I am the ghost of groovymother.com. Woooooo!

This is an old page from Rod Begbie's blog.

It only exists in an attempt to prevent linkrot. No new content will be added to this site, and links and images are liable to be broken. Check out begbie.com to find where I'm posting stuff these days.

Filed under 'metametameta'

May 16, 2010

The importance of an API

The following is my answer to the question “Rod Begbie, what are all the reasons you want a systematic way to retrieve your answers from Quora?” on Quora

Off the bat, it’s important to state: I like Quora. I’ve had tremendous fun on the site, have learned a bunch, and gotten to gather some top notch insight from smart folks.

But the other day, I found myself spending 10 minutes writing an answer on Quora, and realised I was throwing my time away. I was writing something that will be seen by, at most, a couple of hundred people.

A couple of hundred intelligent people, sure. A couple of hundred relatively-influential-in-the-tech-industry, maximum-of-two-degrees-away-from-the-founders-of-Facebook people, even. However, that pales in insignificance to the number of wonderful, influential and awesome people out there on Teh Internets as a whole.

And even assuming that the beta-wall drops and the great unwashed get to gaze upon the wisdom of Quora, my writing is still at the behest of the great Quora gods. If they delete or edit my post, or the hard drive crashes, or they decide they’re getting out of the Q&A business and turning off the servers, all my time is lost.

By writing an answer on Quora, I was giving my time and value to Quora The Company, without getting anything of any real value back. Yes people could vote me up or down, or comment on what I wrote, but I can theoretically get that by writing a blog post and linking it on Reddit or Hacker News.

The Quora terms of service make it clear that I “own” my content. I want a way to get a feed of everything I contribute so I can store it away and do with it what I want.

Why is this important? Twitter’s a grand example. Right now, it is impossible to download more than 3,200 of your own tweets. The API simply balks if you request anything older. Luckily, I started archiving my tweets long before hitting that limit, so I have access to everything I’ve ever posted there.

Similarly, I upload my photos to Flickr. I get all the benefits of Flickr’s superior community and organizational tools, but am also able to run a script which downloads and backs-up all my photos, their descriptions, tags and comments.

And in both these examples, I am able to pull my content in real time and display it here on my blog. My output is collated and tagged in the way I want. I can run a blog search and find something I wrote two years ago, whether blogpost, tweet or photo description.

So, until Quora offers such a feed, I am resolved to not answering any more questions. Or rather, if I do, it will be by writing a blog post and posting the link to Quora.

October 25, 2009

Ten Years in My Life… One Year On

Still a US citizen, married to Joy, living in San Francisco with two bassets. Only thing that has changed was the job.

Yes, this is my low-rent Feltron-style annual report!

Filed under : : :

August 24, 2009

The Snake Tweeting Its Own Tail

This evening, @cheever saw an automated retweet by @02138now of a tweet by @Sooz containing a picture of me wearing the Twitshirt of the tweet I posted last October which helped me leave Current.

He, of course, twittered about it. And I just bought his tweet as a t-shirt.

Congratulations, Twitter, for building one of the world’s leading “What t-shirt is Rod Begbie wearing right now?” systems.

January 22, 2007

Glark.org: My Name Is Meta

My Name is Earl shouts-out to TWoP, including having their characters post to the TWoP forums. “No, I don’t think shows should do more meta jokes that cater to the online bloggers and I’m sure everyone at Television Without Pity Dot Com agrees with me.”

About This Site

This is an archive of groovmother.com, the old blog run by Rod Begbie — A Scottish geek who lives in San Francisco, CA.

I'm the co-founder of Sōsh, your handy-dandy guide for things to do in San Francisco this weekend.