I use stack overflow quite a bit in my day-to-day. Here is my profile widget:
The official word (well anyway, the official meta thread) says that Stack Overflow will never support a friend’s list, so I decided I should just start collecting a list of my friends and/or people I follow who also have accounts there. This post will likely get updated as I add or (heaven forbid!) remove folks. It would be really cool (as usual, I think this several times a year) to have a single place to maintain my list of friends, a meta-social-networking site that connects all the other social networking sites into one thing. Obviously Stack Overflow isn’t really meant to be a social network… but it is a network, and I would like to keep tabs on my friends there on occasion. Now I can just come to this page/post.
Please know that if you are reading this, and use StackOverflow (or any of the StackExchange sites), and aren’t represented here, it’s likely because I couldn’t find you on there, or just plain didn’t (yet) think to look for you. Feel free to message me or comment here, and I’ll add you forthwith!
So, just now I had this idea in the shower. (Yes, now that I work for myself from home, I can take showers whenever I feel like it.)
I was thinking about Stack Overflow, and how great it is, and I was thinking about how google results are often not as good (for very targeted specific topics), and also the phenomenon where, when I find a stack overflow question I want to answer, but don’t have some specific piece on hand, I go to google. So in some sense, for some questions/answers, Stack Overflow is really just a curated list of google results, and then I had this thought.
What if google provided a link, after you search, that said something along the lines of “Not what you’re looking for?”, and it immediately flagged the search for an incentivized human to look at. The human would not actually provide links (I guess maybe they could), but would instead provide “better” search terms. Of course google would do some intelligent caching so that if someone has searched for the same thing before, it gives you back the best terms from before first. And then the final piece is upvoting/downvoting of search terms/results that help you.
Essentially, I’m using the word incentivization to avoid the word gamification. But I mean adding RPG elements. Levels, points, all that kind of fun stuff that makes people go bananas. It struck me as weird that Google hasn’t really done any gamification outside of G+. Clearly they are avoiding it intentionally, since it would be easy to add those types of features across the board (I’m mostly thinking of search here). I guess maybe they are dipping their toes in the water with G+, since it’s now invaded most of their products.
Anyway, just a random thought.
I’ve been using last.fm since it was audioscrobbler, and they just keep making it better. I really feel like this kind of open API driven data collection is the future of all consumer industries… not just the music industry.
Last.fm just launched http://build.last.fm/, a sweet-ass showcase of all the awesome stuff that can be done with last.fm’s data. Just browsing for a few minutes, I found a script that will generate my personal cloud of musical recommendations. Here’s mine:
Air Andrew Bird Azure Ray Boards of Canada Bright Eyes Broadcast Broken Social Scene Built to Spill Cat Power Death Cab for Cutie Dntel Efterklang Elliott Smith Eluvium Emiliana Torrini Erlend Ã˜ye Explosions in the Sky Feist Flunk Fridge Frou Frou Goldfrapp Groove Armada ISAN Junior Boys Lamb M. Ward Manitoba Mogwai Ms. John Soda MÃºm Okkervil River Orbital Pinback Stereolab Sufjan Stevens Telefon Tel Aviv The Album Leaf The Appleseed Cast The Books The Boy Least Likely To The Fiery Furnaces The Mountain Goats The Octopus Project The Unicorns Thievery Corporation Ugly Casanova Wilco Zero 7 of Montreal
I think this list is split about 50/50 artists I’ve heard of (and in many cases already own and listen to — I have all of AIR’s albums, for instance), and artists I’ve never heard of… maybe I’ll do a more in-depth analysis later if I have time.
My friend Sara just got me to sign up for GoodReads, a social networking site where you keep track of your books… a lot like LibraryThing, but a little more review-focused (from what I’ve seen so far). I was able to import my booklist from an exported CSV from librarything. Now I just wish the sites talked to each other so I didn’t have to manage both lists. (Because I’m guessing I won’t do a good job of either.) I do sort of think that, on first impression, it’s a little more fun to surf around GoodReads, mostly because of all the reviews. Next to each book listing (review) are links to rate the book, so I’m finding it as gratifying as when I used to surf around netflix to rate movies.
Just for fun, here are the links to my profiles (add me!): GoodReads, LibraryThing
Everyone knows I’m a sucker for social networking sites. I just discovered another one, The Great Games Experiment, a site that allows you to sign up as a game player or game developer. I’ve found some of the interface to be awesome and intuitive, but other features of the site are just abysmally hard to understand. There is definitely a lot to do over there, I’ll have to look at it more when I’m less sleepy.
Oh, and after a single day, I’m totally addicted to Travian, a web-based massively multiplayer RTS. Check it out!
I was trolling around looking for cool game developer conferences, and found out I just missed the imgd conference this very month, here in MN. Sounds like it focused more on MMO (an acronym I’m not sure I’ve encountered before, but assume is the relevant parts of MMORPG), but it still would probably have been worth checking out.
I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to whether I’m really interested in persuing a career in game development, or whether I really just want it to be something I do in my spare time for fun. I can honestly say I really dig my current job, and I know that’s something relatively rare and special. I think for now I’m just along for the ride. We’ll see where this thing takes me.