Archive for November, 2009

Chocify, it's the future

November 23rd, 2009

Today I came up with a cracking idea for a web service called “Chocify”.

People have been using Spotify to jointly build up playlists for the day, the season, or events. Why can this not be extended to chocolate? For example I like the idea of starting off with a KitKat Chunky, followed by a slightly more sticky Twix, and throw caushion and commen sence to the wind and top those off with a Double Decker.

Now, someone could see my mistake, that being the lack of a Crunchie bar, and insert it in to the eat list for me. I can also share this list with anyone I am visiting who needs to get supplies, or anyone who shares my taste in chocolate.

I know what you are thinking, but there is a revenue stream here. Yes people can take the lists and head down the sweet shop, but just imaging the convenience of a “buy it now” button, and within two or three months the postman (or woman, we don’t want to be sexist at Chocify) will deliver them to your door.

The domain name is still available but won’t be for long with such a great idea. It’s a winner. Anyone want to invest?

Happy Twitter birthday to me

November 17th, 2009

It was three years ago today that I first signed up to Twitter. I was user number 12838, and you can check your own number by clicking on your RSS feed and looking towards the end of the URL. Luckily the user name alistair was still available at the point.

I can not remember my first tweet, and Twitter removed all the older ones before I was able to make a backup, but like so many people’s first tweet it was along the lines of “Figuring out what Twitter is”.

Although I have not used it continually for three years I have for the last couple and and frighteningly it has become part of my life. I have made some great friends through it, keep in contact with a lot more, become part of one of the best (and possibly maddest) photo walk groups, know what is happening in the tech and non tech world as it happens, and feel part of a great set of online communities.

Originally it was a great way to keep in the loop and know what friends are up to. Today people are more open and broadcasting to the works when then tweet, but as a result they are [very sensibly] less open, and that in many ways is a shame. I am considering doing the same by being slightly less open and unprotecting my updates.

I think the secret of Twitter’s success is naturally luck, but also adapting it’s self and allowing user to almost add functionality. I don’t know if it can maintain it’s position forever, but unless it does something really stupid I see it continuing for quite a while.

My popular poppys

November 13th, 2009

Plastic Poppys

As you may know I like taking photographs. I often go on photo walks with friends, and nearly always have a camera to hand. As part of BarCampManchester2 some of us took some Geocaching virgins on a Geocaching trip, and on the way back I spotted a poppy wreath from the earlier remembrance services. I have wanted a good remembrance poppy picture as a stock photo so had a go, and the result is above. I must confess I was not really happy with the picture as it had nothing special, and I feel I could have framed it slightly better, but I uploaded it to flickr anyway.

I thought nothing more about the picture until Sunday when all of a sudden people started commenting on the photograph and marking it as one of there favourites. It turns out that it was the first of 5 poppy pictures featured on the Flickr blog. This means that picture also shows up on a user’s flickr home page. Then things got a little silly with hundreds and hundreds of people looking at the picture and then looking throught the rest of my photo stream. Probably because of this the picture was listed in flickr’s explorer, that I have never really understood to be honest, but apparently it is a privilege to be listed so I am grateful. This got more people looking and after a couple of days 4,000 plus people have viewed the picture, 144 marked it as a favourite, and it has had more comments than I can be bothered to count. All this on a picture that I don;t believe is my best work.

The down side of this is that I have been starting to get the odd daft tag on some pictures so I have had to restrict the tagging of my pictures to contacts only. I am also deleting comments that link to another site that look like spam to me. Apart form this nuisance it is all good and I have a warm feeling knowing that so many people are enjoying your work. I would like to thank those who have taken the time to look through my other photos, found some you like, and commented as such. Not forgetting those daft nuts who continue follow my work on an ongoing basis. It is nice to be appreciated.

Dorkbot NCL is back

November 10th, 2009

Some good news. Dorkbot NCL returns for a second time on November 17th. This is when we get together to have a look at what exciting things we have made.

This month we will find out about the mystery of Humanaquarium, Brendan Ratliff will be composing using tracking techniques, and Touchscape will be showing off touch technology.

More details can be found on the Centre for Life web site.