If there is any constant in the online world, it is that software will continue to change and develop. It will also continue to surprise, horrify and delight me. Today I have a few issues to discuss (or even rant about): the introduction of Photos software by Apple to replace iPhoto, what is a 'cake fail', replacing UrbanSpoon with Zomato, mobilaggedon, and some updates on my blog. And a few quicklinks to make you think and smile.
Let's start with a few small blog updates and a wish for more time to work on tweaking my blog:
- I have updated my Favourites page to sort the savoury meals into categories and reflect my current cooking.
- I added some children's books to the Child Friendly Almanac page.
- I spent time fiddling around with icons and tables to upload Follow Me buttons for Facebook, Pinterest and Delicious on my sidebar. (inspired by Where's the Beef's buttons). As usual there is always more to do.
Apple replaces iPhoto with Photos
Back in April I updated myMacBook operating system and found that Apple has replaced iPhotos with Photos. It was very disconcerting and I still miss iPhoto. I miss being able to organise my photos into events with a decent sized thumbnail that will flick through the collection of photos when I hover on it, and I miss sorting my photos by title. Some of the editing functions in Photos are better now that they are together like crop and tilt.
I read this article explaining how the new Photos software is very basic but gradually updates will introduce new features so that eventually it will be better than iPhoto. This is frustrating in the short term but it is good to understand how software is updated online. Meanwhile I have had to adjust some practices and suddenly have found that searching and archiving photos has become slower.
What is a cake fail?
A while back I was laughing at some photos of cake fails when I found one of my photos included as a fail. I initially kept laughing and then sobered up. I have no delusions about my ability as a photographer and I know that my skills had been even worse before I started blogging. However I shared this photo from years back to document ideas in birthday cakes rather than brilliance in decoration or photography.
More pertinent I question the title 'cake fail'. It is one of those moments when the internet seems impersonal and cruel. Would the author say this to me if they knew me? Probably not. And if they did I would point out (calmly I would hope) that actually it was not a fail because I had fun decorating the cake with my little niece and she had loved her cake (even if today she says she doesn't remember the cake). And the cake tasted good!
I made another castle cake this year. I didn't let Sylvia help because I had a vision but part of me feels it would have been kinder to have just had fun decorating with her. Everyone needs to learn and kids need to have fun. The dark side of the internet is the pressure to appear perfect to people who don't know us without the space for learning or fun.
In fact I worry I fall for the internet's focus on style over substance. Some of my best photos are not necessary the ones that are the most honest. When I get out my food props and shove the clutter out of the way, I present food in a way that does not reflect my life. In all honesty the lace tablecloth and dainty cup and saucer only come out for photos. I never stack up choc chip cookies nor wrap muesli bars in pretty fabric except for a photo, and I only own doilies for food props. I could go on and on about photos but will let you check out some other posts instead.
I felt some similar frustration about online preference for style over substance when I heard about mobilaggedon in April. For those who did not hear the story, we heard that Google would start to privilege sites that were mobile-friendly, meaning the many site would disappear from Google searches. I understand that more people are using mobile photos and websites should be developed with this in mind but quite frankly I don't do a lot of web surfing on my iphone because I much prefer a bigger screen for both reading and looking at images.
I know that Blogger (the blog platform I use) has a mobile-friendly version so I assume my blog (and most blogs) would not be affected. However after spending a lot of time and effort in a previous workplace trying to ensure our website was mobile-friendly, I understand that for smaller organisations, it is not necessarily an easy ask. I was reassured to hear an interview with the Google Communications Manager in Australia in which he said that Google had 200 factors that are used in ranking searches. And quite frankly after grappling with issues of search on a website upgrade, I take my hat off to Google for how easy they have made it to search the web.
Zomato takes over UrbanSpoon
Another recent change in the webscape in Australia (and other countries) is the takeover of UrbanSpoon by Zomato. I have found UrbanSpoon really useful for searching where to eat out so it made sense to share my blog posts on eating out on UrbanSpoon. (In fact I wish I had started doing this earlier than 2014.) So if you look for UrbanSpoon now, you will find yourself redirected to Zomato and all the information from UrbanSpoon has moved there.
I was contacted by one of the Melbourne marketing team to discuss the changes over a coffee. I was really interested to hear that UrbanSpoon had been a small staff group of about 40 worldwide and Zomato was setting up an office of about 40 staff just in Melbourne. Which means that there will be more visiting of restaurants by staff, more consistency in prices, menus and photos as well as some interesting options for searching by location. So you may notice that where I had links to UrbanSpoon on eating out blog posts these have now changed to Zomato. I will be interested to see how they develop.
Blogging and IT quicklinks
And while we are talking about blogging, it seems a good time to share some links about blogging
- State of thr Union: how the blogging world has changed - Design Sponge
- Is blogging dead: how blogs are changing and you can stay on top - Problogger
- Seven mistakes even nice looking blogs make - Blog Clarity
- Steve Jobs of Apple was a low tech parent - New York Times
- 19 ridiculously useful tips every blogger should know - BuzzFeed
- The secret life of passwords - New York Times
Some fun music videos
Finally if you have got this far through this post, you really want something to give you a smile. Here are some fun videos:
- A sky full of stars (video made in Sydney) by Coldplay
- Mickey Mouse wedding proposal (Jehan and Vish 2014)
- The fear (check out the balloon people) by Lily Allen
- In your arms (cute jellybean video) by Kina Grannis