Introducing the Finer Things in Tech Patreon

I’ve been running this site for a few years now, and back in March I launched a weekly newsletter that’s received wonderful feedback. I want to take both of these things to the next level, and I need your help to do it. That’s why I’m introducing the Finer Things in Tech Patreon.

A while ago, I removed all advertising from the site. The newsletter hasn’t had any ads either, and I want to keep it that way. I also want to bring you:

  • More web writing – I want to publish more tips and articles on the site, including reviews, explorations of tech, app recommendations, and more. I also want to expand beyond blog posts and into a resource.
  • Voices from others – I want to commission a truly diverse array of writers, developers, and others in tech about their journey, how to improve the industry, and other topics requested by you, my readers.
  • Newsletter exclusives – My articles, good reads from elsewhere, commissioned pieces from others, and some surprises if we reach my goals.
  • Even more – I have a few more ideas, but I also want to hear yours. Get in touch and tell me why you supported my Patreon or what it would take to get you there. Would you prefer to support the site another way? Want a higher tier with unique rewards, or to see different topics or resources? I want to hear it all.

I’m open to adding other ways for you to support the site and/or newsletter, including Memberful and others. Let’s see what readers prefer.

The weekly newsletter is going supporter-only

One big change is that the weekly newsletter of tips and my recommended good reads from around the web is going supporter-only. All current subscribers will still receive it; I’m not dropping anyone. But if you are a current subscriber, please consider joining my Patreon newsletter tier to support my work.

Thanks for reading

I want to bring you even more writing, articles from great, diverse voices in the community, and some future surprises I’m working on. To make it happen, please support this site and the newsletter on Patreon, or let me know what would bring you on board.

As always, thank you for reading.

Here's a sample of the Finer Things in Tech Newsletter

If you haven’t seen it yet, I started a weekly Finer Things in Tech Newsletter. For a while, I’ve wondered whether email would be a great format for the kind of bite-sized tips I like to publish here, and so far it’s doing pretty well. 

However, since it’s a newsletter, I’m not publishing it online yet. I’m not sure I will, I’m still new to all of this. But I can give you a sample of issue 2 that went out this week.

If you like the cut of this newsletter’s jib, you can subscribe here. I aim to get it in your inbox on Mondays by 5:30am US central time. I’m also working on a few occasional goodies for future issues, but there will be more to say about that later.

As always, thanks for reading.

The new Finer Things in Tech Newsletter debuts Monday, March 20

I realized I can't keep floating ideas or pouring over details or second-guessing myself over the newsletter, I need to just get it out there and see what happens!

So fine, we're doing this.

On Monday, March 20, I will publish the first issue of the all-new, never-before-seen, 100% shiny and chrome Finer Things in Tech Newsletter. Each weekly issue will be a handful of bite-sized, quick-to-read, yet supremely useful tips on how to get more out of your tech and apps, how to work smarter, occasional links to some great non-news tech musing around the web, and some surprise goodies I'm working on rounding up for you.

I've had this idea for a couple years now, as I started wondering if a newsletter would be the perfect format for the type and style of tips that launched Finer Things in Tech in the first place. Let's find out, shall we?

Subscribe to the newsletter here and share this link with all your friends and clients. Maybe your boss, too. Heck, try working it into a Reply All at work, see what happens.

I'm really excited about this, and I can't wait to hear what you think. As always, thanks for reading.

Subscribe to my Finer Things in Tech Flipboard Magazine

Subscribe to Finer Things in Tech Flipboard Magazine.
https://cdn.flipboard.com/web/buttons/js/flbuttons.min.js

Flipboard a fantastic way to read stuff you like, and I run a Finer Things in Tech Flipboard Magazine filled with stuff I think you’ll like.

It’s a mix of articles from here (not the tips posts) and great, timely, but non-news pieces I find around the web.

If you like Finer Things in Tech and Flipboard, you might as well get all Reese’s Pieces on the whole thing and put ’em together. As always, let me know what you think or if you’d like to see something else in the magazine.

A new Finer Things in Tech, more posts, and a way you can help

Finer Things in Tech should look a little different today, starting with the URL. I’m going back to basics, writing more, reviving the podcast, and introducing a way to support my work and the authors I commission. Let’s get started.

