Posts by Year


I’m over on Bowen Island visiting my parents. Our first travel in months. And yes, they’re selling their house. Maybe a good fit if you don’t need to go into the office any more!  Permalink

“You don’t need to tip, just be nice; it’s all good. It’s a great, simple system. In fact, it’s how we buy most things!” — Clif Leir, getting rid of tips at Victoria’s Fol Epi and Agrius, in Scout Magazine.  Permalink

I just sat down and wrote an entire page on “startup” on my new personal wiki, which is in part “startup thinking”, and then lots of tools, resources, and recommendations. Looking forward to gardening the bmannwiki.  Permalink

Starting my first batch of @fmedeats inspired tepache — a drink made from fermented pineapple skins and cores.  Permalink

The new bike in its natural habitat in front of @timbertrain, plus their new fresh baked breakfast sandwich.  Permalink

Responding to @brianloveswords, a German regional speciality is Maultaschen, aka “Mouth pockets”, which are a bit like ravioli. They were created so that Germans could eat meat during lent, because apparently God can’t see through pasta (just like Superman and lead).  Permalink

Major personal website surgery underway. I used my root domain as an archive, now I’m making it my personal wiki running @requarks WikiJS. Everything food / cooking / travel related will be over at @ATBRecipes.  Permalink

I got @iAWriter posting to my blog. I can run my own site and identity, and a 3rd-party app like iAWriter can ship support for standards (IndieAuth and MicroPub). I have my choice of apps, without having to give up control of my data or my identity.  Permalink

A year ago #OnThisDay, I made Schug, a middle eastern hot sauce made with green chilies, fresh cilantro and parsley and garlic.  Permalink

I ordered some taro for delivery and it ended up coming as one giant root. Made taro three ways, including Japanese simmered taro as recommended by @fmedeats.  Permalink

Biked out to the very end of Spanish Banks, with @rachaelashe on the back of the ebike. A beautiful sunny Sunday. The Bikemap app tells me that’s 13km each way.  Permalink

A Friday night in the park, with some 6ft friends. The park was full of careful 6ft friends in the sun. Potato salad with radishes and guanciale. Pulled pork. Pickled beets.  Permalink

Quick beef tacos: onions, garlic, tomatillos, tomatoes, spiced with fresh ground cumin, salt, chilli flakes, apple cider vinegar and a little tomato paste. Plus: quick pickle radishes!  Permalink

Testing a full blog post (with Quill and an inline image)

Can I put an inline image? Let's find out! Pat is very excited! Edit the next morning: that would be, testing a full blog post using the Quill micropub editor article composer. You can add images, and they are converted into an img tag and encoded in the source as data:image/png;base64. This works – and I was able to post this amazing Zoom screenshot of Pat and I testing IndieKit – but not really a great option. Quill is open source and available on Github, so you can either host your own version and/or contribute changes to it. It’s one...

This is a post about brownies. Specifically, testing micropub IndieKit image uploads, and also Cassava Flour Brownies if you want more detail :)  Permalink

Made some savoury quick bread, with oregano, garlic powder, olive oil for the fat, and half an avocado. Turned out well, skip the avocado next time.  Permalink

The Pacific Bread Company is a bit of a hidden gem in #eastvan. Lots of classic French pastries like macarons, and the best kouign amman in #Vancouver. Kouign Amman from Pacific Bread Company  Permalink

Read/Write Web 17 years ago

Richard MacManus writes about starting his Read/Write Web blog back in 2003. This gets me browsing my own site and a few links to explore what the time was like. Including discovering a post by Dave Smith about SARS from around the same time.

Testing out Squoosh, an image optimization / compression app from Google Labs. Runs offline, uses a bunch of #WebAssembly codecs. And, has a checkbox under Advanced Settings labeled "Pointless spec compliance" :p Screenshot of Squoosh app  Permalink

Request for #recipes: what I can make with this red kuri squash? You may also know it as Japanese squash, onion squash (UK), potimarron (France) Hand holding red kuri squash  Permalink

Kyle writes Noncompete By Two Other Names on developing the next Polyform Project license "many developers and companies want 'do what you want, but don’t compete' license terms…[but many] wanted to define 'don’t compete' differently"  Permalink

Quill web app Micropub client to Micropub Server, pushed to Github repo, web-hooked to multi-server deploy on 3 continents across Linode and DO, using @FlynnScale #opensource PaaS. Let's see if this works :)  Permalink

"Everyone will take for granted the idea that you can watch a live video stream in a group of 500,000 and have live shout-outs from the comments. Or have a group video chat in which friends can drop by." Now people are comfortable with video, by @genmon  Permalink

On This Day: March 31st

Photos from a roadtrip in Washington with Monique @somisguided and James @sherrett. You can see a @rachaelashe reflection in the mirror behind the tea cakes :) We drove around various places in Washington State, including Edison and Padilla Bay. James reminded me that this was the trip where we followed some signs we saw on the road and discovered the Golden Distillery (which no longer exists). This 2010 Skagit Valley Herald article talks about

I bought this Kouign Amman from Bench Bakehouse. They don't have gift cards yet, but open for take out, including frozen sausage rolls. Kouign Amman  Permalink

On This Day: March 22nd

On this day, back in March 22nd, 2007, the Open Source CMS Summit that I helped organize was taking place in Sunnyvale at the Yahoo campus. While we had some participation from other communities, the core of it was the Drupal community I was part of.

Renting in the time of Pandemics

This week, I helped setup the apartment where we live in East Vancouver with an email group. It’s really been something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time, and of course the pandemic ended up being the thing to make it happen. I want to talk about what we’re doing, ask some questions about support for renters during this time, and make a call for more shared communication around the topic of Renting in the time of Pandemics (yes, that’s a call back).

“Take heart: you are not the only person experiencing what you are going through. But be mindful: not everyone is having the same experience you are. Ultimately though, we are all in this together.” —Kottke: Some people I needed this.  Permalink

I started following a capybara account on Twitter. Please share more cute animal content. Bonus points if they are your own animals.  Permalink

COVID-19: Personal Perspective

I’m writing this to capture my personal perspective on the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s definitely been stressful trying to figure out fact from fiction. Being in Canada, I have high confidence in our federal and provincial health systems. What can I do to support the experts? I can lead by example and support others in my community. Here are the actions I’m personally taking, feedback for some local organizations, and some links to further resources at the end.

