TinkerTry Highlights 000 - Introduction

Posted by Paul Braren on Oct 19 2016 (updated on Oct 20 2016) in
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    New tech evolves quickly, TinkerTry's agility reflects that reality

    My ongoing home tinkering tends to bring new insights to previously published topics. When the technical updates below articles are significant, I'm pulling together a curated list of those changes in this series of articles called:

    that you may want to bookmark. If you'd like to get weekly notification of new articles with summaries, consider signing up for TinkerTry Weekly, takes only seconds.

    Depending upon popularity and feedback, I'll likely go with publishing a new TinkerTry Highlights every few months for now. Longer term, I'm exploring automated approaches as well, to help visitors easily find all recent updates, at any time.

    TinkerTry Highlights 001 is ready for you already!

    Static content gathers dust

    Most blogs have posts written at a moment in time, and that's it. They become a static, dormant. Much like a paper book, those posts quickly age. Only occasionally will such articles receive a brief update or appended correction note, usually very shortly after publication. Usually must minor changes based on reader reactions and/or corrections, or just the usual grammatical, spelling, and typo clean-up. Most sites don't have copy editors, even some of the big ones. That's increasingly today's reality. Refinement sometimes has to wait, or more likely, never happens at all, since most blogs only expect readers to hit those newsy articles heavily that first day or two.

    Rules of the web

    TinkerTry doesn't go by those old-school rules. Typically, about half of my articles are somewhat rushed, written in burst, and not very refined. I write what I can in limited chunks of time, here and there. I'm often so excited to get the article out there for public vetting that I publish a draft-like version, ready for comments. The rough edges sometimes get smoothed out later, with a fresher brain, and the benefit of reader feedback. Many of my articles have a lot of staying power, and I feel compelled to improve upon them, when there's signficant value to add.

    This unusual method of publishing means that my RSS subscribers are treated to immediacy at the cost of a rather rough version of TinkerTry's content. Always best to tap the link to the source article, to read all of the latest updates. This is especially the case when the article was published within the last 48 hours.

    Breaking those rules is better when you're not a news blog

    If you're a news blog, you can't just go editing your content and change the meaning or conclusions afterward. Would be rather harmful to credibility.


    I don't make significant changes to meaning either, not without also clearly noting those changes, inline. Content updates are usually just added to the bottom of the article, with the article header clearly indicating the new "Updated on" date, as pictured.

    TinkerTry doesn't generally cover short-lived news items. I try to focus my time and energy on sharing only the best of what I've learned lately. These are generally things that haven't been covered in the same way before. Example include product updates and experiences that are based on weeks, months, or even years of hands-on time with the item. Here's some prime examples of this:

    where our collective long term ownership experience is shared through the comments, then detailed in a time line of ownership experience that I add below.

    This approach to reviews hopefully improves the buying and ownership experience. Readers can feel very well informed as they're reading about the product, warts and all, before pulling the trigger and buying. This tough-love approach also hopefully improves later versions of the same product category in the future. The smart vendors read and learn from their mistakes.

    Tech stuff changes

    But when it comes to new tech, like hypervisor releases, BIOS releases, Windows releases, video doorbells, smart thermostats, etc., things often change frequently those first few days after publication. Examples:

    • more time hands-on with the product reveals something new and unexpected
    • kind visitors donate their time to comment about typos or inaccuracies or other gaffes, or add new insights or tips I hadn't thought of before
      this is one of the many big benefits of going public with ones thoughts and experiences, collectively we're better
    • the subsequent revisions add value to the article during that clean-up phase, making it much more polished for that once-a-week TinkerTry Weekly automatically emails highlights from all new articles published over the previous week. Consider signing-up for TinkerTry Weekly for yourselve, here's a recent sample of the experience you can expect.

    Here's the rub

    Those new additions and sometimes big changes that might be significant to the technical audience aren't exactly obvious to Google and Bing web crawlers. While search engine optimization SEO sounds purely like a marketing play, but to a technical audience, it really means that valuable updates often get buried amongst the vast library of over 800 articles that become rather difficult to discover on your own.

    Introducing TinkerTry Highlights

    New tech evolves quickly.

    I enjoy living at the bleeding edge, helping others avoid the pitfalls that I regularly and gleefully fall into, since I actually enjoy the process of learning from my mistakes, often made on camera, which I actually intentionally leave in some of my 400+ videos.

    Again, here's the curated list, highlighting significant, recent changes, found in this series of articles:

    Visit and/or bookmark that link, and you'll have an at-a-glance way to hone right in on what's new since the last time you visited.

    Feedback below is always appreciated!

    See also at TinkerTry

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