In Brief Maybe this federated social network could actually work

So certainly looks interesting — it’s essentially a RSS aggregator that heavily relies on things like microformats to produce a Twitter-like timeline from disparate sources. Thing I like about this approach is that I can just feed RSS directly to it, no problem, and I can leverage my own site that much more. Promising…


Stuff I’ve liked lately

I’ve been running across some neat stuff on the ‘Nets these days, such as…

  • The redesigned It’s really improved; the social networking aspects are far stronger now, as friend requests are actually highlighted better, and they’re even adding a little News Feed-like action. It’s also nice that I can see my loved tracks (I do a lot of lovin’ on My favorite part? The graphical breakdowns now are more than just “last week” and “overall” — you can get breakdowns from a year, six months, and three months as well. Killer; helps me identify a lot of musical trends. Check mine out and maybe even friend me!
  • Fail We Can Believe In. This Obamaized Fail Whale graphic is oddly appropriate seeing how Twitter took a dump in the last couple days and screwed a lot of people’s follower/following lists up. They’ve been getting those restored, but the whale still reigns supreme. (More on Twitter’s barf in a later post, this one is supposed to be positive!)
  • The Tropical Weather FriendFeed Room. This FriendFeed room pulls in feeds from the National Hurricane Center as well as Dr. Jeff Masters’ tropical blog on Weather Underground into an easy-to-follow, and easy-to-discuss format that FriendFeed is great for. It’s been a wonderful time-saver with the recent tropical activity in the Atlantic.
  •, the open-source, federated Twitter-like network. If things keep progressing at the pace they’re progressing, could stand a serious challenge to Twitter. They are adding features at a monstrous pace, and was just added as the latest supported microblogging service in Twhirl. Best part? Anybody can run the software powering (it’s called Laconica), making for a truly federated microblogging platform.

Seen anything you’ve liked lately? Throw it in comments. :)

Looking ahead

This promises to be quite a week. Not only is it the first full work week in 2008, it’s also the week school begins (I start Wednesday). After dropping a cool $222.10 on books, I’m ready for the semester ahead. I’m taking a class that talks about mass media’s impact on society, a television news class (yay possible vlogging!) and a sportswriting class (because, well, I can). The Mass Media and Society class is an 8am on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so that will be quite a role reversal from the schedule I had been practicing (which is why I scheduled some hardware maintenance for 8am today — it’s a good jolt to the system).

I need to think of an independent study in communication of some type. It will likely involve the Internet in some capacity. Perhaps it could be a Twitter study of some type. We shall see. I need to think it over. (Suggestions?)

The spring semester also will bring a great deal of activity in a place where it may not be that wonderful — right outside my office. My office moved down a couple floors in my building before break — while the space is much larger, there’s also classrooms directly surrounding it, which will attract a lot of student conversation that could be high in volume. We’ll see what happens.

Finally, I love the fact that it was almost 70 today. It’s a great respite after that Arctic blast last week.

A few quick ones for the overnight…

I couldn’t resist…

  • Gregg Marshall leaves Winthrop again. Wichita State hired him as their next head basketball coach. I get the feeling he’ll stick around for that one, as he praised the “new facilities,” etc.
  • Reformatting the Internet, at first thought, appears to be a good idea. However, knowing what government and industry know now, I guarantee they wouldn’t build the Internet again without the proper hooks to “maintain order.” And besides, as many commenters note (and I agree with this 100%), we still can’t seem to adopt IPv6 — who’s to think a total network upgrade will be supported. I’m willing to bet this won’t happen within our lifetimes.
  • Prediction: When Jon Corzine next steps into a vehicle after recovering from an accident that he is damn lucky didn’t kill him, he’ll wear a seatbelt then and for the rest of his life. I still fail to understand the reasoning behind not wearing a seat belt in a vehicle.
  • Jon Stewart rips Nancy Grace as only Jon Stewart can. A must-see, as Stewart exposes how Grace basically convicted the Duke lacrosse players in the court of public opinion and contradicted herself several times in the process. Watch the whole thing — the ending is priceless.

Stay safe out there tonight!

As Per Whatever

An early blog (for a change)

My first class let out early, so I have a Vault, a chicken biscuit from Chick-Fil-A, and a few minutes to spare. :) It’s not a bad day out — the official NWS forecasts put the temperature in the mid to upper 60s…I think we might touch 70 today.

I find it incredibly humorous that using IE 7.0 in the public terminals prompts a “switch today” button in the bottom of the WordPress administration panel. ;)

In other, more academic news, my communication research class has moved on to qualitative studies (yes, I realize just how little time for that there is), and I am going to examine the nitty gritty of arguing on the Internet versus arguing in real life. I’m going to examine three or four different types of message boards — going to avoid the blogosphere in this one, I think — and try to make heads or tails of the quality of the arguments made (or lack thereof) and see if there are common characteristics. I’m also going to determine whether the arguments would be something anybody would talk about in real life otherwise, if it weren’t for the message board.

How about you folks? Is there something you’ve argued about on the Internet before that you would never in a million years argue about in real life — or vice versa, for that matter?

As Per Whatever Weather

March Madness of a different type…

It’s one heck of a busy night/morning for the National Weather Service. Lots of warnings going up everywhere. These storms just love to rotate…we have a tornado watch for a few more hours. I’ve been taking some screenshots of GRLevel3 tonight and sharing them on a Facebook album called Tornado Vortex Signatures (And Other NEXRAD Phenomena). It’s open to the public, so please, feel free to peek. :)

I would have blogged during the day, but the Internet connection at the College was out all day. A vital piece of hardware at the College’s ISP failed and they had to ship down a new part. In other words, they were carrying replacement tubes for the Internet(s) inside a big truck. Haha.

See you all tomorrow. Be careful driving over the bridge(s) — it’s going to be pretty windy for the next few hours…

As Per Whatever Observations

On dancing, and other random musings…

I came to a realization pretty much out of nowhere tonight: I need to learn how to dance. I’m really starting to come to the conclusion that this skill could be incredibly useful. Currently my only reactions to music are bobbing my head and, in the case of certain techno songs, moving my hand up and down slightly in reaction to the beat. Some songs, such as “Embrace” from Ryan Farish’s Selected Works package, feature a subtle record-scratching phenomenon that I attempt to replicate as well. In other words, as I walk down Calhoun Street listening to my iPod, I’m sure I make plenty of people nervous. Learning to dance as a normal person — i.e. not appearing as if I’m suffering from a seizure — could be useful in further advancing my social life.

Tonight I’ll be attending a seminar concerning crisis communication. I’ll be very curious to see if the Internet is mentioned at this seminar, because as we saw a month ago with the impending landfall of Tropical Breeze Ernesto, the blogs came alive and often outperformed the “traditional” media outlets (television in particular) on delivering the facts in a short period of time. If the Internet doesn’t enter the conversation — which, honestly, I’d be surprised if it were left out — I will make sure to bring it up.

On an extremely nerdy note, The Weather Channel playlist this month is one of the best I’ve heard in a long time. I’ve heard two selections from the new Ryan Farish album Everlasting, including “Together We Will Conquer” and “Young At Heart.” Plus, it appears “Last Train Home” by the Pat Metheny Group is in the list this month, which is awesome. I have yet to hear it in the Local Forecast but that song is one of my favorite jazz compositions.

I hope everyone enjoys their Thursday — one more day until Friday…