On Instagram, off Facebook

The Own Your Gram tool that helped cross post from Instagram to your own site stopped working with recent Instagram changes, which made me not want to have stuff “stuck” in Instagram. I have decided to keep posting on Instagram, but only after I’ve already posted photos to All The Best Recipes — my food / travel forum. I also cross-post to Facebook from Instagram.

#opensource sustainability has awareness, but is also problematic phrasing: “The result, if developers prove desperate enough to accept it, will better resemble picking and packing at an Amazon warehouse”, The Curse of Sustainability, by @LicenseZero  Permalink

“Those writing ethical licenses today identify with open source. They don’t coopt or free ride off a past movement. They’re an active part of that movement, in the part that writes software, rather than the part that writes press releases.”
This Mess We’re In, Kyle Mitchell  Permalink

Somewhere to the left of this curve is “note taking systems that are open source and federated”, rather than once again investing in centralized systems. The Ghost blog ecosystem is a successful example of this.  Permalink

Laptop Choices

I’ve been using Chromebooks for several years, have a desktop iMac and iPad Pro that I use, and am considering a new Windows laptop. Here’s what I’ve learned so far and the general options I’m considering. I would love to hear feedback and opinions on what options others are considering! Background Notes and Use Cases For work I need a command line terminal and access to a browser. I’ve been using a Chromebook for several years (more details below), working with either ChromeOS on the command line, or the new Linux app container support to also install Ubuntu. I went...

Tools for home cooking

I do write about cooking here, but this is a long post comparing programming to cooking. If you haven’t read it already, go read Robin Sloan’s “An app can be a home cooked meal”. Sloan wrote an iOS app for himself, his sister, and their parents, and considers himself a “home cook” equivalent programmer. Ton and Roland beat me to a write up with their thoughts on the post. I knew as soon as I read the article that they’d both have thoughts on it. Roland picked out all of the juicy quotes. I’ll plus one the first two: In...

“At this point, a discussion on software has turned into one about the price of an alcoholic beverage.” — an article from 2018, where Christine Peterson covers her invention of the term open source.  Permalink

Photo Backup for Geeks, iOS and S3 Revisited

I wrote a blog post back in 2017 about my method of archiving iPhone photos to Amazon S3. Today, I had someone ask me about what my current workflow is, since The Archivist iOS app doesn’t work any more. I use the Dropbox app to sync photos from my iPhone, and then periodically use Multcloud to copy the photos to my own Amazon S3 bucket. Multcloud is fine, but completely handing over your cloud login credentials to a service like this isn’t great. And then I don’t do anything with them, so they really are just backup at this point....

German startup ecosystem challenges, Canadian similarities

Robin Dechant wrote about the Germany startup / innovation ecosystem. Lots of great reading about the specifics of the problem, from distributed cities, universities, and big company headquarters: While Germany is a powerhouse for research and technology with its scientists and engineers, it’s incredibly challenging to connect all these people and to build bridges. This, of course, sounds incredibly familiar to someone in Canada. I could probably write the same article about the Canadian market and the tension between Vancouver/Toronto/Montreal (never mind smaller cities and regions). Totally agree that each country / region has to figure out how to succeed...

The midlife crisis of the American restaurant review

Via Vancouver’s @ScoutMagazine, “An essay in the LA Review of Books on the midlife crisis of the American restaurant review” A lot of this ring true for me. Here in Vancouver’s heavily Asian-influenced dining, most restaurants understand that share plates are a thing. An appetizer-to-dessert review doesn’t make much sense for this. When traveling elsewhere — it has happened to me in Toronto (farm to table small plates) and Berlin (high end Turkish) — I’ve had servers explain sharing plates to me. It never occurred to me that this is something that needs to be experienced or taught, having grown...

“tech” over the last decade went from being perceived as a vertical sector to now being horizontal, where tech has or will permeate most if not all industries, one reason @semil covers in Why Seed Funds Have Scaled  Permalink

You can edit .git/info/exclude to ignore things locally, without editing or checking in a .gitignore file. via the git docs, and me searching for this answer multiple times :)  Permalink

First rule of RSS Club is talk about RSS Club! Discovered via @ton_zylstra’s feed, the concept is to make unlisted posts that only get shared via RSS. NNW screenshot of the bottom of Ton feed  Permalink

Founder Notes, Tam Kbeili at CodeCast

This is the first “Founder Notes” – I share some links and highlights of a discussion with a founder as we talk about their business. As with many things I do, it’s an experiment in “working out loud”. I’ve spent many years in Vancouver working with early stage startup founders, and I enjoy workshopping ideas and sharing useful resources. This morning I sat down to catch up with Tam Kbeili @tammam, founder & CEO of CodeCast. People in Vancouver may also remember Tam as cofounder of CodeCore, one of the first coding bootcamps locally. He sold the school in October...

"I’m defining in 2020 a PWA as a design pattern to develop app experiences using web technologies with different APIs", Progressive Web Apps in 2020 by @firt. Photopea and Tweetdeck are 2 desktop PWAs I have installed on both MacOS and ChromeOS.  Permalink

"I value allyship more than anything. Home is people. Safe spaces are people, too. Not all people. But the right ones". Happy 41, @benwerd. Whatever version of the web we're on, we're all in this together.  Permalink

“Every time you pip install, go get or mvn fetch something , you’re doing the equivalent of plugging a thumb drive you found on the sidewalk into your production server”, OSS is Under Attack by @lorenc_dan  Permalink

I just added jekyll-mentions to my blog: it links usernames that are @-mentions to a social network of your choice. I have mine set to Twitter, but already filed a feature request to support multiple.  Permalink

Manyverse, a distributed social network powered by the Scuttlebutt (SSB) protocol, is now available as an iOS app: “your friends' posts and all your social data live entirely in your phone”  Permalink


I met some people of German descent over New Years and we did the usual thing of talking about where our families are from. My dad @opahorst is from Berlin. My mom @anneonbowen is from a small village called Limburgerhof, which is in the Rheinland-Pfalz province of Germany. She was raised Mennonite, which got us into a discussion if Mennonites were all like the Amish (not using certain forms of technology). I wasn’t actually raised religious at all and I don’t really know anything about Mennonites. When my mom’s mother, my grandmother, was still alive and came to visit us,...


