Because being an earlier adopter is fun

There's been a lot of talk lately about the widening gap between the early adopter and average users in the social media space (in particular order here, here, here, and here are a few). The posts have been a little angst-y even to the point that you might feel all is lost in the social media space. Let's go through this.
Is the Social Media Space a Bit of an Echo Chamber?
Yes, but so are most communities. From the Boy Scouts, to the music industry to the Episcopal Church any a space that encourages "inside baseball" thoughts becomes an echo chamber. As the technology matures more people will get involved and these services will become a little more representative of society. This has happened in every other technology. Look at the Web around '94 and today for an example. "All this has happened before and all this will happen again".
Are We Creating our own Bubble?
Probably, yes. There is the standard explosion of competing standards and technologies that will simmer down as they atain a critical mass.. Again, nothing new (Think AC vs. DC, Beta vs. VHS, HD-DVD vs. Blueray). However when this happens on a software level there's less investment for us, if we bet wrong we just go to a new platform and setup a new profile. Most of these services allow you to pull your data out of them (which is behind a lot of the coding I'm doing here these days).
So, Why do this at all?
Because it's fun! Isn't that reason enough? I know there are folks doing this professionally (blogging, consulting, however Scoble gets paid, etc) and I'm sitting on the outside, but I do this because it's a fun way to spend some time. To be honest, if you're not having fun playing with these services you should be doing something else. Sure, it helps me professionally from time to time but I enjoying building the small tools that I'm using. I enjoy meeting new people and fanwanking about technology.

    Posted: May 2, 2008

Sontaran Chicken Dance

A buddy of mine in DWNY created this video. Figured I'd spread it around a bit.
Spoiler Alert for 4x04 The Sontaran Stratagem

    Posted: May 2, 2008

Why I Am Reinventing the Wheel and Rolling My Own Lifestream

A couple of folks have asked why I am basically reinventing friendfeed and presenting my lifestream on
It all started when I began looking at my web information flow. As I documented over there, I wanted to make a hub to find out what I'm doing online. By using Drupal's Activity Stream module I've begun aggregating some of my content. You can read some of my adventures of my with the Activity Stream module here.
One of the things driving this effort was the realization that I didn't have copies of all my content. Where I have all my photography and blog entries, things like my tweets, blog comments I've made and music I've listened to live on other servers and should they change their policies about allowing folks to extract information from their services I might not be able to access my back content, which is unacceptable to me.
Where I could let Friendfeed do the heavy lifting, the same issue applies there. Where they probably will be allowed and keep their API in place, I have no guarantees, so I've decided to aggregate all my content on my site. As I'm making a copy of it, I might as well show it off on the site. That hasn't stopped me from havening an account on friendfeed.
So I have a few services working (my blog, flickr, twitter, and and have some more to go (google reader, disqus, friendfeed comments / likes, youtube and cocomment) but I am enjoying the coding and will all my content at my fingertips when I'm done.

    Posted: May 1, 2008

Dr Who: *Spoilers* 4x04 The Sontaran Statagem Liveblogging *Spoilers*

For those who are interested, all my Dr Who Content is available here.
Spoilers, you have been warned
Ohh creepy smart kid looks like Sergey Brin (credit Rachel Clark). Sontarans Attack Google ... 3 words no letter D ... hmmmm
"This is your Final Destination"... Oh, I get it... all the people that died escaped death previously and this is the balance sheet being settled. I've seen this film, it was horrible
Woman Drivers!
It's the Martha Phone!
You know, for the mega companion episode the credit sequence will need to be 15 mins long. And I'm still holding out for Jo Grant!
I want a Martha / Donna Smackdown.
Operation Blue Sky, Hmmm ELO... could that LINDA lot be involved?
UNIT's looking all military. UNified Intelligence Taskforce, don't like the new name. Have we ever seen more then 4 members of UNIT in the same place at the same time? I don't remember if we have.
Illegal Aliens... UNIT is Men in Black?
Hmmm disembodied voice studying the humans for a military advantage. Wonder who they could be.
Where's the Brig?
70's or was it the 80's... nice way to place with the wibbley wobbley cannon.
Martha said United Nations.. so you can say UN and United Nations but not use it in the UNIT name... I hate the world sometimes.
I'm saluting you Donna, believe me I am.
"and you think Atmos is Alien" so do we all... (and I'm sure you do, to).
Doctor, false modesty doesn't suit you, really.
A body that looks like a blank slate... Sontarans who reproduce by cloning ... wonder where this could be going
You smell of sweat and fear! UNIT needs antiperspirant
OK, this height thing bothers me. I don't remember the Sontarans as overly short. Here's a shot from the "Two Doctors"

