I really like magazines. They’re like mini books with random topics. I lack a concentration span for a full book most of the time, so magazines give me brain something to do. A lot of people say the industry is dying and blogs are where it’s at, but I disagree. Both have their place. I subscribe to over 1,000 RSS feeds, so I get a lot of crap in there and a lot of good stuff. I subscribe to a couple of magazines too:
- The Atlantic
- McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern
- The Monthly
- Macworld Australia
- Dumbo Feather, Pass It On
As long as there is stuff to read, I don’t care how it gets to me - paper, tablet, e-ink, web - it’s all words!
That said, Angus is a bit daft if installing Firefox confused him. Remember, this guy is an IT journalist, so you’d expect some insight as to how computers work, as opposed to a random drooling idiot.
This is from the comments on the Lifehacker post:
Jon - December 10, 2009 at 4:35 PM
1. go to Firefox web browser | Faster, more secure, & customizable
2. click large download link
3. file downloads, disk image auto-opens when finished
4. drag the large firefox application on top of the Applications folder icon in the disk image window
5. there is no step 5…
Angus Kidman - December 10, 2009 at 4:46 PM
Step 3 didn’t happen. Had to use the Finder. And then had to use Spotlight to find Firefox to launch it.
So I guess he didn’t bother to read this nice and clear set of instructions when he downloaded Firefox?
Nothing’s gonna work if you don’t read the documentation - Mac or Windows. And even then, did this window not give any hints as to where Firefox would reside? A little intuition goes a long way.
Instead he had to use Spotlight to find it! Uhh, it’s pretty obvious it would be in the Applications folder, as that’s where he would have had to have had dragged it.
Angus couldn’t even find the eject button his keyboard:
Angus Kidman - December 10, 2009 at 3:48 PM
I think “What’s the e asiest way to do this?&r dquo; is a very subjective question, based as much on prior habit as anything else. For instance, I think the easiest way to eject a CD is with an eject button. Don’t have that option on a Mac :-)
Jon - December 10, 2009 at 3:54 PM
Yes you do. It’s on the keyboard, right next to the slot-loading drive! I don’t think it would really fit next to the drive anywhere….
Angus Kidman - December 10, 2009 at 4:25 PM
D’oh! Point taken re the eject key, thanks y’all. But I think the point about intuitiveness remains (especially given the convoluted process I’ve just been through to install Firefox — no way was that easier than in Windows).
He also says he loves keyboard shortcuts. That’s cool, use Quicksilver. But he refuses to install it because he wants to “see how far I can get going with what’s available in the native OS X environment” - uhh, why? It doesn’t prove anything. You wouldn’t use Windows in a bare default state, so why treat the Mac the same way? I mean, he installed Firefox, which doesn’t come with a Mac.
It seems to me that Angus has rote learned Windows and is so familiar with it and turned using Windows into such a habit, that using anything but Windows will be so uncomfortable and awkward, that he won’t like using a Mac one bit as he is a typical, stubborn nerd. And… that’s fine. Use Windows, that’s what it’s there for. Just don’t expect anything insightful, useful or even entertaining from this MacBook Migrant stunt.
P.S: there’s not enough Dell ads on this page. I think you can squeeze some more in. Really get the message across gents!
They hate their Mac and it seems they hate the English language too.
I was rummaging around my computer and found this cover letter I wrote about a year ago now. It’s for the role of editor at Macworld Australia magazine, as they were advertising it. I never actually submitted it, as I didn’t really want a “proper job”. In hindsight, I’m glad I didn’t bother.
Professional Geek & MacTalk Australia Junior Vice President
Salutations Macworld Australia,
This is a cover letter for the editor role, of the illustrious and grand MacWorld Australia magazine, for which I am interested in.
You may or may not have heard of a website called MacTalk. I run that website. I have been doing so since it’s conception in late 2003. It is Australia’s premier online discussion area for Apple fans, as well as one of the major news sources for Australian-related Apple news. As part of MacTalk, we spat out 10,000 copies of a rather crude magazine that captured the hearts and minds of some weird people. I even sent you guys a couple of copies. I hope they were sufficient cat litter material. Along with the MacTalk website, a single issue of a magazine, I have also headed up the #1 Australian technology podcast, not surprisingly called, MacTalk. I don’t know how this minor success occurred, but it did and I am a better person for doing so.
What’s this got to do with being the potential editor of Macworld Australia I hear you ask? Good question!
