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April 8th, 2010

Midnight posty

My brain is going a mile a minute, which is frustrating because it's well after midnight. I'm thinking about: work, upcoming visits (from a cousin, and hopefully to Ithaca), and random this-and-that.

One theme to the random is "the web as open-source organizer of ideas"...

I know lots of people who blog ideas with the hope people will jump on them. I do, and occasionally I browse websites devoted to the topic. Halfbakery was cool, but it seems mostly moribund these days. A friend pointed me at a brand-new site hosted by Reddit called SomebodyMakeThis, which made me smile. Seeing it reminded me long ago (2003? gawd!) I had posted this page of ideas. Most of which are embarrassingly quaint. "email with tags"- sure sounds like gmail; "fuzzy GPS via cell towers"- hey, google did that too, for gmaps on my phone; "video driving directions so you know what you're looking for"- I'd rather have street view, thanks google! And in 2003 I didn't anticipate GPS devices adding 3-d views (a feature I've never particularly liked, it turns out.)

On the other hand, I would still like to have "Email-sorting software." I could appreciate a gmail-sifter to find patterns in my mail: suggesting new labels, perhaps identifying things I consistently leave in the inbox instead of filing (and for what reasons?) In the end, I don't think the sifter, itself, would come up with the best patterns on its own: this would need to generalize the patterns as rules, which you could share with others, and collectively figure out which rules are useful.
And, somehow, not build Clippy for Gmail.

My apologies if reading this has put you to sleep. There may be a conservation of awakeness at work.