I really enjoy podcasts. I could probably give up any other form of media, but not them. I currently use Downcast to listen to podcasts on my iPhone and video podcasts on my iPad. There are a couple of newer podcast apps namely Overcast and Castro. Finally, there is Pocket Casts which I have been tempted on numerous occasions to try. With these interesting alternatives around, should I make the leap and try the others out?

Not Completely About Money

If I were to buy Castro, Pocket Casts, and Overcast it would cost a grand total of $12.97. I spent about this much 3 years ago when I was initially comparing podcast apps. Am I too cheap to pay out $12.97? No, but there’s more to it than the dollar amount and that is really something I need to remember as I try to develop and sell my own apps. Downcast currently works perfectly well for me. I don’t work around anything. It’s not just good enough, it suits me very well.

I really find it hard to justify paying any amount without a clear benefit. I imagine this plays out similarly across the App Store especially in the case of those who are willing to work around minor problems. If you have a nearly endless supply of free and are willing to live with good enough you probably don’t see the value in ever paying for an app.

I’m Not Consistent

Even though I’m willing to spend money on podcast apps, there are categories which I don’t value enough to spend $0.99. This morning I downloaded 5 free ab workout apps. I can’t tell you their names nor did I take the time to link to them. But I willing to bet that there are a good number of people who are willing to pay for fitness apps because for them good enough isn’t.

What If I’m Missing Some Benefit

I’m sure there are people who once they find something, they will stick with it until its broken (I’m talking narrowly about apps, different areas of life will be handled differently just like like the app segmentation I spoke of before). But I’m always looking for an improvement in my podcast app. I’m always looking for an improvement in my podcast app, so I’ll read the review of every new app or version, but it’s up to the developer to convince me to pay to leave Downcast.

I’m using Jekyll as my blogging engine now. I run a few other blogs on a VPS at DreamHost using WordPress and I’ve been bumping up against the memory limits so I killed the WordPress instance that was previously running the site and I’m enjoying the reduced memory footprint of a static blogging engine.

The default theme is not my favorite, but like the rest of this blog it is a work in progress.

In my attempts to be a consistent blogger, I’ve read books, including ProBlogger and Platform and blogs like ProBlogger and Become a Blogger and almost all of them have you ask yourself why you’re blogging. They are pretty clear that without a strong reason to blog doing it consistently is highly unlikely. I’ve come up with more than a few answers to the question such as, “keep a record of what I’m doing with my girls so they know what I was thinking while they were growing up,” and “logging my daily experiences that might be useful to someone else.”

So What’s It Going to Be This Time

Another tip for being a “successful” blogger is to be focused, but I’ve always found that focus just leads to a dearth of posts. I’m never sure if what I’m currently interested fits the focus of the blog. I have tried to force a fit, but that just makes the writing too difficult.

So, I don’t know what the focus is going to be. I’m going to experiment and play around until I find a topic and a voice. I know I want to talk about building apps and the surround tech ecosystem. I will talk about books I read which are mostly about programming, small business, productivity, and Christianity. I will point out interesting articles and podcasts. I may throw in some TV shows, YouTube videos, anime, and manga that I enjoy. How will this have any kind of “through line?” I don’t know except that it is all stuff I enjoy. A little of it is just entertainment, but most of the stuff I enjoy has some sort of lesson either real or imagined.

The Ulterior Motive

I do have an underlying motive and that is to build my credibility so others will trust the products (like apps) and services (like employment) I provide and enable me to sell them.

Here I go again. Another attempt at blogging consistently. Will it be any different? I hope so.

Why will it be any different?

  1. I’m not restarting Vocation in the Valley. That site has some very specific expectations regarding the type of content. I (and if anyone still reads it) expect that site to focus on my vocations as father, husband, Lutheran laymen, etc. and generally on how my life is influenced by my faith in Christ. I feel that I’m pretty free to take this site in any direction I want.

  2. I’m not striving for perfection. As the tagline implies, I’m not going to try for my usually perfection or efficiency. In parts of my life, those traits help me by pushing to be better or get more done. But with blogging and apps and endeavors where I’m the ultimate gatekeeper, I just tend to not ship or work on things unless I can be perfect and efficient. I’m going to ramble. I’m going to publish rough drafts. I’m going to ship apps that need to be iterated on. I just want to do stuff and improve.

  3. I just want it to be. I don’t honestly know if I’ll sustain this past today, but I have reasons that I want to blog that lead me to think I can be more consistent.

MacBooks (the whole lineup) use glass for their trackpads. Why not sapphire from their new plants. Why use sapphire? Because it enables TouchId (okay, I don’t know that you must use sapphire for TouchID). What else do you need for TouchID? The secure enclave on the A7. Instead of pulling out the secure enclave into a separate chip, why not just put in an A7. It takes more than a few leaps, but I’m interested in brainstorming right now.

Update: If I’m going to speculate, why not put it in every Mac? How the user interacts with it is a design question, but from a technology perspective it would great to have TouchID on all machines. The economies of scale bring the cost of the A7 down even further.