Projects and Productivity

Not that I'm not busy, but I've noticed that I haven't been working on personal web projects lately. I've been doing so much research and reading (and video game playing), I haven't done much coding and experimenting. It's important to do since I learn so much from that stuff. The last thing I did was the forms in my feeds. That was cool and showed me a ton of stuff, but wasn't really a super breakthrough or really a lot of work. Last *year* I did Mobdex (mobile public domain eBooks) which was good, and before that BlueMonger (mobile Java app for detecting nearby Bluetooth phones and posting them to your weblog via XML-RPC). But there's lots more stuff to be played with.

Part of the problem is my server-side transition to PHP from Tomcat/Java. I'm not done converting my blog software yet (there's a lot of grunt work left to do that is boring at best) and until I get that done, I can't really swap to Apache from Tomcat. So now when I get a quick idea that I want to play with, I'm not sure whether to do it in Java or PHP, and then think about all the things I have to do to get my blog done and then I lose all momentum.

The other problem is that I'm saving ideas for work as well. (This is also why you're not seeing as many here in this blog). So I have to figure out project ideas for stuff that isn't strategic to my employer, but also interesting to do and easy enough so I can do it in one sitting. The one sitting thing is key - I rarely work on projects for days at a time.

There's nothing like a good personal project to make you feel good though, no? I'd love to do more stuff with my Simplewire SMS account, but if I start sending a bunch of SMS messages all over the place I'll go broke. I've also been playing with the mobile alert filters on Yahoo! Mail (did you know you can get your Y! Mail messages forwarded to your mobile phone here in the U.S.?). There's also services like (that's still around - god knows what they're doing) and direct to mobile email (i.e., but these are just hacks.

The Wall Street Journal has a story today on Text Messaging (via the wonderful Emily at Textually) - Americans are sending almost 5 billion messages a month now, which is pretty great. The most amazing thing was the quote at the bottom of the article:

... community members tend to generate more text-messaging traffic than average customers. Christina Campbell, a 30-year-old single mother of two, joined 42 mobile communities run by Upoc Networks Inc. of New York. She sends and receives over 2,000 text messages a month to do everything from finding dates to checking out what's going on in her community in Orange County, Calif. She's dated 25 men she found through the communities and was engaged to one of them for six months before they broke up.

Nice. 2000 messages a month, or roughly 70 messages a day - I can believe that. She probably sends only a dozen or so a day and the rest are messages she gets, which is only 5 or 6 an hour. Joining 42 different communities is probably a bit extreme for most folk, but obviously it's not totally unheard of. I'd love to start experimenting more with this stuff... but SMS is so expensive.

Anyways, look for me to whip something up soon to shake off the guilt if nothing else. :-)


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