Ephemeral Photos

With the proliferation of badass mobile devices rocking both front- and back-facing cameras, we've naturally made the transition from text messaging to photo messaging. Photography has always been an amazing way of communicating ideas and art throughout its history, and so, too, have words (obviously). So it's inevitable that both of these have found an intersection on mobile devices we carry every day. And while text messages are the reigning champion, photos by themselves, or their use as supplements to text, have seen a significant increase over the last couple years (based on good old empirical evidence.)

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New RSS with FeedPress

The sorry state of the RSS ecosystem since Google Reader's fallout has left bloggers and news sites in a bit of disarray. As such, most folks who write frequently (and would like to track the number of subscribers to their work) have become wary of Google's Feedburner RSS tracking platform. While I've been using it for Defiant Sloth, I finally decided to cast away from it, and made the move to FeedPress this week.

Since migrating, FeedPress has made it easy to manage my account and view analytics. It also seems more and more like the preferred platform by most writers and companies for their future RSS feed management. Here are a few reasons why I was compelled to switch (other than the fear of Feedburner sunsetting in the near future):

  1. They're an actual company built around RSS feed management (not Google's abandoned step-child)
  2. They offer a premium option that likely provides them enough cost coverage to retain feed management [indefinitely].
  3. They're actively developing new tools and integrations with other online services, like MailChimp and Dropbox.

All my RSS feed links are updated, and while current subscribers should still see posts with the feed link with which they originally subscribed, you may want to double-check and just update to the new one for certainty:

Defiant Sloth RSS

Thanks for sticking around.

LogBlog App Review

Every day, billions of human beings poop -- unless, of course, you're this guy (apparently). As most of us know, there are few things more self-deprecating than dragging your ass into a stall, dropping your pants, and letting loose a day's worth of stool. If you happen to take light of this awkward situation, you might find it -- of all things -- humorous. I count myself among those that do, and as I expected, so, too, does a whole community of folks on the social network called LogBlog. So come along for a journey through the Willy Wonka design of a poop enthusiast's wet dream. You'll be surprised to find a first-class app that offers a very fine experience far from what I'd call a turd.

The Chicago-based Janitor, Ltd.'s freshman app, LogBlog, is what happens when you have an adolescent appetite for sharing those private memories of spending time by yourself, secluded from the outside world, in a stall or bathroom somewhere, anywhere -- at home, at the office, at a restaurant, in an airport, at school, in an outhouse. Doesn't really matter -- what does matter is that you have an irresistible desire to share with the world that you just took a shit and it was a glorious affair.

The Log in/Sign up screen in LogBlog  

The app is well designed. It merely requires you to use an email, pick a clever username, and set password to sign-up. If you desire, you may sync with your Twitter and/or Facebook account to discover other friends on the network (and add your avatar image). Alas, there isn't a way to customize your avatar image other than selecting from the app's pre-established icons or syncing with one of those two social accounts. I'm sure this is a deliberate decision made by the developers -- they tend to keep the interface classy.

Navigation is straightforward, sharing several similar design principles between Twitter and Instagram. The first tab features your personal Roll, a recounting of all the times you've recording pooping in the past. Think of it as a vanity reference to show off to friends and family.

Next is the Public log, which as you can guess, is a refreshable feed of the entire community. It reminds me of Twitter in the early days when they actually let you just stare at the firehose of activity across the world. Only LogBlog isn't quite the same size of Twitter (at least not yet), and so this feed is actually readable. And it's fantastic. You get to unroll some really inspired usernames as well (2stainz, RunsDMC, and FiberMoves are my favorites).

A third tab, titled Me, is more or less your profile section. Settings can be edited (notifications, invite/follow other users, share activity on social networks, edit accounts, and support), historical posts can be viewed, and information about followers and those you follow can be viewed.

Finally, the fourth tab, News, is like the Following/News tab in Instagram, showing you the latest external activity (other people's liking of or comments on your posts) and your own activity (your posts, comments, and likes).

The compose (or should I say "flush"?) view.

There is no feature bloat here -- most everything has its role and place within the app's structure. If anything, there may be too many ways to view your own roll -- perhaps this app could be even leaner and refrain from keeping the Roll tab at all (but I do love that icon). And the ability to post is omnipresent from tab to tab: there is a pretty, teal "flush" icon in the upper-right corner of every screen. Yep, that leads to the compose screen to flush away a post. You can only share text posts, as I'm sure the restraint of permitting images is to keep with the clean approach the developers have taken. (And don't forget to add a colon tag and keep it under 222 characters in length.)

As the "#1 app for #2 news," I'd go so far as to say that, sure, LogBlog could be interpreted as a self-serving mecca for poop enthusiasts to share their most sacred moments, but it also is a harrowing critique of the social networking industry and its participants. We're an unabashedly conceited society who share everything we do and like and want that we might as well have a whole social network dedicated to those magical times on the toilet. Bravo, Janitor, Ltd.

Grab It & Get Poopin'

LogBlog is available on the App Store for a mere dollar. Don't be a pussy -- just fucking buy this. It's what Twitter and Facebook should have done all along -- charge for service. Keep it classy. And think -- several hundred people have already dropped their spare change on an app to discuss their turds. The greatest mistake (or perhaps classiest gesture) Janitor, Ltd. made was resisting the marketing narcissism of pricing their app at $2.

And once you've downloaded it, you can find and follow me on LogBlog with username CustersLastCrap, where I recount the historical movements of Commander George Armstrong Custer with much-needed reporting of his often-overlooked moments in the Montana mountains, relieving himself of several days' build up in excrement.