The Middle Path

I gave a brief review of Path when it first arrived on the scene back in 2010. At the time I just started to use it and was pleasantly surprised by it’s approach. They not only seemed generally interested in a well designed social experience but also a well restricted one. They positioned themselves around the idea that this was a digital journal of sorts that was shared with only your closest family and friends. And, to further reinforce this idea, they actually limited the number of people one could count as a “friend” on the network to 150. This number was not arbitrarily made up. It was based on Dunbar’s Number, the suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships proposed by British anthropologist Robin Dunbar.

Now, Path has had it’s growing pains. They made a stupid choice at one point to access and upload people’s contacts to their service. Unfortunately, this caused many users to write them off completely (and even for Apple to make some changes to an apps ability to do such a thing in the first place). The CEO apologized for it but for some it was either not enough or came off to them as not sincere. But, as one who stuck with the service, I really believe they have been actively working to change this perception. The iPhone and iPad apps (the only way to use the service, mind you) are some of the most beautifully designed and thought through ones I use. The company puts it’s values and story front and center on it’s website. In short, they have worked very hard to win back and deserve the trust of those that use it.

I still use Path pretty actively. I post something there at least once a day. Given it’s purpose and what I use it for, I’m pretty picky about who I connect with there. I really have to consider you a friend or someone I’m at least comfortable sharing more personal details with than I would otherwise share on the more open social networks. I share plenty of pics of my little girl, my day-to-day activities, my runs (it connects with Nike+), my current location, and the occasional selfie. It is the primary way I interact with some other social networks including Foursquare.

Here is how Path fits in for me. I keep the stuff I just want for my eyes only in Day One, the stuff I wish to share with a wide and indiscriminate audience I do on App.net or Twitter. Path sits in the middle of this sharing graph. It is for the stuff I wish to share but only with a selected few. I like to think of it as the “friendship” chair of Thoreau’s home.

The thing is though that I fear for Path’s health and future. Today, they had to lay off 20% of the staff. And though they recently rolled out a premium subscription model, I still am not sure if there are enough people using it and willing to pay for that to sustain them. I hope it sticks around.

But, most importantly, I would like to see and interact more of my friends there. I like it and I think most of them will too. So, if you are so inclined, I think you should give it a shot. And, feel free to look me up and reach out to me if you do.

You’ve got this…

This day, this hour, this minute, this moment. This is what you’ve got.

The tools, the ability, the skill, the time, the opportunity. Everything you face right now, this moment, you face with these. You may take away from this place more than you came with, but what you brought to it is all you have.

There is nothing you can do to change this fact. Everything that can be done right here, right now, can only be done right here, right now. You might be able to do more later and there are things you might have been able to do before. But neither of these desires matter now, in this moment, and only keep one from facing the truth.

So, here it is. The time is now. Give it your all.

You’ve got this.

Items Of Interest #7

More meanderings and things ventured from the last several days….

I really appreciated waking up this morning to Randy Murray’s wonderful take on the higher calling of art. It helped speak directly to something I’ve been trying to put some though into lately. I especially liked this:

Earning a living is a necessity for most of us, but only that, a necessity. Art is not a promise of fame or fortune. Art is a way to express oneself.

Or, as I like to put it: Surviving can keep you from living.

Tikker is a decidedly new take on a watch. Not only does it tell you the time but it also counts down the life you have left, from years to seconds, and helps keep you aware of making each moment count. The product page was a bit unclear as to how it figures out how much time we have left (and, obviously, it can’t know for sure). So, I did some digging and here is what I found:

The wearer simply fills out a questionnaire, deducts his/her current age from the results, and TIKKER is ready to start the countdown.

My guess it is some calculation of age, weight, diet, vices, etc. It is an interesting idea for sure.

Lots of really great stuff coming out of the recent XOXO Fest a few weeks back. I’m really kicking myself for not making the effort to go and plan to rectify that next year. My only consolation is some of the great thoughts, ideas, and takeaways people are sharing that did attend. Glenn Fleishman’s take, In a Time of Hugs and Kisses, was a nicely compelling and informative spin on what it was like to attend. Pinboard.in founder Maciej Ceglowski posted the notes and slides of his talk, Thoreau 2.0. Which as a huge Thoreau fan both exposed some of the seeming contradictions between the author’s views and his lifestyle and how the way he actually lived might be better for us. And Frank Chimero’s The Inferno Of Independence just may be the best piece on the state of the internet today that I have read all year.

Lots of my friends are updating a releasing lots of cool stuff lately. My friend Brett Kelly recently released the latest version of his excellent Evernote Essentials which is currently half price but wont be for much longer. My friend Brad Dowdy and his partner have officially launched the Kickstarter for their new pen/pencil/notebook case venture, Nock Co.. My friend Nick Wynja recently released his Pinboard based Read-It-Later service, Paperback… It’s nice to be in such creative company.

Of course, I released the audiobook version of my Apple Consulting Guide and launched The Unrecorded Podcast last week so I have been busy trying to keep up in the shipping department too.

That covers it for now. Have a great week.

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