Jared White Photo of Jared

Expressively publishing on the open web since 1996.
Entranced by Portland, Oregon since 2017.

Hello and Welcome!

I’m Jared, an award-winning essayist, Rubyist, and podcaster who’s been commenting on and building for the web since Mosaic was a thing. (Yup, it’s true! 😆)

In my spare time I travel around Portland 🌲 and the Pacific Northwest and shoot cinematic-yet-quirky vlogs. 📹 📺  In addition, I compose and produce 80s-flavored retro electronica. 🎹 🎶

This is my home base on the internet. I hope you enjoy browsing around! 📍

P.S. What am I doing now? That’s what the Now Page is for!

P.P.S. What’s my favorite (fill-in-the-blank)? Find out in About Me. 😃


Things I Do

It would seem I’m always but one step away from reaching for an endeavor to occupy my time with at any given moment. Besides what’s obviously available on this website…from Bridgetown, a Ruby-powered site generator, to Yarred, my musical alter-ego, there’s something for…well…somebody.

Welcome to the Jaredverse! 😌


Newest Posts

The Blog as Publishing Hub

Blog: short for Web-log. A personalized record of content you post on the web.

Web: a shortening of World-Wide Web. A global network of hypertext documents all linking to each other.

So then, why is it rare to find anyone actually doing this with their blog? 🤔

There’s a term in IndieWeb circles called Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere (or POSSE). It sort of captures an aspect of that idea…basically you use your own blog to publish thoughts, link commentary, photos, videos, newsletters, etc., and then disseminate that content out to other services (YouTube, Twitter, mailing lists, your own RSS feed, etc.)

I tried POSSE in a previous incarnation of this site. I ended up not liking it. It doesn’t capture the workflows I instinctively prefer on a regular basis, nor how I wish the #openweb really functioned.

What I want to do is the exact opposite! IndieWeb also provides a term for this: Publish Elsewhere, Syndicate (to your) Own Site (or PESOS). They don’t recommend it, and the wiki page enumerates some of the reasons why. But I have come to realize I prefer PESOS for a lot of the content I produce, because it’s generally way easier and the UX is way better.

  • I like “microblogging” on Twitter.
  • I like posting videos on YouTube.
  • I like writing newsletter issues in ConvertKit.
  • I like uploading podcast episodes to Buzzsprout. (I don’t for this site, but I do use it for the Fullstack Ruby podcast.)
  • I like posting photos on…well, certainly not Instagram any more. 😂 Glass is pretty rad, but I haven’t determined if I want to reserve it for the “fancy” photos I take with my “fancy” camera, or simply give up and flood it with on-the-go iPhone snaps.
  • I like releasing music on Bandcamp. (Honestly, I don’t know of any indie musician who doesn’t use Bandcamp at this point!)

So the question then becomes: how do I post all this content elsewhere, then transparently pull in links and import content back to my own #website? Of course on a technical level, it means I’ll be writing lots of Ruby plugins for Bridgetown, the software I use to build my website. But I’m always musing on workflows that can be easily applied to the industry of blogging as a whole. I haven’t seen much evidence anyone’s truly cracked this nut. Also admittedly, dragging your own content in kicking and screaming from third-party silos is often less than straightforward (hence the notion of POSSE), because they have a vested interest not to let you feature your own content on your own website. (YouTube remains sort of a weird outlier here because they make it easy to embed videos anywhere, and youtube-dl is certainly a thing.)

Still, I’m motivated to figure this stuff out. I’ll let you know how it goes! ☺️


From iPhone mini to iPhone Pro

picture of the Deep Purple version of the iPhone 14 Pro

I’ve been rocking the iPhone mini lifestyle since the 12 series debuted. I love my mini. I love that form factor. And I’m sad to see it go.

Nevertheless, time marches one and new iPhone models come out packed with new features. And the list of new features in the #iPhone 14 Pro is impressive indeed.

  • Dynamic Island (I always hated the notch. Byeeee!)
  • Always-On Display
  • 48MP Main Camera
  • Deep Purple

OK, maybe that last one isn’t a “feature”, but I definitely love this color. I got to hold one at my local #Apple store and generally see the Dynamic Island at work, and it’s fantastic. It’s what the design should have been from the beginning. Farewell notch…hopefully forever.

I’ve heard some grumblings about the overall lack of progress in the standard iPhone lineup this year, and I get that. But for me it’s not an issue, because there’s no way I would ever upgrade from an iPhone mini to one of the standard iPhones. If I’m forced to leave the world of the mini behind, I’m going Pro. No question about it.


Patreon is laying off 17 percent of its workforce and closing offices

I’m genuinely sorry about all the people having to leave Patreon, and I wish them well in their new job search.