I mean not tall but not R2D2 sized either.
Processing? Human HypnoSlaves... this doesn't seem very Sontaran-y
"I don't like people with guns" unless it's Jack... I like his gun
Sonic Screwdriver setting #85: Scanning for alien tech.
"You can come and Go, but some of us have to stay behind" isn't that what Harriet Jones said.
I have to admit this, I forgot Harriet Jones's name... so I googled "Prime Minister Flydale North" (without Doctor Who).
Why have a folder for sick days if no one is calling in sick?
"invented the fountain 6 search engine" ... it is Sergey!
OK, this tiny Sontaran thing is really getting to me.. It's like Dark Helmet... I'm expecting him to whip out his Schwartz.
According to the records, you travel by TARDIS,... well there's Bessie and the who mobile, too.
Actually it would be nice if they brought Bessie along... I'm going to have to watch some Pertwee when this is done because I miss her.
"You dumbo", Donna you were playing him. We all thought you were thinking of leaving.
Another Hypnoslave. There's like RoboMen... Daleks are involved, I can feel it.
Just an aside... Capt Jack Harkness is the Final Cylon.. you've heard it here first
It would be nice if they included a flashback or 2 of eps we haven't seen.
Wow, a companion being kidnapped. It must be Saturday.
If that were my mum I'd leave the galaxy, too.
"The fitting is standard in all Gov't Vehicles" But UNIT isn't a national organization. Hence, the UN comment up that way.
Very Jr Mad Scientists lab. Sounds like fun!
Now He's more Jobs then Sergey.
"it's been a long time since anyone's said no to you" actually he heard it last night, on a date.
Am I the only one who misses the term transmat? "Teleport" is so generic Sci-Fi "transmat" was ours the same as "transporter" is the Trekkies.
I think we see more Sontarans in this one scene that we have in total in the classic series. And it's surprising if you think about it... you keep the helmets on them and you can have anyone play them
"In tru da window" ... They recycled that joke, really?
I'm thinking a Jadoon / Sontaran Hybrid would be interesting
Sonic Screwdriver Setting Number 81: Disable Teleports (Disabling transmats is 84)
So the Doctor and Rose have both used the "I know you're species name, you have to keep me alive" ploy. Why would that work?
OK, Nice makeup. Gotta give them that.
Mr Potatoe Head!
Oooh the Sontaran's Wand is stronger then the Doctor's Wand. The Schwartz is strong with this one.
You know for clones they don't look exactly the same.. And they have different voices. I think it's easy to tell them apart.
Hmmm Strapped down Martha yummie.
OOO another Time War reference... wonder where that is going.
Nice Sontaran Balls
Wait there's a device that will make obedient hot chicks? I know what I want for My Birthday.
Hot wet naked Martha!
The Jeep is Deadlocked?
Is it supposed to ignore your orders or do the opposite?
And it's another of those computers that when given a logical contradiction, blows up. Or puffs, more then blows up.
Evil Martha is hotter then good Martha.
Wilf just put together the alien thing now... not when he vanished?
Not only an alien hand.. it's grown back after being chopped off.
A different boy every week... Go Donna!
Sonic Screwdriver setting 59: Opening Temporal Pockets.
Spanish Flu? they retconned Wilf's being missing at the wedding!
Sonic Screwdriver setting 815: Releasing Gas.
Why are there clones with different heights?
Sonic Screwdiver setting 352: Dissipating Gas
Deadlocked cars! JNT might've been right destroying the Sonic Screwdriver
Sonic Screwdiver setting 54: Useless Scanning.
I like this clapping thing... Not very Sontarn-y though.
Next week Earth is down to 10 people alive (when you considering the cars this week, the people who were killed by the autons, in the Dalek/ Cybermen Battle, and of course... we never recovered from when the Dinosaurs roamed England in the 70's.

