Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Post 2000 - What We Choose to Share (Stupid Feed Tricks)

This is my 2,000th post on the mrontemp blog, and it's all about me. Or, more specifically, what you can learn about me.

Each blogger makes a conscious or unconscious decision about what he or she will share in a public forum. We all make different choices regarding whether we want to share our religious beliefs, our political beliefs, our employers, or even our true names. As tools like FriendFeed make it easier to get a full picture of a person, you can mine the data to discover things about the person.

This morning, I made a conscious decision to publicly share information about me that, while previously available, was not readily available.

Starting today, if you go to my FriendFeed page, you can see every song that I listen to on

Not only do you get to see the songs that I listened to, but you also get to see my metacomments on the same songs. Incidentally, the picture above shows my view of the stream; when you look at it from your view, you can not only comment on these songs ("O, why do you listen to Glen Campbell?"), but you can also indicate if you like any of these songs.

Now has always been one of the services supported by FriendFeed, but to my knowledge the standard content that you can display on FriendFeed is the list of songs that you say you love. In the past, if I heard a song that I loved, I'd click on the "love button" (the heart) in, and it would be marked as a song that I love. Sometimes this designation would make its way to FriendFeed, and sometimes it wouldn't. (I'm not sure why; could be, could be FriendFeed, could be space aliens.)

To get my entire feed of recently played songs to show up on FriendFeed, I had to take the rss feed of this information. You can find this information on your recently played songs page.

In the example above, I have gone to the "Feeds" button to the lower left of my "Recently Listened Tracks" and clicked on "RSS." If you look in the lower left corner of the screen shot, you can see the URL for the RSS feed for my recently listened tracks. I took that URL, went to FriendFeed, and said that it was a new "blog." After about a half hour (I waited), my recently listened tracks began showing up on my FriendFeed page under the "blog" name "ontarioemperor's Recently Played Tracks."

This just goes to show you that you can plug anything into your FriendFeed page, as long as it generates a publicly available RSS feed. Does your refrigerator provide hourly temperature readings to an RSS feed? Put the RSS into FriendFeed so that we know if your jello's jiggling.

Technically, of course, I could embarrass myself by doing this. As I noted previously, the data is already out there, I just made it more readily available. But I already fear what's going to happen. At some point, somewhere, someone is going to ask me:

O, did you really listen to JC Chasez singing "All Day Long I Dream About Sex" twice in the same month?

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