Archive for March 30, 2017

Thursday, March 30, 2017 [Tweets] [Favorites]

The Deck Shuts Down

Jim Coudal:

Things change. In 2014, display advertisers started concentrating on large, walled, social networks. The indie “blogosphere” was disappearing. Mobile impressions, which produce significantly fewer clicks and engagements, began to really dominate the market. Invasive user tracking (which we refused to do) and all that came with that became pervasive, and once again The Deck was back to being a pretty good business. By 2015, it was an OK business and, by the second half of 2016, the network was beginning to struggle again.

John Gruber:

Here are just a few of the things that make me proud to have been part of The Deck:

  • We never allowed animated ads. (Remember when that was the main problem with online ads?)
  • We never allowed user tracking or JavaScript payloads. The Deck respected your privacy (and your bandwidth).
  • We had great sponsors who made great products and services (and designed great looking ads).

Perhaps most importantly, we never showed more than one ad per page. […] Exclusivity has tremendous value, and most web publishers still haven’t gotten that. And on the web, an ad doesn’t have to be big to be exclusive and to occupy valuable real estate.

Nick Heer:

Having a Deck ad on a site was a subtle indicator that it was trustworthy and that it had a good reputation. That’s something that almost nothing else — let alone an advertising network — has yet been able to achieve to the same degree.

Jonathan Poritsky:

The Deck going away is a loss made all the more frustrating by the fact that there isn’t really an alternative to it. Writers will always find a way to write, though. My hope is that the next generation of writers will find a way to put their words on the web on their own terms. Social doesn’t offer that. Blogging always has, and always will.

Jason Snell:

I will replace The Deck, at least in the short term, with an ad network with a similar look and feel, while I assess what the long-term plan should be.

New Web Features in Safari 10.1

Jon Davis:

Fetch is a modern replacement for XMLHttpRequest. It provides a simpler approach to request resources asynchronously over the network. It also makes use of Promises from ECMAScript 2015 (ES6) for convenient, chain-able response handling.

[…]

WebKit’s IndexedDB implementation has significant improvements in this release. It’s now faster, standards compliant, and supports new IndexedDB 2.0 features. IndexedDB 2.0 adds support for binary data types as index keys, so you’ll no longer need to serialize them into strings or array objects.

[…]

The download attribute for anchor elements is now available in Safari 10.1 on macOS. It indicates the link target is a download link that should download a file instead of navigating to the linked resource. It also enables developers to create a link that downloads blob data as files entirely from JavaScript. Clicking a link with a download attribute causes the target resource to be downloaded as a file. The optional value of the download attribute can be used to provide a suggested name for the file.

Dropbox Secures $600M Credit Line

Dina Bass and Alex Barinka (Hacker News):

Dropbox has said it’s not in a hurry to go public and that the business is nearing profitability. The company is cash-flow positive, with annualized revenue of more than $1 billion, Chief Executive Officer Drew Houston said last summer. Dropbox could tap debt if it wants to expand more aggressively or make acquisitions, said one of the people. It never touched a smaller credit facility, which was expiring, the person said.

After opening up in 2007, Dropbox gained a loyal following from people looking to store photos and other files in the cloud, making them available from any computer or mobile device. It rode this wave to a $10 billion valuation in early 2014, vaulting it to become one of Silicon Valley’s most valuable unicorn startups.

[…]

Dropbox has shifted to focus on selling its cloud service to larger businesses, which has helped boost revenue. It has also cut costs, partly by building data centers instead of relying on Amazon.com Inc.’s cloud storage.

[…]

For the banks involved, taking on the risk of lending to an unprofitable private company can help them win a role underwriting an eventual IPO.

TAForObvReasons:

A company with a modest valuation can survive by doing one thing and doing it well.

A company with a very large valuation needs either very large sales figures OR large growth potential. Dropbox is squarely in the second category, which is why they need to keep expanding.

David Heinemeier Hansson:

Dropbox is an interesting case where entire market window for the service could close before they ever had a chance to make real money.

RSS on the Desktop, 15 Years Later

Dave Winer:

In early 2002, my company, UserLand Software, shipped a product called Radio UserLand. It was a combination blogging tool and RSS reader. It was basically an open precursor to Twitter. No 140-char limit. And anyone could produce an RSS feed, and anyone could consume them.

His new app, Electric River, uses Electron to run Node.js on the Mac.