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From the Editor

#SummerIsOver

Holy shit. Can you believe it? Summer 2019 is essentially over. Sure, technically it’s over on the 23rd, but everyone knows that the real end of summer is the cold reality of a hangover the day after Labor Day.

I hope it was good for you. My summer was full of long and warm days at the beach, hours in the pool and/or hot tub, and the best tan I’ve had in a decade. Seriously y’all, I’m sexy AF right now if I do say so myself.

Anyway, I’m dusting off some of these drafts I had before the break, so don’t be alarmed if you see a story that was forever ago.

Good to be back.

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From the Editor

A Type of State of the Union

Tim talks about a future membership for Bright Pixels.

Links and Show Notes

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From the Editor

Bright Pixels Moves to WordPress

I know. I know. I can’t believe it’s happened. I’ve spent over thirty hours painstakingly migrating the site over to WordPress. Just a few months before this, I’d moved the site over to Statamic. This has been quite a painful journey, so let’s jump in.

Moving Away From Jekyll

I started created sites in Jekyll back in 2012. At the time, I was doing nothing but WordPress sites for my freelance business. WordPress was a pain in the ass. There wasn’t an easy way to sync your database between local and production environments, my databases always seem to get corrupted (and I didn’t have much of a backup strategy), and last but certainly not least, writing PHP has never been my favorite thing to do.

2012 was the year I dived deep into Ruby. I co-built a CMS in Ruby on Rails and got a few jobs working on Rails apps. Anyway, the point is, I was done with WordPress and thought I’d never look back.

Building this site with Jekyll felt to be a no-brainer at the time. It was what I was most comfortable with, it’s incredibly easy to host, everything can be version controlled, and writing in Markdown is the default.

But then I had six years of an archive which amounted to over six hundred posts. Every time I would do development on the site, it would take over fifteen seconds to build. After doing some insane optimizations, I was able to get it down to eight seconds, but that was still way too slow. And don’t think I didn’t try every single suggestion I could find, but none of it was enough.

There were other problems too. No easy way for other people to write for the site, no easy way to create a membership and restrict certain content just for those members, and writing posts from mobile was an absolute nightmare.1 Unfortunately, some of these issues aren’t the fault of Jekyll, but a current limitation of static site generators.

Did It Really Take Thirty Hours?

Yes. Unfortunately. The RSS import feature didn’t work for me, and even if it did, I’m glad I didn’t go that route anyway. Jekyll only exports HTML and I wanted to move over the original Markdown. So I did what any other sane person in my position would’ve done: I migrated all 660 posts one-by-one.

With the help of Advanced Custom Fields, I was able to keep all the essential metadata that makes this site run. I’m also using the DF-Style Linked List plugin for my linkblog. There’s still a lot of stuff I need to fix to replicate the site from before, but I felt it was good enough for now. I purposely hadn’t written anything in a while because of the migration.

So there I was, using almost any spare moment to copy/paste until my fingers bled.2 Thirty hours later, I’d moved every blog post written on this site. I hope never to have to do it again. In fact, I don’t care how lousy WordPress may turn out to be in the future. I am not migrating this site again. Hold me to that!

What Does the Future Hold?

The biggest reason for the migration back to WordPress was to improve my writing experience. There’s some type of WordPress support in almost every single writing app. Ulysses, for example, makes it insanely easy to capture text from the iOS share menu. I started this very post from my iPhone, worked on it a little from my iPad, and am now writing on the Mac on my living room couch. That’s pretty awesome if you ask me.

The other big one was membership. I’ve been making this site for six years, and I think I’ve missed out on the opportunity to truly create a community around this site. I’ve published a lot of great content over the years, which has taken me a lot of time to make, and I’d like for this site to help me pay my bills even if just a little. I’d be so happy to create content for a living, but to do that, I need to start making the things I create work for me.

As you may have noticed, there is now a Bright Pixels podcast. It’s meant to replace The Radio Column, a show where I discussed my life and work. The only thing was, my life isn’t always all that interesting. Sure, there are times when I’m struggling with something, but there were other times when I had nothing to share, and hence no episode to release. It made the show extremely inconsistent.

I hope that by bringing it over, I have more to talk about. The show’s topics are now any topic I cover on this site. Also, (if you’ve listened already) it leaves me space to talk about what I’m going through too.

But this is only one of the things I’m doing to bring everything under the Bright Pixels umbrella. All content I create will be under the same name and posted through here, which I’m hoping will make this site the success I feel it should and can be.

Soon I’ll officially announce what membership for this site is all about and the cool perks to go with it. I hope you’ll support me.

Do I Recommend It?

I’m enjoying WordPress. I’m using a plugin to get the classic editor back, and I’m happily writing in Markdown.3 Flywheel is hosting the site which automatically backs everything up for me and makes it easy to restore from one of those backups.

Right now, I recommend WordPress. It’s a vibrant and mature ecosystem, and it has everything I need. But as I usually say about a lot of things, the right solution is the one that’s right for you. This just happened to be right for me.