- I have hands on experience in running an Australian, Apple magazine. Marketing, advertising, writing, editing, design, and distribution. There are few people that can say they have done this.
- MacTalk attracts over 650,000 unique visitors a month. The MacTalk podcast has close to 2,000 complete downloads weekly. I lucked out in this “Internet” thing and happen to know something about it.
- I am a huge geek that loves technology (and in particular, Apple’s offerings) more than anything. I have the old computers and video game collection to prove it.
- I have been involved deeply with the Apple community in Australia for close to 4 years whilst running MacTalk. During this time I have met many people, soaked up so much information and learned more about Apple than I could have ever imagined. I am well versed in the ways of Apple. Lifetime member of the Cult. Only a pathetically low pain tolerance has prevented me getting a Happy Mac tattoo on my arse.
I will be up front and say I have not been the greatest fan of Macworld. The phrase “a dead tree with outdated information” may or may not have been uttered by me over the years in relation to Macworld Australia. While I still believe there to be issues with Macworld, this is not a bad thing. If the magazine was perfect, why would I want to come along and stuff it all up?
I don’t know what sort role the editor will have at Macworld Australia - maintaining the status quo, or giving Mac users in Australia the best goddamn magazine possible about their fetish. If it is the maintaining the status quo down at Macworld, please quit Preview or Adobe Acrobat and check out the next cover letter in your inbox. If it is to make the best magazine possible for Australian Apple users, then I would relish the opportunity to carry out a personal mission of guiding, aiding and supporting Apple loving freaks in Australia, together with a respected and experienced team of publishers.
Hopefully any sort of perceived rivalry between MacTalk and Macworld can be put aside so we can work together for the benefit of all of us and all our Apple loving friends in this country.
When I look back at the people I’ve known throughout my life, each one of them has at some stage or another, disappointed me. Sometimes it’s my fault, as I set up unrealistic expectations, or just act like a dickhead. Other times it’s their fault because they’re either jerks or simply don’t know what they’re doing. I’m sure I’ve disappointed each one of you in some way or another and I don’t even know it. But you know I disappointed you. It probably hurt too. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to, really. I guess this is part of human interaction. What’s worse is that it took me this long to realise this fact? Fucks sake Anthony, you are dumb.A couple of months ago, I had an epiphany. Music has been a better friend to me than any person has. Music has made me feel things people never have. I can relate every bad moment, every good moment, in my life with a song, or an album. I’ve spent more quality time with music than I have with people. Each album is like a friend I never had, or wish I had. Each song is like a moment I wish I had spent with someone. That beautiful mash up of noise, that my ears love, is like a hug I never received.When I’m under the covers, in the dark, reminding myself of all the disappointment and lost opportunities in my life, it’s music that is there to comfort me.I’m fucked if I go deaf.
Just had an awesome idea via the MacTalk forums and user Angsty. He (or she, I dunno), suggested some sort of genius bar-esque regular event, where people who need some help with their Mac (or iPhone or iPod, whatever - as long as it’s Apple) can turn up to a venue with their hardware and get some advice and help from someone knowledgeable in the field.Give something back to the community, share the knowledge, maybe meet someone interesting and make a friend. Perhaps they can give back something to you in return for helping them e.g: someone who’s an accountant might be able to give some free/cheap advice or if they’re a plumber, fix some leaky taps, whatever.Hopefully we can find a venue with space and power for dudes to use their computers (like iMacs or stuff as opposed to laptops) and internet is easy thanks to 3G mobile broadband. Though you’d probably want to rock up with OS X install discs, software updates and apps on the ready, to save them being downloaded.Downside is that I would probably need some legal shit people agree to, to make sure people don’t get upset if something goes wrong (i.e: someone breaks a computer, or data is lost accidentally). Sucks that it has to be done, but I gotta cover my arse.Would be good to roll it out in other cities too, not just Melbourne. Apple nerds helping Apple newbies, all across Australia, spreading the word of our Lord and Saviour, Steve Jobs. Can probably put an ad in the traditional media (Green Guide in Melb, Macworld perhaps, flyers around, in shops etc.) and get a lot of people involved. Maybe even give out prizes for those who volunteer to give tech support.I reckon it would be rewarding. Like volunteering for a high-tech soup kitchen. It’s always good to help out your comrades.P.S: I didn’t mean to make this the “shit I’m thinking about MacTalk” blog, but it seems it’s ended up that way as it’s pretty much all I think about (besides videogames, hamburgers and credit cards).
