Suddenly, a knock on the door
Our featured playlist this week is by the author Etgar Keret whose latest book sits comfortably in several bestsellers list and is the title we’ve borrowed for this post.
The collection of short stories includes one about three armed men who hold a writer named Keret hostage and demand he tell them a story. Keret (the character) offers up a nervous description of his plight. “That’s not a story,” one of his assailants protests. “That’s an eyewitness report. It’s exactly what’s happening here right now. Exactly what we’re trying to run away from. Don’t you go and dump reality on us like a garbage truck. Use your imagination, man, create, invent, take it all the way.”
He’s been described as a genius by the new york times and we are highly inclined to agree.
Click the play button below to listen to Etgar’s playlist.
If you would like to be featured - head over to Minilogs.com, put together a wining combination of your favorite music and send it to us via email or in the comments below.
Rediscover your bookmarks - Introducing Search
Search is something we’ve wanted to do and do right for a long time. It was in fact one of the first features our early batch of friends and families kept asking for when we showed them the first draft of the site. While it would have been easy to abandon everything and focus on this, we all agreed that it was too early and would be a delightful waste of resources.
Part of our learning process is regularly sitting back, sifting through the data and trying to work out just how you guys use Minilogs. So a week ago, while going through this process - Jean Philippe and I became aware that there are enough of you with so many logs and links that we absolutely needed to drop everything and bring you search functionality.
Without further ado …..
And if you don’t have an account yet - request an invite we’ll be sending one out in a couple of weeks.
While testing this, I was feeling famished and so looked for “recipe”, found this little starter i’d saved a few months ago - Croustillons au Chevre and guess what I made for dinner last night? You’re right and they were yummy too.
Minilogs replaces email
Minilogs is not only great for creating playlists, it is also the easiest way to send links to your friends.
Let’s say you have just discovered an amazing video on Vimeo and you want to share it with a friend or a presentation you know a colleague has been searching for. The current way to do this would be: login to your email account, copy/paste this link into a new email message and send yet another boring email…well not any more!
Just open your Minilogs extension, click on “Contacts” and click on the name of the friend or colleague you want to send the current page to. Voilà!
The link will be sent to your friend’s Inbox. They will be able to play it instantly, added it to one of their Logs or even spead the joy to others!
So, RIP emails!
We have just released our Firefox extension!
You can download it here
Save to Minilogs any page you browse, or any link you see, straight from Firefox. You can also use our extension to send links to your friends in a single click!
Say hello to Embed.ly
In Minilogs news this week, we are pleased to announce we are now supported as an OEmbed Provider by Embed.ly
Embed.ly provides a powerful API to convert links into embedded videos, images and rich articles previews. If you have ever posted a youtube link on facebook, you see it converted into the youtube video player, embedly can be used to do the same thing on your blogs or website.
What does this mean for you? If you use a blog software which supports embedly, (Tumblr, Wordpress to name a few) it means you can now automatically embed your logs simply by pasting the Minilogs Log url in your article.
Below is an example of an embedded log.
And for the true tinkerers amongst us, this is what an Embed.ly API call looks like
Let us know in the comments section below where you are using minilogs, what you think of the trailers above or any issues you have.
Thanks and happy Embedding.
NO(W) FUTUR are releasing their first Mixtape !
NO(W)FUTUR are releasing their first Mixtape NO(W)FUTUR 01 downloadable for free on Monday on Soundcloud.
Behind the NO(W)FUTUR project are DJ SIMSIMA and MR.MASS. They define themselves as “two hip-hop lovers who decided to unite their forces because they’re both getting tired of hearing the oh-so-classic sentence: hip-hop is dead”.
They’ve just published a playlist on Minilogs with all the sounds from their brand new Mixtape, so get ready for some real old school Hip-Hop!
Take Minilogs with you everywhere!
So, almost as soon as we went live with Minilogs, one of the first features our blogger-friends began to ask for in hoards was the ability to embed their logs anywhere.
And so without further ado we present to you, our biggest fans, the minilogs Embed.
To insert your favorite playlists in any web page, just click the share button and grab the embed code:
Try customizing the player’s color and size to match your site.
