I’m going to assume you are interested in my whereabouts and what I have to say, as otherwise you likely wouldn’t be reading this. I’ve got 9 hours or so before I fly from New York City to Amsterdam to Nairobi to Bujumbura and I though you all might want to know how you can follow me.
I’ve got a few new features that I’d like to point out, which like my trip to Cyprus, should give you all more regular updates of what’s going on. (With or without an iPhone.) Essentially I’m entering the realm of the voluntarily tracked. Most of what is new revolves around interconnected updates between various webservices that will propagate status, photos, comments, blogs, or other actions, to spots where you can read them easily… assuming you are interested. I’m doing this partially because I believe in transparency of the individual as much as the government and corporate entities. There are other reasons too, not the least of which is the “Mom” factor. I have several people who, like my mother, like to know if I’m safe and doing well. I have to admit that I’m also testing this, to see if I can help teach other people how to get information out to the rest of the world in a mobile and syndicated environment. I’m not a true journalist, as I’m generally more interested in why something happens then what, how, with whom, and where it is, but I’ve gotten enough of a taste of being slashdotted that I believe it pays to be ready if you are in the right place at the right time.
Three major things have changed. A. I’m going to start tweet’ing, which might be called status updates. B. I’m shifting my blog from that of just a journal of semi-refined thought, to more of an interface of my content. I’m retaining the journal as the front page, but there will be more content in the form of random thoughts, articles of interest, and other things that might be termed micro-blogging. C. Facebook is going to similarly aggregate all of this material allowing consuming at the users discretions.
The first part of this, the status updates, are going to generate a lot of tidbits. Short sweet thoughts on how I feel, where I am, what I’m seeing, an interesting pic, or what’s next are all possible. Given the lack of connectivity where I’m headed (and it’s general frustration even here in the states), I’m going to mostly be using ping.fm to broadcast to facebook, flickr, and twitter. I can email, text (internationally too), MMS, or post via the web to all at once, so it makes it a bit of snap. All of these updates will also be on my public twitter page. Flickr will have my photos.
The second part is a public posting of some of the content that I run across while surfing the web and living the world. I haven’t quite finished the rebuild of my blog, but you should see a new layout in the coming months which will help facilitate this change. For those of you who get my blog-by-email, you’ll continue to get the semi-refined stuff rather then the free form stuff so I won’t clog your inbox.
The third part of this revolves mostly around facebook. At which point it is a good point to say if you aren’t on facebook by now, then this might be a good opportunity to join. Beyond the sheer joy reconnecting with people I thought were long lost to my memory and lost email address, it’s a cornucopia of passive tracking. Actively contacting everyone of my friends all the time is just not feasible, but the broadcast method by which facebook allows updates, links, pictures, blogs, etc makes it more feasible to keep track of friends.
My wall on Facebook is likely to see the most updates as it’s going to aggregate most of my actions into one place. Flickr’s linked, entries on my blog will post notes to it, status updates will end up here, what I’m reading on Greader, etc.
A majority of the short status messages will also be available on my twitter page, as it’s linked. Now, for those of you who have no interest in going on facebook or twitter to catch up with me there, look no further then my blog. I’ve got my facebook status feed linked to a spot on my blog which will give you my last 10 statuses.
I also have a new app on my iPhone, which I’ve managed to unlock so I can take it overseas again, called iLocalis. One of it’s features is to track my location (updated every 30 mins). I haven’t a clue how well it’ll work in Burundi, Rwanda, or Cape Town, but I’m interested in finding out. You can find out where I’ve been recently by looking at this shared map.
With all this, I hope you can keep track of me. Of course I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep track of myself through all this data. Hopefully though, you’ll get the good stuff you want. Wish me luck on a new adventure!