Caffine is My Drug of Choice

ML Jan 29, 2006

OK, let’s get the first little nested project out of the way. Find a post that meets the condition of having babystep code, but the previous post doesn’t. But back a little further, there is more babystep code. It’s a recursive app, going back in time feeding the most recently considered post ID as a parameter, plus the master message ID. The function, when given a master message ID, it looks at the immediately prior post in that same discussion to see if it finds a bapystep post. If it finds a match, it returns that post’s ID. If it doesn’t find itself, it calls itself. This relies on the newly found ID bubbling up through the recursion. But of course, I don’t trust that in VBScript, so I’m going to use a global variable. The recursion automatically ends when it reaches the master ID, which is the first post in the discussion.

That project is out of the way. It’s 12:30 midnight on a Saturday night in Manhattan, and I’m just getting underway with a programming project. Sad. But that’s my choice. It’s only with this sort of mad dedication that truly inspired projects come to fruition. I’ve had too much time feeling like I was just spinning my wheels not getting anywhere. It’s time now for that drive that gets wasted on term papers in college. I often think how much greater the world would be if the youthful energy that gets dumped into diplomas to hang on the wall, and stupid rights of passage, actually got funneled into entrepreneurial projects with a positive social impact. The world would be a much better place. Anyway, to build and keep the momentum for the spider-spotting project, I need caffeine. Time to run out.

This site is called HitTail, because it is going to focus on the long tail of search, and ways to tap into the power of unpaid search without resorting to shadowy practices. But I’m thinking I may also want to call it full MyFullLifecycle, in how it’s addressing two full lifecycles: first, the birth of the site itself. This goes from the creative parts, to the first spider visits, to the first search hits, to the first user feedback, to the first user of the service, to the de-geekifying of the site once it starts to catch on, to the site’s rise to popularity. But it also will be very concerned with the lifecycle of the customer, from getting into their head to know what type of searches they’re going to perform, to finding HitTail, to eventually providing contact info, to signing up for the service, to productively using the service, to measuring this user as a win or a loss based on them getting the next person in (more on that later). But you can see, I’m thinking in depth about both the lifecycle of the site, and the lifecycle of customers using the site.

OK, the re-engagement process is important for maintaining focus. I went to grab a bite to eat, and pick up some caffeine. When I got back, I immediately wanted to plop in front of the TV and vedge. I see that I am in constant need of stimulation. TV provides it way too easily. I’ve got to switch to radio and music, so I can keep doing it even while I’m working. But I’ve never much been one for music. Nothing ever pulled me in to really make a fan. You can count on one hand the number of CDs I bought. And the things I like are usually so offbeat that they don’t even constitute a genre. So, I’m using Pandora to find more music I might like based on the handful of things I really enjoy. But the Animaniacs and Eric Idle haven’t made it into the Music Genome Project. I really like novelty music. My best luck so far has been from putting in the seed song “The Lime in the Coconut”. It describes the station as mild rhythmic syncopation, heavy use of vocal harmonies, acoustic sonority, extensive vamping and paired vocal harmony. I tchose Caffine by Toxic Audio, which I enjoyed and found appropriate, so I guess it works.

OK, let’s really get started with spider spotter project #1. It’s 1:20AM. It seems like I piddled away hours since I started, but not really. I actually made most of the design decisions in my head. I can jump into this thing head-first. I’m really excited about creating my first publicly consumable baby-step tutorial. This is one that will actually be of great use to some people.

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