  1. Sorry to those of you who love writing from your iPad with your static site. The process of writing and committing to Git from my iPad felt incredibly cumbersome for me. I’m glad you’ve found something that works for you though. 
  2. Ok, fine. I’m being melodramatic. 
  3. I plan on releasing a screencast on what my current writing setup looks like and how I got WordPress to play nice. 
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From the Editor

Introducing Bright Pixels

TL;DR Brightly Colored is now called Bright Pixels.

Welcome to the new Bright Pixels. It almost feels ridiculous to be writing another post like this only fifteen months after the last one.

When I chose the name Brightly Colored, I was excited. The name seemed to say a lot about me in just two words. But unfortunately, the name wasn’t ideal for people trying to find the site via search engine. Most search engines assume people are trying to get the definition of “brightly colored”—not a blog about geekery.

I wouldn’t have known any of this without the help of John Locke. John ran an audit of Brightly Colored and helped me realize I needed a new name (among other things) to do better with search engines.

Now don’t get me wrong, the purpose of this site isn’t to make a living, so search engine optimization isn’t the number one priority. However, I’ve been writing this web-column since 2013. There are many articles I poured a lot of time into and that have value. It’d be a shame for people not to be able to find that information quickly.

So here we are, with a new name… again. I hope you like it. As always, thank you for reading.

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From the Editor

We're Back!

Ok, so “we” is a lot of people, it’s really just me, but I’m writing to tell you that this site is back. You may have noticed I’ve been writing for the past few days. I missed it.

This time around, I’ve set a few rules for myself:

  • I’ll write whenever I feel like it, and won’t worry if it’s not perfect
  • I will not look at stats of any kind (subscriber count, retweets, favorites, or whatever the hell else becomes a thing)
  • I will write because it’s fun and has a personal archival purpose, not because I want recognition or validation

Thanks for reading. Hope you had a great summer.

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From the Editor

Focusing on Other Things

Hello peeps,

Just wanted to check in and let you know that I’ll no longer be writing on this site regularly, if at all. I’m sad to say this, but I feel like it’s the right decision. Writing here (and The Bold Report) has been a lot of fun and a lot of work, but this blog never took off the way I wanted it to.

And that’s ok. So this is the end. Thank you for all your support over the years, and for reading. I will be focusing more on my YouTube channel, trying to produce great content over on The Changelog, and audio journaling all about it on The Radio Column.

If you have thoughts, questions or concerns, feel free to send me an email at smith@ttimsmith.com.

Take care.

I couldn’t stay away.

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From the Editor

The Exclusive RSS Club

I was reading my RSS feeds like I normally do in the evening, and then I came across this post by Dave Rupert. What a brilliant idea! Use RSS—and in this site’s case, the newsletter—as a secret and exclusive club. So yes, I may already be violating rule number one of RSS Club by talking about it, but I figure I can adapt the rules to my liking.

My idea is to follow the rules that Dave set out (for the most part):

  1. 1st rule of RSS Club is “Don’t Talk About RSS Club”.
  2. 2nd rule of RSS Club is “Don’t Share on Social Media”.
  3. 3rd rule of RSS Club is “Provide Value”.

I won’t mention these special posts when promoting the newsletter or inviting people to subscribe, and I ask that you don’t share the URL either. If you feel inclined to share, please encourage people to subscribe too so they can become part of the the Special RSS Club.

That last rule is not to be overlooked though. The thing I want the most is for this site to provide you some type of value. It’s the same reason I’m doing the end of the year survey. I care about you and what you want to read.

I think in this new year, that means more original content. Since the inception of this site, I’ve linked to pieces and offered my commentary. I don’t plan on stopping that, but it feels too reactionary at times. Instead of finding things I have thoughts on, I tend to pile on to opinions already formed.

If I’m honest, this comes from a feeling of insecurity. I’m insecure of my writing quality; insecure of the quality of my opinions. Years ago, I would’ve blamed this on the site’s lack of “success” (whatever that means). But as we all know insecurities don’t depend on outside factors, they grow and feed from within.

Hence, the only way to address insecurities are to kill them internally. That’s something I’ve told myself I need to work on this year. What others think be damned. Am I happy with who I am? Am I happy with the work I do? Instead of imitating the style and voice of others, have I found mine?

If nothing else, the past few years have taught me that we are in a constant state of progress. There is no graduation.

Welcome to RSS Club.

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From the Editor

End of the Year Survey

Dear Reader,

The end of the year is upon us, and we’ve published 118 links and articles this year. Going into 2018, I’d like to have a better understanding of what content you love, what you could do without, and what you’d add.

With that in mind, I created the Brightly Colored End of the Year Survey. It contains five questions—all of them optional. Thanks in advance to you awesome people who take it.

Giveaway

For fun, I’m offering to give away two shipments of 6oz. Blue Bottle coffee to two winners. Two different people, get two amazing shipments of coffee each. If you love coffee, I think you’ll enjoy this.

How to Win

  • Fill out the survey and include your email address
  • I will not contact you for anything other than you winning, unless you give me explicit permission.
  • You have reside in one of these contries to win.
  • Current writers/editors aren’t eligible.

