interest to people

01:03:17   who listen to this show.

01:03:17   bonus and exclusive content, all sorts of other stuff.

01:03:20   I really love it, it is so great,

01:03:23   and you might think, ah, you know, YouTube's good enough.

01:03:25   I'm telling you, try it out,

01:03:27   they've got so much good stuff there.

01:03:29   It is normally just five bucks a month,

01:03:32   or 50 bucks a year, but listeners of the talk show,

01:03:34   you can get a whole year of Nebula for just 40 bucks,

01:03:38   that's cheap, for a whole year of this,

01:03:41   by going to nebula.tv/thetalkshow.

01:03:45   That's nebula.tv/thetalkshow.

01:03:49   Go check it out.

01:03:50   Watch a couple of the videos and you'll see how good they are and you'll see what a bargain

01:03:54   it is at 40 bucks a year.

01:03:55   My thanks to Nebula.

01:03:56   I can't imagine how great it must be to be able to watch somebody code and watch along

01:04:03   with somebody who knows what they're doing.

01:04:07   I mean, I'm old enough to...

01:04:10   When I first started coding, right, it's like we had magazines.

01:04:13   I know.

01:04:14   We had no bulletin boards. It was just like, you know, you copied and pasted code out of,

01:04:20   you know, Byte magazine.

01:04:21   Well, what I remember when they started, I don't know, floppy disks were always so expensive,

01:04:26   or at least they were back then. That in the early days, you would literally have to retype

01:04:31   the program. You know, it was the only thing they'd give you is the print out, you know,

01:04:35   they'd say, here's a sample program.

01:04:36   And there was no OCR or anything.

01:04:38   No, no OCR. Definitely not.

01:04:40   you'd get an O for zero or something,

01:04:44   and it's like that one character screwing you up

01:04:47   and it'd take you hours to find it.

01:04:49   - It was a breakthrough when those programming magazines

01:04:52   could start shipping CDs,

01:04:54   or maybe they did have floppies at some point

01:04:56   and they just charged, it was like a $15 magazine

01:04:58   or something, but you'd get a floppy disk

01:05:00   and then you could actually have the sample programs

01:05:03   without retyping them, it was groundbreaking.

01:05:06   - And then you could download them from the internet.

01:05:09   - Yeah, I'll just say this about Nebula.

01:05:11   The sponsor reads over, but I'll just point this out too,

01:05:13   that it does fit with the theme of the show,

01:05:16   which is that this idea or situation of indie developers,

01:05:21   the wide open world of creativity that the internet enables,

01:05:30   being dependent on one choke point corporate overload.

01:05:34   And people are certainly a lot happier with YouTube

01:05:38   than they are with Twitter, but still, YouTube is YouTube.

01:05:43   And if they pull your ads or something for some reason,

01:05:47   or they pull the whole video because somebody said

01:05:49   that some algorithm detected that there was

01:05:52   a copyright violation of some music or something like that,

01:05:56   YouTube's in charge there.

01:05:58   On Nebula, the creators are in charge.

01:06:01   If everybody is sort of having a reckoning,

01:06:06   I certainly am, and sort of looking at certain

01:06:11   dependencies we've had on things like Twitter

01:06:15   as opposed to the openness of Mastodon

01:06:17   and rethinking my priorities and not being lazy.

01:06:21   Nebula is to YouTube what, you know,

01:06:24   something more federated or more in control of the creators

01:06:27   than a service is for truly professional video.

01:06:31   So anyway.

01:06:33   - Yeah, there's a silver lining in all this for me.

01:06:36   It's the outpouring of support,

01:06:40   people saying how much they've appreciated our work,

01:06:45   people saying, I got into design

01:06:46   because that first version of Twitter,

01:06:48   I think kind of inspired me.

01:06:50   I've had people tell me,

01:06:53   it's like they got into iOS programming

01:06:55   because they saw what I was doing.

01:06:57   I mean, that to me is so rewarding.

01:07:00   that's kind of the dream of indie development. You're doing something for somebody else,

01:07:06   not for an advertiser, a corporate client, or business to business bullshit.

01:07:13   Jim Collins Right. Well, that exactly, though, is what

01:07:16   in that era, the indie developers I knew were only working on two platforms. I mean,

01:07:23   I didn't know that there were Windows, of course, Windows indie developers. I'm sure more of them,

01:07:29   because Windows was and remained so much bigger. And of course, there was the indie games market,

01:07:34   which was already, you know, has been a thing as long as you've been able to.

01:07:37   David Schanzer Yeah, games are a separate thing.

01:07:39   David Schanzer But in people I knew, I knew web developers and I knew Mac developers,

01:07:44   and I didn't know anybody who wrote phones, phone software. It never even I don't even know anybody

01:07:50   who thought, hey, should we write something for a phone? Because there was no way to write.

01:07:55   even if you... Well, there was some Java stuff, you know, it was just like it was clunky.

01:08:02   Well, you could just like, "Oh, I'm not doing this." Right. A, even if you did it, you weren't

01:08:08   going to make something that was actually joyful or joyous or well-designed. B, you couldn't

01:08:13   distribute it to anybody because everything... You had to go through the phone company.

01:08:17   As Steve Jobs famous called them the orifices, but it was this bureaucratic, like, Terry Gilliam's

01:08:24   Brazil nightmare of the and they just they didn't see a problem with it because they I don't think

01:08:29   that the carriers ever envisioned anybody else would just the only only only other major

01:08:37   corporations you know like apple deserves a lot of credit for cracking that right so it wasn't

01:08:43   it wasn't a deal with singular it wasn't just writing touch screen software which was new or

01:08:49   or having a bright colorful 3.5 inch screen,

01:08:52   which seemed huge compared to the phones

01:08:55   that only had a little tiny, you know,

01:08:57   postage stamp screen above a keyboard.

01:09:00   It was the idea of writing for phones at all.

01:09:03   And we just started with these devices

01:09:06   that were so much more amazing

01:09:08   and could enable incredibly beautiful software.

01:09:12   Software that wasn't like,

01:09:13   "Hey, that looks pretty good for a phone."

01:09:16   It was actually, hey, that looks better than Mac apps,

01:09:19   you know, like the,

01:09:20   - Right.

01:09:20   - 'Cause the iPhone had smaller pixels and it was,

01:09:23   you could make an iPhone app that looked better

01:09:27   than Mac apps even looked.

01:09:28   Let, you know, whereas,

01:09:31   - Especially at a distance, right?

01:09:32   You know, that was, you know, everybody, you know,

01:09:34   it's like the retinal display is awesome.

01:09:36   - Right.

01:09:37   - But at the distance you were typically holding the screen

01:09:39   of the original iPhone, the pixels kind of disappeared

01:09:43   and that's how they got away with all those rich textures

01:09:45   question. Question for you. Do you think Apple knew that the App Store was going to be a thing

01:09:55   at the time that the iPhone came out? Do you think that they were happy with just having that one

01:10:02   screen of their own apps and that was it? I think that, you know, having read enough of the jobs

01:10:08   biographies. I think, you know, like, I think it's what most people would guess was the truth,

01:10:14   which is that there were some people in Apple who felt like it's, you know, before the iPhone

01:10:21   was even announced, that, oh, it's inevitable that we're, this is going to be a thing sort of

01:10:27   at some way like the Mac, where these, these apps that we're making with the UI kit will be made by

01:10:34   third-party developers, just like third-party developers can do things for the Mac. And then,

01:10:39   you know, I think Steve Jobs himself was...

01:10:42   I think sort of had a "we'll see" attitude towards it.

01:10:48   Yeah, that's my guess too. It was like, you know, this is a possibility, let's not discard it,

01:10:54   let's see how it plays out. I mean, launching a product of that scope,

01:10:59   you know, you know you're going to be busy with it for a year.

01:11:02   Right.

01:11:03   At least.

01:11:04   Right. And, you know, the thing about Jobs was that he was one of his very, very best abilities

01:11:11   was his unbelievable ability to change his mind. And famously what he would often do, I mean,

01:11:18   so many people have the exact same story. And Andy Hertzfeld, I think, probably told the earliest

01:11:22   versions of it in his wonderful, wonderful Revolution in the Valley book, which is also at

01:11:28   the website folklore.org. It's kind of weird that the book is Revolution in the Valley and the

01:11:33   website is folklore.org, but it's the same content. But the story that would happen over and over

01:11:39   again is someone would come up to Steve and say, "Here's my idea. I want to do X." And he'd think

01:11:44   about it and say, "That's the dumbest thing I ever heard." No, we're not doing that. And then the next

01:11:48   day, Jobs would come in and go to the same guy and say, "Hey, I had a good idea yesterday. I think we

01:11:54   we should do. What if we do X?" And it's the exact same thing. But he would say it like

01:12:00   that the, you know, it's like he slept on it, his brain absorbed the idea, and then

01:12:04   he thought it was his idea. And then, you know, the engineer, you just learn to go with

01:12:08   it. That's how you got your ideas approved. And I think it could be like that, where he

01:12:12   was thinking, you know, because the other weird thing about being Steve Jobs is he could

01:12:18   get every single app he wanted onto the phone because he was Steve Jobs, you know, and,

01:12:23   know, if it was him who said, "Oh, I definitely want a YouTube app built into the original iPhone,"

01:12:28   he could make that happen. He could call Eric Schmidt and they could, you know, work out a deal

01:12:32   and they'll give, you know, that YouTube app was written by Apple, but obviously with APIs and

01:12:39   permission from Google. Yeah, thank God he didn't want a Twitter app. I know, right? Exactly. But it

01:12:46   would have been totally different. My whole career trajectory would have been totally different. Right,

01:12:50   If he did, he would have had it. So that is the one thing where everybody else is looking at the

01:12:55   original iPhone and people like me and you and you know are looking and thinking, "Oh, I would like

01:13:00   to put blank on the iPhone." Whereas Steve Jobs already had everything. Yeah, he had that ability.

01:13:05   No, I think that they knew that. And the fact that he made that announcement that, "Okay, we're going

01:13:10   to do an SDK by September." I mean, the phone was only three or four months out. I mean, and it was,

01:13:16   you know, it's clear from, I remember you guys saying it, of course, Apple wanted their own,

01:13:21   even if it had remained first party only for a year or two longer, which I think is the most

01:13:28   it could have possibly lasted before they opened the gates. Of course, Apple wanted for their own

01:13:34   apps the best APIs possible, right? That was, you know, the best, some of the best.

01:13:39   that yeah, and it was pretty obvious from working with the jailbreak API is that, you know, if they

01:13:46   all engineers do it, right? You cut corners on that first version.

01:13:50   Right. Because they had to ship.

01:13:51   Natural thing to do.

01:13:52   Right.

01:13:53   Yeah. You're more interested in the ship date than the code being a hundred percent beautiful

01:13:57   and perfect.

01:13:58   Right. We could do this in a way where it might blow up if you do it wrong,

01:14:01   but we will just know not to do it wrong.

01:14:04   My, my, yeah, my favorite was that you could feed a little snippet of HTML to any label view

01:14:10   on, on the first SDK that, you know, the, the jailbreak SDK. And, you know, they obviously

01:14:17   knew that they had to limit themselves, you know, to bold or italic or, you know, color changes,

01:14:22   you know, but, you know, you could put a table view in that label and all hell would break loose.

01:14:29   you know, you could do an iframe because it was just webkits invited. It was like,

01:14:34   yeah, we're not going to release that.

01:14:36   All right, enough of sunshine and happiness and fond memories. Let's recap where we are. So,

01:14:46   with this shutdown last week. So, things that I want to mention. This is not,

01:14:53   it was not a surprise, right? And even predating SpaceKaren taking, how do you like that?

01:15:00   Oh, there you go. You meant to say Elon Musk, right?

01:15:03   Even predating SpaceKaren, this entire SpaceKaren saga, we've had, it has been, I guess,

01:15:11   for a longer period of time than when it seemed like whatever period of time when Twitter as a

01:15:17   company fully embraced third-party clients and, like you said, celebrated them and loved

01:15:23   Twitterific. And you know, you had access to Blaine Cook and could, you know, talk to the

01:15:30   people at Twitter and they loved it. It's been a longer period of time where they, we've all,

01:15:37   those of us who love these third-party clients have been worried that they were going to just

01:15:40   go away because they started limiting them, you know, famously at some point, I don't know what

01:15:47   year it was when they said the, it was sort of Apple like where they didn't say we're going to

01:15:52   stop accepting new Twitter clients, but they more or less said we these API shouldn't be used to

01:15:56   replicate the Twitter experience, something right, right, right. So if you want to use them just to

01:16:01   write a bot that auto posts your headlines, like I have a script bot that does that for

01:16:06   for Daring Fireball. That's fine because that's not a client. But in terms of how should users

01:16:11   be viewing Twitter, they shifted to we want people to use the twitter.app. And the twitter.app

01:16:18   and the Twitter website started gaining a lot of features that never made it to the

01:16:23   third party APIs. They started, I guess, sort of.

