Dead-simple video conferencing

Google Hangout destroys my computer. If I had any sort of expertise in building hardware, I’d start a company to produce dead-simple dedicated video conferencing hardware.

It would be an all-in-one device (both camera and display) where I can have an instant-on connection with anyone in the world. And, to get fancy, the optics of the camera would correct for the orientation of the device, such that it would always appear as though I’m having a face-to-face conversation (instead of nose to face or forehead to nose).

A price point of $500 or less would make this a killer device for any company.

Getty for source quotes

Or, less cryptically, a database of quotes from prominent people journalists could search to find the right quote for their story. Coupled with realtime alerts, it could be used for discovery too. The database could be fed from news organizations or other public sources.

The conference I want to attend this year

Blogging about the conference I want to attend this year because I don’t have the bandwidth to put it together. Let’s call it AgencyCon.

The key idea is to bring together a bunch of agencies that build on top of WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and whatever other frameworks. Personally, here’s what I’d like to get out of it:

  • Learn how others are turning their agencies from guns for hire to experts in developing particular types of projects. For instance, with Human Made I would love to see more inbounds that refer to the product work we’ve done (e.g. Happytables and WP Remote) and want to hire us for similar. Rather than just doing work with a particular type of tool because you’re good at it, we be doing more work that we have proven ourselves leaders of.
  • Hear horror stories of situations other agencies the gotten themselves into, and want for no one else to ever repeat.
  • See the cool projects other agencies have been building but can’t publicly discuss. I want to be inspired.

Ideally, it would be a two or three day retreat-like event in some great location. Solid presentations, but lots of time for networking. I’m a fan of conferences as a model for continuing education largely because many of us are making this up as we go along, and they’re high-bandwidth opportunities for sharing knowledge.

Let me know if you know of any events like this, or are up for planning it yourself. I’d really love to see this conference happen.


It would be nice if the WordPress comment reply UI in the admin had a WYSIWYG editor. Seems like an easy win.

Hell, WordPress should support Markdown in comments by default.

Photos in the cloud

Up early on a Sunday morning for some reason or another, and the first thing my mind gets stuck on is digital asset management for the home. Want to store your photos online while maintaining all of your rights and not accidentally sharing stuff with the world ? It appears we’ll get to 2014 still without a solution. There was one called Everpix, but it is no more. Google Picasa, Facebook, and Photobucket all are not prospects for long-term relationships.

Here’s the problem I want to solve: iPhoto, but in the cloud. The digital version of the photo boxes my parents have under their window seat with decades of history.

As someone who spent a few years trying to make it as a photographer, I’ve got a terabyte or two of photos on old hard drives that I hope haven’t failed yet. I want to put those photos in some place more permanent than what I’ve got. Deep archive is less desirable of an option because I have to remember to check every so often, they’re more difficult to access when I want to, etc.

As someone who’s recently married with a kid on the way, I want to collect all of our digital media in one place. In the cloud means it’s not tied to the ephemeral nature of personal machines, and that both Leah and I can manage it (she tends to do more photo stuff now anyways).

So… the fun part. If I had a week to slap this together, here’s how I’d build it:

  • WordPress
  • … but JS app built on top of an API
  • Flat usage fee. You provide your own S3 bucket to start, with more storage options down the line.
  • Drag and drop upload.
  • Organize photos in galleries, edit IPTC metadata, tag faces.
  • Image crop and rotation.
  • Multi-user access on the account-level, but also gallery-level so family / friends could contribute.
  • Emphasize data portability above all.

Other ideas that could come later:

  • One-click archive a gallery to Amazon Glacier if you don’t plan to use it for a while.
  • Mail in your DVDs if you don’t want to cap out your internet connection forever.
  • Advanced image editing with revision history.
  • Keeps track of how your photos are being used across the web (e.g. Facebook version vs Flickr one)
  • Auto-import from Facebook / Instagram / iPhone.
  • Optional fixed-price catastrophic backup service.
  • Bells & whistles.

Later: Worth mentioning that Human Made is hiring full time frontend / backend product devs if you’re into this sort of thing.


All my life I’ve wanted a way of comparing the contents of a site to the contents of the import file I just ingested. Imports always result in funky data, no matter how hard you try.


We’re using Github issues for all of our projects, but I still like Remember The Milk as the interface for deciding what I need to work on next. It would be neat if the two worked together.

An issue assigned to me in Github would produce a new inbox task in Remember The Milk (if one didn’t already exist with the issue in the URL field). I could then list, prioritize, and give a due date as needed. Completing the task in Remember The Milk would complete the issue in Github (and vice versa).


Idea: WordPress plugin for wp-cli so I could use the latter in the WordPress admin. Like Hopscotch, but installed on the site instead of as a browser extension. A sort of power user mode for the WordPress admin.