We’ve got the Tesla Cybertruck, so I was wondering about the state of “cyberboats”: all electric boats. The Electric boat entry on Wikipedia is a useful starting point for the history, including that the invention of the internal combustion engine put a stop to early electric boat experiments. The Canadian Electric Boat Company has 15-20ft launches for sale, powered by BMW batteries. X Shore, based in Sweden, crowd-funded an investment round, and won a 2020 German Design award. Torqueedo makes various electric powered outboards for power and sail boats. The Boat Trader Hybrid and Electric Boats Guide is a good...

Saving this dig DNS txt record one liner for posterity. The _dnslink subdomain is used by IPFS as the well known location to look for a content address of a site’s root folder: dig -t txt short  Permalink

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The Return. Of dangerousmeta. To blogging. And self-hosting.

“I don’t care what you use, or how you use it, but get the hell off the commercial social services and get an independent weblog.”

Path of Exile is a free-to-play action RPG with unique gem-socketing-based skills, and a level tree that’s more of a spiral / mesh that lets you build any type of character.  Permalink

If you have video game time scheduled over the holidays, Grim Dawn, an action RPG successor to Titan Quest (2 classes per character!), is on sale at GoG for $7.  Permalink

A full afternoon of cooking. @rachael_ashe made roti, I made Trinidadian chicken curry & lamb coconut mango curry & two side salads.  Permalink

Chain link fence, cranes at the port, and sunlit mountains  Permalink

Finally fixed my blog front page to show all recent posts - microblog posts, bookmarks, and IG cross posts. Reminds me that it’s been too long since a full-length blog post!  Permalink

I should probably write an actual blog post about how I’ve been enjoying using Discourse forums. Great OEmbed support and auto transclusion / linking between posts.  Permalink

I posted a #cookstorm on Twitter as I made this Chicken Eggplant Coconut Curry tonight. Pretty happy with how it turned out!  Permalink

Testing posting from the MicroDotBlog iOS client.  Permalink

I got access to @GoogleStadia yesterday. My controller doesn’t arrive until next week, so I played Destiny2 on my Chromebook with mouse and keyboard. Worked well!  Permalink

At @rachael_ashe’s new studio, her studio mate Ted has a cookbook collection! The author photo is amazing. And of course I want to learn how to flame things table side.  Permalink

Sitting in the office at the end of the week sponsoring some cool projects on Patreon and drinking a Brassneck Yuzu beer. Have a great weekend, everyone! Check out #eastsideculturecrawl & @RachaelAshe if you're in #Vancouver.  Permalink

This MONOLISK game is pretty interesting. You build levels and other people play them, while you level up different characters with equipment - mage, warrior, etc. Here’s the link for following me.  Permalink

Why yes, I am still experimenting with drinking vinegars. Newest orange-quince + white wine vinegar on the left, orange-ginger + sherry vinegar on the right. More on the new forum at  Permalink

Diced quince and sugar after 48 hours. Made 2 cups of quince syrup, then added 1 cup champagne vinegar. Voila! Quince shrub.  Permalink

Cultivate Tea on Main had a collaboration with Goose, making Onigiri 🍙. Went well with a kombucha flight.  Permalink

A lovely summer evening to be heading over to #bowenisland on the ferry.  Permalink

Turkish coffee made from Guatemalan beans at Ben Rahim in #Berlin  Permalink

Was following a bookmark to Backpfeife bakery and found a whole art / food / drink / hang out space by the Spree #berlin  Permalink

Brassneck Brewery @brassneckbrew is our office neighbourhood craft beer. Xenophile, a “tart fruit beer with apricots” is what we’re trying today.  Permalink

New Brighton Park, on the edge of #eastvan, next to the wheat loading port, is an amazing summer evening experience  Permalink

A towering “icy” - shaved ice & eight toppings with self serve sweetened condensed milk - and a hot sweet soup of rice wine with sesame balls. With @misobarb & @rachael_ashe & Simon.  Permalink

People in Berlin talked about using clauses in the German constitution to expropriate privately owned apartments  Permalink

#Vancouver is so lucky to have this massive selection of craft beer. And! Look at all the colour & design that it’s funding as well!  Permalink

Finally getting home Internet switched from Shaw to TekSavvy. Half the price, twice the integrity.  Permalink

Spreading the gospel of espresso tonic in #vancouver at @bumpngrindcafe with James the barista. Bought some tonics at Choices, fingers crossed it becomes a menu item.  Permalink

iPad Tools

I’ve been using an iPad Pro 11” as my daily machine for about 2 months now. Here are some of the tools I’ve been finding useful. After using a Chromebook for a year, the thing that made me want to do this is Keynote. My cofounder Brooke and I have been working on one pagers and presentations, and nothing else is better than Keynote. I mean, I know this. In my career, I’ve been an expert at both PowerPoint and Keynote, but really Keynote is just a pleasure to use. I’m productive, quick, and end up with better presentations. I...

A visit to Sawada Coffee in Chicago. @be.zelenka waves. The coffee is a “Black Camo” - matcha + espresso.  Permalink

Went on adventures in Richmond industrial parks today, and found delicious food including Lamajoun, an Armenian bakery. Wrote it up on the wiki — includes surprise chocolatier discovery!  Permalink

Made it to Lamajoun, the Armenian bakery in Richmond. The “dough boat” is called a pide, house made basturma (cured beef), khinkali beef dumplings, jazzve coffee.  Permalink

New business cards! We’re on the road next week in #seattle & #chicago so needed some new ones. And yes, QR codes now that iPhone camera supports them are surprisingly useful!  Permalink

Drupal Past Predictions

Dries Buytaert sent an email to core contributors in August 2010 asking what we though Drupal would look like if it was 10x bigger:

Model T IndieWeb

Continuing the discussion of how IndieWeb needs to evolve in order to see adoption.

