Go, Do, Be.


10/22/2013  — 

A wave

I rode a wave this morning. Thanks Darren.

It lives here.

03/26/2009  — 

Twitter-Based Surf Report Flowchart

I've been mucking around with Twitter and Facebook lately. There are a few folks who have been using these services to post info about how the surf is. I don't live close to the beach (yet), so I like to see what's happening before I jump into the car and make the trip.

I sent a message from my phone this morning. Even though the surf was lame. The message was published all over the place (microsyndication). Here's how it worked:

  1. I emailed a photo to twitpic.com which...
  2. updates my status on Twitter which...
  3. the @StokeReport user follows. If my tweet contains "SMLM", stokereport will publish my tweet on stokereport.com (and even pull the image off twitpic it seems, nice!).
  4. also, http://greacen.com has that little widgety thing over there on the left. Your browser will pull the image from twitpic and put it onto this page.
  5. also, Twitter will pass my status update on to Facebook.com

Guess what? Most of these nodes along the way have their own RSS feeds for others (services or people) to slurp & read.

Thinking about this plinko-esque publishing flow is a little dizzying. I've been working on web site flows for a few weeks now. It's often helpful to map out a flow to see what's really going on. Graphviz is an open source tool for producing network diagrams and flow charts that I've been using for mapping high-level flows. Here's what a map looks like for the publishing flow I described earlier:

digraph TwitterSurf {
ratio = fill;
node [style="rounded,filled,bold" shape="box" fillcolor="skyblue"];

/* Set up specific shapes */
Phone [style="rounded,filled" shape="oval" fillcolor="grey"];
"RSS Aggregators" [style="rounded" shape="box3d"];

/* relationships */
Phone -> "twitpic.com" [label="Email with attachment"];
"twitpic.com" -> "twitter.com" [label="twitter api"];
"twitter.com" -> "facebook.com" [label="facebook/twitter bridge"];
"twitter.com" -> "stokereport.com" [label="if post contains 'SMLM'" style="dotted"] ;
"twitpic.com" -> "greacen.com" [label="widget/embed" color="red"] ;
"twitter.com" -> "RSS Aggregators" [label="rss feed" color="darkorange"] ;
"facebook.com" -> "RSS Aggregators" [label="rss feed" color="darkorange"] ;
"stokereport.com" -> "RSS Aggregators" [label="rss feed" color="darkorange"] ;

If you ignore the []s, it looks like a terse version of our list up above. Here's the flowchart those instructions produce:

Surf Report Publishing Flow

Kinda neat, huh? I find the way this goes from text to sitemap really intriguing. This -> that; that -> next; other -> next; makes sense to me. Graphviz does a great job of putting this all together in an easy-to-digest graphic.

There are a few rails front ends to graphviz (demo) that might make a web tool for this possible. I could see this becoming a handy planning tool for our organization.


  • Anyone ever use a tool like this for making sitemaps or high-level flows? What tools work well for modeling these interactions?
  • What other publishing tools are you using to propel your tweets? (where's my linkedin hook?)
  • Has anyone run into ownership issues with this plink-esque publishing?
  • Does this have a name? Let's call it microsyndication.
  • What's the best way to get metrics for this kind of publishing? Is there a way to measure in this distributed/microsyndicated system? How many people read my surf report?

Thanks for reading.

06/12/2008  — 

Ryan & Chris score surfings hat trick.

We did it. For mishaps during AM surfing, we are now 3 for 3. First, I bonked my jaw on my board and earned an unscheduled trip to the emergency room. The following week, we experienced donutus interruptus due to a work emergency (unscheduled site outage). Today Ryan experienced surfus interruptus when his board split clear in two. No, it wasn't an epic day at Linda Mar.

  • Ryan: Wanna buy a board cheap?
  • Other guy: Looks like you have two boards.
  • Ryan: Today it's 2 for 1.

Look at the anguish:

Kinda neat looking in there. No stringer, just air. The aluminum honeycomb is a neat material too.

05/15/2008  — 

Linda Mar Extreeeem #2

Got a few decent minutes of video from Ryan's waterproof camera on 5/15. There's a good closeup of Marko in there. Music is by blert.

02/10/2008  — 

Surfed, not rocked

I decided to surf this am instead of sit in my garage and write music. This was some long overdue activity that helped to clear my head even if it put me behind on my 29 song schedule.

The surf was decent! Winds were still offshore by the time I got to the beach (around 10am). There was swell! I think there were some 7+ foot sets coming in on the north end of the beach. I caught a few rides in front of the north parking lot then walked up toward those big waves around Crespi. My arms were out of shape after a surfless month, but I was eventually able to make it outside. Folks weren't really diving into those waves the way I expected. I think I could have done more with them, but I was distracted by a toy I had around my wrist.

I got a "Digital Hero" sports wrist camera for the holidays and took it out for the first time. I was able to snap some pics from the water, but didn't really shoot much surfing. I probably could have ridden some really nice (and really big) waves if I paid less attention to the doodad.

I'll upload some video another time. The camera captures some pretty trippy things during a wipeout.