kottke.org posts about Michael Sippey

Talkshow is texting in publicApr 27 2016

Talkshow has launched. It's an iOS messaging app for having conversations in public.

People text amazing things.

Talkshow is a simple messaging app that allows you to text these things in public. With Talkshow, individuals, groups of friends, entertainers, creators -- anyone! -- can have conversations in public, to be viewed by others in real time or after the fact. Every Talkshow can be shared outside the app and embedded into other websites.

Talkshow was built by Michael Sippey, who has recently been at Medium and Twitter and was a formative influence in my early days online, and Greg Knauss, who loves the web down to his bones and has pulled my own personal bacon out of the system administrative fire more times than I can count, so I am predisposed to like this app and also to recommend it to you.

Back in 2007, riffing on some thoughts by Marc Hedlund about turning Unix commands into startups, I suggested choosing web projects by taking something that everyone does with their friends and make it public and permanent.

Blogger, 1999. Blog posts = public email messages. Instead of "Dear Bob, Check out this movie." it's "Dear People I May or May Not Know Who Are Interested in Film Noir, Check out this movie and if you like it, maybe we can be friends."

Twitter, 2006. Twitter = public IM. I don't think it's any coincidence that one of the people responsible for Blogger is also responsible for Twitter.

Flickr, 2004. Flickr = public photo sharing. Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake said in a recent interview: "When we started the company, there were dozens of other photosharing companies such as Shutterfly, but on those sites there was no such thing as a public photograph -- it didn't even exist as a concept -- so the idea of something 'public' changed the whole idea of Flickr."

YouTube, 2005. YouTube = public home videos. Bob Saget was onto something.

Talkshow, 2016. Talkshow = public text messaging.1 I am delighted to see that this approach still bearing fruit.

  1. But, but, you cry, Twitter is public texting! Talkshow is public IM! Well, sure! Twitter does a bunch of different things now, but in the first few years, it was public IM. The big difference I see is while Twitter allows anyone to participate in any public conversation (which is both a plus and minus), with Talkshow, the membership of each group/show is limited but the output is public. And that difference will allow people to do some things better w/ Talkshow than they can with Twitter.

BloggingAug 29 2014

I knew if I waited around long enough, blogging would be the hot new thing again: Sippey, Steele, Spiers.

The silence of Mike DaiseyMar 20 2012

The long periods of silence by Mike Daisey were among the most compelling parts of the most recent episode of This American Life...you know the one. Michael Sippey edited together the silences into one glorious clip, the best audio of silence since Cage.

Reading the transcript of the Retraction episode of This American Life is one thing; listening to it is another. The most interesting bits were the silences, not only because Daisey is so clearly uncomfortable answering the questions, but also because we've been trained as radio listeners to abhor silence -- it makes *us* incredibly uncomfortable.

On pagination navigationMay 10 2011

Sippey posted a brief item on pagination navigation on "river of news" type sites, comparing the opposite approaches of Stellar and Mlkshk. I thought a lot about where to put those buttons and what to label them. There's no good correct answer. For example, "older" usually points the way to stuff further back in the timeline that you haven't read, i.e. it's new to you but old compared to the first page of stuff...are you confused yet? I focused on two things in choosing a nav scheme:

1. The Western left-to-right reading pattern. If you're in the middle of reading a book, the material to your left is a) chronologically older and b) has already been read and the material to your right is a) chronologically newer and b) unread. From a strict data perspective, a) is the correct way to present information but websites/blogs don't work like books. b) is how people actually how people use blogs...when a user gets to the bottom of the page, they want to see more unread material and that's naturally to the right.

2. Consistency. Once you add page numbers into the mix -- e.g. "< newer 1 2 3 4 older >" -- it's a no-brainer which label goes where. I don't think I've ever seen the reverse: "< older 4 3 2 1 newer >".

Also, I do whatever Dan Cederholm does. (But dammit, he does the opposite on his blog! Hair tearing out noise!!) That said, I like Sandy's suggestion of getting rid of the "newer" button altogether:

We put "Older" on the right, but did away with "Newer" altogether in favor of a link back to page 1. If they want to go back to the previous pages, people can use their back button.

http://mlkshk.com/p/212C

Or maybe put "newer" at the top of the page? Still a waste of screen real estate? Anyway, once I figure out how I want to do infinite scrolling on Stellar, those problematic older/newer buttons will go away. Huzzah!

Debating The HangoverFeb 25 2011

The timeline of events goes like this:

Last night, I posted the trailer for the sequel to The Hangover.

This morning, my friend David posts the following on Twitter:

Poleaxed by indication that pop culture aesthete @jkottke might actually like Hangover, the execrable frat boy flick

To which I replied a few hours later:

@daveg Are you kidding? That movie is hilarious.

Anil suggested a debate:

@jkottke @daveg I will pay you guys for an Oxford debate about the Hangover's merits, or lack thereof.

And Michael Sippey went there and posted a video of an animated David and an animated me having a debate about The Hangover:

I thought you were a pop culture aesthete.

No, I'm from the Midwest.

You live in Manhattan.

But I grew up eating hot dogs.

But you write about expensive conceptual restaurants and post pictures of contemporary art like that thing at the Museum of Modern Art in New York where the woman sat at the table all summer.

That's a pretty accurate five-line bio of me.

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