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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 {
size="6,6";
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.

Questions:

  • 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.

06/13/2008  — 

twitpic, kinda cool...

I've been messing with the moblog-ation lately. Even went so far as to set up a twitter account. twitpic.com's service that lets me toss pics from my mobilephone into my tweetstream.

Look, I even tossed the feed over there in the left column. I'll sacrifice a little ad-revenue for this test.

What's this all about? It's vaguely work-related. Gonna see what I can do with these info streams.

02/07/2008  — 

29 Songs: Day 4,5,6:

I offer a few recordings tonight: Sing the wolf song is to the lyrics that eve wrote me the other day. Apologies in advance if you listen with dogs in earshot. I added a few more tonight since Eve & I were sitting around with the mic on. We recorded "Always on the Sunnyside" which is something she sings at school, you're supposed to tell some kind of joke in the breaks... something I screwed up of course. This led us toward the banana knock-knock, which I also screwed up horribly.

Last night's tune 'i had nothing' was recorded at a rehearsal space with my bandmates (weekly jam-mates?). I basically said, "When I hit record, just start playing." woomp! there it is.

Thanks a bunch for all the notes you've sent me on these things.

Finally, I updated that web page. It's a klunker, but:

  • you can get to everything without digging through directories
  • you can listen to everything through the doodad.
  • the feeds will let you get a ping if there's a new tune.

I think I'm somewhat caught up on the listening now.

Bruce-

  • porches is just getting uploaded now. Really nice. I'll spin this a few more times tomorrow.
  • migrain my brain is severly migrating my brain right now. Please tell me there was some loopation involved in that. The micro hemiola in the hectic part might induce seizures.
  • wallevatoR nice touch here. I like the mood.
  • silence is not too slient with that guitar erupting over there. Neat!
  • thoughts almost takes off in a lee ranaldo direction. I like it. This made a great first impression.

Seth-

  • Thanks for putting that itunes doodad together today, if the RSS thing I responded with won't work to pull in the latestgreatest, let me know and I'll cook up a dynamical version of your xml file.
  • the biggest risk is great. I like the way the energy kind of goes from 0-60 in the prechorus. Also, nice organ moment, I missed that first time around.
  • eve had a comment on decelerating repetition: 'that's not funny' when I played it for her right before bedtime.
  • free from me is so nice. isn't it amazing how just an additional vocal track can kick up a demo recording?
  • Also, sweet & flavorful AND in my right time AND the plan in the same upload pile? wow. send more, what are you waiting for?

Peter-

  • I'm in touch with your blog. I enjoy catching the recording detailz over there. I'm not really making too much of an effort to engineer any of my recordings. I'll start to pay a little more attention to this and put some factoids together.
  • Lyudmila works! Is that a love song about this betty?
  • I enjoyed statement of too. It comes across as very thought-out and deliberate.

Derek-

  • It's been a treat to hear these gems. I mentioned this to you in an IM the other day, but I'll mention it here for the groop: Your recordings are so hi-fi! In a rush, I downloaded bakersfield to my phone while I was on the bart. I listened to it on the .5 inch speaker and wow... I heard all the backup vocals even...
  • down the hole- I love it. It's serious! I don't think I've heard you open up like that before! Beautiful.