01:16:28   >> Yeah, for me, I started worrying when Twitter bought Tweety.

01:16:33   >> Yeah.

01:16:34   >> That was like the first change that was like, okay, this is not going our way.

01:16:40   >> Yeah. >> This is their companies.

01:16:41   And Ben Thompson's Stratechery this morning talked about that.

01:16:47   And he's right, they should have just shit canned us all at that point.

01:16:51   >> Mm-hm. >> That would have been,

01:16:52   rip the Band-Aid off early.

01:16:55   I would have been okay with that, right?

01:16:56   It's just like, okay, it's their company,

01:16:59   they can do what they want.

01:17:00   - I think it depends what their goal was.

01:17:03   And I think Jack Dorsey, he can be inscrutable.

01:17:07   He sort of communicates almost like a guru, right?

01:17:11   Like via Zen Con. - Read between the lines.

01:17:14   - Right, but if the idea was that Twitter should be,

01:17:19   aspires to be as a company,

01:17:23   a multiple tens of billions of dollar

01:17:27   publicly held company, which they are.

01:17:30   Space Caron bought them for $44 billion.

01:17:35   Their aggregate, what do you call it, the market cap,

01:17:38   I don't know where they peaked.

01:17:41   I don't know how close to 100 billion they ever got.

01:17:43   They might have been over 100 billion at some point.

01:17:46   If that's the idea, then having third party clients

01:17:50   probably wasn't ever a good idea.

01:17:52   I still think though that if the idea was that they never tried putting ads in the timelines

01:17:58   that the third-party clients deliver, and I get it that I guess it's all about tracking

01:18:03   that if they were to…

01:18:04   Yeah, that's…

01:18:05   That's…

01:18:06   I think that's the bottom line, right?

01:18:07   Right.

01:18:08   Is that they had no… a couple of things, right?

01:18:11   You know, if they're… they want to control the presentation of the ads, right?

01:18:17   They want to tell the advertisers, "This is what your ad is going to look like,"

01:18:21   they also want to be able to tell the advertisers, oh, this is the metrics we can get from that

01:18:25   ad. And I'm, first off, it would have been hard for them to get that tracking information

01:18:34   from third parties. And secondly, I'm not sure I would have gone for that. I'm very

01:18:40   much anti-tracking, you know, people have the right to privacy, that kind of thing.

01:18:46   I guess the thing that to me gets lost and and and in tech has really gotten lost and in in that and twitter to me

01:18:53   Epitomizes it is the idea that certain ideas can be very good ideas

01:18:58   Excellent. I mean like Hall of Fame ideas

01:19:01   but may not be you know, the the overall full path and

01:19:06   and execution

01:19:09   May not be a hundred billion dollar business, right? So

01:19:15   Daring Fireball, I'm very proud of it. I think it's a good thing, but there's no way that Daring Fireball could be a

01:19:21   20 million dollar a year enterprise. I mean it I

01:19:25   There I could have tried to say you wouldn't want it to be right

01:19:29   I could have made decisions hired more people to work with me had multiple

01:19:34   Bylines on the site and have a small staff not even huge, but you know, I could hire, you know

01:19:40   I could have hired five people and

01:19:44   multiple done something more like the ringer network and have multiple podcasts under the talk show brand or the daring fireball brand and

01:19:51   Have multiple people there and that might have been good and it might have been 20 million or more

01:19:56   You know 20 times the size that you know that it is now in terms of revenue

01:20:02   But it wouldn't be what it is. It would be something different and I think what it is is worth doing even if it's small

01:20:08   Think about like restaurants. It's a perfect example. There are many of everybody I'll bet

01:20:13   everybody listening, some of your favorite restaurants are one-off institutions, you know,

01:20:20   where the owners of the restaurant are. There is, there's no two locations, it's just one location.

01:20:26   The owners are there and they run the place and that's what it is and there is no way to

01:20:32   turn it into a chain without really what it is. There's a sushi restaurant here in town who the

01:20:39   the head chef owner passed away last year and everybody in town is was like oh my god

01:20:47   mickey's gone that that was yeah first thing and the second thing is are they going to reopen

01:20:55   and thankfully mickey was one of those people who taught her crew how to make the awesome sushi they

01:21:03   all and they're carrying on, right? Because it's beloved by them and it's beloved by the community.

01:21:11   But it's never going to be a chain, right? So it's a minor miracle and a fortune of planning

01:21:17   and staff loyalty that the one place could outlive the owner, but it just is what it is.

01:21:25   Being small. Being small is a gift, right? You being small is a gift to you. It lets you

01:21:33   do things that you can't, wouldn't normally be able to do. If you're working for the New York

01:21:36   Times, there's things you could not do. It's the icon factory, right? There are just a handful of

01:21:41   us. We're doing things like Wallaroo that it, you know, it makes no sense for us to make a wallpaper

01:21:47   app. There's a shitload of wallpaper apps out on the store, but we love making wallpapers.

01:21:51   >> And you want people to get them in the best possible way.

01:21:55   >> We're doing it as much for us as we're doing it for the community. Well, it turns out there

01:21:58   are other people out there who like cool wallpapers too, so hey it works out.

01:22:03   But I think if you read between the lines of what Jack Dorsey has said in the last year

01:22:06   during this whole Space Caron takeover saga that he thinks in hindsight that Twitter should

01:22:11   have been a public service type thing, and I think what he's saying is instead of trying

01:22:16   to build something that would justify a hundred billion dollar value, you know, they could

01:22:23   have done something altogether different and made it more like an API and a plumbing for

01:22:29   this type of messaging and to run the namespace of usernames and to run the content moderation

01:22:39   and make some money or like Wikipedia, like a foundation. Wikipedia obviously is probably

01:22:46   the single triumph of the web. It is, in some ways, it's a total tangent here. I was thinking

01:22:51   over the weekend, that in some ways, Wikipedia all by itself is what the Tim Berners-Lee concept

01:22:59   of the World Wide Web would be, where there's these pages. There's like a page for everything

01:23:05   that you think there should be a page for, and they link to each other. And it's essential.

01:23:11   It doesn't—there's no page. Every time those things come up, it's like, "Oh yeah, I'm gonna

01:23:16   donate." There's no paywall. It's the same thing. You know, we probably donate twice because it's

01:23:20   It's like, we need that thing.

01:23:22   - And even when they do ask you for money,

01:23:24   they just put a banner at the top and push everything down.

01:23:27   They don't cover their goddamn content

01:23:29   with a banner telling you to do it.

01:23:31   So if Twitter had gone, been something like that,

01:23:34   and again, Wikipedia raises money, they pay a staff,

01:23:37   they obviously have huge server cost needs,

01:23:39   but they're not making $100 billion a year,

01:23:43   or they're not justifying $100 billion value,

01:23:46   'cause that's not their goal.

01:23:47   Their goal is to be a thing.

01:23:48   Twitter had been set up like something like that, then I think the third-party clients were

01:23:52   obviously the way to go. So, you know, and I'm sure Ben is talking about Twitter as a company,

01:23:58   the company that it is and what the goals are. Yeah, exactly. He's looking at it from the

01:24:03   business point of view, which, yeah, I would love to have a, like a DNS for usernames. You always

01:24:12   want @Gruber. I always want @Chalkenberry. Right. Why do I have to go sign up for all these friend

01:24:18   services just to kind of plant my flag. Because it might be useful.

01:24:21   Dave Asprey I bet you don't have as much trouble getting

01:24:24   Chockenberry as I do Gruber, because Gruber is shockingly, it's the most popular surname in

01:24:29   Austria. Hello to all of our Austrian Grubers out there.

01:24:32   Tim Cynova I have a different problem with Chockenberry.

01:24:35   It's called autocorrect. It always comes out chickenberry.

01:24:38   Dave Asprey Chickenberry. I like that. But anyway,

01:24:41   it's, it is, it has been many years that we've all been dreading that, hey, they might just pull the

01:24:47   plug, right? And the third-party clients for the last, I don't know, five, six years sort of were in a...

01:24:54   Living on borrowed time.

01:24:56   What's the limbo, right? Limbo was the religious...

01:25:00   That's what I mentioned earlier, right? It was like we were kind of coming out of limbo.

01:25:04   Right.

01:25:05   Kind of, you know, that you could see a glimpse of a bright future.

01:25:09   Yeah. Can you?

01:25:10   And I think that they were kind of thinking along the lines that Jack had set out there, right?

01:25:15   Yeah.

01:25:16   It's like, okay, how do we become something that is a resource that businesses need, consumers need,

01:25:24   developers need, you know, all of these, how can we satisfy all these people? And they were thinking

01:25:31   hard about it. I know for a fact they were thinking hard about it. As much of a loudmouth

01:25:35   as that Musk is, one thing we don't know, and he, you know, he supposedly, you know, I, he,

01:25:42   at this point you can't I can't take him at his word on anything but you know some of the things

01:25:48   he said he wanted he's he's it's the thing that's interesting right it's that that blog post I wrote

01:25:55   I didn't mention his name at once but everybody knew who I was talking about when I was talking

01:25:59   about you know shitheads yeah you know bozos and all that yeah he's ruining his his reputation

01:26:06   right now right well I don't he might be noticing it I don't know but we're certainly noticing

01:26:12   we don't know we never for all the things we do know we know he wanted to

01:26:17   reinstate a bunch of previously banned accounts and his you know and again i and i i knew that

01:26:23   and when i was optimistic about his ownership of twitter i i was on the impression this possibly

01:26:28   even though a lot of those banned accounts are people who i literally despise and you know and

01:26:34   i think some of them should not they don't affect you though you don't come in contact with them

01:26:39   You know, yes, they're spreading filth and lies and, you know, but there's a lot of ways for people to spread filth and lies, not just Twitter.

01:26:48   But it is sort of, it's sort of like, you know, in some ways what I thought Musk was talking about was aligned with Dorsey's idea of Twitter as more of a public service.

01:27:00   and in a way that any dirt bag hate speech type thing,

01:27:05   person can go and register a domain name

01:27:11   and if they can find a web host who will host their stuff,

01:27:14   have a domain name, I don't, you know,

01:27:17   and it just, you know, I wish those people

01:27:20   weren't out there, but the fact that they can have a website

01:27:23   and it's on the same web as my website is, you know,

01:27:27   That is, in some sense, not in a legal sense, but just in a theoretical sense, free speech.

01:27:33   And I could see, I still can see, how Twitter having a more light-handed approach to banning

01:27:43   people for that type of speech, so long as they provide everybody with tools so you don't have to

01:27:49   see it if you don't want to, right? So... So... Right. That's the thing. I have the right to

01:27:53   ignore it. You have the right to say it. I have the right to just say, "Fuck you. I'm not listening."

01:27:57   to this. You know, in the same way that I just, I literally never just stumble upon Nazi websites.

01:28:04   I should never stumble upon Nazi tweets in my, you know, in my timeline. Yeah, exactly. It should not

01:28:11   be boosted or retweeted or whatever. But we didn't, so he, you know, he said he was gonna do that. He

01:28:17   said he's gonna do some other things. He said he was gonna take out, you know, this was... He says

01:28:21   a lot of things. But he never really talked to me, as far as I know, never said anything about third

01:28:26   party clients. So what does Elon Musk think about the third party clients? Was he against them?

01:28:32   And a lot of us were like, maybe he doesn't really think about it. He surely knows they exist,

01:28:37   but does he care? Are they so small that he's fine? This can be a thing that even though he's

01:28:47   not into it and it's not one of his priorities, keeping them running wasn't going to draw his

01:28:54   attention. The one red flag all along that had me worried was the fact that he has long been opposed,

01:29:04   even before he owned the place, opposed to the attribution on tweets that would say,

01:29:10   you know, like in small gray text posted from Twitterrific on iOS. It would, you know, and

01:29:16   some clients showed them, I think Twitter's own first-party client hasn't been showing

01:29:22   him for a long time, but most third-party clients do. And of course the one thing...

01:29:25   **Matt Stauffer** Yeah, we show them if you tap on the date, right? It just toggled it and,

01:29:29   you know, it showed it. But it's not a mainline piece of information, but it's still kind of

01:29:35   important. **Trevor

01:29:35   important. But for some reason he'd been opposed to that and said we're going to get rid of it and

01:29:40   lo and behold they did get rid of it. The API stopped delivering that info. You know, like I

01:29:45   forget what Twitterrific showed but like when they changed the API data so that that info was no

01:29:51   longer in each tweet's JSON, some of the clients I saw just had like null, you know, like where it

01:29:59   used to say posted from tweetbot on Mac OS, it now just said null or something like that. And then,

01:30:05   you know, the all the third party apps that are actively developed just stop trying to show it.

01:30:09   But that was the red flag to me that said he's not into third party. He's not just

01:30:15   ambivalent but against third party clients. The one thing that was famous, those strings were

01:30:20   famous for and Marques Brownlee I think was the best at spotting it was be like when Samsung would

01:30:27   be promoting the new Galaxy phone. And the tweet, you know, like never...