More Finer Things

Finer Things in Tech has always been about quick, bite-sized tips that help you get more out of your tech and apps. Last year, I introduced long-form articles from myself and smart industry folks, and they’ve been a big hit. Now I want more of both, and I’m taking a cue from my former boss Jason Snell to include “bigger than a tweet” pieces. I’m also going to try some link posts, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it all.

I want more tips and long-form articles, and I want to explore our relationship with tech, the industry’s culture, and how we can improve it all. The short-form podcast will return soon, I want to pay more smart people to write about the finer things in tech, and that’s where you come in.

How you can help

I’ve never done something like this before, which is a great reason to try it: today I’m launching a Patreon where you can support my work and help me pay writers. You can contribute as little as $1 per month or as much as you want. I’ll use this money to pay for the site and commission as many articles and tips as I can.

The Patreon doesn’t have any tiers or stretch goals yet, but I’ve certainly thought about them. It depends on how this goes, but all sorts of things are on the table: removing the one ad from the site, a process for requesting authors and articles, maybe even a mobile magazine, and more.

If you value Finer Things in Tech, I would deeply appreciate your support to help make it even better.

Details and thanks

To answer some inevitable questions:

Yes, Finer Things in Tech now runs on Squarespace 7

I know I threw in the towel on Squarespace two years ago, but it and its iOS apps have come a long way. I started using it again recently for a neighborhood project and, combined with my long-time frustration with WordPress and its hosting (yes, an article is coming about that), it felt like the right time. Squarespace removes many of the website management frustrations for me so I can focus on what matters—writing, podcasting (soon!), and finding more people to write about the finer things in tech.

Yes, all old links should redirect

Squarespace has some great domain and URL redirect tools for muggles like me (but if you see something, say something). In short, all old links to something like:

finerthings.in/featured/have-a-very-imessage-holiday

will transparently redirect to their new home at:

finertech.com/blog/featured/have-a-very-imessage-holiday

Feeds should automatically redirect as well. But if you’ve never subscribed or just want to make sure, you can check out all main section and topic feeds on the Follow page, as well as social and newsletter options.

Thanks

I have to make a huge shout out to Conrad O’Connell at 91digital for help with getting all the necessary redirects in place. I also thank Alex Knight at FeedPress for a lot of help in jumping through some hoops with feed redirects and custom hostnames.

Of course, I thank you as well for reading and all the support, links, and feedback. I love doing this, and I want to bring you much more Finer Things in Tech.

Please update your Finer Things in Tech RSS feeds—they’re moving!

I’m putting Finer Things in Tech through a CMS overhaul, and one of the big changes is the RSS feeds. Of course, I’ll explain more once I’m all done, but the short is that WordPress, and WordPress hosting, is too difficult and costly to be done well for my needs.

I know I threw in the towel on Squarespace a couple years ago, but it’s come a long way since then. I am moving both my persona site and Finer Things in Tech back to it.

Here are the new feeds for all the main Finer Things in Tech sections, and I’ll do my best to redirect old feeds. The new feeds are platform-agnostic, so even if Squarespace implodes some day and I need to move the site, I hopefully won’t have to put you through this again.

Be sure to (re-)subscribe, tell all your friends, and hell, maybe even tap a few friendly strangers on the shoulder and share the wonder of Finer Things in Tech.

Thanks for reading.

Introducing Finer Things in Tech Newsletters

I have some great stuff coming to Finer Things in Tech, and this is a small first step. Over the years, a growing number of readers have asked for a way to get Finer Tech posts by email. Today, I am happy to check this off the to-do list.
The initial batch of Finer Things in Tech Newsletters are available below. They collect the week’s posts for their respective category and deliver their headlines and excerpts to your inbox every Friday morning. Note that the Weekly Report newsletter is the equivalent of The Firehose feed from the Follow page of social and RSS links—every post across the whole site.

