43 Folders

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Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

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”What’s 43 Folders?”
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?

Fyre's picture

Louise, of unfloopy.net, has released...

Louise, of unfloopy.net, has released a php script called "PHPCurrently." Availible at codegrrl.com http://codegrrl.com/scripts/phpcurrently/, phpcurrently is an extensible way to add a "Currently" section on your website. Via a web-based administration interface, and a simply include(); statement, one can maintain as many "currents" as they wish. It shouldn't be too hard to work in an offline updater to this script, or a way to parse in inbox information, imood (does anyone still use that?), or itunes/winamp songs. I've put phpcurrently into use on my own site, and have integrated the admin interfac into my own homebrew blog system's administration front-end, so it's relatively easy updating (assuming I remember to do so).

Obviously the script is aimed at personal bloggers, but it's ripe for expansion, and is fairly extensible, straight out of the box.

Additionally, for those interested in adding winamp playlists to their website (you can see my version of this at MindFyre), there is a winamp plug-in called "do something". Do something is just what it claims to be. Every time the song changes on winamp, it "does something." In my case, it updates a mysql database via a "get" post to a php page. Then, my display script reads from the database. Alternatively, you can create an html file on your PC that is then uploaded via FTP. I would suggest doing it my way, as the FTP uploading caused issues with my host's FTP service. It's a pretty decent plugin.





An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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