Archive for January, 2009

One-Stop Shop

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

During a discussion about expanding into multiple social networks, see recent posts, a friend of mine said that this site “should be a one-stop shop for all things” to do with me. He has a point, as usual.

I think the other sites have their place, but I’m going to experiment with bringing content from other places back to here. And I’m going to try and do it without cluttering the current layout.

You may notice a little gray bar under the header, this is the first step, it shows my current Facebook status. If you can’t see the bar you’re either not on the main page or I haven’t updated my status for over a day.

In case you’re interested in how I did it, I used a modified version of the StatusPress plugin (modified to add code to check the age of the status message and remove some extra code I didn’t need).

Other things may appear or disappear as I test stuff out, let me know if you see something broken that doesn’t disappear after five minutes or so.

What’s that? A bandwagon? That I’m not on?

Monday, January 26th, 2009

I’ve been spending a fair amount of time recently thinking about communications and how to keep in touch from distant lands. There’s no shortage of possibilities, there may be far too many.

Since Twitter seems to have gone mainstream, if being mentioned by Jonathan Ross in the short time before he’s lynched by the tabloids again counts as mainstream, I thought I might jump on that particular bandwagon.

So I now have a twitter account. However I am not twittering, I have yet to tweet. I’m just not sure I ‘get it’, but it seems worth a look.

Expect some activity there at some point, mostly because I’m playing with ping.fm to try and tie things together. It looks like a pretty neat service, if I can update everything in an easy way then I’m more likely to post stuff.

This may cause some odd entries to appear in places, but that’s part of the fun.

The Great British Public …

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

… are idiots.

There’s been years I’ve been disappointed by the winner of (Celebrity) Big Brother. This year is the first in time in ages that I’ve been surprised by the order that the final five leave in.

Was the rest of the country watching the same show I was? Everyone that voted for the winner should take time to experience what they’re feeling, remember it — that’s what it feels like to be wrong.

Ah well, I’ve just finished a kick-ass steak (with broccoli and blue-cheese sauce) and I’ve got a full glass of wine.

I’ll cope.

Location updates

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

A few days back, amongst a typical ramble, I said

Although having separate location updates would be cool for the frequent travellers, but not everyone wants to be found …

I turns out that a service to do that already exists, complete with Web 2.0 name: Dopplr. It’s a social network thing based around travel, allowing you to track where your contacts are going so you can see if you’ll end up in the same place at any point. It’s the sort of thing that would work really well for people who travel frequently for one reason or another.

It’s pretty slick, the interface is easy to use it integrates nicely with lots of other sites. It pulled my old trips out of Google Calendar automatically and it had a bash at working out which of my Flickr photos where from which trip.

I can produce a public profile page to show where I’m going, it’s linked in the sidebar but dopplr.com/traveller/SpaceDog will get you there too. I’d prefer if there was an option to not use my real name on that page, but I could always change my profile. I’m already linking to my real Facebook profile on the sidebar so it’s pretty obvious who I am.

Dopplr also has modules you can add to your own pages, so I can embed lots of different things here, like this.

I’ve only played with it for a couple of days, but it’s got a lot of neat touches and while it’s just ‘fun’ at the moment I could see it being really useful if more people I knew used it.

Serendipitously found on Ewan Spence’s blog.

… is pondering status updates.

Monday, January 19th, 2009

I keep an eye on my friend’s Facebook status updates, it’s a little odd at times but it’s amusing in it’s own quirky little way.

The whole one-liner, no extra info, is a bit confusing sometimes “Someone is glum.” or “Someone else had a close shave.”. WTF? Stop being all mysterious and stick a ‘because’ or something on the end of that.

The coincidences are particularly perplexing, like when two people, who have nothing in common and don’t know each other, reference the same Greek myth within days.

If I’ve been off-line for a bit and I read a few days worth at once it gives a good overview of what people have been doing or where they’ve been. Although having separate location updates would be cool for the frequent travellers, but not everyone wants to be found …

All of this, and the popularity of mini-blogs like Twitter, got me wondering about the possibilities of sorting through all this information.

If you examine an anonymised feed of status updates could you extract something useful, could you guess the mood of a nation? the world? Could you examine the Blue Monday equation? (hint: it’s bullshit).

News services are already starting to monitor these things to cover breaking news, but I wonder if they can be used predictively.

Perhaps the next big thing is sifting through all the little status updates and tweets and pulling something useful out of it.

Maybe it’s already being done.

Mind Bites

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

This Flickr set is a nice group of research snippets set against interesting photo backgrounds. It’s a pretty nice set to flick through both for the pictures and the information. I particularly liked:

brainstorming dilutes ideas

You can also view the set via a funky (if slightly annoying) flash viewer at the creator’s website: http://www.will-lion.com/mindbites/

Links

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

When I find something on the web I never know if everyone’s already seen it and I’m just late to the party. If that’s the case now I wish someone had mentioned OpenStreetMap before now.

I’m a fan of Google Maps but it does lack detailed coverage of some bits of the world, in particular Manila. I’ve discovered that some parts are quite well covered by OpenStreetMap so I can now provide a decent link to a Manila Map. I can even embed a close up of ‘Eastwood City’ the tiny development where the Manila office is:


View Larger Map

I couldn’t even find that on a printed map so I’m pretty impressed, zoom out a bit to get an idea of the scale of the place.

I’ve also put a few extra links in the sidebar, just pointers to a few blogs written by people I know and some other interesting places.

If you’re really bored you can see the full list of blogs I’m subscribed to on the Links Page this is automatically generated so you should see the results of my on-going sorting and spring cleaning.

Celebrity Big Brother 2009

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

Time for a fluff post to start 2009, I almost summoned up the energy to live-blog the Celebrity Big Brother launch show, I’m kinda glad I didn’t.

Brief thoughts and predictions after the jump in case you haven’t seen it yet (and care that much).
(more…)

Happy New Year

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Happy New Year to my loyal readers 😉 

No new resolution for 2009 I’m afraid, I did have one ready but my impending relocation to the other side of the world makes it a little difficult. So far 2009 I’ll desperately trying to sort everything out and not f–k up my new job. By 2010 I’ll hopefully be in a position to try and set myself some sort of challenge. 

Anyroads, happy new year everyone, more posts to come in the new year.