It was a pretty crazy week. Started off pretty nicely with a good article on Salon about tagging, and it included a pretty nice section on 43 Things. Then I got a call at 7am the next morning from the reporter, and I was completely unprepared for the slew of questions that came at me (I was in "the site must be broken" mode, which is the only reason I'd normally get called at that hour). Needless to say, I was incoherent, groggy, unprofessional, and nervous, and ended up making a pretty big fool of myself. Woohoo! My new tagline is "Nobody's supposed to know about that." Yikes. My coworkers had a good laugh about that one, but for a while there I was feeling pretty low. At least now I know not to answer unrecognized phone calls at 7 in the morning... and I have a good "embarrassing story" to put in my Nerve Personals profile. Not every day that one gets publicly humiliated on the front page of a big news site. Good times good times. Thank you to everyone that stood up for my lameness.
A lot of discussion over on the Robot Co-op blog about the Amazon investment in our company. I don't really have much to add at the moment other than that I feel like I'll be happier if I remain blissfully unaware of the traps and strategies of publicity and the media. Part of being an amateur is about staying focused on what you love, and not getting distracted by trying to appear effective and professional to the outside. I'll trade a bit of ineffectiveness for happiness any day. But if anyone will take the word of a dumbass... I can understand why people want more information, but I hope it's enough to know for now that our intentions are good, and not evil.
Part of my continued obsession with outsourcing as many things as possible, from books to music to movies to cars, has now moved to outsourcing my blog. I used to write my own blog/wiki back in the day. Then I moved to Movable Type. But blogging turns out to be so much more than a single blog can handle. My online presence is scattered across a dozen different sites, some which can post to my blog, others that can accept pings from my blog, but for a while now this hasn't felt good enough because I actually end up using different sites for different audiences and experiences.
Since all of them seem to be offering RSS feeds, I thought I might just use those as a way to collect the rain drops into a bucket and pour the aggregate into a little shot glass every hour... I'm not describing this well. I'll just say what I did. I made a folder in Bloglines that has all of the RSS feeds around the web that have stuff that I've written/done. Then I used the Bloglines Web Service to get an aggregated, normalized feed of all my content in one stream, and used Ruby On Rails to easily store and display this content over here. Of course, it only makes sense to then roll all of this stuff up again into a new feed, pass it through FeedBurner, and offer it up again as a pretty pretty feed with stats and everything. Currently, I have zero readers, so if you want to have access to way too much Erik Benson than is healthy, subscribe to this. In any case, now, all of my stuff is being stored on other peoples' servers, and yet I'm still pulling it all together on my own server. This is probably only exciting to very few people. There's a list of all of my sources on hello.erikbenson.com.
In the meantime, I've also integrated more of my Morale-O-Meter stuff into it as well. Now, I'm displaying my monthly and daily averages alongside all of the other content. For example, check out February's In-progress Report. I want to make an RSS feed for these monthly things too, but it's a bit too computationally expensive to compute averages for 12 months on a single page load at the moment. I'll have to refactor a bit and get back to that later.
Anyway, so a pretty nerdy end to a fun week. I wanted to write about taste tests, Aeron chairs, and brainwashing, but that'll have to wait until later I think.