01:30:33   obviously coming from a PR person with an iPhone. Right, like when the iPhone 10 came out and they

01:30:38   had a whole bunch of and whole ad campaign about how stupid the notch was because they didn't have

01:30:42   not yeah and then a year later came out but in the meantime they'd have tweets dunking on notches

01:30:48   and then the the tweet would say posted from Twitter on iOS and then you know and then all

01:30:54   of a sudden there's 5,000 retweets and everybody's dunking on them so you can't do that anymore but

01:30:59   So he doesn't have to worry about advertisers anymore, right? He's giving them away.

01:31:04   So I think we fans of the clients were worried in two ways. We were worried,

01:31:09   A, that he would do what he in fact did do, which is say pull the plug on these apps that just kill

01:31:15   them. And then B would be if the API servers fell apart and nobody was there who knew how to

01:31:24   kick them to turn them back on and it would just fall apart. And even though they that that that

01:31:29   that lack of resources, the of people resources was really my first thought, right? You know,

01:31:36   in my first round of layoffs, it's like all the Twitter API, developer relations people,

01:31:41   the people working on it, they they got shit. Right. And that was like, okay, how well is this

01:31:47   API gonna work? And you know, a month. And so we spent Friday night when this first happened.

01:31:53   And you, of course, as you know, and like our friends Paul and Mark over at Tapbot.

01:32:00   Paul and I have been texting each other quite a bit in the last few days.

01:32:04   Well, and that's, but isn't that great though? It's like part of the great part about our community

01:32:08   is that I respect his work. He respects mine. Right. And like, you know, I told him about the

01:32:13   blog posting. He goes, holy shit, 16 years. Yeah. Right. There's respect there, right? Because

01:32:18   it's like, he knows what it's like to keep a product on that wall.

01:32:21   Right. It's like Larry Bird and Magic Johnson going arm in arm into the Hall of Fame together,

01:32:27   you know, and having Michael Jordan there to toast them and say how great it was to play again.

01:32:32   You know, rivals who love each other. So Friday night, though, it really was up in the air,

01:32:37   whether is this an accident and the API fell apart and because it's a Friday night and they're on a

01:32:44   skeleton crew. And on Friday night, I was leaning towards, I think this is an accident because

01:32:50   there's no messaging about it at all. And then by Saturday morning, you had shared on a Slack that

01:32:56   we're in, a group Slack, that screenshot that showed that red banner on Twitter-ifics

01:33:02   developer credentials from Twitter saying you don't have them. You're suspended.

01:33:09   Which that to me was the, oh, this is...

01:33:12   Yeah, that was, in fact, we were all holding out hope that it's like, okay,

01:33:18   you know, is this, okay, yes, it says we're suspended, but, you know, is this intentional?

01:33:25   Is this like, you know, some, but who doesn't necessarily know what they're doing with the API

01:33:30   if we have to switch on something? And as we record right now, have they still,

01:33:35   they've still said nothing? Is that true? They said nothing. It's totally chicken shit,

01:33:40   you know, I'm sorry. It's like, if you're gonna do something, come out and say you're doing it.

01:33:46   Right. And it is-

01:33:47   It's really that simple.

01:33:48   Right. And it's like I wrote on Daring Fireball over the weekend. It is their call to make. We've

01:33:54   all been dreading this for years, that they would say, "Hey, we're going to, you know, end of life

01:33:59   for third-party clients. Everybody should move to the first-party client. This is what we- and

01:34:03   here, you know, and they- if they would like to explain why they could, that would be appreciated.

01:34:08   They don't have to, but you know, say something, post something, give some sort of notice, right?

01:34:15   And you know, how, you know, the more notice... It's totally disrespectful, right? You know,

01:34:22   we've got, we've got customers that we need to let know what's happening. I mean, we need to let

01:34:28   Apple know what's happening. Right. And there's people... Hey, how many, how many, you know,

01:34:34   award-winning, high-grossing apps with thousands or tens of thousands of subscriptions

01:34:42   have been removed from the App Store. We have no idea what the fuck's gonna happen.

01:34:49   Pete: I don't know.

01:34:50   Chris: How do we pull this product?

01:34:51   Pete; I'm looking at the official Twitter account right now, twitter.com/Twitter,

01:34:59   and they haven't posted anything since December 10th.

01:35:02   Chris; Yeah.

01:35:03   So talk about, you know, and Elon Musk-

01:35:06   Well, they have no comm steam, right? You know, he's famous for, you know, "Oh, we don't need comms."

01:35:10   Right. So even-

01:35:12   You're a consumer product now. You're not selling rockets. You're not selling cars.

01:35:16   Right.

01:35:16   I guess cars are a consumer product.

01:35:17   No, but it's crazy. And I was somebody, I mentioned it, and a couple of people who write,

01:35:22   you know, some of the people in the tech sphere are more like, some people have one foot in the

01:35:27   car world too. You know MKBHD again, a prime example, right? Where he's in addition to being,

01:35:33   in my opinion, the world's best tech YouTuber is also a great car YouTuber. But the lack of an

01:35:41   actual comms team at Tesla, it drives the people who cover Tesla crazy. I can't imagine. I think

01:35:47   Apple actually has fantastic PR. I really do. I've said this over the years. One thing about Apple PR,

01:35:53   it's true for the company in public too is they won't always answer your questions of course

01:35:59   famously I mean there's the you can anybody can think of dozens of interesting questions you'd

01:36:03   like to ask Apple PR that they're not going to answer but they'll just say no comment you know

01:36:09   they will answer that they will answer your question if I could ask them anything and I will

01:36:13   get an email back or a phone call back they may not answer my question but they will you know

01:36:19   paying them to respond. They give you feedback. That's all you need.

01:36:23   Right. They might commit at times what we would call lies of omission, where they won't talk about

01:36:29   something that you wish they would. I wouldn't, I think lie is probably a strong word. But if they

01:36:33   tell me something, it is true. I've never been told anything by Apple PR that is not true.

01:36:40   The one time the exception approves the rule, and I wasn't involved in it personally as a reporter,

01:36:46   But during Steve Jobs' health saga, when it really took a turn for the worse and he had to have the

01:36:54   liver transplant and took the second leave of absence from the company, and their messaging on

01:37:00   that was inaccurate. And it was because he didn't want to tell people because he thought it was

01:37:08   private and what's the obligation of a publicly held company when the CEO,

01:37:13   any CEO, their health status is of interest to shareholders, but obviously Steve Jobs was not

01:37:21   just any CEO to Apple. That's a mess and that's a side story, but that is not about Apple. That

01:37:28   was about Steve Jobs personally and Katie Cotton who was more or less his personal PR spokesperson

01:37:34   and what they, you know, the way they handled that. That was very much about them, not Apple.

01:37:39   So Apple is very, very, you know, I, but even if Apple had a bad comms team, and I, you know,

01:37:44   I deal with other companies too, who have lesser comms teams, I don't know, it's insane that you

01:37:49   can't write to Tesla and get an official response. It's, it really is. I mean, it's, I guess he is

01:37:56   proving that you can not have it, but it's never not going to be missed.

01:38:05   I would say that it's eventually going to bite you in the ass.

01:38:07   Yeah, well, is it going to be the doom of the company? Maybe. But the other thing too,

01:38:12   I think the lack of a comms team at Tesla is why Tesla is getting hit so hard. Their stock

01:38:17   is way down compared to the... Exactly. Exactly. That's what I mean. It's going to hit you in the

01:38:22   It's way down compared to the market. It's way down compared to their competitors in the car

01:38:29   space. It's way down compared to their competitors just in the electric vehicle space. And there's no...

01:38:36   I have a lot of...

01:38:38   There's no...

01:38:39   I know a lot of people who have Teslas that are like, "I don't want this car anymore."

01:38:44   I know people. We have mutual friends. I know people who've cancelled orders for Teslas in

01:38:50   in the last three months. There's no I generally don't give

01:38:54   stock advice or analysis. This isn't really advice. But but I

01:38:59   also but I really do think that the the market quote unquote is

01:39:03   largely inscrutable and things move up and down for reasons that

01:39:07   you're never going to really know why exactly except

01:39:10   sometimes it's pretty obvious. I think it is extremely obvious

01:39:13   that Tesla stock over the last three months during the Twitter

01:39:17   as owned by SpaceKaren era, is way down because he's revealed himself to be a jackass in a way

01:39:27   that I, this is, you know, I really just had no idea and and the signs were all there. I should

01:39:32   have known so the people, you know, my famous optimistic... It didn't affect you though. It

01:39:37   didn't really affect you. Yeah and I didn't think... For me it was like, yeah, this guy is,

01:39:42   I don't really get him. What's his deal? But you know, it's like, I don't own a Tesla. I'm not

01:39:47   going to be launching a rocket anytime soon. I'm just going to kind of let it fall by the wayside

01:39:52   and well guess what now it affects me. It's obvious that a significant amount of Tesla's

01:39:58   market value was faith in Elon Musk personally. That you know that he you know and and I think

01:40:04   there is something to that that the I know we didn't technically found Tesla but the you know

01:40:08   he's been there a long time that that type of visionary charismatic CEO the Henry Ford type

01:40:16   the Walt Disney type, the Steve Jobs, you know, you know, when Steve Jobs came back, that gave us all

01:40:22   hope. The Bill Gates, the, you know, Zuckerberg, that these, that a certain type of CEO is so

01:40:31   visionary and effective that they're worth betting on, right? That you don't need, you know, I'm just

01:40:36   going to place a bet on this company because I believe this person and I think that, you know,

01:40:40   it's like if, you know, you don't know anything about basketball, but you know Michael Jordan,

01:40:45   so you're going to bet on the team that has Michael Jordan or LeBron, right? Like all of a sudden,

01:40:49   LeBron goes to the Lakers and you're like, "Ah, that's enough for me. I'm going to place a bet

01:40:54   on the Lakers to win." I bought some stock after Apple released the iPhone because it was like,

01:40:59   "I believe in this." And that's turned out to be a pretty good thing. I think that he's revealed

01:41:06   himself to be so independently and flaky and making such terrible decisions that people who

01:41:14   had faith and had no interest, don't really care, you know, they can't, you can't invest in Twitter

01:41:18   right now because it's no longer publicly held, it's privately held. That's the whole thing that

01:41:23   he did. But like for Tesla, people whose money was in Tesla because they had faith in Elon Musk

01:41:29   are looking at what he's revealed himself to be and how, what his leadership style is like.

01:41:34   And they're like, oh, I guess maybe he is just making up the, you know, how far advanced their

01:41:41   full self-driving is and how far, you know, what type of a mote they have around their business.

01:41:46   And you're absolutely right when you say that they have to be better than the humans.

01:41:52   Oh, that's a side.

01:41:53   You can't just equal it. Yeah, that's a separate thing, but I totally agree there, right? It's like,

01:41:58   you know, if you're going to claim that something works, it's got to work really well.

01:42:02   But if they had a professional comms team, they could be managing that and getting word out and

01:42:08   and trying to separate, try to get the press to buy,

01:42:13   whether it's true or not, but to put the spin on it

01:42:16   that the Musk who runs Twitter is not,

01:42:18   that's not how he runs Tesla, you know?

01:42:20   - Right, there's really somebody else

01:42:22   that's pulling the strings. - But without a comms team,

01:42:25   and with his own singular genius being the comms for Tesla,

01:42:30   well, guess what?

01:42:31   He is a jackass, and so he's bungling that too.

01:42:34   It's just infuriating that this is how they've done it,

01:42:37   that here we are three days later

01:42:39   and they've literally just ghosted us.

01:42:41   It's like somebody breaking up with a significant other,

01:42:44   not by saying I break up with you,

01:42:46   but just by never returning their calls, right?

01:42:49   And it's like all of a sudden your text just, you know,

01:42:52   and you're not getting read receipts anymore.

01:42:54   They're just like, are they seeing my texts?

01:42:56   What's going on?

01:42:57   And it's like, it's just so profoundly disrespectful.

01:43:01   - We, it really is the disrespect.

01:43:05   We all know what's happening.

01:43:06   The fact that Tapbot's turned on some other API keys yesterday, and people were kind of able to

01:43:14   use Tweetbot for a little bit, and then it was broken posting, and you couldn't see old tweets

01:43:20   and stuff like that. And it was just kind of limping along, and then they killed that.

01:43:25   Well, did they kill that? I didn't notice that.

01:43:27   Yeah, they killed it a couple hours later. And Paul did that just, you know, it's like

01:43:32   that's the only way we can prove that they're really shutting us down is to actively,

01:43:39   you know, shut us down. And again, it comes back to we've got other stuff we need to deal with

01:43:45   as a result of it. It's not just them that has, you know, that shuts the API off. We've got to

01:43:51   shut off products. We've got to let customers know, you know, it's got subscription renewals

01:43:58   coming up. They don't want to deal with, you know, thousands and thousands of refunds.

01:44:03   The fact is going to cost them money. The fact that Paul had built into Tweetbot the ability for

01:44:10   them to remote change their OAuth credentials with Twitter without submitting an app update

01:44:17   just shows that shows you how worried developers like you guys have been.