Minilogs isn’t just for music, do you write a food blog, how about embedding a list of your favorite restaurants in San Francisco?
Or if you run a movie website, embed your Top 100 short films ..
Yesterday we realeased our Chrome extension!
Save to Minilogs any page you browse, or any link you see, straight from Chrome.
Our extension is really easy to use, but we made a little tutorial anyway.
If you have a minute for us, please rate our extension on the Chrome web store and pass the word around!
App or not?
I want to discuss an issue that we will be facing soon, and that many people launching web applications are probably facing: shall I create a native app?
For some products, if you develop a game, or anything that relies on a large data, native apps are a no-brainer. But when your service is originally web based, like Minilogs, why would you create a native app over a mobile web version of your service? Apps are very expensive to develop and maintain. Besides, with the recent rise of Android, if you are crafting a product destined to a large audience, you then have to develop an iPhone app, an iPad app, an Android app, and maybe even an Android tablet app. This is way too much for an early stage start-up.
I personally see all this app business as a regression, from a pure usability standpoint. It, for example, hinders linking possibilities: you click on a link, it opens the browser, on another one, it opens the YouTube app. It’s annoying and results in poor UX.
If you look at what happened on desktops over the last 10 years, the number of programs we use has been drastically reduced as they have often been replaced by web based applications. Native apps seem anachronic in this broader context of cloud computing and mass linking.
Will the same evolution happen for mobiles? Will we rely less and less on native apps. Will, in a near future, sites like Facebook or YouTube be accessed solely via mobile browsers, or will the app business still flourish?
The current situation of the native apps market is obviously linked to a state of technology. Mobile broadband is still slow, and having as much data as possible already on your mobile device is a sure way to increase speed. Besides, mobile web browsers are not yet able to handle code perfectly.
These technical impediments will however soon be over, 3G is available in most crowded places over the world, 4G will soon be there and mobile browsers are evolving quite quickly.
But technical impediments are not the only aspect driving the app business (is it even the main one?). Native apps are very lucrative for the ones controlling the app platforms. Why would they want to switch to a web based model in which they would lose control and profit. Especially control freak Apple who is significantly weaker than Google when it comes to web based products.
Apple’s will to fight mobile web over native apps is already clear. They, for example, deactivated the possibility to auto-play videos on their mobile devices, and even though they pretend it’s to limit data consumption and protect customers, it seems quite clear that they are trying to limit the number of web based possibilities. And I am not even talking about Flash support.
But it’s not the only side of the story. Native apps would probably not last long if they were only beneficiary to those controlling the platforms. They also provide, for those who publish them, an excellent opportunity to be seen. As far as my understanding goes, many apps are actually written in HTML5 and are more or less the equivalent of a shortcut to a mobile website. App platforms are a great marketing tool and that’s why everybody seems happy to play the game.
We, at Minilogs, are very tempted to go full web, but are scared of going full retard. What do you think? Shall we focus our efforts on building a nice responsive web app, or shall we play the game of native apps as soon as possible?
The new Minilogs
We have introduced a lot of new features in Minilogs over the past few weeks. So here is what happened for those of you in the back who were not paying attention.
First of all we have a new UI. The landing page is looking better thanks to Jean-Philippe’s magic drawing skills. Logs browsing and discovery should be clearer. Profiles have also evolved: you can now add a description and a website.
Each user has an inbox. You can send any Log or link to one of your Minilogs contacts inbox using the share button.
We introduced a Bookmarklet (download it via the “Tools” tab on your homepage). Click it on any webpage to save it to Minilogs. You can then access it via the bookmark symbol on the right of the top bar.
Copy any link to one of your Logs or to a new Log. Simply use “copy” which appears on the right of each link and then click on any highlighted Log to add it. Alternatively, you can also copy via drag and drop!
Create contests between links: the “heart” on the left of each link allows users to vote for their favorite links. Sort Logs by “most liked” to see which link is the best!
Favorite any Log using the star on the left of your Log title. Favorited Logs can be easily accessed through your right menu!
Many other features are coming soon, next in line: a Chrome extension!