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July 28, 2009

And then there was microblogging

Three things pushed me into microblogging.

Before I was pushed, my thinking was (and, to some degree, still is,) “OK, lots of people are using this, but I have a lot of distractions already, and I don’t see what I gain to balance that downside.” So I stayed out. (You’ll remember I did this once before.)

(Also notice that I’m using the phrase “microblogging” rather than “Twitter.” I’ll get there, I promise.)

The three things that pushed me over, roughly in chronological order, are these:

  • The “blog” that I’ve done for iaaf.org for three major events now is going to be more like a microblog this year; if some of the features they’ve discussed actually happen, I’ll be getting comments and questions directly through their CMS, and possibly also on a bridge to Twitter or another microblogging service like identi.ca. So I’m headed there anyway.

  • Our office network link went down, and my co-workers were tracking the scale of the outage and restoration of service using #verizonfail.

  • A said to me, “You know, you should try this…”

So, with reservations, I signed up.

To avoid this becoming too long, I have two more posts coming, which hopefully I will finish before Labor Day: what my reservations are (I still have them) and the technical system I’m in the process of setting up.

Posted by pjm at 8:18 PM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2009

Small print: "Sign printed elsewhere"

Sign on the door of the University Drive post office in Amherst: “No bikes allowed in lobby. Please use rack provided.”

It should come as no surprise that there is no bike rack in sight.

Posted by pjm at 5:34 PM | Comments (0)

July 15, 2009

And this was how the giant buoy got anchored in the tiny pond

This morning I was thinking it would be cool if there was a website showing conditions at Puffer’s Pond. Water temperature, air temperature, maybe a wind reading.

Then I figured you could probably hack together some kind of home weather station with a cell card and a buoy, and have it “phone in” its data on a regular basis—just check in hourly with a quick blip of data. Then you could build a website to store the data and show stuff like daily temperature curves, a trailing average of temperature at a given time of day over several days, air/water temperature gradient, and maybe start predicting swimming conditions based on current conditions and the weather forecast.

Then I realized what I really wanted was for GoMOOS to plant a buoy in Puffer’s. Is that so wrong?

Posted by pjm at 7:36 PM | Comments (1)