Spent the weekend on Bowen and did a bunch of cooking. Wrote up directions & photos of beef shoulder stew, rhubarb cake, and a kale & roasted beet salad, all on the wiki.  Permalink

Run your own WebMentions

I’m continuing down the road of adding Deploy to Heroku support to various apps, and using my site as a test case for IndieWeb stuff. I went down the rabbit hole today because infominer was looking at the Jekyll IndieWeb template, and I found @voxpelli’s WebMention’s server at voxpelli/webpage-webmentions. I forked it bmann/webpage-webmentions and got Deploy to Heroku working by just adding an app.json.

Made some schug, a hot sauce of fresh parsley & cilantro, with garlic, jalapeño, Thai red chilli, lemon juice, coriander, cardamom, salt, & canola oil.  Permalink

Lucky enough to do some test eating - new cheap & cheerful Singaporean opening on Kingsway west of Victoria. Immediate top 4 #laksa in Vancouver.  Permalink

At @rachael_ashe’s studio for First Saturday. She’s showing off some of her custom papers. Studio sale! Come by until 4pm.  Permalink

For @misobarb’s birthday week, we went to the new Hanoi Old Quarter, 36th & Victoria, Northern Vietnamese style. Counterclockwise from top left: fish with dill, duck & banana stew, appetizer platter & a delicious soup.  Permalink

We went to @tworiversmeats in North Van on the weekend. Full service butcher counter plus a licensed cafe-style restaurant with many meaty eats.  Permalink

Revolver, right at 7:30am opening. The front porch of Gastown.  Permalink

Hipster coffee & tasty breakfast in #Berlin. Including a “ginger shot” that burns so good.  Permalink

Remote working shift start at the beautiful #Vancouver public library. The top floor has work stations and an awesome patio.  Permalink

Dear Berlin: I’m coming to visit next week, so I’m practicing by having lunch at @bestiewurst here in #Vancouver.  Permalink

I’ve been using an Asus C302 Chromebook for a year now. The new Asus C434 looks great - a little bigger, much more powerful, & support for Linux apps (which is what I’m missing to complete local development).  Permalink

Ethereum Governance

An explanation of different layers of Ethereum Governance: open source collaboration, protocol standards governance, Core Dev coordination, nodes running client software, plus extended reading and links.

Delicious meal at Dosanko in #EastVan. They use rice fungus (koji) to make lots of their own dishes, including this koji-cured beef belly.  Permalink

Worked out of Propaganda Coffee in Vancouver’s Chinatown today, & @be.zelenka showed off her ridiculously awesome custom Mac OS + Firefox + tiling WM + mechanical keyboard.  Permalink

Early start, prepping for my session. A pastry & coffee on the bench outside a great little bakery.  Permalink

Wandered the Paris streets. Found this chill cafe with good music. My first pain au chocolat of the trip.  Permalink

A date tart with rose jam at Moltaqa.  Permalink

You’re working from home & then realize you’ve got Montreal-style brisket to make lunch with. 😍  Permalink

Sunrise on Orcas, looking west over President Channel towards Canada.  Permalink

So many delicious baked goods at Bakery Sate. Road trip supplies!  Permalink

Stopped in for an afternoon coffee & pastry taste test at @liviasweets yesterday. Congrats on your opening week! @ LIVIA Permalink

Deep fried tofu tossed with chili-garlic, quick bok choy & broccoli stir fry with a little soy sauce.  Permalink

Outline "Open source wiki and knowledge base for growing teams" - rich text editor that transforms markdown on the fly. Free for up to 5, paid hosting or self-hosted, uses Slack or Google for logins. Full markdown export.  Permalink

The infamous, original #eastvan craft brewery: Storm 🍺  Permalink

I’m pretty lucky in my #eastvan neighbourhood to have great businesses close to home.  Permalink "A blogging platform with no interface". Specifically, it uses your own Dropbox account to create the files that it transforms into a blog for you. For $20 / year, this is pretty awesome.  Permalink

More Flickr export & photo experiments

Experimenting with various services for dealing with my Flickr export backup and moving photos around, resulting in documenting a grab bag of cloud services, protocols, articles and other research.

Shared a selection of appetizers at Moltaqa for lunch. Chicken pastilla, lamb merguez, stuffed eggplant, & white bean stew.  Permalink

Cassava cake. Last of the ingredient experiments - grated fresh cassava, coconut, & various canned milks.  Permalink

A cold but sunny walk from Jericho to Spanish Banks and back. A view over to West Van & downtown Vancouver.  Permalink

Flickr Exports in Jekyll

I’m exporting my photos off of Flickr ahead of their limits for free accounts. This is an initial experiment of the export files, and how to display them in Jekyll.

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Christmas braised lotus roots. Main flavours dried sour cherries, maple syrup, and a little sriracha.  Permalink

Lotus root soaking in water with lemon & sour cherries. I have no idea if this is going to work out.  Permalink

German Rouladen just starting to braise. Thin sliced beef filled with mustard, sautéed onions, bacon, & pickles.  Permalink

I mean, I only sort of bought turkey. This is what Columbus calls a “turkey hill”. Stuffed with sausage, wrapped in bacon.  Permalink

Columbus Meat Market super packed before Christmas of course. I’m pretty happy with the duck, turkey & pork I picked up.  Permalink

My first Filipino Kamayan meal - a dinner feast eaten by hand, served on banana leaves  Permalink

3Box, social profiles on Ethereum: "We think these capabilities will make it extremely easy to build the next generation of more social apps on Ethereum, and contribute to making web3 a more safe and familiar place for our users and communities."  Permalink

A lovely Moroccan lamb tangia at Moltaqa in the winter sun. (Old ACME Cafe location)  Permalink

Coming into the dock at cloud island.  Permalink

Roast chicken. Kinda sorta spatchcocked. Parsnips & rutabagas.  Permalink

Rainy Save on Meats neon, waiting for my bus.  Permalink

Really, is there such a thing as too many computing devices? Installing Ubuntu on my old Mac Mini.  Permalink

@rachael_ashe made a delicious arugula salad, and I made the vegetarian version of Catalan chick peas with mousseline. Both are on the wiki.  Permalink

Lots of travel, back in Raincouver at Revolver. Enjoying a duet - a macchiato with the leftover shot on the side.  Permalink

Stages 2 - 4 of Pulled Pork: halfway through 6 hours of cooking, “pulled” pork, and dinner tonight.  Permalink

