Discover more from The Land of Random
😍 End Subscription Stress,The Value of Forums, and Creative Video Spaces
Zoom is for Boomers now
Hello! How’s it going this fine Monday morning? It’s practically Fall now - and time for fall flavors! Yes, it’s pumpkin spice time now - I will drink my one customary Starbucks drink.
Sadly, here in Middle Tennessee, it stays in the 70’s to 80’s until mid-November.
Maybe we’ll get lucky and have some cooler weather soon!
The contest is winding up soooon in the next few days! If you haven’t entered yet, make sure you do.
Did you hear about the Twisted Metal TV show that they’re making? Yes, that amazing 90’s game series is getting its own show. Anthony Mackie (or - Falcon / Captain America) will be starring in it too!
I can’t wait to see what they do with Sweet Tooth!
Did you catch up on the Apple event? It’s pretty cool that they added Apple pencil support to the Ipad mini! The whole flicktype keyboard drama is pretty interesting as well.
Why ya gotta be that way Apple?
Oh - and we can’t forget about those Facebook Rayban glasses. I wonder if they’ll succeed. 🤔
Anyway, let’s hop on in to today’s topics shall we?
💀End Subscription Stress
We’ve all done it - paid for a subscription that we didn’t really want. Maybe it’s just an oopsie month or maybe it’s a whole year. Maybe we kinda use it, but not really.
It’s an endless struggle - and in a world where you can now subscribe to earbuds - we have to be vigilant with all those free trials.
Well, there’s a cool startup called ScribeUp that can help you avoid the endless war.
How does it work?
Basically, it generates a virtual card you can use to sign up for free subscriptions. They can’t charge you if there’s nothing on the card, right?
It’s quite easy to use the virtual card too. You just click on the little icon - grab the card details, and sign up for that FREE trial.
Today - I signed up for Pandora to check out the free trial. Every few years I wander back to see if the platform has changed at all. It’s never enough to steal me away from Spotify’s warm embrace - but you never know.
Now I know that once the trial expires - I won’t be charged! I can also subscribe with my REAL debit/credit card if I want to keep the subscription.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to manage the subscriptions you want from one place? and save yourself money from the ones you don’t want? It’s WAY easier than frantically trying to remember the 8 services you’re subscribed to.
Get instant access to the beta through this special link - and begin your free trials.
🕸The Value of Forums
The humble forum is one of the most important pieces of the internet - and they’re beginning to disappear.
Eurogamer has closed its forums. They’re gone. They’re so gone Google is still pulling up links that no longer exist.
Luke Plunkett, from Kotaku - notes this from the Eurogamer announcement
Sadly, times change and the way people communicate also has changed. Traditional forums are no longer a popular place for people to come together to talk, and have been replaced in popularity with more modern community platforms like Discord, Twitter, and Twitch.
Due to this, our forum community has declined over the years to the point where there are only a handful of people left actively using the forum. This makes it difficult for us to spend resources keeping the forum running.(Source)
Across the internet - things are a’changing. Discord, Telegram, and Whatsapp, FB Messenger, Imessage groups, (Etc, Etc) are where everyone hangs.
However - this message is lacking. It’s lacking a fundamental understanding of how one interacts with and finds information on the internet.
Forums and Discord are apples and oranges. Users aren’t being moved from one similar thing to another, they’re being shifted to platforms with fundamentally different ways of approaching discussions. Discord is great for talking in the moment. It’s a place for real-time conversations . . . Forums aren’t the same though. They’re nothing like it. Forums are more deliberate, more considered, and while they’re far from perfect . . . Forums create a record, an archive we can search through, so that whenever we want to revisit issues, or find help with a problem, or see what was happening during a certain time, we can do that. There’s a paper trail, and while sometimes that leads to embarrassing takes on tv shows and game reveals, other times it’s providing an enormous help with technical issues or parts of a game you’re stuck on . . . Discord simply can’t provide that. It’s a river running in real-time, and while it does have search functions, the way the whole app is structured means you’re simply never going to get the same levels of detailed discussion or archived information as we can get from forums. (Source)
I love Luke’s take here. Discord is a fast-running river - while a forum is an archive you can flip through.
