Filling in the gaps

This post marks the end of my longest gap in posting to my blog since I started it. So, what have I been doing in this period? Well, for one, I was really busy organizing the Systems Continuum 2009 (one part of the rolling seminar series of SJMSOM). In addition to this, there was the usual academic loads. I am also part of my school’s IT team. So, its been pretty busy over the last 3 months :-).

I have quite a lot of posts in the pipeline & here’s a list of those that I’m planning (I’ll link to them as I complete):

  • Stock market game on Rails – A game I’d developed for our cultural fest (made it open source on rubyforge)
  • Follow-up on University 2.0 – I took a session in one of our Systems club meetings
  • Experiences using Google Sites & Apps
  • Experiences from Continuum 2009
  • Online toolkit for college goers – similar to the college goer’s freeware toolkit

That’s a fair number of posts, so let me get started on them.

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Some origami video to start with

Over the last week, I have been thinking about doing some video content creation, specifically some kinds of do it yourself videos. I have a liking for origami, and thought this should be a good starting point. I did have a youtube account, but there were also numerous other similar services.

I was wondering which service would be a good choice, and this is when I came across Andy’s post on his choices of online video services. He has given a nice comparison of some of the services like youtube, viddler and seesmic, finally favouring viddler:

Viddler is just so easy to use. It accepts a whole range of common video formats and will transcode them for you. You can tag your videos – and even better than that, you can add comments and tags at particular points in the video. I can embed the videos on my WP.com blog (which is not possible with Seesmic). It’s easy to find and connect with friends. There are groups. There are excellent stats which show where hits on your videos are coming from, including when a video is played through an embed on your site or another one…

The viddler features seemed quite attractive. So, I signed up for it and uploaded my first video (a flapping bird origami). I also did some digging to see how the Viddler videos could be embedded into a WordPress.com blog, and it seems there is a tag to do this:

At the Viddler site, if you click on Menu in the lower right of a video screen, a row of menu selections appear at the top of the video screen. Select “embed” and then click on the “wordpress.com” button and it will give you the code that will work with [WordPress].com.

Here’s the embedded form of the bird origami video (there’s also a flickr photo set for the step by step photos):

I’ll be creating more origami videos along with corresponding flickr sets (also an origami collection for the sets). The only problem for me right now is the slow upload speed (64 kbps), due to which I am uploading low resolution videos (320×240) without audio. As for the video creation, I used my digicam, a Canon Powershot A630 mounted on a Gorillapod to shoot the video, and VirtualDub to re-edit the video (re-encoding to DivX and removing audio).

Some spring cleaning for my blog

Once I settled on del.icio.us as my online bookmarking service of choice, and set it up for daily link posts to the blog along with the easy to use Firefox extension, I have posted very little content of my own. However, now that I have my own domain, it is time to take another look at this situation. The link posts do serve as a daily browsing round up for me, but may not have much utility for others. However, it is probably better to separate the publishing medium for this, and there are quite a few available.

To this end, I have decided to stop daily link posts to this blog. In case you want to check out my del.icio.us links, you can either use the del.icio.us widget on the blog sidebar, visit my tumblog, check out my friendfeed or just go to my profile on del.icio.us directly. This should help in keeping my blog somewhat cleaner. Of course if there are interesting links, I’ll post on them right here.

In addition to this, I have also updated the "About me" section with links to my various profiles on different social networks and online services, so that you know where to find me on which service. If you are a Google Reader user, I share a fair number of articles on Google Reader from a wide variety of sites, including web comics, technology, software, trivia etc. You can also find me on twitter.

Now to start posting some new content. Firefox 3 beta 3 is out, and should make for a nice follow up to my Firefox 3 beta extension compatibility workaround post (which is incidentally the most popular post for my blog by a long margin, thanks to Google).