I know you look at MacTalk (or any other website, or shop, or business) and say to yourself “why don’t they do this thing I really want?! It’s so easy, they have the capacity to do it, so why not? I really want it. I’ll contact the owner and tell him, they probably just haven’t realised it, because my idea is so awesome and when they read it, will immediately do it and shower me in gratitude.” So, you do end up telling me and I give you a polite reply (or a defensive retarded one, depends on my mood) like, “I’d love to do it, it’s a good idea - maybe one day, but not now.” and you sit back in your comfy computer chair and curse under your breath “fucking hell, why is he so lazy, what’s he got to lose? Just do it and see! It will be fantastic, you’ll get so much traffic to your site!”.
If only it was as simple as that fellow geek. If only.
When MacTalk (or rather, AppleTalk) was smaller and less visited, it was easy just to throw something out there and see what happens. If it bombed, well, so what? No-one was watching - carry on. But now, with over 2.5 million page views a month, 6,000 RSS feed subscribers, 27,000 forum members, 2600 Twitter followers and 2000 weekly podcast listeners, what I and MacTalk do is constantly under criticism, praise or downright hate. Every action MacTalk does, every initiative, every project, every sentence, every tweet, all forms some sort of opinion of the site & brand (I hate using that word brand). You form a vision of what MacTalk is. For example, you see a lot of news or tutorials and you figure we’re trying to be important or useful, but then see a review for an iPod powered dildo, or Portguese chicken and you don’t know what the fuck is going on. But maybe you see the dildo review, then see the proper stuff and go “why would I want to read this from these guys? keep on with the wacky stuff dudes!”.
So when something changes on MacTalk (i.e: topics or segments on the podcast, the type & tone of content on the blog), someone is bound to either hate or like it. I guess it comes down to what I want MacTalk to “be”. I would presume some sort of motion statement, or guidelines would be good here. Something to guide us. Somehow we’ve managed to have a decent sized audience with no clear goal other than “we’re Australian, we’re nerds and we like Apple”. And you know what? That’s kinda how I like it.
At the end of the day, the only real barometer of what MacTalk should, or shouldn’t do, is if I enjoy doing it. From experience, you can’t keep everyone happy, so you may as well do what you want and be happy. If some people like it and come along for the ride, that’s awesome. Problem is though, that’s not good enough to make a living off. Like I said before, MacTalk has a decent sized audience and for the most part, they like what they see now (which is why they’re around). Doing too much that rocks the boat, risks losing them. “I really like what they used to do, why’d they stop? :(“. I’m not some marketing/user experience expert who knows what people want. What I think people want, is probably what they don’t. I have no idea what makes something successful or popular, which is why I’ve stuck to the method of just doing what feels right for me, because at least then, I’m happy.
That isn’t to say I’m adverse to giving the people what they want. There’s probably room for what I enjoy doing, plus what people want to see/hear. Win-win, right? I get to have fun doing stupid shit and getting paid for it, the audience that likes that gets it and the audience that doesn’t can just ignore it while they get what they want from other portions of the site. There are problems to this approach too. Too much stuff people don’t like will annoy them and they’ll ignore MacTalk. Plus, I don’t know what people want in the first place and asking people what they want doesn’t work. People don’t know what they want (Steve Jobs, is that you?) and any people who claim to know what people want, are jerks that I don’t get along with.
This post became extremely winding and complicated (with a hint of waffle) and nothing like I intended. Here’s a dot points because I like dot points. They cut the crap and get right to the point:
- I do it because I enjoy it, but I also do it because I like the fact people are listening.
- I want to do what people want me to do so I can sustain a living.
- Traffic = income = avoiding Home Brand Cat Food for dinner.
- I’m terrified of alienating the userbase that has been loyal for this time.
- Some people’s ideas are retarded and should be ignored. Some are excellent and should be done.
- I have no idea what people want.
- Give me your ideas and when I have a lot of them, one of them is bound to be good and in tune with what I want to do and when I’m ready.
- Sticking to the “do what I want, because it’s the only way I can trust” works, but limits growth.
- I really have no fucking clue and just take each day as it comes. When I’m found out for being so clueless, they’ll all leave.
So when you listen to an episode of the podcast and go “man, this could be so much better”, or when you check your RSS feeds and see a sparse list of entries under MacTalk Australia, think of this post and the internal conflict I suffer daily that scares me into doing nothing.