My Blog Has Moved!

OnlyJames is where you will find me posting now.  WordPress.com has served me well.  Please check out my new blog if you want to learn more about me!  Again, I am at my new blog, James Mowery.  If you so desire, subscribe to the RSS Feed!

Today Was A Good Day

I will not lie, the past few days have been a bit iffy with work and such.  Relationships that I thought were okay immediately got horrible, and things were said that should not have been said.  Needless to say, I worked through it, but the other party was having a very rough time with regards to finances and stress.

Anyways, I woke up today with an email from Ryan Caldwell, the guy who runs Performancing, and he left me notice that my co-worker has decided to step down from his position.  I was fairly indifferent, to be honest, but it was only when I continued to read on Ryan’s question of if I had any suggestions for a replacement that the day got really good.

Jeff Chandler of Jeffro2pt0 and Weblog Tools Collection was the first name to come to mind. It is fairly ironic that it was only the day before when we were discussing the idea of Jeff working for Performancing. For now, it appears that this day will come true beginning next Monday.

I am glad because I will be working with someone that I know I can trust. This also provides me a morale boost because I like being surrounded by good people, and it will result in better work being put out. This, also, ultimately benefits Performancing and Splashpress Media.

The month of June will be an interesting one indeed, and I hope my new co-worker, Jeff, will be able to adjust to the new spotlight.

Facebook Is Not Only Trying To Be Twitter, It Actually Is!

After attempting to load one of my favorite social networks, Facebook, I was greeted by something I had been familiar with over the past month on another social network, Twitter.  As many of you know, Twitter has been plagued with downtime issues due to bad design and infrastructure as of late.  So, as Facebook makes serious design changes, it almost ends up looking and functioning like Twitter—the downtime really adds the finishing touches.

Regardless, you can find me on Twitter—James Mowery.  I hope Twitter gets its act together, and I can only hope that Facebook doesn’t end up turning too much into Twitter.  By then, people might actually get the idea that Twitter is actually useful and fun.

The Next Cool Tool for Twitter—Live Activity Heatmaps

Twitter, my obsession for the past few weeks, has a bunch of great third-party tools being developed for it as we speak.  Twhirl, TweetStats, and MyMileMarker are a few examples of amazing creative ingenuity.  There is still much uncharted territory that has yet to be explored.  One tool I think that would receive a ton of exposure is a sort of live activity/heat map.

Think about it: how cool would it be to see a map of the entire world, and right after a huge news story (e.g. another earthquake), you are able to see where activity on Twitter picks up, and perhaps even have the application analyze keywords to create invidiaul groupings for that heatmap.  If “earthquake” is contained in the tweet, it will be available as another heatmap, and then you can see the activity of where “earthquake” tweets are involved.  I simply think this would be a fun tool to watch.

Heatmap

I would love to develop a tool like this, and if I was a programmer, this is what I’d be spending my time working on.  Perhaps, any of you programmers watching this right now should consider developing a tool like this for Twitter.  It is bound to explode in popularity, and I would be interested in testing it.

Condé Nast Acquired One of My Favorite Blogs—Ars Technica

Ars Technica, known for bringing thorough and professional content to the blogosphere, has been acquired by Condé Nast Publications for an estimated $25 million.  Nice chunk of change for a blog.  Truth be told, I think it was a brilliant move by the company, and I hope they integrate more of the great content on Ars to the Wired.com site.

Is it good or bad that premiere journalistic publications are now snatching up blogs?  Truth be told, I am not sure.  On the one hand, you can assume that blogs are becoming a more valuable resource, and large publications are willing to shell out the green stuff to snatch them up.  However, it also shows the willingness of bloggers to sell out.  What happens when all the large publications reap the profits of smaller blogs that are snatched up left and right, and then, perhaps, gain monopolistic ties with advertising entities?

However, I would just like to congratulate Ars Technica.  I really do like Wired Magazine and Wired.com.  Hopefully this combination works out well, and I am looking forward to more great content from Ars Technica in the future.

Automatically Change Your Mac’s Background Wallpaper

I have recently installed a nifty application called Desktoptopia, and I am fairly impressed with the usefulness and quality this application provides.  It used to be a pay-for application, but now it is free.  Desktoptopia essentially gives you the ability to subscribe to pictorial feeds, and with this ability, you can keep your desktop fresh with new and changing content.

This video, unfortunately, does not show off the ability to subscribe to feeds of pictures, but it is an awesome functionality.  I mean, for example, if you go to a Flickr group, then go to all the pictures contained within that group, and finally click on the “pool” feed near the bottom of the page, you can paste that link to the feed into Desktoptopia and have those pics streaming to your desktop in no time.

There is a catch—Desktoptopia seems to be integrating a way to make money from their efforts, but I can’t knock them for that.  The application reserves a special feed for advertisers.  I have a “films” feed activated that I can not disabled, and I am certain that hollywood would appreciate the opportunity to advertise on our desktops.  I hope it won’t be too distracting, and there were no pictures in that group at the time of testing the application, but it seems a small price to pay (especially if the advertiser’s backgrounds are cool) for a great application.

There is an alternative, and that would be DeskLickr which I have previously used as well.  Unfortunately, the application will work for awhile, but then the pictures will stop rotating for some unknown reason. I have yet to figure out why, but if any of you have experienced the same issue, then please let me know.  It does work as advertised, but that minor quirk with it is fairly disappointing.

I Am In The Zone—I Can Only Hope It Will Last

So, I have just realized that I’ve been “in the zone” with my blogging lately.  It is a feeling where I just can’t stop writing about stuff.  The ideas are never ending, and the fingers are typing non-stop.  It is truly a great feeling to have. I only wish I could trigger this euphoric moment of blogging goodness more often, but alas, I have no idea how.

Motivation

A big part of it is motivation. After all, if you are not motivated to do something, then chances are you will not put in 100% to complete it. I know that even the best bloggers/writers in the world have to go through the same things I go through. I just sometimes feel like I need a break from it all. However, when I take a break, it is also the time when I come up with my best ideas.

Consistency

While I wish this applied to my personal blogging habits, I must say that consistency can really pay off while trying to write. When you get into a rhythm, the words just seem to come easier, but when I take a day or two off, it is just difficult for me to sit down and write. This is why I think it is important for me to keep on writing, regardless of whether or not I am “in the zone.”

The Zone

What is this zone?  I have no idea, and I really don’t know how I ever get here.  I seriously wished that I knew how to at least trick myself to feel like this at all times, but I have yet to find a way.

Perhaps, with time, I will train myself to better understand my blogging habits. Right now though, I still find myself learning new things about myself, but that is just a part of life.

Yesterday is irrelevant, and tomorrow is insignificant—but the present is nothing less than extravagant.