01:44:24   our app has a little built in web view that looks at a file on our server that, you know,

01:44:31   popped up a little web view that says, you know, something bad has happened to Twitter.

01:44:36   And it explains the state of things. And we did that release, so a couple months ago, I'd say,

01:44:43   I don't remember exactly, but that was really, that and what was in it? It was like that and

01:44:48   a copyright date. That's it. And we knew because you know, it, you, you, after dealing with this

01:44:57   unstable API situation for, you know, years and years, you're a little gun shy and it's like, okay,

01:45:07   this may not happen. We may never need to use this, but if it does, we want to be prepared. And,

01:45:13   and the Tapbots, switching the API keys

01:45:17   may have been a test thing for them, maybe not.

01:45:21   I don't, we never talk about that,

01:45:23   but yeah, we're all gun-shy about the Twitter

01:45:28   after Elon took over.

01:45:30   - So what are you gonna do?

01:45:33   So Tapbots famously, I mean, everybody I'm sure

01:45:36   who cares about it knows that they've been hard at work

01:45:39   on a Mastodon client called Ivory,

01:45:42   which is in test flight beta right now.

01:45:45   Super, super, they keep opening--

01:45:48   - It's super quality app too.

01:45:50   - Yeah.

01:45:51   - It's what you would expect from them, right?

01:45:52   - Right.

01:45:53   - You know, they did something really smart,

01:45:57   I think probably because of back in the days of app.net.

01:46:01   - Yeah, that's what I--

01:46:02   - Probably because they kind of,

01:46:04   I think what they did is they kind of abstracted

01:46:07   their backend, you know, fetching the data from the UI,

01:46:10   presenting it kind of situation.

01:46:13   I think probably version two of the Twitter API

01:46:16   helped bring that along.

01:46:18   And you know, they're building,

01:46:20   I haven't talked to Paul about this,

01:46:23   but just looking at it from somebody who knows

01:46:25   how apps are built and how social media apps work,

01:46:30   it feels very much like me that they're taking Tweetbot

01:46:33   and massaging the bits that need massaging

01:46:37   to work with that new Mastodon API.

01:46:40   which is great because it gives people a UI

01:46:43   and an environment that they're used to.

01:46:48   Really, you know, that's it.

01:46:50   - So let me put on my journalist hat here

01:46:53   and ask the hard question.

01:46:54   Is there going to be a Mastodonrific?

01:46:58   - Mastodonrific.

01:46:59   - Mastorific, I don't know, that doesn't sound good.

01:47:01   - Well, we looked at it back in 2018,

01:47:09   and we actually called it Fantasadon.

01:47:11   And--

01:47:13   - I've put you on the spot here.

01:47:14   - Well, no, it's something that we're interested in,

01:47:17   for sure.

01:47:18   And we have some prior commitments now

01:47:22   that we're working on that kind of prevents our small team

01:47:25   from looking at it full time.

01:47:27   - Right, Icon Factory is a small team.

01:47:29   How many developers are there?

01:47:31   - There's me, Sean, and Shannon Hughes,

01:47:34   who works on Linnea.

01:47:35   - Right, so it's, and that's, it's, you know,

01:47:38   Tapbots is two people, Mark Jardine and Paul Haddad.

01:47:42   - And I think Todd Thomas is working with them.

01:47:43   - Oh yeah, yeah, that's right.

01:47:45   - In a little bit on the Mac side.

01:47:47   - Yeah, he's doing the Mac version, right, that's right.

01:47:49   - Again, we don't talk about teams, you know,

01:47:51   it's just, we're both small, we both know it.

01:47:54   - Right, right, right, but like small, small,

01:47:57   not just, you know, like small,

01:47:58   you could put the company into a van, you know, small.

01:48:02   - The one difference is that the Icon Factory

01:48:06   is more diversified than--

01:48:08   - I was just gonna say, right?

01:48:10   - So Tapbot has a few other apps.

01:48:12   They've got the Calcbot, which is a fine calculator,

01:48:15   and I actually use it.

01:48:18   They did, Waitbot, what did Craig Federighi say

01:48:22   that the Mac Mini is a product in our lineup or whatever?

01:48:26   Waitbot is an app that they had.

01:48:28   It was like a weight tracking app,

01:48:29   but I don't think it's an active development anymore.

01:48:32   No, the other one is that's active

01:48:33   and I personally use it and love it as PasteBot,

01:48:36   which is- - Oh, right, yeah, yeah, yeah.

01:48:38   - And I know that there's- - Right.

01:48:40   - It's- - Todd had some problems

01:48:42   with PasteBot for a while.

01:48:43   I've had some stuff and I talked to Paul about that, yeah.

01:48:46   - Yeah, it's funny because it's like

01:48:49   there's dozens of good, seriously,

01:48:51   there's like over a dozen good Twitter clients for iOS.

01:48:54   So it is a crowded space

01:48:56   and there's probably even more clipboard managers

01:49:01   for the Mac, 'cause there's also a bunch of apps

01:49:04   that primarily do other things that have clipboard managers.

01:49:08   Keyboard Maestro is mostly a macro utility

01:49:11   for automating your Mac in ways,

01:49:13   but it also has a very good clipboard manager.

01:49:16   And Launch Bar and Alfred,

01:49:19   which are really command space launchers primarily,

01:49:22   also have clipboard managers, but I like Payspot.

01:49:25   But they're, I don't think there's,

01:49:29   I know nothing about their internal revenue pie chart, but you don't have to be a genius to think

01:49:35   that Tweetbot for iOS is the Pac-Man of their pie chart in a way that Twitterific, I guess,

01:49:42   I don't think is for icon factory?

01:49:45   Tim Cynova No, no, we've been, you know, again, when we,

01:49:48   you know, saw what was happening, it's like, okay, we need to come up with other products,

01:49:52   you know, we have Linnea for drawing on your iPad, which is, get to, people love it.

01:49:58   is another one that people love. It's just, you know, a really simple way to keep notes on

01:50:04   your iPhone and iPad and watch.

01:50:07   Right. Tod is for sale, right? I know.

01:50:10   Yeah, it's free on the Mac and it's paid on iOS and paid on the watch too.

01:50:18   So, but yeah, and you know, we've got Wallaroo now. It's just a new product that does the

01:50:24   the wallpapers and we've been actively trying to diversify so you know but I'm

01:50:30   not gonna lie it's it's gonna hurt to lose some Twitter if ik revenue I mean

01:50:35   we had our own ad server and you did not mention forensic the oh yeah yeah wood

01:50:40   forensics on the Apple arcade right so forensic and again to just go down

01:50:45   memory lane was a one of the first games on the iPhone one of the first games on

01:50:50   the iPhone and was super one of the things that was so super key again I

01:50:54   don't want to, this could be a whole show about forensic, but it was so super cool. One of the

01:50:58   things that was so cool about forensic was that unlike so many of the other first round of games,

01:51:04   it was, it only makes sense on a touch screen device on your hand.

01:51:08   It was like forensic and Trism were like, they were meant for this device.

01:51:13   Right. And they're very, very tactile.

01:51:16   Right. And it's a very fun story that one of these original iPhone games that had a nice run and was

01:51:21   a big hit at the time, it then fell by the wayside. It came back and now it's on Apple Arcade. So,

01:51:27   anybody out there who's got an Apple One subscription or just an Arcade subscription,

01:51:32   you go check out Forensic on your phone. It's back. It's better than ever without question.

01:51:37   But yeah. But...

01:51:37   **Matt Stauffer** We love working on that product. And

01:51:39   the thing is we love everything we do, right? And that's kind of the... That's the problem.

01:51:49   Twitterific right now. We're losing something we love.

01:51:52   Right, so what I'm hearing in so many words is that the fantastadon idea,

01:51:57   don't never say never, maybe, but not at the moment that you guys have your plates are full.

01:52:02   Well, the thing that right now is that I think it's a time to kind of take a step back, right?

01:52:10   I think, you know, having these clients on Mastodon is a good thing, right? I'm not against,

01:52:16   Mastodon client, but it's the, you know, how can this new web standard called ActivityPub,

01:52:25   which is basically the underlying infrastructure for the Fediverse, you know, Mastodon instances

01:52:32   talking to each other, you know, Tumblr's talking about adding it, Microblog does it.

01:52:37   that there's a place for photos called PixelFed

01:52:42   that uses it.

01:52:43   I'm kind of thinking that maybe the direction

01:52:49   that we need to head is how do you pull

01:52:52   all these different various sources of information together

01:52:56   and kind of make them work together as a whole

01:53:02   and be interactive?

01:53:04   But basically, you know, it's like imagine your RSS reader being interactive, right?

01:53:10   You know, you read something in, you know, NetNews Wire and, you know, you can post immediately

01:53:15   and you start a conversation.

01:53:18   And this is, I mean, I hate talking about this actually because it's kind of not well

01:53:24   formed in my mind yet.

01:53:26   You know, it's not even at that point where I start to experiment.

01:53:31   got a delicate little idea in your head.

01:53:34   And you don't want to, if you expose it to…

01:53:37   You don't want to fuck it up by letting people know.

01:53:41   I hear you.

01:53:42   I hear you.

01:53:43   But that to me is, it's exciting.

01:53:48   Like Twitter was, you know, the first time I posted, you know, that little XML snippet

01:53:53   to their API and saw something show up in my web browser, it was like, oh, this is cool.

01:54:00   Right?

01:54:01   And, you know, I'm gonna, I think I'm gonna start poking around at this stuff and, and

01:54:08   get it to the point where I can have an intelligent conversation with the designer.

01:54:13   That's also a really important part of what we do is, is we prototype to the point where

01:54:22   you can start to understand it as a normal person, right?

01:54:25   You know, if I start talking about activity pub and, you know, having these, you know,

01:54:28   sources and publishers and consumers and you know the designer rightfully so their eyes are just

01:54:35   going to glaze over and go what are you talking about right it's like if you're it's like if

01:54:39   you're just talking about an r or a feed reader trying to talk about the the xml differences

01:54:44   between rss and the atom feed format right or or how does that differ from you know the the jason

01:54:52   feed right and it's like worked on it's right right and all of a sudden the designer is just

01:54:57   just like, "What are you talking about?"

01:54:58   You're like, "Oh, it's gonna be a list of articles.

01:55:00   Oh, okay, I know how to style that."

01:55:01   - It's gonna look like a news reader.

01:55:03   - Right.

01:55:04   What are you going to, what happened?

01:55:05   I don't think this is going to happen.

01:55:06   I think the best, honestly, I think at this point,

01:55:09   the best we're gonna get is at least some sort of,

01:55:12   yes, we killed the third-party clients,

01:55:14   everybody should use the first party.

01:55:16   Just give us a goddamn statement.

01:55:17   And maybe by the time this episode airs,

01:55:20   that will have happened in between this moment

01:55:23   when you and I are talking.

01:55:24   - I'm guessing that's actually pretty likely.

01:55:25   But you know, you hear rumors and you know.

01:55:30   - What are you gonna do though if,

01:55:32   what if they just completely change their mind

01:55:34   and say nevermind and all of a sudden.

01:55:36   - Oh, that's a long discussion.

01:55:39   A long internal discussion.

01:55:40   It's like, you know.

01:55:41   - What happens if Twitter--

01:55:43   - Once burned, twice shy, you know.

01:55:44   Honestly, I don't know the answer to that question.

01:55:50   You know, again, we're gonna miss the source of revenue,

01:55:53   but is it really worth the grief and the,

01:55:58   it's an abusive relationship at this point, right?

01:56:01   Do I go back with the girlfriend who beat me every night?

01:56:06   - I'm in a group discussion, not even a group chat.

01:56:11   These aren't necessarily friends,

01:56:13   but it's a small private thing.

01:56:15   And one of the topics was about,

01:56:17   like a recurring thread is Twitter and Musk

01:56:22   and what's going on.

01:56:24   And somebody posted last week, it was before this,

01:56:27   so it was in the context of something else about this.

01:56:30   One of the stories is that, widely reported,

01:56:33   this isn't like a rumor,

01:56:35   but that Twitter has stopped paying their rent

01:56:37   in all over the world, like San Francisco

01:56:40   and other places. - Yeah.

01:56:42   - And somebody posted,

01:56:44   not somebody who's like an Elon Musk fan,

01:56:47   but just was like, ah, that's just good negotiating.

01:56:49   That's, you know, negotiating with landlords

01:56:51   just good business and it's, you know, real estate's a tough business. And I wrote back and I was like,

01:56:55   yeah, it is. But when you negotiate with your landlord before you sign a lease, that's what

01:57:01   the lease is. The lease is the agreement you come to. And so, you know, whether you're renting a

01:57:06   home or apartment or a 12-story office building, you, you, you know, you negotiate.

01:57:14   The lease is a legal document. You break that lease. You're breaking

01:57:17   breaking a legal document and you're gonna have contract problems.

