Monthly Archives: September 2009

Twitter geolocation ‘imminent’; I’ll stick with Brightkite

Smarterware says geocoded tweets are imminent. Twitter geolocation is a win for newsgathering situations where it may be more expedient to tick off a “share my location” box than it is to check in on Brightkite and start posting notes. They’re doing a couple things weird here, though: scrubbing the data after 14 days (apparently to elude subpoena) and only giving the user control insomuch that they can specify whether location data is embedded in the tweet (though I’m sure app developers will be able to do more to the data before it’s posted). I like this for quick and dirty situations, but the lack of persistence of the geocoded data bothers me a bit. I still prefer the Brightkite approach to places as objects and the association of notes and pictures to those places. I also prefer Brightkite’s privacy controls, as you can still give your location to just a certain subset of people. It will be interesting to see how Brightkite’s data is enhanced by geocoded tweets — Brightkite could effectively hook into Twitter streams and import geocoded tweets into their placestreams (if the user so wishes, of course). I’ll be interested to see how app developers flesh this out. (Thanks to Mandi Engram at Social Media Club Columbia for pointing out this article!)

Hurricane Hugo

There’s lots of remembrance in the Lowcountry today in recognition of the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Hugo.

You might be surprised to know that I wasn’t here for it.

My family moved to Charleston (specifically, Goose Creek) in the summer of 1988. But during the summer of 1989, my dad’s job relocated us to Dalton, PA (yes, I lived near Scranton before it was popular). We rented out our house (with the full intent of returning once my father was finished with his assignment in PA), and watched nervously as Hugo made a direct hit on the Lowcountry. Fortunately, just the fence took a bit of a hit, and we only lost one tree (and it evaded the house). We returned in the summer of 1990, and in the winter got a fun snowfall (that has unfortunately yet to really repeat itself).

I was a weather nut before Hugo, but I have to wonder what my attitude toward hurricanes would be today had I gone through it. I remember talking to a lot of my peers when we returned, and most said they slept through it. But others told tales of howling winds and trees snapping and general chaos — and the silence of the eye. The stories of the eye were the most fascinating to me, and are probably a driving force for me to try to experience what it’s like in that eerie calm, on the stage in a stadium of destructive power.

But somehow I might find that what happens prior to and after that calm might dissuade me.

BarCamp Charleston’s approaching — still time to get involved!

BarCampCHS Logo There’s just a little over a month to go until BarCamp Charleston, which will be held on Saturday, October 24 at the Lowcountry Innovation Center. BarCamp is really gaining steam, with some fantastic session proposals and great sponsors, including Collecta, a powerful real-time search engine with local ties; rehava, a real estate store that is reinventing how homes are bought and sold; and the City of North Charleston, home of the Lowcountry Innovation Center and the best municipal social media strategy in the region.

We can still use your help, though. We’re still looking for more sponsors to help us put on an outstanding free event (BarCamp is meant to be free to everyone). Check out the BarCamp sponsor packages. Have an idea for a presentation? Let’s hear it, whether you can teach it or if you want someone else to teach it. It doesn’t have to be a technology topic, either — BarCamp, while it has traditionally been tech-oriented, is about sharing all types of knowledge. People have proposed sessions about photography, public speaking and the king of Internet meme foods, bacon.

Want to get involved in the planning of BarCamp? That’s easy, too — our biweekly planner’s meeting is at 5:30 PM on Tuesday. We’ll be chowing down at EVO Pizza in North Charleston (here’s a map to EVO), so come hungry and full of ideas. We’d love to have you.

Keep up with regular BarCamp updates on the BarCamp blog or by following @BarCampCHS on Twitter, and don’t forget to mark down the 24th of October.

Big, exciting changes: I’m joining ReadWriteWeb!

Jared joins ReadWriteWeb

I’m very happy to announce that I’m officially joining ReadWriteWeb as their full-time Webmaster starting on October 5. (Check out Richard MacManus’s tweet announcing my hire.) I don’t know if text can appropriately convey how excited I am to work with such a high-quality and well-respected publication on a full-time basis, but I suspect a video would just be downright embarrassing and ultimately detrimental to my “personal brand.” ;) I’ve been working with RWW part-time since April on a variety of small projects, and when the opportunity arose for me to work with them full-time, I knew it would be a good fit going forward. The crew at ReadWriteWeb is brilliant, and if you don’t read them, you’re missing out on fantastic analysis and commentary on this wild, wild Web we all find ourselves in.

The ReadWriteWeb move ends a six-year chapter for me at College of Charleston, my alma mater and my employer since I was 19. I got started there in October 2003 as a student worker in the helpdesk; my initial assignment was primarily the preparation of Windows machines for deployment. My role at the helpdesk gradually expanded and I worked as a field technician for several years until I was hired as the College’s webmaster in June 2007. My time at the College shaped who I am — period. I’m so fortunate to have worked with excellent and downright fun folks at the College, where we did some fairly outstanding things, including a dramatically revamped website with not only a new design, but also a new content management system and supporting infrastructure to go with it. I’m really proud of what we did there. I’ll freely admit that it’s very hard to leave a place you’ve known for a good chunk of your life. However, the Web is in able hands there, and is in a good spot to move forward. And, for the Web-and-Linux-inclined, I do encourage you to apply for my old job when it comes out. I’ll tweet when the job becomes available.

The Twitter response has been incredible. Thank you, everybody. :) A lot of people are wondering if I’m staying in Charleston; and that answer is yes — for now, anyway. ReadWriteWeb operates virtually; our meeting room is Skype-based, for instance, and we’re spread out all over the world. (Founding editor Richard MacManus lives in New Zealand, for example.) The job’s virtual nature is very advantageous in that I won’t have to move at all — and who likes to move? So, I’ll be in Charleston for a while yet, I suspect. I’ll still be fully active in Social Media Club, and hope to continue contributing to the good work that we’re doing with nurturing and expanding the local tech community.

More to come here, including updates on BarCampCHS and what we’re doing with SMC — stay tuned!