Thank you so much for your continued support and for reading this site. May the Force be with you, always.

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From the Editor

Making Videos on YouTube

Dear Reader,

As you may have noticed, I haven’t been writing on this site for a while. The reason is that I’ve started a new thing and while I get used to the schedule, I haven’t had the time to write much.

The new thing is a YouTube channel. I’d been thinking of doing video for a while, but was shy to be in front of the camera. Slowly, I’m getting more comfortable with it and talking as if I’m talking to the viewer.

What’s funny about all of this to me, is that I thought I’d learned how to do this for audio. I’d been told that I had a very natural radio voice and I mostly agreed. But video is a whole new beast.

This new YouTube channel will feature a lot of the same content I’ve written on here for the past three years. New technology I’m interested in, some Apple news, movie reviews, and the personal update every once in a while.

My hope is as I get my footing in video, the video content and written content complement each other. This way, if you enjoy one over the other, you’ll get your fix. For now, I’ll be focusing more on video and growing that. I really hope you come along for the ride.

In the new few weeks, I’ve got some interesting videos planned. Here a few:

  1. Photive PH-BTH3 Wireless Headphones Review
    I bought these headphones on Amazon for $40. I really wanted to find some cheap headphones for my Dad. I wanted to test them out to see if he’d like them. This Thursday, I’ll post my video review of them.

  2. Spider-Man Homecoming Review
    This movie comes out July 7th. Tobey Maguire was my favorite Spider-Man1 so I was skeptical to see how Tom Holland would do. His performance was excellent in Civil War, so I’m excited to see this film.

  3. Scooter/Gear Overview
    If you didn’t know, I recently got a scooter. I’m hooked. I love being on two wheels. Can’t wait to upgrade to a bigger bike. In the meantime, I’m planning a video on what I got.

Hope that get’s you excited enough to subscribe. I need 100 subscribers or more to claim a custom username on YouTube so your help to get there is much appreciated!

Before I let you go, here’s my latest video on the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock. If you have a new MacBook Pro, I recommend you watch it.

Thank you so much for reading. See you on YouTube.


  1. Don’t you dare judge me!! 
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From the Editor

Presenting Goodstuff Broadcasting

On March 17th, I launched Goodstuff Broadcasting together with my good friends Chris Enns and Adam Clark.

On April 8th we did a more official launch where we did live broadcasting for eight hours, and it was one of the funnest things I’ve done in a long time. We finally got to see this thing that we’ve planned and worked on for months, in the wild. The best part? People seemed to like it.

Goodstuff is by no means a huge network. However, we saw from the beginning that we have a core of amazing people who listen to our shows. I can’t tell you how grateful I am about that. If you listen to our shows, a heartfelt thank you to you.

So what are we doing? What are we trying to accomplish? What makes us different?

Those are great questions. We want to produce entertaining and educational content spanning technology (of course), culture, news, and more. As time goes by, we’d like to do shows that cover the different niches of these topics better, but we’re doing a fantastic job for a one month old network.

In terms of what we want to accomplish, all three of us want to do this full time. As you may have heard on the latest episode of The Intellectual Radio Program, I’m so burnt out with the web. I’d love to make a transition into something else.

What makes us different? That’s actually quite simple: we’re a group of nice people working hard to make great content. Unfortunately, that’s becoming a big differentiator nowadays.

If you like what we’re doing, and would like to help us out, you can do that in couple of ways:

  1. Follow us on Twitter. Twitter is what we use to notify everyone of shows recording live, recently published episodes, and shows we’ve added to our network.
  2. Sign up for our newsletter. Chris does some really fun things with the newsletter. He updates you on the latest episodes, Goodstuff news, and more. In fact, I owe him some behind-the-scenes content about Fullscreen.
  3. Share your favorite episodes. If you really enjoyed an episode of a show, or like the whole show in general, share it with people. Word of mouth recommendations are the best and are usually trusted a lot more.
  4. Rate and Review in iTunes. This we really appreciate. We don’t really understand the black magic that is the iTunes podcast directory, but we hear that ratings and reviews don’t hurt. Plus, hosts love to see reviews of their shows. The review doesn’t have to be positive, but it should be useful and constructive. You can find the iTunes page for our different shows here.
  5. Check out our sponsors. We really appreciate our sponsors. They give us money to do something we all love doing. But, they also give us money in the hope to reach you. That’s the reality of advertising. However, because we care about both sides, we only advertise things we like and use. This way, instead of it being advertising, it’s more of a friend-to-friend recommendation.
  6. Bonus: Buy a T-shirt. You’ve got about five hours left to get a Goodstuff t-shirt. A huge shoutout to Steve for making us such a rocking logo.

In closing, thank you so much for supporting my projects. I can’t tell you how excited I am, to finally be doing this with people I love to work with. It’s the first time I’m part of a founding team, and actually enjoy it. In a short time, we’ve built a company and network that I feel fortunate and proud to be part of.