    Posted: Apr 27, 2008

Dr Who: *Spoilers* 4x03 Planet of the Ood Liveblogging *Spoilers*

OK, fallen behind on this episode goofing around thing. I did find it difficult to make fun of this episode since it was pretty good.
Spoilers... you know the drill

The Ood came to Earth for one purpose... To Serve Man... with stuffing and gravy.
Cut price Ood.... that's never a good idea.
Oh Oh... Ood with red eyes... It's Sutek time!
Ok that rocking back and forth was rather Kirk and Spock, don't you think?
The return of the randomizer. I miss the Key to Time. Why would you need to set the controls on random when there's a 50/50 chance you go to where you're going?
Nice fur lined coat there, Donna... better the last week's toga.
You've got a box... he's got a Ferrari... be careful Donna you're questioning his manhood.
In the future there will still be false cures for hair growth. Good to know.
It's the circle.... the circle of death...
Mildly telepathic and weak willed.. never occured to me that the Ood could be similar to Kameleon.
"We're not married" that's this year's phrase, I think.
"What is an Ood, but a reflection of us".. so you're creepy looking with tentacles and easily swayed by the Devil... nice to meet you.
"If your Ood is happy then you'll be happy, too"... mad the mistake of watching this right after Ashes to Ashes and now I'm hearing "I'm happy, hope you're happy too" and an Ood in clown makeup
"Doh!" they'll still be making Simpson's episodes in the 4126... noooooooo!
Yes Donna, no one would want to marry you, believe me.
Is anyone reminded of the Apes being traine in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes? How sad am I that I think of PotA instead of a real example of slavery?
"I was busy" you know the Devil and all....
Whatever that is don't like hair tonic... ouch
Donna whistles like a construction worker.. and somehow that makes me feel... hmmm special
I do like Donna calling "The Spaceman" on his higher then thou attitude.
Donna seems to be doing an Elf impression this week and rolling high when searching for hidden doors
OOO the crane game... I usually get the stuffed animal when I try it at the pizza place
2 Mins alone with Donna and the Ood want to kill... I can understand that
I'm starting to think this hair loss thing might be a major plot point.... why are they treating to so subtlety
Sonic screwdriver setting number 3 : opening locks
Sonic screwdriver setting number 4 : locking doors
Ahh... the return of Dr Spock mind melding ability
You know walking around with your brain in your hand your whole life has to be inconvenient.
You know the "human as the monster" theme has come out twice already this season
Ood-tastic destruction!
Oh, random comment... 3 words none beginning with a "D" - Adipose Take Manhattan
Donna and handcuffs... purrr
Hmmm They are Chuth-Ood "I will swallow your soul"
The Ood don't appear to have teeth... what effect does rubbing tenticals back and forth have?
Now if you were trying to turn a race into slaves an found their group brain, you'd you just kill it?
What that a Wilhem scream as he fell? I'm pretty sure it was.
I know they hair loss thing would pay off!
"I can't tell what's right and what's wrong any more" ... that took 3 weeks, wow!
"Every song must end" for the next song to begin.
Next Week: Donna fulfills her contract! And Sontarans!

