This morning on Newsvine, on Mike Industries, and on thousands of blogs across the world, we launched ElectionVine.
ElectionVine is a giant distributed polling system designed to gauge the momentum of the U.S. Presidential race through the eyes of the independent internet and blogosphere. While traditional polling methods are carried out by single organizations, ElectionVine is entirely in the hands of site owners like you.
Here’s how it works:
Cumulative vote totals on the ElectionVine leaderboard will continue to rise up until the presidential primaries, but users’ votes will reset every month, allowing you to essentially see an entirely new set of data every 30 days.
The coolest part of ElectionVine, however, is that once you’ve voted on one site (say, Techcrunch), your vote will automatically count on any other sites you happen to visit thereafter (say, Mike Industries).
The dream of ElectionVine is to collect the most distributed view of how the election is shaping up online, and for that, I ask the assistance of you, faithful Mike Industries reader. We’ve provided two quick, unobtrusive methods of embedding, via a standard
So head on over to ElectionVine and set up your polling place today. The country and The Vine thank you!
The whole world is going to widgets. This overused, overhyped term refers to third-party code one places on their website or blog in order to display such things as Flickr photos, Twitter status, or iTunes playlists. Everybody and their mom is putting out widgets these days, and although only about 1% of them are useful or interesting, they are an important new distribution mechanism that is changing the way companies think about syndication.
But there is a big problem with widgets: they slow down the sites that use them. In the best case, you have a company like Flickr whose servers are almost always snappy, and in the worst case, you have a young startup that is constantly struggling against increasing demand and occasionally can’t serve up any code at all.
The problem is that in either of these cases, the completion of your site’s loading and rendering depends on someone else’s code living on someone else’s server. Including a fast and reliable Flickr widget still slows your site down by at least a split second and including a less stable one can leave your site hanging indefinitely.
We’ve been developing what we think is going to be a gangbusters widget at Newsvine over the last few months but just as we were getting ready to deploy it, Intern Rob and I hacked together what we think is a method of deploying widgets in such a fashion that they don’t affect the load times of their parent sites whatsoever.
Following is a breakdown:
→ Read the rest of this entry
Good stuff. Need to check on viability of enlarging and framing!
So after my post about the disappearance of Pine Bros. cough drops, Freckles discovered there was an eBay auction offering up one unopened box of the honey-flavored variety. The rub being that they were from a production run in the 1950s.
I placed a bid of $6, won the auction, and my 50-year-old box of cough drops is now en route. So the question is: what is the shelf life on an item like this and are they safe to eat? If yes, I will eat them. If no, I will just keep them as memorabilia.
Any scientists out there in the audience? What happens to honey and glycerin over the course of 50 years? I have actually heard that honey is the only food in the world that never spoils.
The purpose of infographics is to take data that is initially tough to interpret and distill it into some high-level knowledge that readers can remember and take away with them. Upon picking up a six-pack of Cottonelle last night though, I think I found the most useless infographic ever:
Yes indeed. It’s a visual reminder that:
That’s good times. And there’s even a 1-800 number you can call for further details as well as a website where perhaps you can plug in different values and see how many single rolls a quintuple roll would equal.
If I were the makers of Cottonelle, I’d probably use this space to showcase and romanticize the process by which they get Aloe into the toilet paper. I’ve always wondered about it.
I need to start doing this competitively again.
David Pogue proposes to his girlfriend by creating a fake movie trailer about them and then getting a theater to play it before a real movie. Beautiful and totally awesome.
If you’re wondering what a excellent blueprint for a modern media company looks like, look no further than Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti’s latest email to his employees. In it, Peretti explains a lot of his company’s virtues, the most important being a relentless focus on always providing what’s best for the user. Vox Media (operators of The Verge) is the only other company I can think of which approaches this level of reform and execution.
I love this so much: a cross-referenceable database of cover songs, searchable by song or artist. Slowed down, acoustic covers — no matter the song — are so enjoyable to me that I wish it was a requirement to play one at every show. If you like them as much as I do, make sure to check out M. Ward’s Let’s Dance or Sun Kil Moon’s entire album of Modest Mouse covers.
Challenges of Getting to Mars: Curiosity’s Seven Minutes of Terror
The precision and innovation that is required for space exploration just blows my mind. I did not realize that Curiosity will have to basically land on Mars completely unaided by man, but it’s so much more complicated than that.