5 Different Things I’m Doing Right Now

Well, although the frequency of posts at Dev Dawn has been down, I’m still powering along with different projects.

(1) With the latest version of NetTalk out, am (slowly) getting back to Rasp. It’s wierd, because the two months it took to build a fledging website + products (beta) was so intense, (2) I’ve now started taking time to think about the future, the direction of this work. Rasp is still a goer. The others, not so sure.

Also, will at some stage do a rewrite of the web experience with ATS. Maybe just cut back to a Rasp site, and a single page for ATS. Not sure yet.

(3, 4, 5) Am working on some new projects. They are mostly content-driven (blogs), but there’s one in particular that’s quite .. off-beat. I’ll tell you about it later.

(6, BONUS!) Google Reader gets a lot of playtime now. I spend at least the first half-hour of night-work reading. Commenting too, although that’s part of the strategy for one of the above projects.

The third project is directly involving Clarion, so most of you should hear about it shortly. I’ll post here once it’s live.

All in all, it’s still a great time to be a developer. More than ever.

Oh, (7, another bonus thing), I’m gearing up more time as the Aussie DevCon draws closer for my talk (not sure if "talk" is the right word there). Have got most of the structure down, some fleshing out has been done. Once April hits, I’ll probably go at least 50% of my time on it, then come May, well, most other projects will have to take the backburner i think.


Why Gliffy Still Works For Me

Earlier this week I needed a simple image done, and my wonderfully mostly incompetant memory reminded me of Gliffy.

Gliffy was a great little online app. Actually, not so much _little_ as _simple_. A paired-down flash for drawing.

Visiting the site I logged straight in (without bothering too much to read the frontpage, except to notice the small fact that they had introduced "premium" accounts.

Hmff said my brain, "continue" in it’s robotic voice.

It was only upon logging in that I realised the trap.

All my documents would now be public. I’d created many more than three. Three is an important number, for many reasons. For Gliffy, it’s the number of "private" documents you can create on a free account.

Now, let me explain. No, there is to much. Let me sum up (ahhh, Inigo. I can’t wait for the next season of Criminal Minds).

On the outset, the idea of my drawings automatically being public scared the willies out of me. Why?

It’s just inbuilt. I (and I suspect most of we) want our creations to be private, and then let _us_ choose what goes public.

So I logged off. The robotic voice in my head was loud. "I’m NEVER coming back here again."

Famous robotic last words .. stupid brain.

The people behind Gliffy have stumbled onto a very cool shift from "We’ll only let you create 5 documents on your free account", or "You’ll only be able to see the latest 20 of your documents on your free account".

They know I want to control the private/public flag on my drawings.

And they’re gonna suck me in.

This morning I decided that some images would actually be good public. Images I didn’t mind other people seeing, or actually wanted other’s to see. Strangers.

So I’m back! Not premium (yet), but using.

‘Nuff for now,  compiling has finished.

Is The Time Now?

But firstly, for no particular reason, I’m putting up Before and After shots of my head. Hair and sans hair.




Anyway, tonight as I was driving home from the hospital, a thought occurred to me.

Now might be the best time ever to start developing an online media distribution network. I know every man and his dog is releasing apps and wapps and crapps these days, but hear me out.

The video store is a pretty awesome thing. You get most people coming in and paying premium for their one overnight dvd to rent. You have the greed of the New. We want to watch what is new and shiny.

And yet, today, it’s not going to translate so easily into the web. The biggest problem in my mind is the fact that Users just don’t have the nice Home Theatre setup that is really needed to take advantage of online media distribution.

That got me thinking.

I’m a late boarder with most technologies. I’ve only just started using I-Tunes properly, with the store. But man alive, I can see it now. Taking twenty seconds to download a song, magically, is awesome. Forget all the drm stuff, that’s another story. I’m interested right now in just the pure bliss of instant online gratification.

Now, move to a year when most people have a proper connection between their computer and what they watch on the tv .. and BAM. That’s when digital media distribution is really gonna hit the hotcakes.

So back to my original statement. Starting work now on an online media distribution network would be a smart move I reckon. Get it right, take time. Wait until the proliferation of hardware mashups reaches some kind of mass, and release to the adoring hordes.

Of course, things would never be that simple. There is copyright and egos and investments and actual code. But for anyone with those things, then cool. You’ve got yourself a Video Ezy in the making. Maybe Blockbuster.

Ning Nong Nang

Ning is not a bad stab at creating a RADesque tool for Online Social Network creation.

In about five minutes you can set up a network where people come and read/write blogs, comment on blogs, dicuss stuff (forums), upload photos, link videos, interact with places like Flickr and Youtube, and wield some pretty sweet RSS magic.

That’s not all. You can customise a fair amount of what goes on under the hood, because the frontend is mostly PHP. Not bad.

One of the craziest segments of this story is that currently Ning is free. You can sign up and start creating networks willy-nilly. And seriously, despite any limitations Ning might have, the price means you should at least give it the once over.

I’ve set up http://clarionfolk.ning.com/ to test it out. Still don’t fully understand how the whole thing works. There’s a concept of "Friends", which I think is another layer of security. Time will tell.

In other news, I’ve decided to move back to working on Rasp. At this stage, this early in the game, I need a single kicking product, a flagship, that has to knock the socks of people. Rasp is going to be that baby.