    Posted: Apr 27, 2008

More Random Musings on Conversion

As I get closer to the day where I'm received into the Episcopal Church, I have been reflecting on the journey I'm on and where it is taking me. This post might come off a little emo and will definitely sound different than people are used to hearing from me. It is where I am today and I think it will be good to let it out. Oh, and before we begin, a lot of what I learned in the Catholic Church is what I learned from a Catholic Grammar School. I know folks who didn't have 5 days a week of Religious Ed in the early days have a different opinion. I've had problems over the separating the two.
I have learned that I'm more then I've every thought I was. Where I have not have always been the man I should be, that can change. As I've taken step to try and change that, I have a level of confidence that I've never had before.
In Catholicism, I learned that I was created to "Love God and Serve God in this lifetime and the life that comes afterwards" (or words to that effect, don't have a copy of the Baltimore Catechism on me). In the Episcopal Church, I've learned that God made me because he loved me. Which has made a major difference in my life. Yes, Serving Him is still in the equation but this isn't the reason I was created In my head, if God created me only to Love and Serve Him, it's rather egotistical. Also any Sci-Fan fan will tell you that giving free will to a creation designed to serve generally doesn't work out well (see The Terminator, or most of Asimov's Robot novels).
In many respects, I feel better about me, I feel closer to God and for today that's all that matters.

    Posted: Apr 23, 2008

Activity Stream a.k.a. Web Presence

As has been documented, I have been playing around with putting a presence aggregator on this site. I've hacked around with the drupal activitystream module and came up with this. It's still very alpha, and subject to change but as time goes by. For example, I'm pretty sure I'm removing the list controls to get rid of the useless bullets (the icons are much better then the bullets in this case). When I have all my changes in place I'll post the code.

I have uncovered a bug in the feed stream module of activity stream which I have shipped over to the maintainer, but in the mean time I figured I'd post it here in case anyone looks this way. The problem is simple, any feed imported using feed stream will have a date of December 31,1969. This is because feed stream is using PHP's strtotime() to convert the RSS's date / time stamp to a unix timestamp. An RSS feed returns the time stamp as "DD MMM YYYY, HH:MM AM" (example 15 April 2008, 1:54 pm). Strtotime () trips over the comma so the simple fix is to remove it while converting. I'd post the module here but I've hacked it further for my own purposes. Simply go to line 30 of activitystream_feed.module and replace this

$activity['timestamp'] = strtotime($item->get_date());


$activity['timestamp'] = strtotime(str_replace(',','',$item->get_date()));

I'm sure the developer will get it in his next build but that's a short term fix.

    Posted: Apr 22, 2008

Dr Who: *Spoilers* 4x02 The Fires of Pompeii Liveblogging *Spoilers*

Got a little behind. Just catching up.
Spoilers ...You have been warned.