The absolute abundance of a California grocery store.  Permalink

Stage 1 of pulled pork. Who says you can’t cook when business traveling?  Permalink

Grabbing a moment of peace in the crowded Blue Bottle. Working on telling the story of FISSION & collaborating with great people across the Ethereum ecosystem is a lot of work, but is keeping me energized.  Permalink

Made a nice piece of halibut with za’atar & sumac & garlic, cooked in butter / olive oil / onions plus fresh lemon juice.  Permalink

A Georgian Restaurant in Prague, dishes clockwise from top right: chinkali, marinady, kababi, saslik, salad with walnut sauce. @ Bistro u Gogi Permalink

A brewery built in 1431, wild boar goulash with dumplings, and a beer taster that is bigger than I expected. @ Pivovar U Supa Permalink

Trdelnik in #Prague - rolled dough that is wrapped around a stick & grilled over charcoal, then covered in sugar. @ Old Town Square Permalink

Great first meal for me at Dosanko in old Fat Dragon location. Tsukemono, tuna tataki, & chocolate + hazelnut dessert. They are making their own koji, miso, & soy sauce. @ Dosanko Permalink

Is this my final espresso tonic of the season? A glorious sunny day in Vancouver. @ Revolver Permalink

Back home from our Portland / Eugene trip. These are the condiments from Indigo Traders: Duqqa, Harissa, & Za’atar.  Permalink

A middle eastern kitchen & home store, Indigo Traders. We sipped Turkish tea, I bought some condiments, browsed a lot of Turkish towels & other fabrics. @ Indigo Traders Permalink

Super fun local community coffee place. Road trip begins!  Permalink

Commons Based Peer Production

I was reminded today after speaking to Ted Leung that he uses the phrase “commons based peer production” rather than “open source”, because: The problem with the term open source is that everyone means something different when they use it. Some people just mean licensing. Some people think of a particular community’s set of practices. Others think that it means some kind of fuzzy democracy and mob rule. Which of course is exactly what I was trying to capture in my post from last year on Blockchain & Open Source Definitions. Researching that phrase further brought me to a bunch...

Egg(s) in Purgatory - slightly spicy tomato sauce, black kale, soft cooked egg hidden under all that cheese @caffelatana  Permalink

Leftover potato dumplings that get sliced up and pan fried in a little duck fat are pretty delicious.  Permalink

OK! It's 🇨🇦🦃 and I started cooking yesterday, have a turkey stock that got turned into stuffing already. Here's the stock after I came home last night:  Permalink

Amazing interactive, participatory experience with @kidkoala tonight: Satellite, with us as Turntable Orchestra. That’s @rachaelashe flicking the fader.  Permalink

Further Thoughts on the Fair Share Clause

This started as a short reply to Erlend S. Heggen’s “The Fair Share Clause - A thought experiment for sustainable open source”, and got long enough that I really did want to capture it in its own blog post. Heggen @erlend_sh is a Community Advocate at Discourse, the open source forum software. The description of Discourse’s end of 2017 donations to open source projects they depend on is also a great read. Kyle Mitchell’s writing and his License Zero project are name checked, and I have posted about them briefly recently, but consider this another reminder that you should look...

A great thought experiment by @erlend_sh on how to evolve funding for #opensource, specifically for infrastructure where "SaaS or open core" won't work: The Fair Share Clause, sort of like Fairtrade certification for software.  Permalink

Caught up with @Stv who is doing great work in his new role at TELUS in #Vancouver. He is building awesome Node / React teams tackling some really big systems across Canada.  Permalink

Was out on the water last night with my friend Mike. Here’s sunset over the RVYC Jericho docks as we were coming back in.  Permalink

Post installation of the @KnowRoaming Global SIM "sticker". It goes on over the contacts on your existing SIM card. Going to be doing some more travel soon & this is easier than SIM swapping.  Permalink

“In popular terms, to be true, a meme must first be minimally viral so it can be meaningfully thought at all.” — Dodo Thoughts by @vgr  Permalink

Blockchain Governance 101 - Vlad Zamfir’s current thinking on the topic of blockchain governance, with a couple of different flavours possible. “if a coordination mechanism is legitimate, people will (justifiably) act like it’s a fact that people will use it”  Permalink

OK! I now have 1) micropub clients talking to 2) a micropub glue server, 3) pushing to git, pushing to Netlify, which builds my Jekyll blog, producing feeds that 4) @microdotblog cross posts to Twitter, Medium, and LinkedIn. Full write up here  Permalink

MicroBlog, Jekyll, MicroPub and IndieWeb

As part of my dive back into open source, I took a look at my blog, social networks, and other tools I’m using. Well, maybe that’s not quite true. I’ve been tinkering with my blog for 16 years, I doubt I’ll ever stop, regardless of how I’m spending my time! Twitter all the things I’ve stopped using Facebook, Tumblr, Medium, and Instagram and doubled down on using Twitter for my “whole self”. Which in my case means posting cooking storms, long threads on travel, as well as lots and lots of tech. For this post I’m not going to get...

Setting up the office with proper supplies - ramen, Kind bars, Ethernet cabling & a few crypto specific items ;)  Permalink

It's past midnight, is it working yet?  Permalink

I may quite possibly be posting this via, to my own micropub server on Heroku, which turns it into Jekyll compatible md file and posts it to Github, which sends it to Netlify, which creates a feed for MicroBlog.  Permalink

I think I’m about to put “Full Time Open Sourcerer” on my business card. A lot more fun than Head of Operations & Community. More on this thread. (via @expede)  Permalink

Went to the Art Breakers market at Heritage Hall yesterday. Bought several prints & also collected business cards for some upcoming commissions I want to do.  Permalink

CRM updates

I got asked about my personal CRM post on LinkedIn: I stumbled across your blog today, specifically a post about choosing a personal CRM from 2016. As a fellow tool junkie it was really exciting to see the different options available at the time broken down that way. It also made me curious about your current workflow. Has anything changed? I’m always changing up tools that I use or trying to get better with the ones I keep using. A lot of it is based on a deeper understanding of how I work best, and the rest of it is...


I’m going back to my roots in open source and co-founding the Special Projects & Decentralized Engineering Company, or SPADE for short.