Feel free to sign up for one or all lists and let me know what you think in the comments or directly. I’d love to hear your thoughts on everything, including the best time you’d like these in your inbox and whether you want more granular options for sub-category topics like iOS 7, iPad apps, or productivity. I am also considering other options like daily and immediate newsletters, as well as full-text-and-photo options for a small membership fee. Told you some great stuff is coming. 😉

Thanks for reading and, now, subscribing.

[mc4wp_form id=”4969″]

How do we know if mobile apps are secure? – Scott Hanselman

How do we know if mobile apps are secure? – Scott Hanselman

I download a new 99 cent app and perhaps it wants a name and password. What standard UI is there to assure me that the transmission is secure? Do I just assume?

Scott links a sobering example: a study of 40 banking mobile apps—those gotta be secure, right?—from the top 60 most influential banks in the world found that they are “miserably insecure leaky messes.”

Finer Things in Tech Broadcasts – Push Notifications for the best articles and tips (yes, you heard me: articles)

ADN BroadcastsApp.net is becoming interesting in so many more ways than “a Twitter clone,” and this week it introduced what is probably its most intriguing and far-reaching feature yet: Broadcasts. I’m going to experiment with a Finer Things in Tech Broadcast for featured articles (yep, you heard me) and tips, and you can subscribe to it here. If you want some background on broadcasts and my vision, read on.
In short, App.net Broadcasts are Push Notifications anyone can setup for anything, and all your audience needs to receive them is the free App.net app for iOS or Android. You can create as many Broadcast channels as you like, then manually create new messages in the app or on the web, or hook up an RSS feed to go fully automatic. Broadcasts can be brief messages in and of themselves, or they can have a read more link that takes your audience to any link you want. Yeah, there’s a ton of potential here.

I’m going to experiment with a Broadcast for the Finer Things in Tech “featured” category. You can subscribe to that broadcast to receive just the posts I mark as featured—the best tips from all platforms I cover here and, soon, long-form articles written by some of the best writers in tech. Yep, this is the first time I’ve announced that these are coming. Also yes, I’ll talk more about this soon.

If you’re curious about Broadcasts and want to see more, pick up the App.net iOS app or Android app and check out the Broadcasts directory, there’s already a bunch of great stuff in there.

As always, let me know what you think. If I’m sending too many broadcasts, if you want to see separate Broadcast channels for each of the main Finer Things in Tech sections, or you have any other ideas, hit the comments here or contact me directly.

Lots of improvements to Finer Things social links, now allowing affiliate links in post submissions

I spent my Labor Day morning making quite a few improvements to some key pages throughout the site. I know, I’m a party animal. The rest of my weekend has been pretty busy with friends and some other things so I welcomed today as a day of downtime and personal projects.

A little more social

The Follow page that lists all the social accounts for the site and sub-sections is much prettier. I added actual service icons and created a basic button for App.net. I also revamped the sidebar widgets using the official WordPress JetPack plugin’s new trick of widget visibility. Long story short, you can now specify whether a widget should be shown only for specific pages, categories, authors, and tags. It’s great.

Now you’ll see a Follow Finer Things in Tech widget in the sidebar of the homepage and most other pages, like /about and /submit, but a Finer Things in Mac widget on all Mac posts, a Finer Things in Web widget on all Web posts, and so on.

Podcast love

Some readers have told me it’s a little difficult to figure out how to subscribe to the Finer Things In podcast, and I think I nipped this one in the bud. Previously, each individual episode post had big subscription links for iTunes and the direct feed, but the podcast page itself didn’t. This morning, I added large iTunes and feed buttons to the top of the page, above all the individual posts; they should be pretty hard to miss now.

Submit a Post using affiliate links

Lastly, I added some polish to the Submit a Post page that anyone can use to get a post on this site. I added some clarity that you don’t have to use your real name and I encourage you to include your social, website, or project so I can thank you with a link.

I am also now experimenting with allowing you to use affiliate links for an app, product, or service that you write about. For example, if you submit a post about an App Store app, you can use your Apple affiliate link. If you write about Dropbox, use your referral link to get some extra space. Amazon’s affiliate program and links for individual companies like WPEngine and ThemeForest are fair game too. Remember, this is an experiment right now, so I’ll see how things go. But I want to use this as another way to say thank you for submitting a post.