01:57:20   Right, so yeah, and yes, a good business person does negotiate hard on stuff like that and does

01:57:27   get good terms. There's a story out this week that Goldman Sachs lost $1.2 billion last year

01:57:33   on their credit card business and their credit card business is effectively Apple Card. So,

01:57:37   somehow, I mean, now whether that's a long term, they're never gonna make money, well, then Apple,

01:57:42   you know, Goldman is not gonna stay in the business if, but maybe, maybe that was the plan

01:57:47   all along. No one seems to know whether they expected to lose money last year,

01:57:51   but it just shows how well Apple, you know, Apple's not the one taking the 1.2 billion dollar loss.

01:57:56   It's Goldman. That is that, you know, and Apple is...

01:57:59   Apple is a tough negotiator. They are very good at it.

01:58:03   Tim Cook is a famously good negotiator. Eddy Cue is the one... what I've heard this story multiple

01:58:09   times is that it was like Eddy Cue's the one person at Apple that Steve Jobs thought was a

01:58:14   a better negotiator than himself or at least always took, Eddie Q was the guy who Jobs always

01:58:20   took with him. His side man, yeah, his backup. But you know what they are? They're honest

01:58:26   negotiators, you know, if they say we're going to pay 30% and we'll pay 70%, we'll give you 70%

01:58:34   and we'll keep 30% and, you know, that NFL deal that they backed out of, right? Right.

01:58:39   It's just like, it doesn't make sense for us.

01:58:42   It's been nice chatting.

01:58:44   - Right, but they're not going to make an agreement

01:58:46   on terms X, Y, and Z,

01:58:48   and then once the agreement is made, say,

01:58:50   "Oh, remember A, B, and C that you said we couldn't do,

01:58:52   or we're gonna do them anyway."

01:58:53   - Just kidding.

01:58:54   - Right.

01:58:56   And to me, this rent thing,

01:58:57   it's exactly the same mindset with this developer thing,

01:59:00   where, yes, they had the right to pull the APIs.

01:59:04   That's their company.

01:59:05   But this is not the way to do it.

01:59:08   This breaks trust.

01:59:09   There's, you know, so if they did turn those certs back on,

01:59:13   I don't see any, I mean, I would guess you would allow

01:59:16   Twitterrific to keep going, but would you keep investing

01:59:19   development resources in Twitterrific knowing that they

01:59:22   might just do it again at any time?

01:59:24   - Yeah.

01:59:25   Trust and respect are like the easiest,

01:59:31   are the hardest things to earn

01:59:33   and the easiest things to lose.

01:59:34   - Why would you, let's say you and I co-owned

01:59:37   an office building in San Francisco.

01:59:39   And now, I think as we all know,

01:59:43   Twitter needs less space than they did before.

01:59:45   - Yeah, they're gonna convert it into a hotel.

01:59:48   - If Twitter came to us in our building and said,

01:59:51   "We would like to lease your smaller building

01:59:53   for the next five years,"

01:59:54   I would tell them to go pound sand.

01:59:56   I don't care, and if we had a price on it,

01:59:59   I would turn them down even if they were willing

02:00:01   to just pay the asking price per square foot

02:00:03   because they've proven themselves to be a company

02:00:06   that if they want to, will stop paying the rent.

02:00:08   You know what I mean?

02:00:09   - Yeah.

02:00:10   - When you're, you know, you're a person--

02:00:11   - What does the stock market work on?

02:00:14   There's a lot of trust in that whole market.

02:00:18   You know, you trust the company's, you know,

02:00:21   gonna do right by you as a shareholder.

02:00:23   - Unless I--

02:00:24   - And all of a sudden they don't?

02:00:26   - Unless I literally thought I can't find anybody else

02:00:29   to take this space, I would never lease the space to Twitter.

02:00:33   So I, you know--

02:00:34   - And it's that way around the world.

02:00:36   - Why would anybody trust Twitter as a platform vendor again?

02:00:41   And again, we all have these frustrations with Apple

02:00:45   and their position over the App Store.

02:00:48   - But they're consistent about it, right?

02:00:50   Apple set some rules long ago that they're...

02:00:55   And they, from those internal emails,

02:00:58   they struggled with what those rules were.

02:01:01   - They do what they say.

02:01:03   Exactly. They do what they say. We may not like a lot of the stuff they say, but I think it's

02:01:09   absolutely wrong that you can't mention your website in an app. That's just, that's just,

02:01:14   I don't get it. Or that you can't, and my pet bugaboo that you're not even allowed to explain

02:01:20   the rules of the app store, which is nuts. All right, let me take a break here and thank our

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02:02:43   nerd in the group, when people come to you like, "Hey, I need a new website. What should I do?"

02:02:47   Send them to Squarespace, give them the code, even if they don't listen to the talk show,

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02:03:20   An underlying theme of this show is nostalgia and oh my god, getting started on the web

02:03:28   these days is so much easier, you know, collecting money. I mean, the early days,

02:03:33   I mean, we were, you know, FTPing files, you know, hooking up payment gateways with CGI.

02:03:39   It was a total...

02:03:39   It was a mess. It was a hard thing to do and it was a mess.

02:03:46   I remember I bought my first copy of BB Edit. I think I called and gave my credit card over the phone

02:03:53   I know I have the receipt. I have my BB Edit 2.5 user manual on my did you download it off a usenet?

02:04:00   Almost certainly. Yeah or from the info Mac archive, right?

02:04:04   Yeah

02:04:04   which I sometimes peruse by email and sometimes peruse by info Mac was a it was both an email newsletter and a posting to

02:04:14   CompSis MAC, right? A CompSis MAC something on Usenet. And it would just be like a daily list of

02:04:20   what new apps were out and updates, you know. That was one of my first releases.

02:04:27   It was sort of like a blog before blogs because it would just be like, you know, like here's 10

02:04:33   utilities that have a new version today. But I remember also sending checks to people, you know,

02:04:39   for shareware because I liked paying for it. Even on the low budget of a college student or a

02:04:46   recent college grad, I wanted independent developers to thrive. I remember mailing

02:04:51   checks to people. But yeah, I used to have a stack of postcards that I would mail,

02:04:55   you know, the Laguna Beach postcards that I would mail back to people with their serial number on it.

02:05:00   And it was kind of a nice thing, right? It's like I was sharing a little bit of where I live.

02:05:06   and my home to your home.

02:05:11   - You have been very kind with your time today,

02:05:13   but I have one more topic I wanna talk to you

02:05:15   and I know you care about it and I know you're busy,

02:05:17   but we'll try to keep it brief.

02:05:18   But there was a story last week

02:05:20   from our Scoopster extraordinaire, Mark Gurman,

02:05:23   that Apple is working, has engineers working

02:05:27   on touchscreen MacBooks.

02:05:28   Now, he did not say Apple is coming out

02:05:31   with touchscreen MacBooks.

02:05:32   He said Apple has engineers working on touchscreen MacBooks.

02:05:36   It's a real project.

02:05:38   And if it comes to fruition,

02:05:40   they wouldn't arrive until 2025,

02:05:43   which is, you know, and I famously love to remind people

02:05:48   that Apple's hardware pipelines, even for Macs,

02:05:50   which aren't quite as rigid as iPhone

02:05:53   because of the insane numbers of iPhones they make,

02:05:55   but they are set in advance.

02:05:57   And so- - Oh, way in advance, yeah.

02:05:59   - You know, it's not, it is not outlandish, you know,

02:06:03   that the earliest we might see,

02:06:06   if everything Germin says about these touchscreen MacBooks comes true, that we won't see them for

02:06:11   another two years, probably more than two years, because what are the odds that if it does happen

02:06:16   in 2025, it's going to happen in the first two weeks of January, slim to none.

02:06:20   Tim Cynova Right, no. And it's probably going to

02:06:24   affect a manufacturing line a lot, right? You know, the way that LCD screens have been produced for

02:06:32   for the last, say, 15 years,

02:06:35   it's gonna fundamentally change, right?

02:06:37   It's gonna have some new sensor in it,

02:06:40   new bezel, new, new, new.

02:06:42   - Right, so he says 2025 at the earliest,

02:06:44   and the other practical concern, which says to me,

02:06:48   second half of 2025 at the earliest

02:06:52   would be that there's gotta be some sort

02:06:54   of WWDC message about it,

02:06:57   for developers to have some kind of APIs

02:07:00   to access the touch in a Mac app

02:07:02   where there obviously is none.

02:07:04   - Yeah, and probably some sort of a simulator

02:07:07   that runs on the Mac.

02:07:09   And maybe that simulator uses

02:07:11   the new virtualization framework.

02:07:15   Yeah, there would be a lot of pieces

02:07:17   that had to fall into place for this to be.

02:07:20   - Yeah, I actually, I guess what you,

02:07:22   maybe what you would do is instead of a simulator

02:07:25   is use the, what's that sidecar with your iPad and move?

02:07:29   Yeah, yeah, that would be another approach to it to actually get physical. But, you know,

02:07:33   everybody's using an iOS simulator, which, you know, simulates touch.

02:07:36   But you could do something.

02:07:38   To do something similar to that. The only thing to take away from that is that there

02:07:44   would be a lot of work from both Apple's developers' tools team and developers themselves,

02:07:50   third-party developers. It's not just like, oh, let's just put this thing on the Mac and away we

02:07:56   go. You know this.

02:07:59   Anybody, do you use screens at all? The VPN app for IO?

02:08:03   From Evovia.

02:08:05   Yeah, yeah. Luke VanDell has been making this product forever. And I've got a little Mac Mini

02:08:12   server that I run that does our backups from the web server and all sorts of stuff. And yeah,

02:08:18   I control, I need to control that from my iPad every once in a while.

02:08:21   E-dovia.

02:08:22   Right? So I spring up.

02:08:23   I'm sorry.

02:08:23   E-dovia. Yeah, edovia.com.

02:08:26   Yeah.

02:08:27   and fantastic little tool and it shows you within a couple of minutes the problems with

02:08:34   a touch UI on the Mac. I'm not going to enumerate them all but it's pretty obvious once you actually

02:08:43   start doing it. But basically anybody who's out there listening and you're super enthusiastic

02:08:49   about this and every time I start complaining about the things I'm dreading about it if it

02:08:54   if it ever comes to fruition.

02:08:55   And you roll your eyes and say,

02:08:56   "No, no, no, you just touch, it's not that big a deal.

02:08:58   "You don't have to resize and space everything.

02:09:01   "Just keep the Mac interface the same

02:09:03   "and just let me touch the things to scroll them."

02:09:07   Go fire up screens and log into your Mac on an iPad

02:09:12   and start poking around with your finger

02:09:16   at a Mac on an iPad and you'll see,

02:09:19   oh yeah, those red, yellow, green buttons

02:09:22   in the top left of the window,

02:09:23   They really are very small and very close to each other.

02:09:26   - Navigating menus is kind of a pain in the ass.

02:09:28   - Right, and I know that people,

02:09:33   when is Apple finally gonna put touch screens

02:09:35   on a MacBook has been, it's over 10 years, right?

02:09:38   Ever since touch blew into the world.

02:09:40   - It was around before the iPad, right?

02:09:42   You know, we had the iPhone, oh, great touch screen.

02:09:46   Oh, we should put this on our Macs.

02:09:48   Nobody was thinking of the iPad.

02:09:50   They were thinking about, put touch on a Mac, no problem.

02:09:53   Ever since the iPhone shipped, there's never been a day where people aren't hunting for signs that maybe Apple is going to add touchscreen support to the Mac.

02:10:03   And so like with last year's update to macOS, or maybe it was the year before, but when they sort of made it look even more like iOS, the iOS visual UI style,

02:10:17   style and things like the wi-fi menu now had like a touch style toggle you know a little blue white

02:10:26   switch for turning wi-fi on and off very famously and controversially this year with mac os 13

02:10:33   ventura with the complete redesign going from the old system preferences to the new settings app

02:10:40   This visual style of the settings app is obviously iOS inspired and so lots and lots of people looked at that said see

02:10:48   They are definitely going to move to touch

02:10:50   But the settings app is actually a really interesting

02:10:53   Example i've been as we record I am as yet unpublished. I have a big long

02:11:00   Well, not too long but a daring fireball piece about this. We're what i'm talking about. Why why this

02:11:05   Just adding touch is not that easy easier said than done to the mac

02:11:10   And the Settings app is a perfect example because it just look at the sidebar, just the list. And

02:11:16   again, not complaining about the Settings app, just take it for what it is, but compare it side

02:11:20   by side with an iPad, right? A Mac and an iPad right next to each other, open Settings, and look

02:11:27   at the list of panels on the left. On the iPad, they're way further apart. The row height is higher

02:11:34   significantly because they're optimized for touch. And on the Mac, they're not because they're

02:11:39   They're optimized for a pointing device.

02:11:41   And it's a more information dense interface.

02:11:46   It always has been.

02:11:47   - And they could lower that density

02:11:49   and do something like they've done on the iPad OS

02:11:53   with the touch pad, the focus kind of driven UI

02:11:57   where you move the little dot around on the screen

02:12:01   and it does different things

02:12:02   depending on what it's hovering on.