Conferences as Community Gathering

Rather than treating attendees just as an audience for lectures, conferences should be a community gathering that invites people to make it an awesome experience. Here are some thoughts on how to include community in your traditional conference format, starting with a bit of history about unconferences.

Berlin Observations

I’ve been in Berlin for about a month now, minus a side trip to Rotterdam and a conference in Algiers. Here are some of the notes and observations I’ve made about the city that have stood out to me.

The Narcissus is a little cafe at the north end of Commercial, across from our storage unit. Run by Japanese owners, they are doing “matured” fruit drinks, which sit in simple syrup & are then served as sodas or flavoured lattes. @ The Narcissus Permalink

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Starting to think about food & cooking oriented projects for 2018. This is a spaetzle maker, for making German egg noodles. Could we build a kitchen library in Vancouver for sharing space & under-used tools? Tag something you might want to share with #vancouverkl  Permalink

Finally got the pork belly lettuce wraps at Damso on Bute. Comes with scissors for cutting these giant pork chunks up. @ DAMSO on Bute Permalink

Blockchain & Open Source Definitions

This post was written as a response to Trent McConaghy’s post, Blockchain as a Field. He starts with this statement: “blockchain” is best used as a label for a field, just like “AI” is the label for the field of artificial intelligence. It was Lisa Cheng1, who opened my eyes to the multiple definitions of blockchain. Roughly paraphrased, here’s what Lisa used as a framework for defining blockchain: Lisa is co-founder of Vanbex; I was an advisor & early investor there. ↩

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A Personal CRM

I’ve been once again looking for a personal CRM. Something that gets to do’s out of my inbox, collects data and messages on the people that I’m interacting with, and generally keeps me informed and up to date in my communications. Here’s a review of past tools and analysis of my choice.

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Vancouver tech and the civic election

I’ve been asked by a number of people what I think the “tech platform” should be for parties running for the City of Vancouver’s November 2014 municipal election. I feel under-equipped to tease out the intricacies of economic and civic policy, so I can only speak to what I’ve observed, what my gut says. At the same time, I’m not sure what municipal-level policies can actually do for tech ecosystems, other than many of the things that anyone working in any industry wants from a livable, vibrant city. Can the City of Vancouver help with increasing the salaries that private...

Harvesting knowledge

We are always learning. Whether we search for the answer to a question we have or an error we’re having in a piece of code, that practice of what to search for and sifting through the results is learning. Some of the time the answer might be obvious, we solve our current problem and move on. Other times, we have to look in 2 or three different places, synthesize the answer, and apply it. What are you doing to capture that type of learning? How do you share it with others, including your future self? The above is the outline...

Taking equity in startups as a consulting firm

I’ve been asked by a number of design agencies, development shops, and other consultants how they can work with startups. Part of this is understanding what types of services startups need and what their budget is. The other part is these firms thinking of themselves as investors, and wanting to have a piece of a product company that may pay off beyond just hourly consulting fees. Much of the material is slanted towards design services, but is generally applicable to any service provider. Early stage tech startups don’t have a large budget for brand design, and since their customers and...

Committed to building Vancouver’s startup community

I’ve been in an introspective mood lately. It’s 2014, 10 year since I returned to Vancouver. 10 years of working with web technology and community building. What has changed about Vancouver, and where is it heading? How long does it take to level up a startup ecosystem?

Setting up OS X Mavericks with Homebrew, Cask, and rbenv

You’ve got a freshly built OS X Mavericks 10.9 system and it’s time to start loading up the usual apps you use and setup your development environment. Luckily, there are lots of great developer tools for automating this task. I learned some new tricks (e.g. Homebrew Cask) from Tadej Murovec’s post. And, my Macbook Air is now 2 years old and all the command line tools / versions have changed, so I needed to re-document this for myself. App Store Your first stop is the App Store, where you can visit the Purchases tab and re-download items you’ve bought. You’re...

Stages of early stage tech investing

How much to raise and what stage your company is at is a constant question asked by founders and investors alike. Describing the stages of tech investing is my attempt to categorize what I am seeing in the market today. For any new business, traction will trump everything, with lots of customers using the product on a daily or monthly basis being a great indicator. There are many “it depends” for these stages and dollar amounts, and they also reflect common numbers in Vancouver / Canada. For example, a business model that focuses on Enterprise sales is going to need...

You Can’t Outsource Product

One of the many tricky things about building a web startup is that you can’t outsource product. As a web startup, your web or mobile app is your company, your sole purpose for existing. Why do you think you can outsource it? When you outsource building your product, your company is missing out on most of the important things that go into building a successful company. Sure, you can hire freelancers or a consulting shop to build you something. And that’s what you’ll get: something. As long as you keep paying the bills, the typical consulting shop will write code...

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Build more startups in Vancouver

Last Thursday, Jesse Heaslip wrote ‘Two Problems with (Vancouver’s tech community) and Three Ways to Fix it’. If you don’t know Jesse, know this: he’s crazy-irrational-passionate about the Vancouver tech community. For proof, I offer the fact that he organized 40 tech events that were attended by 1600 people in 2011. Talk about impact! Jesse lists the two problems as: 1. How do we get companies to the stage where there is interest from acquirers? and 2. How do we get those companies to stay? First of all, for a really great backgrounder on startups in Vancouver and the various...

Reinventing the wheel one directory at a time

I just saw this GrowLab post about an initiative to get local companies to get listed and link to a directory of Vancouver companies. Now, I definitely think we can do more to celebrate being based here in Vancouver, as we digital creatives go out to sell to the entire world, but I hate seeing us once again starting yet another directory from scratch!

Vancouver’s Talent Are Like Raw Resources

I had a brief clip air on Global TV BC this evening, commenting on the news that Facebook is opening a temporary office in Vancouver. Here’s a link to the written article. Thanks to Greg for tracking down the Global TV News Hour clip (starts at 15:20). I do think that the difficulty in getting a US Visa is a contributing factor to make Canada / Vancouver an attractive place to put an office. It was back in July 2007 that the Microsoft opening an office news broke. Looking back, the Microsoft office out in Richmond was basically a non-impact...

