The New Vergecast Logo Sucks

The new Vergecast logo

So it’s cool that the Vergecast is getting a new two-a-week episode format, that’s actually great but man what the hell is up with that new logo? What is that blue background? I think its the worst shade of blue I’ve ever seen and blue is my favourite colour! It looks like its trying to bore a hole into my brain with it garish brightness.

What is that font? It looks atrocious, what did you do to that poor “g”? It looks like a “o” taking a shit. The “t” looks like it had its arms cut off. Just horrid. Let’s the talk about that “The” just hanging out above. Like somebody forgot about the fact that the podcast is actually called “The Vergecast” and quickly fingerpainted it on in yellow.

I can’t even enjoy the cool Vergecast references sitting in the middle because of all the other crap distracting me. Ugh.

Account Walls

Screenshot from a blog post page on Medium showing a nag to read the rest of the post with a free account.

I am going to start calling this kind of nag from a website a account wall. This particular example is from a post on Medium which I cannot read without signing up for a Medium account. Why? Well as it always is its for “””engagement””” reasons, signing up for an account makes you more likely to “””engage””” with the service. It means they can possibly send spam you notifications and try to upsell you some subscription service.

Folks, please stop using Medium for your blog posts, go sign up for a account instead so your readers don’t get barraged with Medium’s incessant attempts to increase “””engagement”””.

Don’t Put Your Podcast On Amazon Music/Audible

Yesterday I received an e-mail from Amazon Music/Audible to the contact address for Shades of Brown that started like this:

Hello Podcaster,

We’re excited to let you know that Amazon Music and Audible will be adding podcasts to our respective services, including Amazon Music’s free tier. Please note that this information is confidential. In advance of launch, we would like to invite you to make your podcast(s) available on our services. Agreeing to add your content ensures your podcast(s) will be available to Amazon Music’s rapidly growing audience of over 55 million customers.

First things first: confidential? How is this confidential exactly? You sent this non-directly addressed e-mail to our contact address which I presume you either scraped from our site or from another podcast directory. There is no NDA here or any other kind of contract.

So I clicked through to their submission form and one of the pages has a “Content License Agreement” that you have to agree to if you want your podcast to show up in the Amazon Music/Audible podcast directory. One of the clauses I strictly object to:

Content Restrictions. Your Content may not (a) include advertising or messages that disparage or are directed against Amazon or any Service; (b) include advertising that does not comply with Amazon’s Creative Acceptance Policies, which Amazon may update from time to time and which are currently located at (and any successor or related locations designated by Amazon); (c) promote or contain pornography or sexually explicit, obscene, violent, harassing, discriminatory, libelous or defamatory materials, or content that in our judgment is inappropriate or offensive; (d) promote, facilitate or undertake illegal or potentially illegal activities or (e) violate or infringe or promote the violation or infringement of any intellectual property, proprietary, or other rights of any person or entity. Amazon will not embed any advertising in or re-host your Content.

I bolded the objectionable subsection for you. Really Amazon? Really? I can’t include ads or messages that dunk on Amazon if I want to include our podcast in your podcast directory? No, just no. Fuck all the way off.

Shades of Brown will not be in the Amazon Music/Audible podcast directory until this non-disparagement clause is removed. I encourage others to not put their podcast on their directory as well. This kind of thing is not acceptable.

Your long Twitter thread should be a blog post

Every once in a while someone on my various timelines shares a link to an interesting thread of posts on Twitter and every time I click on it, its all like “hmm, this is interesting…ugh I sure wish this was posted literally anywhere else with a better reading experience” and then I stop reading because for a site designed to maximize “engagement” Twitter sure isn’t a pleasant place to actually engage with.

Twitter really isn’t a good way disperse large amounts of interesting information, its threaded design is meant for conversation and not blog post sized self-reply threads. Arguably, it isn’t very good for actual discussion either but I digress.

So this is a plea from me to you, potential long Twitter thread poster, please consider collecting those thoughts and posting it on your blog. If you do not have a blog, please consider getting one. I like WordPress but there are other options like or Medium. I have a lot of reservations about Medium but again I digress. If you really do not want to use a blog for whatever reason I have seen people use a service called TwitLonger to post long posts that are not suitable for threading.

So in conclusion I reiterate – Your long Twitter thread should be a blog post.

Auto playing videos

Usually don’t do posts like these but..


Auto playing videos are stupid.

  • You are wasting my bandwidth and yours
  • If I wanted to see the video, I would you it and watch it. What a novel concept.

Stop. doing. them.

I do not care if it is the cutest cat video this side of the Milky Way or a horrifying video of a journalist being shot. Just stop.

An Internet user who knows how to click things he wants to watch.