Ten days into the summer break and I feel a change coming on: no longer thinking about teaching projects and grading, my mind has been increasingly filled with personal geeky projects, driven in large part by the recent purchase of my first smartphone. I’m not going to give in to the boring clichés (it’s like the Internet on acid!), but it has opened my eyes to the ease of cross-communicating — importing the university contacts list in one click, syncing tweets, news, and of course everything google, could not be easier. The forces of serendipity were also present with the launch of Google+, which I joined two days after its launch (thanks to Gordon).
I’m withholding judgement about G+, although I note that in my G+ stream I tend to be a lone voice expressing doubt among an almost constant gush of positivity.
As if Google wasn’t already expanding its realm of influence ever wider (watch out McAfee; Google has just announced its move into malware scanning), Craig Judd hooked me up with an invite to ifthisthenthat (ifttt.com/wtf), which offers a mindboggling range of cross-communication actions. Some of the actions are not especially innovative, for example automatically posting new photos on FB to Flickr, or using the clock feature to trigger reminders. However, there are some really useful / fun combinations. For example, you can set it so that every time my daughter plays a Ke$ha track (scrobbled to my Lastfm account), send me an SMS; or when the temperature drops below 15 degrees celsius, SMS my son to put on his jacket.
You get the idea.
New channels seem to be added very regularly — WordPress being a recent, highly sought-after option — and with more channels, the connectivity possibilities grow enormously.
So tomorrow I’ll start playing around with it some more, immediately after we’ve swapped two kids’ bedrooms — I’ll probably only be able to lift a finger, which is fortunately all you need these days ;-)