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How to Play Instagram

Gowalla is like Lego used to be—it’s a tool without any rules.Travis Smith Inspired by Travis' post about How To Play Gowalla, I present you with my version for Instagram. What is Instagram? It’s an app for the iPhone that lets you apply effects to pictures you take and post them online. As well, it’s very easy to share those pictures on other social networks. For me, Instagram has become the most fun and engaging online community experience since I started using Flickr just as it was getting started. I think it’s no accident that both center around photos. So,...

The Flickr Question

It’s that time of year again, when I face the same question: my Flickr Pro subscription has expired, and I need to pay so that all my photos are accessible online. But maybe I should self host? Is paying for a Flickr Pro subscription still worth it? Don’t get me wrong - I think the “Flickr deal” is still fantastic: about $2 per month for unlimited storage of all my photos. From a pure storage perspective, even Amazon S3 would cost me more than that. Flickr was one of my first loves when it came to online community. When I...

Working with Contractually

I’ve been working with Contractually for the past 2 weeks1. I’ve always loved Martin’s vision for Contractually2 – both the concept of moving past “digital representations of paper” to more fluid, data-native documents, as well as modernization of the legal business. Broadly speaking, I’m doing Business Development. I’ve been trying the role title “growth hacker” on for size, but the phrase is a bit problematic. It has gone from a useful description for a role that understands digital tools & metrics and pairs them with more traditional marketing and business development straight to a buzz word akin to “social media...

Startup Riot Seattle 2012

I’m just getting back from 2 days in Seattle. In general, I’m trying to spend more time there, getting to know what’s happening in the Seattle community and seeing if Vancouver can connect more regularly (Cascadia!). Startup Riot is actually run by a team from Atlanta, with Sanjay Parekh playing the front man. The event is run as a pitch contest, including feedback from experienced entrepreneurs as judges, plus several keynote talks and lots of opportunity for connecting with other attendees. Here’s the description and agenda for the day. I loved the event. It was well run, it was curated1...

Calendaring & Meeting Tools

As I’m sitting here manually adding blocks of “break” time to my calendar around meetings I’ve booked, I’m getting a little frustrated. I’ve used Tungle for several years now, and it’s quite a good tool. Rather than playing the are-you-free-on-Wednesday dance (or as I like to call it, “Calendar Tetris”) with multiple people, you can quickly find time when everyone is free to meet.

Best practices for tracking QR Codes

My friends at Common Craft have a book called The Art of Explanation coming out this fall, and it will include QR codes. In the book, there are multiple references to Common Craft videos, and Lee wanted to make it easy for people to go from reading a page in the book and then easily viewing the referenced video. These QR codes link to the explanation videos on their website. Since there is only one chance to get the codes right before they get printed, we talked about different ways to generate & track QR codes1. Short URLs and QR...

Static Site Generators Lightning Talk at HTML5 Vancouver Meetup

I gave a quick 10 minute lightning talk at the HTML5 Vancouver Meetup group about static site generators (SSGs). I ended up putting the presentation together using Hekyll, which is, itself, an SSG for making presentations using impress.js. impress.js is an HTML5-based clone of Prezi, the panning / zooming presentation app; I just opted for simple presentation mode. Check out the SSG Lightning Talk or view it in the iframe below (use arrow keys to advance). This presentation needs work (never mind the fact that using my new machine to do a presentation caused a bit of a fumble). I...

Northern Voice 2012 - Web Literacy

I attended day 1 of Northern Voice 2012, including Moose Camp, which is a block of time that is run unconference style. I hosted a discussion on the concept of web literacy. I went into the discussion thinking along the lines of being a web maker - being able to understand HTML and code. But as we tossed concepts back and forth, it’s clear that web literacy is a very broad term, and that there are different levels of literacy. I’ve added a link to this blog post on the Northern Voice wiki – please add your own notes and...

The Posts that You Don’t Write

I had a great discussion yesterday where the phrase “the post I didn’t write” came up. This is a fantastic phrase, and led me down the route of examining why and when I don’t publish posts, and thinking about why others – especially in the context of working for an organization – don’t publish posts.

Reactions to Microsoft Surface

I used Storify to collect a number of the reactions that have been ricocheting around the web in response to Microsoft’s announcement of the all new Surface tablet. I am puzzled by their pre-announcement, happy to see more competition in this space, and really hope they succeed in shipping. Welcome to @Microsoft #Surface. Coming Soon. Windows It’s been fascinating to see the story of the “all new” Microsoft Surface evolve since yesterday afternoon. I posted a short link blog this morning. Boris Mann’s Link Blog Awesome. This is MSFT stepping up to the plate. There are many (many,...

Ship Your First Version (Fail Money)

If you’re not embarrassed when you ship your first version you waited too long. Matt Mullenweg I had a great off-the-mic talk with Eric Woodward. We’re really aimed at the same thing, just that I try and encourage people in public and crush their dreams in private. Eric is right about fast follow / barrier to entry, but I think this tension of shipping quickly and iterating is still important. I remember a time when Leonard Brody suggested getting a bunch of engineers together in a room and coming out 18 months later. This was, of course, something like 5...

Node based static site generators

My first experience with node.js was following the ‘hello world’ tutorial on the front page, which I then extended to experiment with writing in Markdown and creating HTML pages on the fly. Not quite a static site generator, but a fun experiment in learning during the Mozilla Polyglot Hackathon. I’m currently using Octopress to power this site as well as (see my migration write up), but one of the things I’d like is the ability to not have to have access to my dev environment in order to publish pages. That is, right now I can create/edit Markdown files...

The New Hack Stack

In the past, the starter stack for web programming was LAMP. The ‘P’ originally stood for Perl, and then became mainly PHP. Today, with $5/month shared web hosting and thousands of PHP-based scripts & applications, this success is hard to argue with. But the truth is, managing even a shared hosting account is hard, never mind an entire VPS. You need to know the OS, the web server, the language, and the database. Revision control? Especially because of PHP’s ease of deployment and editing, revision control is an advanced topic. This leads to things like “just edit it on the...

Moving from selling services to selling product

Moving from services work to having a successful product is probably one of the hardest things to do. Well, perhaps no harder than doing any startup from scratch, but the benefit in doing it from a services company is that you have a built-in way to bootstrap yourself. As a single consultant or small development shop, you work for a number of clients on different projects. You might become known as an “X” shop, where X is some particular framework or programming language, being the go-to team when the complex or large projects come up. You get to learn about...

