Recent Additions: Bookmarks, Tags, Momentum, and a Beard

January 2011

I recently implemented three new features on this site that I’m pretty happy with. The first is the ability to store bookmarks, independently of any services that might be subject to “sunsetting”. I had been using Google Reader for this purpose, and soon I’ll create a similar bookmarklet to make it even easier for me bookmark a page without leaving it.

I’ve also fired up the excellent acts-as-taggable-on gem to let me add tags to all bookmarks, photos, posts, and updates. I’m mainly using this right now to keep some items private versus public, but I have some ideas for where I’d like to extend it.

I’m using the “public” tag (more precisely, the lack of a “public” tag) on posts created using the third new feature: a daily reminder email (a la Oh Life) that gets sent with cron and ActionMailer. The response gets parsed and creates a post that then gets tagged accordingly. Not too shabby.

Building out these little features is a lot easier than what I’ve been working on for the yet-to-be-released main project, but it’s nice to take an hour every once in a while to hack away on something and see instant results, most often with Girl Talk on in the background. It’s really easy to know what’s going to be useful to the end user when he’s the same person that’s writing the code. For example, I’ve made 3-4 tweaks to the source as I was writing this post to make my life a bit easier in the future.

Building something that’s useful to other people, though, is even more challenging, and hopefully even more rewarding when they start using it. We’ve been building some really positive momentum in that direction, and it’s definitely started to feel “real” lately. The foundation is starting to solidify and the first few attempts to build and extend upon it have gone pretty smoothly. Hopefully that continues to be the case.

On a somewhat unrelated note, the other day I looked back at the git logs and realized that the weekend that I actually started coding on the project was the same weekend that I last had a full, clean shave:

It was a coincidence, really.