Technical Difficulties


Content Crafter

Dear bufferapp team,

I am writing to express an enthusiastic interest in the Content Crafter position posted on your website. I am a fond user of the Buffer app, having used it for both professional and personal matters. I am a Tampa, Florida based techie with a passion for writing. I have written for The Examiner, Android Guys, and other websites in addition to my personal cathartic pursuits.

To elaborate on my usage of Buffer, I found get success in using the mobile and web apps to reach out to local consumers during my role as a Sales Operations Manager for T-Mobile. Often working day, evening, and weekend shifts, Buffer allowed me to connect with business and consumer clientele during the times they prefer to view and interest with brands and social media. Currently, I serve as an Operations Manager for a marketing company overseeing multiple territories throughout the United States. I continue to use Buffer as a “one stop” tool to post to my personal accounts. 

My interests lie in business strategy, marketing, technology, and film, and the common thread that unites these is my passion and talent in writing about my interests. I believe my experience in providing thoughtful, engaging content, combined with my business background, would allow me to contribute my creative and strategic insights in order to grow Buffer into a household name.

I have direct experience helping small businesses increase customer reach by providing content marketing in the form of ghostwriting articles, blog entries, and “About Us” pages. Some examples of my freelance work can be found herehere, and here. And, if you want a good belly laugh, here.

Some of my work with Android Guys has been mentioned on other sites, like Lifehacker, and highlighted on certain app company’s websites. Unfortunately, has undergone a reformatting, and some of the original author tags have been removed. However, I can provide the founder, Scott Webster, as a reference. I have also provided a few links below as an example of my writing abilities. I hope you will find that my professional experience, interests, writing abilities and style meet your qualifications for this position. If so, I would love to chat with you to discuss this opportunity in further detail.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you, and to the continued growth and success of Buffer!


Shane Manning

email: shane.michael.manning [at] gmail [dot] com

Sample Writing 1

Sample Writing 2

Sample Writing 3

Apr 4

Facebook Home

Facebook assumes (or wants us to believe) our news feeds will be filled with fun and interesting updates like this:

When really we’ll just be bombarded with crap like this:

Your Phone vs. Your Heart


Barbara L. Fredrickson for NYT:

So the next time you see a friend, or a child, spending too much of their day facing a screen, extend a hand and invite him back to the world of real social encounters. You’ll not only build up his health and empathic skills, but yours as well. Friends don’t let friends lose their capacity for humanity.

I tend to think a lot of these studies are overblown — what happened when books first came around, for example, were people freaking out about people reading and not interacting with others? — but it’s a nice thought.

Except people with their noses stuck in books were engaging in learning something, or with fiction, expanding their imagination and creativity. As much as we’d like to think those that are glued to their phones are reading an ebook, or thought provoking articles, the majority are simply engaging in mindless activities - games, status updates, self-portraits. Instead of building out their realm of knowledge, our digital habits are causing us to create false online personas. It not only serves as a distraction, but a disconnect from actual people, and how actual people really are.

Flipboard Needs to Open Its Doors

At first glance, Flipboard’s new “create your own magazine” feature might seem confusing, or redundant, or both. However, there are already a few creative uses for the feature that go beyond setting up essentially a tumblr for your Flipboard.

What I find interesting about the timing of this release is that, although it goes without saying the purpose of any feature addition is to maintain and grow its user base, this feature forces loyalty upon the user by withholding a “share to” function. In the wake of Google’s imminent shuttering of its Reader service, many users are now trying one or many other news reader services to find a suitable replacement. Flipboard seems to be accounting for that by making it inconvenient to use other services. Clearly, Flipboard’s new personal magazines can only be read from within the app, but curation of one’s own magazine can also only be done from there as well. Flipboard has provided a bookmarklet for sharing content via a PC web browser, but that’s only because they don’t have a web based app.

It’s possible Flipboard may eventually allow for sharing content from other apps, but I believe this is a deliberate move to prevent users from straying off to other services.

If this is the most popular content on Google+, then we have a major problem.

If this is the most popular content on Google+, then we have a major problem.

How Nice of Instagram to Give Us Web Profiles!

From Instagram’s new privacy policy:

“We may share User Content and your information (including but not limited to, information from cookies, log files, device identifiers, location data, and usage data) with businesses that are legally part of the same group of companies that Instagram is part of, or that become part of that group.”

Reasonable Expectation of Privacy

It appears Google has a different opinion of what that means.

