Version 10.3: The Lifestream

You may have noticed that I’ve adapt­ed my pop­u­lar ver­sion 10 lay­out into a lifestream1. I quite enjoy the con­cept of the lifestream, where you can see a per­son­’s lat­est activ­i­ty that’s up-to-date by the minute. A change like this means a bump up to a full sub-ver­sion num­ber, 10.3

The key to all of this is my new iPhone 3GS. The tech­nol­o­gy has rough­ly caught up to my needs, so I decid­ed to get one this year. Apple tends to announce new iPhone gen­er­a­tions every sum­mer, which means I’ve been plan­ning this design update for months now.

So with this fan­cy new iPhone I can write tweets on-the-go, stay up-to-date on the peo­ple I fol­low, and check my @replies, all with the Tweetie appli­ca­tion2. I once had my tweets inte­grat­ed into the blog, but decid­ed not to stick with this because the fre­quen­cy with which I use twit­ter meant that the sheer num­ber of tweets was flood­ing my RSS feed. Then one day, the real­iza­tion dawned on me to exclude that one cat­e­go­ry from my feed, et voila! A sim­ple workaround that lets peo­ple sub­scribe to my twit­ter stream if they so choose.

I can also take pic­tures with the built-in iPhone cam­era and e‑mail them to Flickr direct­ly from the phone, which will auto­mat­i­cal­ly cre­ate a WordPress post and embed the pic­ture in the entry3. And coin­ci­den­tal­ly enough, the max­i­mum width for images post­ed to Flickr is 500 pix­els, which hap­pens to be exact­ly how wide the main col­umn of my blog is. It’s like it was meant to be.

So there are two new cat­e­gories: one for tweets, and one for snaps. Both of them dis­play with CSS styling unique to each cat­e­go­ry and an icon to denote the type of post. A note on the “snaps” icon; I tried to find some­thing that would rep­re­sent both a cam­era and an iPhone, because the iPhone isn’t a pure cam­era, nor is it just a phone. I decid­ed to use the cam­era app icon built into the iPhone, which says both. There are no com­ments allowed on these entries because I don’t care for dis­cus­sion on such fleet­ing things. If some­one real­ly want­ed to com­ment, they could post a reply through twit­ter, or a com­ment through Flickr.

So unlike most oth­er life streams, this blog is not exact­ly an aggre­ga­tor of var­i­ous ser­vice feeds because there’s a unique WordPress blog entry cre­at­ed for every one of my Flickr posts and tweets as well, each one retrieved from with­in the WordPress loop. I did this to retain a lit­tle inde­pen­dence from ser­vices like Flickr or twit­ter; if I ever chose not to use them any­more, my blog won’t explode into a ball of fire with all the miss­ing entries.

With all of this snazzy integration in place, I can post things quickly and on-the-fly, as long as I have internet access. Which is almost anywhere, now that I have a 3G data plan. Version 10.3 is a reflection of that.

With my ever increas­ing­ly busy life, the abil­i­ty to post snip­pets of things comes as a wel­come change to my reg­u­lar entries, which often take days to write.

  1. If you’re see­ing some strange ren­der­ing issues, they’ll prob­a­bly clear up if you refresh the page. []
  2. This also helps me avoid text mes­sag­ing charges, which is how I wrote tweets before, when I was out in the real world with no inter­net access, though my new data plan has unlim­it­ed texts any­way. []
  3. In an ide­al world, I could send the pic­ture to a WordPress e‑mail address or post it using the iPhone WordPress appli­ca­tion, but the post-by-email option of the for­mer does­n’t allow attach­ments, and the lat­ter has very crude image upload­ing options with only one set width avail­able for resiz­ing. []


  1. I real­ly like it Jeff. I’m jeal­ous of your 3gs. Since I just got my 3g this Jan, I’m not eli­gi­ble for the 3gs until next September :(

    iPhone rocks though. A few apps you may like: Toycamera and Camerabag, both are $0.99 I believe. They cre­ate nice vin­tage effects for your pho­tos.

    iFlick. a Flickr app that’s great. You can man­age tags, cat­e­gories, sets, and mass upload.

    • There’s always tech­nol­o­gy envy. I’m sure I’ll be jeal­ous of what­ev­er you get next year because I won’t be able to upgrade to the lat­est thing!

      I did pur­chase Camerabag, and I’m enjoy­ing it so far, but I’ll check out Toycamera too.

  2. Gyaaaah. That’s a lot of (laud­able) tech­ni­cal endeav­or. I just keep flit­ting from page to app to small­er, briefer app and even­tu­al­ly I sus­pect I shall dis­in­te­grate alto­geth­er.

    I had noticed a long time ago that your blog comes up fit­ting in the iPhone screen­width per­fect­ly and thought you had planned it that way.

    • I’m sure that soon there will be twit­ter brain implants, where you just need to think to post a tweet.

      The nar­row col­umn has been a design choice for me sim­ply based on my con­tent. I did it with­out know­ing how it fit in the iPhone. One of the advan­tages of small­er columns is hav­ing con­tent fit on small­er res­o­lu­tion sys­tems.

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