Notes to Self
Along the Ray  

..musings on old-school-web livelihoods & creative pursuits

Welcome to the { basecamp of my notes } where I share notes to myself on what I've learned & am learning. Curious? Read more

Run Your Own Mail Server: A Book for Independence & Privacy by kickstarter.com →

Run Your Own Mail Server: A Book for Independence & PrivacyA book for the hard-core Unix sysadmin, by a fellow hard-core sysadmin with decades of experience running small mail servers.

A book about an obscure old school technology exceeds funding expectations. Goes to show. old school is still cool!

Excellent intro too — it dives into the philosophy of why you should run your own email server if you’re up for it:

Running your own mail server is not only an act of defiance against some of the largest exploitative companies in history. It is not a mere education in protocols. Email is essential to modern industrial society. By running your own email, you seize control of your communications. You can tune your email to fit your needs, rather than accepting the defaults imposed by a company that exploits you without a speck of consideration for any of your issues. You own it.

For those unawares, he’s talking about Google’s near monopoly of email via its Gmail service (see chart here).

Turning Raleigh Trees into Hyperlocal News Reporters by calishat.com →

How it works: when you ask a tree for local news, the program checks to find streets nearby. It then uses a news API to check WRAL, WTVD, and WNCN for mentions of those streets in the last 90 days. Finally, it bundles that information into a ChatGPT prompt and generates a summary (while links to the news articles used for the summary appear beneath.)

She will also be giving these trees the ability to give local restaurant recommendations and a heads up on nearby construction.

What wonderful and brilliant ideas. Great for local news websites.

Mosey on over to her site for other clever ideas and ways of massaging search engines and RSS tools.


Magazines We Love That Aren’t Our Own by Mountain Gazette →

A magazine at its best is a collection of ideas, carefully put together. It’s a mixtape of good people playing good music with words, photos, art, and opinion. Because it exists in a physical space, magazines can have an outsized influence on the world around us.

They are all proof of the Great Print Revival happening with magazines at the moment. They all make consistently great issues, have their own voices, and you should give them a try. 

It’s sooo good to see independent magazines making a comeback. There’s nothing like the tactile experience of feeling and smelling freshly printed issues in a bookstore (or the delight of seeing a magazine parchment sitting in the mailbox).

The folks over at Mountain Gazette, a once dormant magazine recently revived and doing well, share a list of other specialty/boutique print magazines they like.

Most publish a few times a year packed with coffee-table quality of the old days of yore. The stuff these folk put out is amazing, writing and design wise.

I’m a bit envious of them all because it’s something I used to do but gosh darn it’s a whole lotta hard work I wouldn’t have the patience for these days.

Anyway check out their list and why not subscribe to one or two that pique your interest?

Old school rocks, still.


The most harmful belief I had as a beginner photographer by aows (Adrian) →

I used to think that good photographers consistently take great photographs, and only rarely they make something subpar. Surely, their keeper rate” was much better than mine. 

This was one of the most harmful beliefs I held when I was taking my first steps in photography. Because when you don’t allow yourself to fail, you play it safe; and when you play it safe, there’s no growth.

Making a bad photograph is not the risk: the lack of experimentation and play is the real danger.

No matter where you are in your photography journey, always keep trying new things. Keep shooting.

Fail, fail more and get better along the path of failures, good advice. It’s how we improve over time (or at least know when to move onto other things after banging one’s head long enough).

Watch video via Invidious→ or Youtube

Looks like Adweek got their hands on a leaked pitch deck from OpenAI to big publishers on their Preferred Publisher” program:

First, it is available only to select, high-quality editorial partners” and its purpose is to help ChatGPT users more easily discover and engage with publishers’ brands and content.

Additionally, members of the program receive priority placement and richer brand expression” in chat conversations, and their content benefits from more prominent link treatments.

Does this mean the big guys can pay to play on the web while us little people get shoved aside (again)?

read the rest

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..musings on old-school-web livelihoods & creative pursuits

Notes Along the Ray

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