43 Folders

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43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Everybody needs a personal "status" page

Lots of sites have status pages. I wish more people had them.

  • My friend, Leslie, used to do an excellent one that included updates on her beverages, hair, and stress level
  • My pal, Jay, posts his monthly expenses and to-dos
  • I manually update a stripped-down status that shows roughly how busy I am

Yeah, status pages for people should be more popular, and I also wish they were a bit easier to make and maintain. It would be a nifty way to display information like:

  • current projects
  • number of unanswered inbox emails
  • iTunes/Last.fm "Now Playing"
  • Netflix queue
  • amount spent this month on lattes
  • current crush
  • current nemesis

I've long had a Lazy Web wish for a little perl script that could cat all the txt files in a directory into a Markdown-styled HTML page (that you could then skin with CSS).

That way you could maintain a bunch of easy lists and the script does all the building and posting automagically. You could fake this with a blogging tool, but I like the idea of having it all updated in the background.

Got a good personal status page? Seen one you liked? What would you post on yours? Have a fast trick for helping noobs make and post status points to the interweb? Care to pick up my Lazy Web gauntlet?

Julian Bond's picture

Ah, the Digital Lifestyle Aggregator...

Ah, the Digital Lifestyle Aggregator page.

The major blogging packages have really not addressed the "About Me" page to any great extent. Picture what might be:- - Structured CV and Profile data in human and machine readable format. (vcard, hCard, FOAF, whatever) - Personal Identity Server using one of the low end SSO systems like SXIP, OpenID, LID, TypeKey. - Aggregated RSS for your activity on the web. Flickr, del.icio.us, plazes, last.fm, Amazon wishlist, other blogs, blogrolling.com, RSS subscription lists, etc etc. Custom services to things like IM status. - Aggregating in arbitrary plain text lists as described above or with a real database and web UI - Arms length contact me form that lets people leave a private message without exposing your email address

At the moment, weblogs are still just focussed on the personal publishing angle. We need to beef up the periphery and take them to the next stage. People are doing this ad hoc with sidebar applets, so it clearly should get baked into the core distributions. It's also a natural for the big hosted systems like MSN Spaces.

One other similar need is the ability to automatically generate blog posts from blogs posted elsewhere on other systems. So if I post a blog on Ecademy or Tribe it should automatically appear in my home blog.

Lots of potential code here. Somebody pick it up!




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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