Saturday, October 20, 2007

Using Google AJAX APIs to show "me on the web"

I realized the other day, as I was struggling to find all the videos of me/by me on YouTube, that I'm scattered across the web. I'm guessing we all are - at some point, we choose some arbitrary service to upload our creations or thoughts to, and at some later point, we might abandon that service and start putting ourselves somewhere else. That's one of the reasons I love Google -- I hope that at some point, everything I put on the web will be within a Google service, and I'll have one profile I can point people to. But, that day hasn't come yet. So how can I create a page that requires no maintenance but still reflects my current self on the web?

The answer: Google AJAX APIs. The AJAX APIs let you retrieve solely via Javascript information on the web, either ATOM/RSS feeds with the AJAX Feeds API or Google search results with the AJAX Search APIs. The AJAX APIs also come with several controls (slideshow, video bar, etc) that you can take advantage of if you like. So I've replaced my server front page (previously featuring my old projects blog) with this. It uses the AJAX Feeds API to display thumbnails from my flickr feed, youtube uploaded videos, youtube playlist, and uses the provided FeedControl class to display snippets from the Google Maps API blog, my old projects blog, and this blog.

So hopefully I won't be depressed anymore when I go to my server front page and see loads of outdated information. Atleast I know that atleast some section of those feeds will update frequently, and the knowledge that this is the representation of me to the world should motivate me to add to the feeds. Here's for hoping. :)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Can't figure out what's so intriguing about this video... but it's there.

Robyn, the singer who was once a one-hit wonder with the pop hit 'Show me love' way back in the 90s, has come back with some fierce funky pop and similarly odd videos.

The video for 'Handle Me' is just Robyn in a series of boxes of different shapes, but she seems to be constrained somehow, or like her body's not quite all part of the same skeleton. Sometimes its obvious that her head motion is done separately from the rest of her body motion, but other times it's just seems like her various body movements are just a little bit off, and I can't figure out if it's just the way she moves, or if there's some behind-the-scenes actions.

These are the kind of videos that I always wanted to see 'The Making Of''s for. I remember as a kid I got really excited for MTV's Making-the-Video show -- but all they ever showed was how to make videos with bling and lights. They never showed how to make videos with quirky non-obvious special effects, so the show was just a big tease.

Anyway, watch it. Maybe you can figure it out.