Starting now, any review you leave on the Google Play Store via your browser will be publicly tied to your Google+ profile. At the very least, this means your full name will appear next to every review you post going forward, and anyone who has set a profile picture on Google+ will be forced to display that as well.

Google is attempting to resolve the issue of fake or “trolling” reviews being created to fraudulently affect an app’s score and ranking. But it’s creating an entirely different issue regarding privacy concerns. This isn’t about being able to write anonymously; there are ways to resolve that without publicly displaying identifiable information. For example, require the user to log-in with his/her Google ID, but only display a username next to comments. This should resolve the issue of multiple reviews being posted by the same person.

Setting aside the implication of what this means for minors, this is an unnecessary move that inhibits a reasonable expectation of privacy. It is not necessary for complete strangers to have access to my full name and picture simply because I’d like to provide constructive input to an app developer, be it positive or negative. And what about users whose profile pictures show another person? Granted, it’s up to the user to use his/her best judgement in choosing a public profile picture, but I’m sure many people chose profile pictures that were of them and a loved one while setting up their basic Google profiles. What was then a simple, seemingly innocent decision regarding what image to display on a social network, now is a much more burdened decision knowing Google can and will display that image on something as trivial and separate from the social network as a commenting system for their separate online store.

For now, I recommend simply leaving a star rating for apps, omitting the header or any text in the main body of the review. If you’d like to provide feedback about the app, send an email to the developer directly. Also, check your Google+ profile picture and consider changing it if it contains other people, because it’s just not worth having you or your loved ones broadcasted publicly amongst other Google services which have little to do with the social network.

The Real Reason Sinofsky Left Microsoft

Somebody had to be held responsible for this.

A Little Respect

It’s become apparent that the rising interest in technology has instilled an over-dramatic sense of self-importance among tech enthusiasts.

It came to my attention, to a small extent, when I noticed the prevailing theme of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy echoed by tech publications involved New York residents struggling to connect" to the internet. Pictures were tweeted with descriptions of "post-apocalypse" and "disaster movie" describing people huddling around extension cords and power strips in the few spots that had access to electricity. If you check the coverage from general news sources, however, the focus was more on the destruction and that many were without food and shelter. But many tech sites repeatedly pointed to the lack of internet and electricity, specifically as how it affected the ability for people to use their phones, tablets, and computers. Over 100 people have died as a result of the damage and destruction wrought by the storm; having difficulty finding an open electrical outlet so you can charge your phone is a minor inconvenience in comparison to those who have lost their property, or worse, lives. And yet, there were countless tweets and posts describing the chaos and apocalypse in the streets to those who simply didn’t have a way to charge their phones. Admittedly, this behavior really only occurred within technology sites, which are naturally going to write about topical events and how they pertain to technology. But, it pointed to a general trend of not being able to see the big picture.

To be clear - is it important for victims of the storm to have a way to communicate with loved ones? Of course. But describing that as apocalyptic is an outright slap in the face to those who truly suffered a loss by this storm, or any other disaster for that matter. Take a second to consider how fortunate you are before you label your momentarily empty phone battery as the end of the world.

This lack of respect, or lack of ability to put things into context, made itself more clear to me today in a different way, a day after our National holiday during which we honor those who have served in the Armed Forces. If you check your news feeds for anything about “Apple vs. X”, or any post on patent disputes, or on Company X’s plans to gain market share, you’ll quickly find them referred to as being in a state of war

For example, Nilay Patel of The Verge has a flair for the theatrical, with his post titled "Over the top: the new war for TV is just the beginning". In it, Patel writes:

"Your living room is a battlefield that’s killed every would-be conqueror for the past 50 years, and it’s driving the tech industry insane. Over the top."

Indeed, Mr. Patel. Indeed.

It’s not war, it’s just business. Sure, it’s often cutthroat, but it’s certainly not war. No lives will be lost when a reigning Internet TV company is declared. IP disputes are not fought with artillery. Steve Jobs may have set the bar for the war metaphor, but we’ve run away with it. To call business strategy of any kind “war” is a blatant disrespect to those who serve and have served our country. And frankly, it’s embarrassing.

Some tech writers have asked to put a stop to describing gadgets as sexy, and others have expressed their distaste towards the use of words “Like” and “Friend” as Facebook puns. More importantly, we should stop referring to business strategies as war or any derivative thereof.

Am I just being over sensitive? Perhaps. But how can we truly honor those who have actually fought in combat when we carelessly analogize it with business strategy and patent litigation?