02:12:04   They could do something like that,

02:12:05   but then think, okay, that's gonna make Mac OS

02:12:09   kind of modal at a system level.

02:12:12   It's like, oh, am I using touch mode

02:12:15   or am I using mouse mode?

02:12:16   - Yeah, I can't see them making--

02:12:18   - That's a weird thing, right?

02:12:19   - Well, and when you're on a MacBook,

02:12:22   you're always in both modes, right?

02:12:24   'Cause a MacBook, unlike an iPad,

02:12:26   an iPad at least does have the two states

02:12:28   of being connected to the Magic Keyboard

02:12:30   or you pull it apart from the MacBook.

02:12:32   - Yeah, it knows, it knows, yeah.

02:12:34   know, Gurman's report, and I think this makes all the sense in the world, is that Apple,

02:12:38   they're just talking about laptops, you know, with a permanent hinge, not a detachable,

02:12:43   where you can snap it apart from the keyboard. And I, you know, that would be, I just don't,

02:12:49   that's a whole… Well, it would, yeah. And then you think, okay, well, they've got these new,

02:12:53   beautiful, you know, studio displays. What's going to happen there? Yeah, it's…

02:13:00   And among the classic thing is I tell people who say, "Oh, you know, touch on my iMac display or my

02:13:07   studio display will be awesome." I say, "Hold your finger out in front of you, you know, at a, you

02:13:13   know, 90-degree angle to your body and hold it there for five minutes. And you'll know within a

02:13:21   couple of minutes why that's a bad idea. Your arm starts to hurt." So if you're doing that all day

02:13:27   long, you're poking at the screen all day long, and it's not very ergonomic.

02:13:31   Right, but the devil's advocate argument, and I'm amenable to it, and I don't

02:13:35   think Gurman's news, let's just say it's true and they are, I mean I'm not

02:13:40   surprised that they're working on it just as an idea, and let's just say they

02:13:44   do ship it. I think it may not be disastrous or and maybe doesn't, won't

02:13:49   actually require a significant rethinking of the Mac UI if the

02:13:54   intention is we don't expect anybody to do more than like just poke an OK button once in a while

02:14:01   or just if you just scroll. I mean this all makes me sick because I you know you know me I don't

02:14:08   want you know as far as I know I have a studio display I mean this is because I don't have little

02:14:12   kids anymore. Well actually my son never touched my screen so you trained him well but I have a

02:14:17   I have a one-year-old 14-inch MacBook Pro and a like eight-month-old studio display with the

02:14:26   nano texture and as far as I know neither display has ever been touched by a human finger.

02:14:33   - Yeah.

02:14:33   - Yeah.

02:14:34   - So because nobody else, nobody, I don't have colleagues, I guess colleagues are the big problem

02:14:40   coming up to your laptop and just touching the screen to say, "Here, make this bigger."

02:14:44   - Yeah.

02:14:45   I know people who will break your finger if you try that.

02:14:49   I'm not, it's not a germ thing.

02:14:51   It's a, you can't, you know, like...

02:14:53   I get upset when the little oils on the keyboard sometimes transfer to the screen.

02:14:58   That's like, oh my God, I got to clean my keyboard, clean my screen.

02:15:01   Clean my screen, clean my keyboard.

02:15:02   I'm very, I'm not a very fussy person, but I keep my screens very clean.

02:15:06   Well, these are the ones that have great vision, right?

02:15:08   It really, I think there's an advantage to having a clean screen, right?

02:15:13   It's like a figure to see.

02:15:14   Right.

02:15:15   The devil's argument take though about that gorilla arm argument and that is what apple

02:15:19   I think it goes all the way back to steve jobs because people like I said people have been

02:15:23   as soon as they got to know and love the iphone they're like when is this going to come to the mac

02:15:28   and the steve jobs argument which is more or less apple's line like you know they obviously don't

02:15:34   talk about things they aren't doing often but like on stage with me at the talk show or anywhere else

02:15:40   in public where they might get asked is this is ergonomically not great. And you know, and John

02:15:46   Turnus, I think during a keynote or somewhere in some interview, has talked about the information

02:15:52   density of the Mac and that they're very happy with the, you know, and they keep reiterating it

02:15:58   because the other thing people say is, you know, what about just merge, you know, this is the other,

02:16:02   it goes hand in hand with the idea of touchscreen Macs is quote unquote merging the iPad and Mac OS's.

02:16:07   why have two operating systems for these same size devices just merge them into one? And it's

02:16:13   honest, you know, as a lay person that sounds like common sense, it's like why have why did GM have

02:16:19   both the Buick and Oldsmobile brands, right? That makes no sense. They should just get rid of one

02:16:24   and just have one. Why, you know, but when you get to the nitty gritty details, it makes no sense

02:16:29   whatsoever. Because if you got rid of iPadOS and just ran macOS on the iPads, everybody who loves

02:16:35   the simplicity of iPadOS is going to be disappointed. And if you did it the other way

02:16:39   and got rid of macOS and made all these machines run iPadOS, iPadOS is lacking so much complexity

02:16:48   that the Mac has to be able to do that they would just have to re-implement the Mac and iPadOS anyway

02:16:53   and it would clearly be more work than just keeping them both separate, right? So that's not going to

02:16:57   happen. But I do think that there's an argument to be made that the real world evidence, because the

02:17:02   PC world has had touchscreen laptops for over 10 years is that it's just nice to have this is the

02:17:08   Ben Thompson take Ben Thompson yeah like yeah I wish you could just have it yeah he's he he's the

02:17:13   one that I always hear from when I say no no no and the idea it's kind of nice and I think in

02:17:19   if you don't mind it's like scrolling a web page sure I can see touch working with that you know

02:17:24   right pinching on a photo in photos the photos app on the mac sure I could see that right can

02:17:30   I see using BB Edit with my finger? Or Xcode, right? Like look at Xcode. Oh God, Xcode.

02:17:36   So just go. Oh, I meant, instead of stepping over, I stopped the debugger.

02:17:42   So three things I can think of off the top of my head. Look, or four. BB Edit would be one,

02:17:47   Xcode would be another, Final Cut, go just take a look at a screenshot of Final Cut or Logic

02:17:55   or anything like that in a pro media tool sense and think about touching those things.

02:18:00   or in Safari open up the developer panel, you know, right with the web inspector. Yeah,

02:18:05   the web inspector. Yeah. And start thinking, just pretend like you could try to touch those things.

02:18:10   Or my, one of my, perhaps my canonical example, look at those red, yellow, green buttons up in

02:18:15   the top corner and think about it. Think about trying to hit that yellow one to minimize a window

02:18:20   without hitting the red one, which will, does something very different.

02:18:26   There was a reason why the touch points on the original iPhone were 44 pixels tall, right?

02:18:35   And that was one of the things, you know, it was a very inventive time, you know,

02:18:41   you kind of exploring what touch meant. One of the first things I did was I put my finger,

02:18:46   which I have a fairly large hand as you know, and I held it up against the ruler. And guess what?

02:18:53   That 44 pixels was just about the, the, the, you know, a medium pressure of my.

02:18:58   Index against the, the ruler.

02:19:01   And it was like, okay, but some, somebody had thought about this.

02:19:05   I know the people that, that worked on that original iPhone and you know, there's,

02:19:10   they were smart group of people and they obviously made it 44, you know, cause

02:19:15   it's a weird number, right?

02:19:16   Why 44?

02:19:17   Wow.

02:19:18   Right.

02:19:18   And nothing on the Mac is 44.

02:19:21   No.

02:19:22   the controls, they're like 20 or 22 or something like that. So they're like half the size.

02:19:29   Right. And the other interesting thing is, you know, and one of the things people took,

02:19:33   I think mistakenly, is a sign that touchscreen support was coming to the Macs is Catalyst,

02:19:37   and that you can run iPad apps on macOS now, and obviously look like they're more meant for

02:19:44   touch because on the iPad they are. But one of the things about Catalyst is that by default,

02:19:49   everything has shrunk. I think the scale is 77%, which is a very strange number, but just call it

02:19:55   75%. And if you've never noticed it, just take an app like a third party app, like Overcast is one

02:20:02   that I know runs on the Mac. Just open it on your Mac, open it on your iPad and look, not screenshots

02:20:10   in comparing, but just look at the physical devices. You'll see that it is much smaller on

02:20:15   on the Mac, 'cause the Mac is an information dense interface.

02:20:18   So I can see at a very high level,

02:20:20   two ways that Apple could go about this.

02:20:23   And the first way would be,

02:20:26   I will call it the Ben Thompson route,

02:20:28   which is just add touch screens to the Mac,

02:20:31   don't really rejigger anything.

02:20:32   And if a whole bunch of the interface

02:20:35   is not really touch friendly,

02:20:37   then just use the mouse pointer for all that stuff.

02:20:39   Like if you wanna hit that yellow button,

02:20:41   you know to use the track pad.

02:20:42   But if there's a big okay button

02:20:44   and you just want to tap it with your finger,

02:20:46   and you just want to flick to scroll safari with your finger

02:20:49   and you don't care about the smudges on your screen,

02:20:52   go ahead and touch, you know, so what?

02:20:55   And you'll just learn what's good and what's bad.

02:20:58   And I think the argument for this is not,

02:21:02   it's clearly, Gurman's always wants to,

02:21:06   part of the thing's not frustrating,

02:21:07   but it's like, I can't read his stuff

02:21:10   without being mildly annoyed by it,

02:21:12   is that there's always a narrative attached.

02:21:15   But the narrative is always built around the facts.

02:21:19   So if the fact is he heard they're working on a touchscreen,

02:21:23   then he builds a narrative that is this could help Apple

02:21:27   because its competitors all sell touchscreen laptops.

02:21:30   But the truth is Apple clearly won that argument.

02:21:34   10, 11 years ago, Samsung had an enormous,

02:21:38   years-long marketing campaign.

02:21:40   Microsoft, who has a very, very well-regarded hardware business now with the Surface line,

02:21:45   spent years where the primary ads I saw for Surface laptops were all targeting the MacBook Air,

02:21:53   either by name or obviously implicitly. And the message was ours look the same, you know,

02:21:59   they look like the same sort of aluminum little thing, and there's felt and small and lightweight,

02:22:04   and ours have touch and theirs don't.

02:22:07   And you know, that's worth trying as a marketing campaign.

02:22:10   But the Mac is more popular now than it ever has been.

02:22:14   It is, they're record-breaking quarters.

02:22:17   And the Macs that most people buy are MacBooks by far.

02:22:20   And the fact, so you know, you can make the argument

02:22:23   that if they had touch screens, they'd sell even more.

02:22:25   Maybe that's true, but it's obviously not hurt them at all

02:22:29   that they don't have them.

02:22:30   I think though there is an argument

02:22:33   that the world in the last 10 years has grown and changed and that fundamentally people,

02:22:40   especially younger people, I hear this from people with young kids all the time now, kids

02:22:44   can't get it through their heads that Macs don't have touch screens. They just touch them and it

02:22:48   feels broken. They've grown up with it. Yeah. It's like that's their first. Right. That was the

02:22:54   problem with Apple TV too, right? Kids were walking up to the Apple TV and it's like, "Oh,

02:22:59   Well, why isn't this working?

02:23:00   So, you know, so that's the Ben Thompson.

02:23:03   Just add touch and if some of the things are too small, then just learn not to use touch for those

02:23:07   things and it's a totally secondary, just nice, nice to have thing. The other route that they

02:23:14   could go would be to rejigger the Mac interface to make, you know, to really iPod size it,

02:23:21   everything and all of Apple's own first party apps. And just think about this. Here's another

02:23:28   example, Safari. I'm a diehard Safari user. It's my favorite browser. I've been a Safari user for

02:23:32   years. How do you close a tab on Safari? You move the mouse over the tab to the right or left side,

02:23:40   of course, left side for the close button on Mac. The right side that Chrome uses is

02:23:44   idiomatic wrong, in my opinion, even though I know lots of people use Chrome. But you hover

02:23:50   over that thing, and then the X appears, and you tap the X button to close the tab.

02:23:54   Well, how do you do that with touch, right? If you look at the iPad, it's very different. They

02:23:59   have to keep the X button visible at all times because…

02:24:02   And again, it goes back to that information.

02:24:08   And they only let you, on iPad, they only let you close the frontmost tab because that's the

02:24:14   only one that changes the favicon to an X. So you can't close a background tab because of this

02:24:20   problem. So if Apple did that, I would be heartbroken if they changed the entire Mac

02:24:25   interface to be iPod or touch-sized and touch-friendly. And I think this is…

02:24:30   Well, the problem is both approaches don't seem like something that Apple would do, right?

02:24:35   That first approach, it's like this is coming from the company that spent all that time and

02:24:40   engineering resources to come up with that awesome, you know, touch pointer on the iPadOS, right?

