web 2.0


First off I think I’m supposed to apologize when I don’t post for… forever. So… sorry it’s been so long.

The main reason I haven’t posted in a while is that I put most of my thoughts on twitter now, feel free to follow me twitter.com/davepreston.

Between facebook, twitter, and whatever other new Web 2.0 sites I can find, I haven’t been putting my “great ideas” down in this blog.

Enough excuses. Most of those Web 2.0 sites have a profile picture (including wordpress actually). I decided tonight that I was bored with my old profile picture and wanted to change it. That’s when I realized how annoying that would be. So far I’ve updated twitter, flickr, and facebook. There are probably a dozen other sites that I’ve used my old picture on and I’d like to be able to update all of them at the same time.

Reasons this is a bad idea:
– Actually, I can’t think of anything bad about this idea other than the fact that the site that did the updates would have to have your password for all your different sites. But that seems to happen all over the place these days and is a problem that should be addressed in a different post.

– The only other reason not to write one is that probably someone already has. I’m expecting a comment on this blog or a reply in twitter any minute now :).

I pownced about this already, but I wanted to expand on my thoughts here.

For those of you that don’t know about Pownce it’s web 2.0 blend between blogging and Instant Messaging. It fills the void when I have something to say, but not enough time to write a full blog entry. It also provides for the opportunity to reply to particular messages.

Replies are the focus of this post. I think it would be cool to have a bot that listened to a pownce feed for a specific directive. When it gets a question that it knows how to answer it could reply directly in Pownce.
  It could be done in several ways. It could wait for messages directly to it (Pownce allows for direct messages) or it could look at all the messages for keywords like “define:, weather:, ticker:, etc.”. If it saw “weather: Portland, OR” In my public feed it could quickly look up the weather and reply to me in pownce. Google has something similar for definitions. If I enter “define: happiness” into google it will quickly tell me about a state of being happy. I just want this type of thing in Pownce so I don’t have to switch over to my web browser.

  In the spirit of this blog here’s why it won’t work:
    The main reason this won’t work is it’s not allowed :(.
  According to Pownce’s legal page “User will not use any robot, spider, scraper or other automated means to access the Site for any purpose without Megatechtronium’s express written permission.”

  Bummer. I guess I need to get their express written permission. Perhaps I could use Twitter instead since it offers similar functionality but doesn’t have a robot clause in it’s TOS page. I’ve used Twitter, but I like Pownce better and I think it’s reply feature is a lot more sophisticated than Twitter’s.

By the way, Pownce is currently an invite only beta, but if you would like an invite, post a comment to the blog so I can invite you, or go to inviteShare which is a cool site to share invites to limited beta sites. That’s how I got an invite to Joost, but that’s a post for another time.

I have a hard time remembering anything.
I’ve noticed that the only things that I check with any regularity are my email, my RSS feeds, and Pownce.

Because of that I’ve taken to sending myself emails for things that I need to do. I also leave emails marked as “unread” to remind me to do something. The problem with that is that my inbox gets so cluttered with “tasks” masquerading as emails that I miss important emails or my response is delayed.

To solve these problems I propose the following online application:

  • You enter your tasks on the site and can define frequency, reminder time/type, description, etc. etc.
  • Manage friends making it a social network around tasks (not really necessary but everything has to have a social network to be cool these days :))
  • Reminders are key for me so there has to be a way to set reminders to send me an email, or add an RSS entry into the feed so I see it in my reader.

I liked this idea so much I even started writing it. I spent a limit time considering the data structure and “wasted” untold hours trying to install Visual Studio 2005, but that’s a topic for a different blog.

Tonight before I got back into writing the app I decided to do a search for similar businesses to see if there was anything I could learn (of course I didn’t expect to learn anything given my vast amount of existing knowledge :))

www.simplespark.com is a great search engine when looking for new companies.
In this case it turns out that there are several companies doing precisely what I described above!

Once again giving me a good blog post instead of a great business idea.

In case you are wondering www.rememberTheMilk.com and www.beeplet.com apparently do what I’m talking about. However, it does look like beeplet is having issues at the moment. I can’t get to their site. remember the milk looks like a very cool site. I’ll have to see if it can help me remember stuff.

UPDATE: I just tried adding a weekly reminder to update my blog. It let me do that and even gave me a link. I am super bummed though that RSS was NOT one of the options for reminder. IM was, and email was. For now I have it set to send me email. I’ve come full circle, but now I’ve completely lost interest in writing my own. I guess I’ll just have to hope beeplet comes back online (or do another search for the dozens of copycats that I’m certain are available.