By Ernie Smith

Not quite short form, not quite tedious. A less ambitious newsletter by Ernie Smith. Not ten short items. Not one long item. One mid-range item. Three times a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday). With a time limit. ⏲

Not quite short form, not quite tedious. A less ambitious newsletter by Ernie Smith.

Not ten short items. Not one long item. One mid-range item.

Three times a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday). With a time limit. ⏲

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The Question I Keep Having 🤨

Now that I’m a full year into this process-oriented newsletter franchise that I’ve built for myself, using off-the-shelf tools rather than the custom tools that I’m better known for leveraging, I have some questions about what it represents for me as a creato…


The Power of Rhythm 🥁

This week marks the first anniversary of this modest experiment we call MidRange, which started on January 28, 2021 with a compete lark that was inspired by nothing more than a comment made by a coworker. (We currently sit at 495 subscribers; it would be nice…


The Long Tail Whips Back 🐊

Ted Gioia has been writing about music for longer than many of the people reading this have been alive, and while his focus is generally around jazz, he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to the music industry.Recently, he put up a great piece on his…


The Culmination 🔎

In the early days of April, 1997, I saw something that made me think completely differently about technology than I had previously, and in many ways, has put me on the writerly path I’ve spent much of my adult life working up to.The thing I saw was NESticle, …


Filling a Quota 📡

About eight years ago, a businessman named Robert Herring, who owned a single wealth-focused television network, heard that AT&T (the owners of U-Verse and DirecTV, two common pay-TV options) was looking for a conservative news network to balance its line…


When the Compass Breaks 🧭

Yesterday, an iOS developer drew a lot of attention for leaning into the villain thing. And at around the same time, Apple drew attention for an iOS policy that seemed particularly villainous.And I can’t help but connect the two in my head.So, here’s the deal…


Cloudy With a Chance of DIY 🌥

Maybe it was the Dropbox drama around Apple Silicon from a couple of months ago that forced me to look for alternatives. Maybe it was the fact that Google Drive has a bizarre tendency to delete files in the midst of a sync process, leading to lost work.But th…


Advertising Airball 🏀

I’ve been around the block quite a few times when it comes to marketing (it’s technically my day job), and I’ve honestly seen a lot of things float through my TV screen, my inbox, and the banner ads in my web browser.But I’ve never heard anything quite like t…


We All Live in Ryan’s World 🚂

I’m a 40-year-old guy who doesn’t have any kids, so there is no real chance of me running into the creative works of 10-year-old Ryan Kaji intentionally.Often, I will see his face in big-box stores, selling his toy-centric wares, or mentioned in articles writ…


The Device Graveyard

Maybe it was timing, or position, or point in my life, but I missed out on the BlackBerry, a smartphone that came to define the phone experience for a lot of people in the 2000s. (I was rocking a Motorola RAZR at the time, if I remember right, then went strai…


On Friendships And Seekers 🎤

Patton Oswalt is a comedian I genuinely respect, one who seems to work insanely hard based on the number of things he shows up in on top of his stand-up tours. He’s in a lot of things I love, such as A.P. Bio and the MST3K reboot, so these days, he’s probably…


(Finally) Getting The Last Word ✍🏾

The thing about writing a great blog post is that it’s often a combination of things that make it work: a rhythm, a style, and the ability to hit for the cycle. Not every single post will hit at the same level as the others.And with all that said, as I dive i…


Out of Control 🕹

If you think about it, the tale of the Atari 2600, despite its most iconic element being a simple black controller, is really a story about a hugely successful company failing to show any semblance of control of its ecosystem.It was a market that grew wildly …


Small Device, Big Impact 💽

Colin Wirth, the Minnesota-based creator behind the YouTube channel This Does Not Compute, does something very fascinating that I always find to be an effective hook for keeping you watching until the end of the video: Often, he has a sort of sing-songy tone …


Lump of Coal 🪨

About two weeks ago, just in time for Christmas, I got this email that struck me as bizarre, which didn’t seem like it made any damn sense.Basically, it was a user, based out of Russia, who was asking me for information about my process for handling data acce…


Little Dot, Big Headaches 🔴

If you have an app using your microphone in macOS Monterey, it represents itself by putting a little orange dot on your screen. It’s not particularly obtrusive if you’re, say, using your computer as an office worker or someone doing basic tasks.But if you’re …


Working Past the Mothballs 📼

As I’ve noted before, I still watch Saturday Night Live nearly every week, and while there have been some definite weak points throughout its recent run, but SNL gets its power from a mixture of on-the-pulse timeliness and a willingness to embrace cultural ab…


Money, the Great Insulator 💰

Sometimes, the most aggressive Twitter debates I get into inspire some of the most interesting discussions. This was very much the case last night, when news broke about Bruce Springsteen reportedly getting half a billion dollars from selling off his masters …


Avoid the Cookie Cutter 🍪

Here’s a common thread I see in digital culture: Someone has a lot of success, and suddenly, there’s a push to see how that success can be replicated. But the result of replicating the success often means that the original creator and the environment around t…


The Best of Two Annoying Worlds 🍂

So, over the years, I’ve written long rants about how much I hate mowing grass. Separately, I’ve written long rants about how much I hate raking leaves. Both were written as questioning rants about how they are essentially “for show” actions that don’t actual…