All right, so let’s roll back the clock and evaluate what I posted on Twitter in April 2021:

Today I found out Jack Conte has fired a bunch of people at the behest of former Instagram bigwig who became Patreon’s Chief Product Officer in January. Obviously “the big rewrite” is now underway.

First of all, changing your development priorities = firing a bunch of people is ridiculous. It’s the cookie-cutter mentality in tech. Oh, we need React developers now. Oh, we need Swift developers now. Oh, we need Kubernetes DevOps experts now. Oh, we need…

If you can’t adequately train the people who already work for you how to adapt to changing requirements, your org is fundamentally broken. Conte insists Patreon’s doing great financially, they just have some new ideas. OK. SO THEN WHY FIRE ANYBODY @#&%!#%?!

Secondly, I’d missed the memo that the former Head of Product of Instagram’s “Home experience” (aka “Feed, Stories, Ranking, Video, Profile and Interactions”) is now in charge of Patreon UX.
That revelation alone is firing planet-sized alarm bells in my head.

And it continues on from there… I was not a happy camper!

Needless to say, it’s now been well over a year later and Patreon genuinely sucks. 😒 The iOS app doesn’t feel noticeably nicer or more appealing in any way compared to before Mr. Instagram Julian Gutman took over, and the desktop web app now looks like a crappy knockoff of old Facebook. Most of the design on my large macOS display is blank nothingness. None of the UI has any character or personality whatsoever. (Remember when Patreon looked like this? Now it’s a dry corporate Silicon Valley VC desert.)

Patreon started out feeling like an indie product: by indies, for indies. Now they’re having to peer under sofa cushions looking for loose change in an effort to placate their VCs. It’s exhausting. I begrungingly support a tiny handful of creators still on the platform. I’d much rather pay them directly.

Look, I’m sure Jack Conte’s heart is in the right place and he means well. But I have ZERO confidence in the future of Patreon. They should have never hired Julian Gutman, and they should have never taken ridiculous piles of VC money. Bad moves, plain and simple.

Next obvious question: who will rise up and take Patreon’s place, only this time actually stay indie and forever feel indie and support nobody but indies? (VCs Begone!) Inquiring minds want to know!


The Perfect Length for a Blog Post Is…

…nobody knows. 😄

I literally searched DuckDuckGo for “what is the perfect blog post length?” and got a wide variety of different answers all on the first page. I suppose it entirely depends on the genre, the author, and the audience. In other words, perfection will be forever illusory.

So I took a look at what I’d written so far throughout the year, and for short “thought” posts like this, the average seems to be around 300 words. For longer article-style posts, the average seems to be around 900.

Rather than leave it random chance, I’m going to try an experiment to see if I can keep the length of short posts a little bit shorter—say around 200 words—so that I’m more motivated to write and publish them, and conversely strive to ensure essays clock in at no less than 1000 words.

This is all part of my renewed push to design a more disciplined and appealing workflow for blogging. You’d think I would have figured this stuff out by now! 😂 (Always more to learn…)


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Stay in the Loop

Look, I get it. You already subscribe to too many newsletters. So much to keep up with. But guess what? I only send out a newsletter occassionaly. It’s no big deal. And if you peruse the Creator Class archive, you might find something that resonates with you. It’s a great way to stay current with what I’m publishing, and newsletter recipients always get some extra insight just for them. So what are you waiting for? Let’s roll!

black and white photo of Jared White

I promise to treat your inbox with the utmost respect and maintain your privacy.


Podcast

Fresh Fusion

A weekly show where we discuss the business, the art, the ethics of content creation on the open web. Hosted by Jared White.

Midnight in Portland

Alternate title: How to Be Productive and Successful as a Content Creator. (Yeah, I know…it's cringey…but I have a bunch of pent-up thoughts and some helpful tools/workflows to share with you all and figured now is as good a time as any to dive into all that. Also feeling all the feelz after a tweet actually went viral. Imagine that!)

Listen to Episode 79


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Photos




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Videos

I tried to take the train…thrown on a bus?! // Epic PNW Views Anyway!

I thought I was taking an Amtrak train from Portland to Seattle, like I had done before. I was wrong…the train was delayed and they threw me on a bus instead! Not cool…BUT it did still get me to Seattle in a reasonable timeframe. From there I headed off to work at WeWork, visit the Seattle Waterfront, and meet up with my bro. Next day Shayne and I got to see some stunning views of Snoqualmie Falls, as well as visit a beautiful country lake in the town of Kent, WA.

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The Three Vital Landmarks Along the Road to Success

There was a time not long ago when my life was in a major upheaval. Signs of online success were slim to none. I wasn’t sure if anyone out there would really care if I were suddenly Thanos-snapped out of existence. Yet the valuable lesson I came to learn during that dreadful time was how to become intrinsically motivated, the significance of value creation, and the trick of cultivating T-shaped skills.

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