To take the analogy further - which of these sound easier to you?
Jumping into a river of postcards to seek an answer about a particular level in an old game
Taking a look through a book full of detailed answers about a game level.
I’d reckon it’s probably the second choice
Now - don’t get me wrong. I love Discord. It’s a fantastic platform for chatting with people and all sorts of awesome activities. However - it’s not a place for storing knowledge in an easily accessible way.
If I type in “How do I solve x problem in in x game” on Google - chances are a forum post is gonna pop up. For example . . .
There are two forum answers right there.
Here lies the soul of Lukes's concern. We can’t access very specific information like that easily via Discord. It’s much more easily surfaced via the power of Google’s algorithms.
So - if you do like Eurogamer and just shut them down without an archive - you’ve destroyed a valuable source of knowledge for games.
If a trend emerges of more and more companies shutting down forums - then knowledge like this gets harder and harder to access.
That’s pretty sad.
However, there is a thread of hope in this story. A group of exiles from the Eurogamer forums have created their own version!
Personally, I like forum-style platforms like Reddit or Indie Hackers because of how quickly I can access information - and even Reddit has its issues as a proper “forum.”
Here’s one really cool forum you should check out if you’re interested. It’s called the Agora Road Macintosh Cafe, and it has a ton of vaporwavey nostalgic vibes. Here’s a link to a conversation about this very same topic of forums!
📺Sprout.Place - Creative Space
Friends! I have found the Video equivalent to Kinopio.club, Excalidraw, and mmm.page.
It’s called Sprout.place and it looks SO awesome - Check this out. It’s pure unbridled creativity and I love it.
You can literally upload pictures, the video interface itself, stickers, custom CSS the page, AND browse the web - so you can use apps WITHIN the app.
So - you could be working on an Excalidraw project with friends from the same page.
With that kind of collaboration - you could potentially use this to replace Miro or other similar apps.
I believe Sprout.place has a lot of potential in the nonlinear creative space. There’s a few bugs here and there - but it still works pretty well!
For example - the photos search bar is a bit glitchy, and doesn’t allow you to scroll.
Personally, I believe Sprout.place is just a few pieces away from being a great web app.
I would like to see audio work in the web search function so you can listen to music from within the space.
native gifs / gif stickers integration.
Custom HTML embeds would be awesome (but not necessary)
I look forward to seeing where Sprout.place goes in the near future!
Check it out at the link.
🐙The Land of Random
Random links for your random enjoyment
Do you have a business or side hustle that’s making you some money, but you’re ready to take it to the next level? Daren is writing a really cool book in public called the “Craftsman Creator,” which is focused on helping creators take their projects from four figures to six. From the mental mindset to business personas, there’s a wealth of knowledge here. Every new chapter is published via a newsletter format - straight to your inbox. Subscribe at the link!
Do You Even Skate Bro?
The fact that there are 15 year old videos on Youtube is insane. Here’s a little skate video for ya - UPLOADED TO YOUTUBE IN THE YEAR 2005. Pretty decent street stricks!
Cue Smart Widgets
This beta invite only smart widget platform looks interesting! Create smart widgets for your website based on URL’s and other rules.
Send Files by Sound
With Ozzillate, you can send files to other people WITH THE POWER OF SOUND. I tried this and it works! Perfect for sending files without needing the other persons contact info. It’s easy to use too!
for when you need Darth Vader to say NOOOOOOOOOOO
Start your website from real paper. That’s right - if you like to write - and you want to share that writing without double work - you can use Paper Website to upload your writing to make a real simple website. Very Cool!
I’ve been seeing a lot of Lofi websites lately - and I have to say that this one is one of my favorites. I love the fun background images, ambient noise, and other features! I may make this a new homepage. Hmmmm.
TikToks You Can’t Miss
That was . . . . an incredibly detailed confession
Yup, pretty sure that’s the ultimate cheat code
Cool Wallpaper - I still need to play Death Stranding
YUS. I always need Bioshock vibes
Well, that’s aestheticcally unsettling
Dang! That house has some super creepy abandoned vibes
Well, that’s all for this week! See you next time :)