02:24:47   They could have just put an arrow there and people would have gone, "Oh, cool. I can now point at

02:24:52   stuff with my arrow on my iPad." But they made it Apple-esque. I don't see an Apple-esque solution

02:25:00   for either one of those scenarios. And I know there are exceptions because no company is

02:25:05   perfect, including Apple, certainly. But the Apple ethos is that everything should be nice.

02:25:12   everything. The packaging, the tape, the little green pull tab that you pull apart.

02:25:17   No rough edges, no rough edges.

02:25:19   No rough edges. The packaging should be nice. The plastic that's wrapped around the device

02:25:25   inside the packaging should be nice. Everything in the interface should be nice. And so if you

02:25:29   have touch, everything should be touch friendly. And when they added mouse pointer support to

02:25:35   iPadOS, they didn't just put a Mac style arrow cursor on screen that moves around.

02:25:41   They made it nice and they made it very iPad. It's incredibly inventive and so natural and

02:25:48   I like I seamlessly move back and forth between an iPad and a Mac and I just know where it is,

02:25:53   but with that, what do you call it? Focus, you know?

02:25:55   >> Yeah, the focus interaction is a typical, yeah.

02:25:57   >> Focus interaction and that you have this round eraser-sized thing instead of an arrow cursor and

02:26:04   it's kind of instead of being precise with a point, it is kind of sloppy like a small fingertip.

02:26:10   Well, you know, look at Stage Manager, right?

02:26:13   That's Apple's current attempt to kind of span the, you know, the window management on a Mac with window management on the iPad.

02:26:22   And it's got a ton of rough edges, right?

02:26:27   I don't think the people who want it are happy with it.

02:26:32   The people who are making it probably aren't happy with it.

02:26:35   It's a hard problem, right?

02:26:37   Right? It's not, it's not something you can just wave the magic wand and go, "Oh, here you go."

02:26:42   Right? You've got Stage Manager and it works awesome across all platforms.

02:26:46   And Stage Manager doesn't work awesome across all platforms.

02:26:51   I think back to the even probably a longer argument than the "should Macs have touchscreens" argument

02:26:58   is the "how many buttons should be on a mouse" argument.

02:27:02   And Apple stuck with a one-button mouse

02:27:06   well past the point where everybody was like,

02:27:08   they obviously should have a two-button mouse.

02:27:11   And even today, really shipped with one button,

02:27:14   but found a clever solution where they can enable

02:27:17   the things that you used secondary buttons for

02:27:22   in a way without adding the complexity of another button.

02:27:25   And the argument against the two-button mouse,

02:27:29   the argument on the one side is always,

02:27:31   it's sort of the Microsoft mindset, in my opinion,

02:27:35   and it's more the typical nerd mindset

02:27:39   as opposed to a designer's mindset,

02:27:41   which is that more is always better.

02:27:43   - Yeah, absolutely. - More features.

02:27:45   An app with more features is better than--

02:27:49   - More settings, need more settings.

02:27:50   - More settings, more features.

02:27:53   Famously, it's the way most software was advertised

02:27:56   in the early decades of the PC industry,

02:27:57   with full-page ads, with here's our app,

02:28:01   and here's a list of features,

02:28:02   and there's a pretty green checkbox,

02:28:04   and oh, wouldn't you believe it?

02:28:06   Every single thing has a green checkbox for our app,

02:28:09   and our competitors app has, oh, the first two, sure,

02:28:13   green, oh, red X, red X, red X.

02:28:16   - Only one button on this Mac.

02:28:18   - Yeah. - You better buy a Windows 95.

02:28:20   - Right, and it is, and some, that does appeal to people.

02:28:23   I'm not saying that that's wrong.

02:28:25   Obviously, there are some people who truly believe that,

02:28:28   that more is better,

02:28:29   And so having more buttons on a mouse is better

02:28:32   than having fewer. - Having more options

02:28:33   on a screen is better.

02:28:34   I mean, that's Ben's thing, right?

02:28:36   He wants more options.

02:28:37   - And if you only want to use the left most main button,

02:28:41   then just click that one button on your mouse all the time

02:28:43   and ignore these other buttons.

02:28:45   You can do that.

02:28:46   And it is, that is true.

02:28:48   - I just retired a mouse and I looked at it

02:28:51   as I was putting it in the trash.

02:28:53   And it's like, that left button was just like,

02:28:55   it was just shiny, you know?

02:28:57   - Yeah, yeah, yeah.

02:28:58   - Ed covered in finger grease,

02:29:00   and the right one, a little bit,

02:29:02   but it was kind of as new.

02:29:05   - Right, it's like when you have an old keyboard like I do,

02:29:08   you can look, you know, you can definitely see.

02:29:11   - Where do you hit the space bar?

02:29:12   - Right, where do you hit the space bar?

02:29:13   Erosion, it's a real thing.

02:29:15   So, you know, I don't know.

02:29:16   I think it's, but I do think that this--

02:29:19   - I absolutely agree that there's a,

02:29:22   we're gonna hear about it at WWDC.

02:29:25   There's probably gonna be a lot of tooling involved.

02:29:28   There's probably a lot, unless it's like Ben's just,

02:29:31   you know, hey, let it roll.

02:29:33   There's some rough edges, but you can deal with it.

02:29:36   - In the way that I had a bad feeling

02:29:38   about Twitter and third-party clients

02:29:41   just for weeks at this point,

02:29:43   and that it was a growing sense of dread

02:29:45   and that it was not surprised on Friday,

02:29:47   on the opposite side, I have a good feeling

02:29:49   about if it comes true that touch screens

02:29:52   come to MacBooks two or three years from now.

02:29:55   I have a good feeling that it'll be done in a way

02:29:58   where at every step of the way,

02:30:00   it's done by people at Apple who feel just like we do

02:30:04   about information density of macOS being a strong point

02:30:09   that cannot be sacrificed.

02:30:11   And that they'll, you know,

02:30:12   and maybe that's also one of the reasons this is years ahead

02:30:15   is that there's work to be done to do it the way they want.

02:30:18   And I'm, you know, I'm not thinking-

02:30:20   - Yeah, and it's gonna respect me

02:30:23   as a user of that platform, right?

02:30:26   It's like, I don't have to use Stage Manager.

02:30:29   I have nothing to do with it, you know?

02:30:32   But some people may want it, right?

02:30:35   And I'm more power to 'em.

02:30:36   - I certainly never would have anticipated,

02:30:40   15 years ago, the way that Apple has magic track pads

02:30:45   and magic mice now that have one button,

02:30:49   or, you know, literally with the track pads, no buttons,

02:30:52   right, no actual buttons, but that enables

02:30:55   not just right-clicking, which was the whole argument,

02:30:58   right, the whole argument with two-button mice

02:30:59   is regular click versus a right-click for a contextual menu

02:31:02   and you want two buttons for that.

02:31:04   The Magic Trackpad does dozens of things, right?

02:31:07   You can zoom and of course scroll, right, the two things.

02:31:11   I would have never, I don't have, you know,

02:31:15   this is why I write about stuff that,

02:31:18   my job is writing and blabbing on this podcast

02:31:21   about stuff, creative, inventive stuff that people make,

02:31:25   not thinking of it.

02:31:26   Like I never would have thought of it.

02:31:28   And there might be something like that, you know,

02:31:30   or multiple solutions like that.

02:31:31   - And you know, to tie it back into Twitter, right?

02:31:34   It's all kind of, you know,

02:31:36   you have that initial innovation called Attract Bad.

02:31:39   And then you start adding things like, you know,

02:31:42   the haptic feedback, you add the different gestures,

02:31:45   you add all of this stuff.

02:31:47   And it's a keyword there is additive, right?

02:31:50   You make that initial thing better and better and better.

02:31:54   And Apple is so good at that.

02:31:57   - Right.

02:31:58   - That article you wrote long ago, you know,

02:32:00   how Apple rolls, it's just, you know,

02:32:04   take that nut of the idea and increment and increment

02:32:08   and increment and, you know,

02:32:10   just make it better year over year.

02:32:12   - Yeah, I'm glad Apple doesn't spend much time

02:32:15   explaining over and over again officially, you know,

02:32:18   why iPadOS and macOS are not merging

02:32:21   and why they are separate platforms.

02:32:23   I'm glad because it gives me all the time in the world

02:32:27   to write about it at great length on my website

02:32:29   and talk about it on the show.

02:32:31   But I really do believe from everybody I know

02:32:34   there behind the scenes and what they have said,

02:32:38   what John Turnus and Jaws have said about it,

02:32:41   that they get, and Federighi, Federighi has spoken eloquently.

02:32:44   - They're very open about it.

02:32:46   And people like that, they don't want to hear it.

02:32:49   Federighi of all people is the one whose life would be tremendously simpler if he had one

02:32:57   less OS team to manage.

02:32:59   And he's the, you know, merge teams and do all sorts.

02:33:02   Yeah, you could do that.

02:33:03   That would be awesome for him.

02:33:08   In terms of decreasing the amount of work he has to deal with, he'd be the number one

02:33:13   beneficiary in the world, and yet he's one of the most eloquent and ardent

02:33:17   supporters of the separation of Mac OS and iPad OS.

02:33:21   Well, he's one of us. He's one of us. He's been using Next Step since it wasn't even Next Step, right?

02:33:27   Right, well, you know. So anyway, I'm optimistic that even if it comes true,

02:33:32   it'll be fine, and that people like me and you can just ignore it and never

02:33:35   touch my screen still, and it's not going to fundamentally

02:33:40   changed the macOS interface.

02:33:41   That's.

02:33:41   But, but there, but it, you know, it's going to be something that Apple can leverage, you

02:33:46   know, at a point of sale, right?

02:33:48   That you, you know, that you're gonna be able to walk into an Apple store and it's gonna

02:33:51   have some demo that says, you know, Hey, touch me here.

02:33:54   And it's going to do all sorts of cool things.

02:33:57   And you're going to be like, Oh, this is great.

02:33:58   This is better than my iPad or whatever.

02:34:01   Right.

02:34:01   You know, it's just, you know, that's going to happen.

02:34:04   It's going to, it's going to have a, it's going to have a cool name.

02:34:08   I don't know what that name is gonna be, but it's gonna be marketing people.

02:34:13   The marketing people and the manufacturing people probably start thinking about this

02:34:17   new thing at the same time.

02:34:19   And they're going to act as though they've invented it.

02:34:22   And it's gonna be dry.

02:34:23   All the people who've been thinking it's insane that they haven't had it for 10 years and

02:34:28   that they should have just made it a touchscreen, when they come up with their name for it and

02:34:32   act as though they've invented it.

02:34:34   Which I'm sure there will be aspects that they didn't invent, but everybody in the

02:34:38   and then Samsung six months later is gonna have their copy of it.

02:34:42   Craig, thank you so much. I know obviously it's been a rough week. You have my sympathies,

02:34:46   but also you have my profound thanks. And you know that I love Twitterrific,

02:34:51   and you know that I love... Yeah, you were an early supporter. I mean,

02:34:53   that first blog post mentioned you. There was a reason for that.

02:34:57   You kind of gave me the idea, right? You said, "Oh, I want this thing to be a dashboard widget."

02:35:05   I was like, oh, and then I was like, yeah, that's literally the, I, it's so long ago.

02:35:12   This again, maybe one of those I'm constructing the memories for what I want them to be, but

02:35:16   I'm going to say I read that tweet, got in the shower and then had the idea for Twitterific.

02:35:22   Let's say where, and where did you write about this? Is this an old Furbo post?

02:35:25   Yeah. Yeah. Well, when you, was it when you announced Twitter?

02:35:29   Yeah. Yeah. It's in that it was January. In fact, it was yesterday, 16 years ago.

02:35:35   So yeah, we it's, you know, we, at the end of the thing, it's like, oh, hey, you know,

02:35:41   this is a new thing, you know, go follow us. It's, you know, Chalkinberry, you know,

02:35:45   Gedianim, Talos, you know, all of us. And then, and you can even follow some famous people. And

02:35:51   the link for famous was to you and somebody else who I've forgotten to, but you know,

02:35:57   the Digirati. Yeah. Well, that's, that speaks to how small Twitter, that's really speaks to how

02:36:04   small Twitter was back then. We did that on our internal Slack the other day. Back when

02:36:09   Groover was famous. There was a time when my follower count was... I was never at top

02:36:17   of the list, but I was, you know, maybe it was some... maybe at one point I was in the

02:36:21   top 100 or something. Yeah. But now, you know. And you know, follower count doesn't matter.

