Sending to BOB

A menagerie of social networking applications ...

I finally have a system setup for submitting my Ph.D. student-related blog posts to a separate blog hosted by Google at  I used this great little utility to export my old posts, convert them to Blogger, then uploaded them there.  Then, I’ve setup posting to that blog using Blogger’s Mail2Blogger functionality, and subscribed that email address as an automatic recipient of posts on my family blog ( that are marked with the category of “Ph.D. Studies.”

It’s kinda like spaghetti isn’t it?


So … we’ll see if it all actually works. 🙂

Doing My Homework #1

What do you want to build?
I want to build the world’s simplest iPhone application … wait … that has already been done … click the image here for more on that from my favorite twitter-er, Pete Cashmore (or more accurately, by

Okay, so then, what should I build? Hmm… this article makes a good case for data visualization applications, and this article gives an introduction to some of the new features that will be available to us to exploit on the iPhone 3Gs (and the upgraded iPhone 3G) as of 17 July.

Certainly stuff to think about. If you can stand the 13:45 video, there’s a lot more hype and yes, admittedly, geekedly neat things that we could use in some cool new app … if we (me) were super developers.By the way, I’m thinking that those readers of this blog who can handle a quarter hour of Apple might also get something out of an hour and a half of Google. You’ve really got to watch the 1:20:00 video of the new Google Wave. It’s going to change it all. Seriously.

Well heck, while I’m promo-ing Mashable, I should just link you directly to the iPhone category where I’m getting most of the good stuff I’m taking time to write about here. []

Okay, okay, so I’m thinking that an iPhone application that helps a student calculate their GPA, including some calculations for Grade Replacements, etc., would be useful. Especially if v1.0 was built in such a way as to provide an extensible skeleton that could actually allow students to enter their classes, assignments (with due dates) and their relative weights, and using realistic expectations, to calculate real-time the changes made as they increase or decrease their confidence in their preparedness for an exam, etc.

Maybe even the application could connect with study groups and resources using Facebook or other social media applications.What do you think?

What’s a “blobject” as it relates to your project? (iPod Philosophy, Chapter 2)
Okay – I’m officially and literally laughing out loud. Note the tweets I’ve left on the status of my books. So, obviously I’ve not yet read the iPod book yet, but I do have the pentultimate in online resources … wikipedia.

Why am I laughing … to answer Dr. Rice’s question literally, a blobject is … no … you’re going to have to read it for yourself, if you can stand the possible neologism …

So I’ve made an assumption that the intention was “blogject” and I may be (and probably am) entirely wrong, but the rest of this post is on blogjects … Without the text to inform me, I went to the web …

The article says that we currently have “gizmos,” that the future is “spime,” and that “blogjects” possess the real estate in between. Reading here, especially some of the comments below the article, makes me think a lot about big brother watching as we work to make so much more information and interaction publicly available.

As it relates to my project, a blogject would be some data summary that receives posts of students’ confidence levels and projected GPAs and tweeted some information when crossing threshold levels to alert university resources into a proactive mode, monitor student perceptions on their own performance as it relates to the season of the semester, assignments graded, exams given, etc. If appropriately allowed, an aggregator could identify the geographical proximity of students who are interested in studying for the same classes and show mashups of campus maps of where on campus you are most likely to find students enrolled in the same coursework as you are taking.

What model mobile manifestifact excites you? Why?
Again, without the text, I’m totally guessing here, but I love those Sprint commercials that say, right now, this is happening, and this many people are doing this. The coolest is their little application that shows a “big bowl of now” []

One more that I love, among all the products from Digg Labs, is Swarm []. I just think it is really amazing to watch and see the realtime data be reported about what folks are digging. There’s so much cool stuff out there.

You know, this makes me think, hey – we collect real-time data all the time at work, and report it with real-time reports at I could write a script (and run via a cronjob) to tweet the “busy-ness” level of the Advising Center based on the number of students entering and exiting the facility, appointments being seen, etc. Hmmm.. something to think about.

Okay, now back to reading that PDF file for tomorrow night’s discussion.


In Memory: Trudy Anderson

I have to say that this weekend had a couple of stop and think about this moments for me. Mom’s wonderful friend, and one of my old junior high teachers, actually, not all that old, lost her battle to cancer last week. Out of sincere respect for the family, and in amazing small town form, over 100 people showed up at the graveside service, where we gathered to support the family, honor and respect their loss, and celebrate the life of one amazing woman.

I couldn’t help but think as we left the cemetary — what would it be like to bury a parent. How do you explain to your children that their grandmother or grandfather who loves them dearly, just won’t be coming around any more. I thought about Paul Menzel, who lost his dad earlier this year, and Venna Nix and Louise Adcock, whose husbands were so amazing and gracious and gentle, and yet whose lives ended long before their will to live had been exhausted. Our parents are so amazing, and for that matter, our grandparents, and it is such a blessing to have each additional day with them. These are all very sobering thoughts, but they give way to a much deeper sense of appreciation, gratitude, and peace, when I consider how powerfully my life has been touched by each one. I have to confess, I just don’t tend to live like this day might be the last. I’m not sure if it is something about ignoring the things that scare me, or if it is simply a blind ignorance to the possibility that this very breath may be all I have, but I feel compelled to write these words that it might be forever recorded, for some cyberaudience to stumble upon at Google’s providencial hand, that a reader might consider how precious their own existence really is. We have such potential, each of us, for good and for harm. I think maybe the only reason that we do harm to others is because we arrogantly take this day for granted, convince ourselves that we deserve something better than another, or that we’ll have another opportunity later in life to set things right.

It just seems … cocky … foolish.

Now, I don’t mean to go on and on, though I have. But there’s a little wake up call for me when I think about the few precious moments I may have with my wife, my children, on a mountaintop, in meaningful work, at Meme’s bedside. I tend to live most of my life like a boat tossed about in the winds of a great storm at sea, when it is my own fault that I find myself here, and only by God’s grace that I haven’t been capsized so far. It also occurs to me that it is probably by my own hand that I’ll sail on from this place, if I ever am to move into calmer waters, but for one reason or another, I seem to stay fixed in place, without forward or backward movement, as if some invisible anchor holds me fast. What will it take to let loose and really live each moment? How do I undo the paralysis and laziness habitually trained in to my fibers and even in to my very soul?

Maybe I need a beer … maybe I need to go run a mile … or two … maybe I need to go hug my wife and thank her for putting up with my ADD, my melancholy, and especially my manias. Maybe I need to go and pull out my list of 100 things I’m going to do before I die. It has been quite some time since it was updated or even pursued. Maybe it’s time to go there again. Hmmmm…. lots to think about.