Wow... we've seen Donna in different outfits for each episode... Much has changed since the JNT days.If the TARDIS translates written languages; I wonder if the TARDIS translates "Police Public Call Box" to the local language for the locals as well."That Fire had little to do with me... well a little bit". Is there a major fire that the Doctor was not responsible for?"Pompeii and it's volcano day"... wonder if Jack's Around... Or if the Doctor is going to bump into himself and Mel... ahh, probably notOhhh hot chicks with tattoos on their faces... kinky.You know, in The Romans Ian and Barbara were sold into slavery ... and now the TARDIS is sold... I'm thinking these folks will sell anything that isn't bolted down, won't they.Speaking of The Romans a new concept for a Doctor Who theme party... "The Romans", "The Fires of Pompeii" and Togas... Yes, a Doctor Who Toga Party!"Modern Art" ... aren't you curious why it glows, I would be."One of 16 Vestal Virgins, who are leaving for the coast". Avoid the coast... go to the high ground... wait .. that could be a spoiler.You'd think if you made the heavens angry and caused an earthquake the least you'd be sincere in your apologies to the household gods.Lucious Dextrus ... now there's a name... I think James Moran said "I need a name that people will fall over whenever they say it, I know Lucious Dextrus"She has "The Gift". an ugly tattoo of an eye on her hand.. that's the gift... looks like the result of heavy drinking to me. Ahh "have you been consuming" yes there is drinking involved.Melkur! I know it... The Master's in this episode!You know, people keep comparing Donna to Sara Jane, I can't disagree more... the more I watch the more I believe she is more Tegan then SJS. "Donna, Human, No".. no way SJS would stand up to the Doctor like that.Wait... the marble inspectors of Pompeii carried IDs?It just occurred to me... 10 mins into the episode and no sonic screwdriver.Marble merchants aren't allowed wood object?I am liking Donna's morals here... if you can save people why aren't you?"only the grain of wheat knows were it will go"... "the rain in spain flows mainly on the plain"I wonder what the Gallifrian Language sounds like."my daugter's been consuming the vapors" Sounds more like Gone With The Wind then Doctor Who... Quite Frankly, Doctor, I don't give a damn."The prophecies of women are limited and dull." Looking at your outfit I bet you find other things about women limited and dull, too.Tonight on the Roman Broadcasting Network - Psychic Showdown."she is returning"... I'm telling you, it's Jo Grant... we will see Jo Grant before the end of the year!You'd think the wife of a marble merchant would recognize stone and not confuse it with a rash."We Built this City... We Built this City on Vesuvius"Little boy you have a coin growing out of your ear. Sit on my lap and see where else you have money.The Doctor with a torch... considering his track record with fire this might now be good.What happened to every oracle tell the truth, that is the gift of Pompeii? 10 mis later he's caught in a lie.Dear Costume Designers... that's not a good look for donna... go get the suit thing for last week back, please.There can be only one!He's Stoned..And at 22:50 (which might be a record) - Sonic Screw Driver Setting number 213 - knock over marble blocksI'm telling you that's Melkur! I recognize him. Either that or Megatron made out of stone. Either way that can be exciting.OK... Megatron. On Fire!Another Companion getting kidnapped... Must be Saturday.Donna tied down... I had this dream last night... although there was a gag involved.Sonic Screwdriver setting 155 untying ropes.Everyone in this town is stonedA water pistol... how big are those pockets?"I Bloody Love You"... no we've had enough of this... no more love in the TARDIS, I beg you.One Circuit Board to rule them all!Falcon's Design.. Steven Falcon.. They're designing The Wopr / Joshua.A whole group of Melkur-Trons.Super breath!Donna "It's getting hot"... yes love, you are!OK, snarkiness aside for a second... that pushing the level together thing was just cool. A companion who will help, really help. Interesting.AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"It was an escape pod" or a convenient plot device."Come with me" ... if you want to liveA rift in time.... Prophesy.... a species losing it's home world... Next Week on "Torchwood: Pompeii"OK... you're brother and sister... holding hands like that is creepy.Next Week ... Something OOD is in the air....

    Posted: Apr 21, 2008

Drupal Twitter Module Extension (Drupal + Twitter)

The Story so farBy extreme stupidity I managed to flood twitter using drupal's twitter module installed on My problem was that the twitter module tweets every new node, not ever new front page story as I thought.

The Rest of the StoryI am in the process of playing with both the twitter module and the activity stream module to get them where I need them. My intent with the twitter module is to allow you to turn on and off tweets and alter the title based on node type, once I'm done with that I'll turn the code over to the drupal team to do with what they want. I also want to bake that and the activity stream into one module (a single socal network interface module, perhaps).

In the interim, I have created a version of the twitter module that only tweets when you post a node with the type of story. The module is available here, for those who are interested. It is a twitter 5 module, has been tested on 1 site and seems to work. No guarantees, are offered, and this should be considered alpha code (in the old days it would be beta... but now that beta mean production, we need to redefine our terms). If you send millions of tweets, go blind, lose your girlfriend, etc I claim no responsibility. I do want to know, however so I can fix it for those who come after you.

So, feel free to use it, and post any comments here that might be useful. Future revisions to the twitter module form me can be found here.

    Posted: Apr 19, 2008