02:36:27   You know, it's quality versus quantity. Oh, of course. Honestly, I wish I had a lot fewer

02:36:32   followers. It's one of the reasons I'm enjoying Mastodon. That is very true. One of the things I

02:36:37   will say about Mastodon is that the level of discourse is a lot, you know, I can't reply to

02:36:43   everything, but there are things that I want to reply to, right? And that wasn't always true on

02:36:49   Twitter recently. I've been given a lot of thought that I know, and I've talked about it last

02:36:53   word, the last episode of the show with Glenn Fleishman, and we've gone on too long. I'm not

02:36:57   going to go on too far, but I've been thinking a lot about where's Mastodon going. It's obviously

02:37:01   a good place. It feels very much like early Twitter, but it's also very, at least my circle

02:37:06   on Mastodon of people I've followed, is very nerd-centric. Yeah, there's not a lot of the

02:37:13   political information or people talking about COVID or whatever. It is important on Twitter

02:37:19   for the last, you know, 10 years. It is much nicer, but I'm optimistic that Mastodon is going

02:37:25   to stay that way because I do think Mastodon is what I was saying about with Twitter. Mastodon

02:37:29   isn't run. You can run a commercial instance of it if you choose, but it's open source project.

02:37:34   It is sort of a foundation or it's just trying to be good, but therefore it's not trying to be

02:37:41   profitable. And so therefore, none of their decisions are geared towards profit or engagement.

02:37:49   Tom: Right. No algorithms.

02:37:52   Right, and so famously there's this, you know, one of the things people that love, the third-party

02:37:57   Twitter clients love about them, including me, but is the non-algorithmic timeline. Just show me the

02:38:03   tweets from the people I follow in the order they were posted and that's all I want. And you can

02:38:07   kind of get that in Twitter on their following tab in the Twitter app, but the point is...

02:38:12   Right, but the point is that Twitter shifted towards the algorithmic timeline years and years

02:38:19   ago because when they wanted to grow and it's that whole thing where their idea was let's

02:38:27   let's we want to be a hundred billion dollar company we want to be a peer to facebook and so

02:38:33   we need facebook size appeal and for the not just slight majority but overwhelming majority

02:38:43   of regular people out there, the Twitter of old, the old original Twitter that was only a non-algorithmic

02:38:52   timeline and only the people you chose to follow with no suggestions at all, other than what you've

02:38:58   chosen to follow, was baffling to most people. That was not confusing that they didn't understand it,

02:39:05   but confusing why would I want to use this, right? They would, and so, and Twitter had these metrics.

02:39:10   they were very obvious to see that people would say, "All right, people keep saying I should get

02:39:14   on Twitter. Now I'm on Twitter. Here I'll follow, all right, Barack Obama and here's somebody else."

02:39:21   And, you know, they did—one thing they did algorithmically even back then was suggest

02:39:25   people to follow, right? That's how my wife got so many followers because she made that list of—

02:39:29   - Oh, really? I didn't know that. - Yeah, she's got like tens of thousands of followers,

02:39:34   you know, not because she's my wife. Like, people are like, "Oh, I know—"

02:39:37   - Well, you're famous, John. - I know. But no,

02:39:39   but people followed her because she and Anil Dash and I forget who else but back in those early days

02:39:45   somebody at Twitter liked her jokes and put her on that list of like 50 people you might want to

02:39:51   follow. I don't even know that that was algorithmic. I think they just had like a list of here's 50

02:39:55   people we at Twitter think are good, general, like you know friendly, funny, interesting, insightful,

02:40:01   maybe you like politics, maybe you like sports, maybe you like jokes. Here's some people to follow.

02:40:05   Just to prime the pump basically.

02:40:07   Right, but people exposed to that, they'd sign up, they'd follow some people, they'd

02:40:11   look at their timeline, they'd say, "I have no idea why I would ever want to come back

02:40:14   here," and then they wouldn't come back and they went away.

02:40:17   And then they shifted towards using algorithms to suggest content and to promote engagement

02:40:24   and test, "Oh, this hashtag is getting lots of engagement.

02:40:28   Let's show it to more people and, oh, everybody who has liked tweets from Al Franken seems

02:40:34   to want to engage with this hashtag about a new political issue. And so let's show it

02:40:42   to those people. And that did increase engagement. And but to me, the the downs obvious downside

02:40:50   to it is it drew people who are looking to fight or even people who weren't looking to

02:40:55   fight the engagement would make them emotional and angry. And now they're in a bad mood and

02:41:00   they are snippy and rude and curt on Twitter. The culture grew shifted.

02:41:06   Tim Cynova Yeah, at the risk of diving into talking about

02:41:12   social networks for hours and hours, to me the thing that's problematic with algorithms

02:41:19   is that they show you what you like, right? And the thing is that life is full of things

02:41:28   that you don't like and you need to be exposed to them. You know, one of the beautiful things

02:41:33   about Twitter, I've learned about like for things like the Tulsa massacre on Twitter,

02:41:38   right? I had never, I mean, I grew up, you know, in a school filled with other white

02:41:45   people, right? And I'd never heard of this and never been taught in my history. And I

02:41:49   was like, I read that and I was like, holy shit, right? And that's something that an

02:41:54   algorithm would not because, you know, I don't express any like of that. But it's the diversity

02:42:01   of things that algorithms don't help at all with. It just shows you what you already know and what

02:42:10   you know already like. And, you know, some people want that. That's one of the reasons why Facebook

02:42:15   is so wildly popular. And all sorts of things that I loved or used to love are like that. I think RSS

02:42:23   feeds are like that. I think there's an RSS feeds are having a nice resurgence, but they're never

02:42:28   going to be as popular as like Facebook, right? They're not because the most people don't want

02:42:32   to curate. Usenet, I loved it back in the day. It was never something that was going to explode in

02:42:38   popularity. There's a reason that all these modern social networks replaced it because they don't

02:42:43   engage people who aren't looking to do the curation and hunting themselves. Mastodon is like that. It

02:42:49   has that appeal. And so for some of us who liked the old Twitter better than new Twitter,

02:42:55   everybody has the same reaction. You go to Mastodon, you use one of these tools to find

02:43:01   the people you followed on Twitter on Mastodon, and you say, "This is better than Twitter," because

02:43:06   in most ways, because I'm seeing better content, having better engagements, everybody is friendlier,

02:43:12   this is just a total win. And most people who use Twitter or have ever used Twitter,

02:43:18   if they tried Mastodon, they would be like, not confused, I think per se, although some of the

02:43:24   Federation and which server you're on is confusing. And that's a barrier to entry to. I just think

02:43:29   though that they could get talked through the pick a server, find a name, find people you want to

02:43:34   follow and still look at it and say, this is not engaging. I don't get it. And that's fine. And

02:43:40   that is fine. But I think if I'm right, the good news is I think Mastodon can continue to grow and

02:43:47   thrive and will stay the place that is making us happy, those of us who are happy on Mastodon,

02:43:54   in perpetuity. I am genuinely optimistic about that.

02:43:58   And so—

02:43:58   Tim Cynova The thing that's gonna make me happy is being able to combine some of those things that

02:44:05   make me happy, right? There's certain things I absolutely love Michael Tsai's RSS feed, right?

02:44:14   It just tells me about stuff that's happening in the Mac industry and, you know, has good

02:44:21   links, has good commentary.

02:44:25   It's just, it's like, it's one of the things I follow, but you know, if I'm looking at

02:44:28   Sidon, I may or may not see his toots about these things.

02:44:33   So, you know, it's like, there's a lot of things that interest me.

02:44:39   How do I get all of those things that interest me kind of into one place?

02:44:43   Right.

02:44:44   the freedom to do that because there's no gatekeeper rules, right? Like one of the things I think...

02:44:48   John "Slick" Baum: The open web, man.

02:44:49   David "Slick" Baum" Kammerer One of the things I think people don't...

02:44:51   John "Slick" Baum" Kammerer That's a lesson learned now, right?

02:44:52   David "Slick" Baum" Kammerer One of the things I think people don't know

02:44:56   is that the Twitter API rules prevent a Twitter client from federating information from other

02:45:02   services. So, for example, why was Tapbot working on Ivory before this happened? Because they weren't

02:45:10   allowed to turn Tweetbot into a, oh, you can have Twitter accounts and Mastodon accounts side by

02:45:15   side in the same app. The Twitter APIs forbid you from doing that, right? And so there's all, and

02:45:21   there's, you know, all sorts of other things that are therefore impossible. So not just separate

02:45:25   accounts with separate timelines, you therefore obviously therefore can't merge them into one

02:45:29   timeline, which is what you're talking about, right? And doing clever original things with

02:45:34   presentation. Nope, not allowed. So anyway, by conclusion on this last digression of this

02:45:39   digression-filled episode, is that perversely, in some ways, SpaceKaren might have saved Twitter

02:45:47   and restored it to former greatness, but not by saving Twitter itself, but by wrecking Twitter

02:45:54   itself. And by wrecking it, creating a critical mass of people like me who were sort of skeptical

02:46:03   about Mastodon and were lazy and more willing to stay on Twitter than do the right thing and go to

02:46:10   the open thing. But by pushing so many people away and moving them to Mastodon by wrecking Twitter,

02:46:17   he's added critical mass to Mastodon that was lacking, right? Like three months ago. I've had

02:46:22   a Mastodon account since 2018 during this. Yeah, me too. Right, there was something that they did

02:46:28   it was like oh shit.

02:46:30   - Oh boy, we better.

02:46:30   - Mastodon, this has gotta be a backup.

02:46:33   - Yeah, let me go get my Gruber

02:46:35   and let you go get Chickenberry, right?

02:46:38   We all signed up, everybody signed up in my crowd

02:46:40   at 2018 during some API.

02:46:43   - Yeah, I don't even wanna go back

02:46:45   and think about what that was,

02:46:46   but it was certainly something.

02:46:48   - And I thank everybody who's been working

02:46:51   on Mastodon for years.

02:46:52   I thank them and Open, what's the thing,

02:46:55   the activity pub and these APIs. I thank all of those people who had the vision to say

02:47:01   to know five years ago that this Twitter thing was a bad idea and that we should forge ahead

02:47:08   with this. I thank them profusely and sincerely and it's so wonderful that Mastodon is here

02:47:14   thriving, working, and you know, obviously there's lots they can add and it can be better

02:47:19   and faster.

02:47:20   And they've got scaling issues like when we have to fail well.

02:47:23   But the fact that they had the foresight to say, "Yeah, okay, this is a walled garden."

02:47:31   Right.

02:47:32   But it's—yeah, let's celebrate the fact that here we are toasting to the third-party

02:47:37   Twitter clients that we previously loved and are now shut off, and Mastodon is already

02:47:42   here.

02:47:43   We're not stuck at the point of, "I guess we should make something open that's like

02:47:48   Twitter.

02:47:49   Let's get started and see what sticks."

02:47:51   No, it's already here because these people had the foresight to do it years ago, and I thank them profusely

02:47:56   But the truth is the truth is pre Space Caron acquisition of Twitter mastodon

02:48:01   Was not a ghost town and I know that there are people who've been actively using it for years

02:48:07   But for me it was I would check in every couple months or you know once a year or something and it was like it

02:48:14   Was like crickets chirping for me

02:48:15   It's thanks to SpaceKaren that Mastodon has this massive infusion of critical mass to make it active enough

02:48:23   Even though it still is a tiny size of Twitter. It's it's it went from too small to enough to be interesting and

02:48:30   I think is never going to grow too big to be problematic which is kind of a neat place to be. Yeah

02:48:37   Yeah, you know people talk about the barrier to entry for Mastodon and that's not necessarily a bad thing, right?

02:48:42   I mean, I don't see many bot accounts.

02:48:45   - It has a flip side.

02:48:47   - Yeah, so it's, you know, of course you want that diversity

02:48:52   and that's one of the things that worries me

02:48:56   a little bit now, but I think over time

02:48:59   it'll probably work itself out.

02:49:01   But yeah, there's, you know,

02:49:03   it's a lot of tech dudes at this point.

02:49:05   - Right, well, but that's also who we follow.

02:49:08   There are thriving communities and entire instances

02:49:11   you just saw like massathon.art and you know a couple of people icon factor big big over there

02:49:17   and and you know it's like it's a bunch of artists hanging out and doing their thing many many

02:49:23   there's no maybe a dozen popular servers that are focused on the lgbtq yeah yeah community yeah

02:49:30   even the url is you know yeah right in the url yeah yeah awesome yeah yeah so there's you know

02:49:37   It'll work itself. I think I have hope that it'll work itself out and that it won't become too much of a trash fire like

02:49:44   I am op. I am optimistic. Let me thank you for your time. I it's been a pleasure

02:49:49   I'm going to put links in the show notes to all of those fine icon factory products that

02:49:53   Haven't had their o-off credentials yet over the weekend. So there's all sorts of places. I will put some links into furbol

02:50:00   I thank you craig. It's good to talk to you. Cheer cheer up and thank you for everything

02:50:05   We've, this is not the first time we've had a setback,

02:50:09   and we'll figure out what we're gonna do

02:50:13   and start doing it, make something we love.

02:50:16   - Let me thank the sponsors for today's episode,

02:50:18   our good friends at Squarespace,

02:50:19   where you can sign up for a website,

02:50:21   and Nebula, where you can subscribe

02:50:23   and get amazing original content and video,

02:50:27   and our good friends at Trade Coffee,

02:50:29   where you can sign up for a subscription

02:50:30   to coffee and drink it.

02:50:32   Thanks, Craig.

02:50:33   - Yep, thank you, Jon.