I want to vote with my dollars that the Vancouver tech community is important

Allen Pike posts about how important homes for startups are and what his experience has been like here in Vancouver. Here’s the closing sentence: Bringing startups close to one another is, dollar for dollar, more helpful to the Vancouver ecosystem than tax breaks ever could be. Allen Pike, Homes for Vancouver Startups Once again, I realize that my gut agrees with this 1000%, and it has for years.

What Support / Feedback Service Should You Use For Your Small Company

Let me start by saying that it feels like we’re actually in a golden age of great online support & feedback tools. I’m sure there are more than the ones that I’m listing here. Also, at different times, I’ve recommended each of these tools for a specific purpose - many of them have broad feature sets. With that in mind, I recently did a mini-analysis of 5 different services that provide support & feedback functionality. I was analyzing from the perspective of a small company that is just starting out, for a mainly B2C product, with desired features covering both...

What I’m obsessed about

Brad Feld is finding a lot of noise in the system, saying he is noticing: …lots of drama that has nothing to do with innovation, creating great companies, or doing things that matter. I expect this noise will increase for a while as it always does whenever enthusiasm for startups and entrepreneurship increases. When that happens, I’ve learned that I need to go even deeper into the things I care about. Brad Feld What I'm Obsessed About At Work So, he identifies areas that he is obsessed about, and is going to dive deeper into them. It’s pretty easy to...

Vancouver tech needs to wake up

Brent Holliday writes about what is needed for BC’s technology industry to succeed, which is itself a follow on to Jevon’s StartupNorth post on Canada’s next 5 years. I have some further thoughts on the five areas that Brent discusses:

Octopress all the things

I need to migrate my old blog posts off Posterous. I need to migrate my Drupal off Drupal. All will likely end up here. Current thinking is that I will run three sites:

Cataloging city neighbourhood assets - Love My Hood

I’m the host at the iQmetrix offices today for the Open Data Hackathon put on by Jesse Heaslip and company. I’m also a judge at the endy of the day, so I’m mainly hacking on a few things of my own. Andrea Reimer helped pitch the city ideas at the beginning of the day, and will be a judge at the end of the day as well. One of the ideas contributed by the city was the concept of cataloging a neighbourhood's assets. That is, why do people love living in an area? Is it heritage homes, some cool retail...

What is an unconference?

Mitch Joel laments the ‘Death of the Unconference’, saying “This past month, I’ve seen a handful of events that are billing themselves as unconferences when, in reality, they’re just very shabby and cheap events.” I don’t doubt that the term unconference has been co-opted. But I disagree with Mitch’s take on what the one, true unconference actually is and means. Maybe we should backup at this point and actually explain the core concept of an unconference. An unconference typically starts the day by gathering all the participants in one room, and those that want to lead talks pitch their sessions....

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Help startups by getting sh*t done (or get out of the way)

Sadly, no matter how much you might want it, you can’t will an innovative eco-system that generates new companies into existence, you have to let one grow. As Dave ten Have said recently, entrepreneurial activity doesn’t come from central planning. So, while it seems like a lot is being done, in my opinion at least, it is mostly splashing and thrashingand not much forward momentum for the people that all of this is supposed to be helping. via I agree with virtually everything stated in this article. Some particularly good parts to expand on: Both incubators and accelerators have good definitions....

Focus on the extras on your site, rather than what platform it runs on

This may be obvious to many nerds, but another huge advantage of running your own site, and choosing your own CMS carefully is how you can optimize for readability and page load performance. via Any platform you choose really only needs to support two things: Using your own domain name Ability to export I’m not too concerned about hosted platforms - fact is, they make it exponentially easier and faster for many more people to be publishing. (aside: you’re talking about choosing your own CMS and you’re using URLs that end in .html?) The concept of readability is interesting:...

Struggles of an infovore that likes to share

Since mid-September, I’ve gone through several rapid changes in how I share links, how I blog about them, and how I tweet those links. In mid September I wired up If This Then That ( to Twitter favorites and Google Reader shared items. At first I thought I’d push them here, to my Posterous-powered blog, but I would then never get around to expanding them. As well, the links were “lost” in the main body of the blog post. (aside: remember mid-September? Google Reader still had social waaaay back then) I went back and pretty much immediately rejigged things to...

We DO need another RSS Hero

I wrote a couple of weeks ago asking whether Google’s changes to Google Reader were going to destroy an entire ecosystem. Many others wrote articles about their usage of the Google Reader social features. From meetups to marriages, a whole world of stories were uncovered about the personal connections that people had made through Reader. I got emails and Twitter messages from a number of people in response to my own post. One of those messages lead to a meeting where many ideas were shared, and a desire to scratch our own itch. What if there was a Google Reader...

Turning the corner on ebook buying

I am a voracious reader. When I am in “reading mode”, I can consume 3 books a week. I’m not reading that much right now, which means I “only” read about a book a week or so. When I first got my iPhone 4 (a little less than a year ago), I experimented with all the different ebook stores. Eventually, due mainly to availability, I settled on the Amazon Kindle store as the main place where I buy ebooks. I’ve bought a handful of 99¢ books as experiments. I find reading on my iPhone convenient: the Retina-quality screen, auto-dimming when...

On coworking: you cannot make a profit selling community

That last one’s important. We’re not communists, we’re not anti-capitalists and we’re not running some kind of pep club. It’s just that we’ve thought about it. You cannot make a profit selling community. via I saw this via Dave Pollard on G+ and nodded my head most violently as I read through the whole thing. (I could spend a week just posting each of the paragraphs of of Tozier’s post) Tozier starts by talking about how different labels / terminology start getting corrupted in a mass market to mean different things. It has happened to coworking, and it is...

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Tomi Ahonen: app stores are tiny compared to global telecom revenue

In 2009, Portio Research counted the global value of ‘non messaging’ premium content (music, gaming, news, etc) downloaded or consumed on phones and sold to them worldwide, to be worth 85 Billion dollars. Yes, 250 times bigger opportunity for any content owner like say a Disney or TimeWarner or Turner etc to make money today, on ALL phones, not those few iPhones that are in pockets of some 4% of Americans and less than half of one percent of the rest of the world. Understand... Permalink
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