Tag Archives: Websites

Homescreen’s where the Art is

Yay, I finally found some data on what people have on their homescreens!

Here’s what I found on Homescreen, a site/app that helps you share a screenshot of your iPhone homescreen.

I like all this because, as co-founder Matt Hartman puts it:

The App Store is a black box.

The site shows the most popular apps, and gives the % of users’ homescreens on which each app appears. 500,000 different apps from 13,000 screens indexed so far.

The data comes from Homescreen users, so obviously there’s a heavy selection bias going on here. The Homescreen app itself appears on 9.82% of homescreens indexed this week… which I doubt is true of the full iPhone userbase.

So, what can we learn?

Turns out that even geeky homescreen curators will often keep the default Apple apps front and centre:

So what happens when we cut out the default Apple apps?

Things look a bit different. By this view, mobile is all about social. And as Quartz points out: no games, no newsreaders.

I’d love to see the data in more detail – for different devices, demographics, locations, etc. But the company just added profile pages as a feature (see e.g. Pocket), and on every profile page there’s cool stuff like which other apps it shares a folder with, and which other apps it most often appears alongside on the homescreen.

Here’s my current homescreen, with the %s of Homescreen users who have each app on their own homescreen. Man, they are missing out on Trello!

 

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Thanks for reading! ~ Todd

Oasis – Cigarettes & Alcohol – 20 years old today

Cigarettes & Alcohol was released on 10 October 1994 – so the best song ever turns 20 years old today.

I’ve tried a few approaches in drafting this post but I can’t take myself seriously as a music critic, so here goes:

THIS SONG FUCKING ROCKS.

I used to actually stop myself from listening to Oasis on the morning of exams when I was at school, because I lost motivation if I had lines like: “Is it worth the aggravation / To find yourself a job when there’s nothing worth working for” going round my head.

Twenty years later it has a different meaning for me. Now I hear “You gotta make it happen” on repeat after listening to it, and this weekend when it came on my headphones as I got close to a half marathon finish, I got a proper rush and burned up the hill to the line.

To celebrate the song’s birthday in my own little way, I wanted to share a side project with you.

I’ve been working on a directory site for all the Oasis B-sides, because I really believe that some of the stuff that didn’t make the early albums is 10x better than most of the top-charting singles from the same era.

I’ve only added the Definitely Maybe B-sides so far, but here are three absolute tunes to start off with:

Cloudburst – moody rocker, builds like a thunderstorm

D’Yer Wanna Be A Spaceman? – acoustic sing-song with a wistful message

I Will Believe (Live) – simple simple simple demo-style tune, great riff, very early recording

And finally – here’s the link to the prototype site:

oasisbsides.com (URL headshot baby!)

It’s still in alpha, so please do send me your thoughts. And more importantly: discover and enjoy!

~ Todd

So I applied to be an astronaut

My life’s ambition is to go into space, so a few years ago I applied to be an astronaut.

At the time anyone could apply to ESA (the European Space Agency), so I went to the doc and to the hospital, had a bunch of tests done, filled out the application form and sent it off.

There was little chance I would succeed. But it made perfect logical sense to try.

There are two ways of getting into space: (1) become a billionaire, or (2) get hired as a professional astronaut. Maybe one day I’ll be a billionaire but I don’t want to count on it. So I just applied.

Actually, all my best decisions are made when I ignore the chances of failure and just do it.

  • Want to learn how to code? Ok, build a website.
  • Want to try building a business? Ok, start one now.
  • Want to find out if teaching would be a good career move? Ok, do it part-time and see whether it’s fun.
  • Like that girl a lot? Ok, ask her out.

These simple decisions are the best.

A) You can’t regret them

If it doesn’t work out, no big deal. You did the logical thing and tried. Your mind is at rest. Ssshh now little brain.

B) You know exactly why you made them

It’s a simple formula. You won’t get confused about your motives. Want something? Ok, have a go.

C) You always gain something unexpected

Building a website taught me how the internet works. Starting a business taught me a million things that I put into a recent post (How I lost £1,500 when I was 23). Teaching part-time right now is making me 10x better at explaining stuff and speaking in public. And the last girl I asked out is going to become my wife next summer, so that one worked out pretty well too.

Worrying about failure kills good decisions. Whenever I worry I lose the magic power to make simple logical decisions and I waste my life fretting. I’m glad that didn’t happen with applying to be an astronaut.

The physical tests and most of the application form were ok, though I couldn’t really disguise my lack of a PhD in astrophysics or biology. The weakest bit though was when I had to describe my experience in radio communications:

I did hospital radio for two years when I was at school. I was a presenter and had my own weekly show.

But since I haven’t actually heard back from ESA, I assume they’ve got me on the reserve list.

Hopefully someone will drop out soon.

 

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LAUNCH: Advice for Media Students

I’m teaching my class how to build a web project, so I thought I should build one too.

I’m a method teacher, the De Niro of the classroom.

So I just launched a site called Advice for Media Students – three posts a week with practical advice to help my class and their peers get a job.

It’s rather ironic that I’m doing this at the same time as being made redundant from my own media job.

But I’m going to ignore that and let people decide for themselves whether my wisdom is to be trusted. Am I King Solomon or Stacey Solomon?

Head over to the site and decide for yourself.

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How I lost £1,500 when I was 23

I lost £1,500 when I was 23.

I spent it on a website called whatsitliketo.com – a Wikipedia for experiences.

I did everything: I made a limited company (I started putting ‘Todd Green, Director’ at the bottom of my emails, that felt good), got a registered address, set up a business bank account, got an IP lawyer to advise me how to draw up the contract with the developer, even got a qualification in Small Business Financial Management.

I had no idea what I was doing – all my time and money was spent on the company stuff, but I had almost zero users or retention or revenue or marketing ideas.

(Actually, I can blame my friends for having no marketing ideas because I cooked them a three-course curry dinner in order to get their ideas, and none of them were feasible or worked.)

I thought I would make money from putting Google Ads on the site, because if someone is reading what it’s like to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge they should be interested in ads for flights to Sydney, tours of Sydney, hotels in Sydney etc.

I earned $1.10 from those ads, but since Google won’t pay out until you earn $100 I never actually got it.

So in the end I killed the site and felt like a complete goon. £1,500 is still a lot to me now; when I was 23 it was everything I had saved by living cheaply at home with my parents when I first started working. I could have saved that money for a mortgage or a car or a shirt with no stains on for work or something. And now it was all gone.

But I’m glad about it now. Yesterday I showed a colleague how to use Google Ads. Today I’m going to add a new page to a little site I built to solve a problem at work. And between now and Christmas I’m teaching 15 classes on how to get people to come and look at your website.

All that began when I was 23, and I realised I didn’t need to ask anyone’s permission to create something on the web.

Turns out I made a good investment completely by accident.

 

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Too many URLs

Ugh, I used to buy so many URLs.

When I was setting up my first ever project, whatsitliketo.com, I bought dozens of them:

(Some come up as .shopshutterart.com domains because I put them in as add-on domains.)

15 URLs! Probably £8-10 each. Madness.

Simple tip for project-makers: just buy one URL. Google deals with misspellings pretty well, and most people just search for the sites they want anyway. Only spend your money where it matters.