Darren Mothersele

Software Developer

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TinyLetter #1 - My First TinyLetter

Dec 12, 2015


Backfill on 30/01/2016: Posting up my first TinyLetter for posterity.

Thanks for joining my TinyLetter

If you’re wondering why you are getting this, it’s because you’ve ended up on my list of friends and family. I don’t post on Facebook, so I’m trying this as an easy way to follow my updates. If you don’t want this, let me know or unsubscribe. No hard feelings! :)

What is TinyLetter?

Here’s an interesting article about TinyLetter from Wired.

For me, it’s a stop-gap fix until there’s a federated social web that we can all use. Even then, I might just keep using it, because I like that email is a little more personal than twittering or posting online.

It’s basically the kind of stuff I may have once upon a time posted on Facebook, but now in an easy to digest (or delete) format, and with some level of quality control filter as I’m aiming for each letter to be less than 600 words.

Why am I doing this?

By leaving Facebook I’m forcing myself to think about alternatives, by necessity. By “opting out” of Facebook’s idea of what it means to be connected online, I’m motivated to think about what I really want and build tools for myself. Hopefully what I build will eventually be useful for others too. The predominant business model online now is providing “free” services, locking people in, stealing their data, and selling it to advertisers. I believe the web can be much more than this. But it means putting people first, rather than seeing them as just “data”. Then we can unlock the power of the web as an open platform for collaboration and co-creation, and use it to inform, to connect, and to empower.

“The most important thing about a technology is how it changes people.”

  • Jaron Lanier

Cyril in Print

I was pretty excited when I saw that the programming language I created for live coding visuals, Cyril, is now in printed format! - Cyril user Dan Hett recorded some of the visuals from his live shows and created these awesome prints. They look (and feel) great!


Last month I was at Mozilla Festival. I love MozFest because it’s a weekend of hanging out with doers and dreamers, who all want a better web. I love how it attracts such a diverse audience. My highlight was meeting @openmatt and @phillipadsmith and hacking with them on GitDone.

Drupal 8

The new version of Drupal finally got released. It’s a complete rebuild. A great example of what an open-source community can do. The community has changed a lot over the years, so I wrote an article comparing the changes in the Drupal community to a process of gentrification.

London Decompression

Nikki and I had a lot of fun taking our art project, “En-lighten-me” to the Burning Man decompression event. Highlights for me were Johnny Moy and ADHS in the Minstry of Fluffistry room. - Michael and his team created an amazing space, with great music.

Next month…

A well earned break for xmas? Hopefully I’ll see you before, but if not, happy holidays! :) If you get a moment, please let me know what you think of this TinyLetter idea. Should I write regular updates? Do you think it is better/worse than posting on Facebook? I’d love to hear your thoughts.