Excavation Day #1: App Opps

I have a habit of jotting down ideas here and there, always with the certainty that I will come back to them and turn them into a post for this website.

I have the best of intensions.  But the ideas pile up.  And I have the attention span of a gold fish, so things…well, they pile up.

So my resolution here is to dig down through all those lists and share the ones that still hold my attention.

These two I call App Opps, aka application opportunities.  Use them as you will.

App 1.  The inside of your head, Thursday afternoon

I want an app that automatically posts clips of things I am looking at and working on and creates (or curates) a picture of the inside of my (or your) brain two weeks ago, so that I could wonder through it and see the stuff that was on the horizon, in the works, in hand, and on its way into the world.  This should be a kind of flash freezing. 

Yes, I guess I could get this my looking at my (your) twitter stream, Evernote clippings, Kindle highlights, Pinterest page and so on.  But I want this put together in the manner of a news briefing or a museum exhibit.  

As the world gets faster and we get more multiple, we are going to want this sort of thing for the sake of continuity and remembering. 

App 2.  Less is more media

I want a program that removes 2 minutes out of every 10 in the movie I am watching. That’s because with a lot of popular culture “less is more.”  Somewhere on this website I talk about the advantage of coming into a movie or a TV show, 10 minutes late.  You miss the set up and the exposition, so you are left to figure out what’s going on and the viewing process is much more fun.   If a film is really laborious, it could be made more interesting if we extract 2 minutes every 10 minutes, and films that were made to the laborious standard of say the 40s could be returned to usefulness or watchableness.  We could think of this as colorization. Perhaps we call it storification.  (The background thinking for this idea can be found in the discussion of the Kauffman continuum in Flock and Flow.)

11 thoughts on “Excavation Day #1: App Opps

  1. Rick Liebling

    It’s not exactly what you are looking for in #1, but I’m finding that the Delicious “Stacks” serve that purpose. I make a new stack each week filled with the interesting things I’ve found over that period. I think at the end of the year I’ll be able to look back and see what I found interesting in, say, May and December and see what themes remained. Now, if I was also militant about correct tagging I could just quickly pull up all the links for “mobile” or “gamification.” That would seem to be quite handy.

  2. Bryan

    >>You miss the set up and the exposition, so you are left to figure out what’s going on and the viewing process is much more fun.

    Thanks for reminding me of an experience I’d forgotten. I got into Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” series this way. I was in a book store and came across the trade paperback collecting issues #9-16. At the time, I didn’t know it was the second story arc in the series, I bought it b/c I thought it looked cool and interesting.

    So when I started reading it I was completely lost — lost in the most wonderful sort of confusion trying to figure out the story, characters, and the rules of how the world operated.

    This also reminds of something I read in one of David Mamet’s books about movies (either “On Directing Film” or “Bambi v. Godzilla,” I forget which.) There’s an old bit of Hollywood wisdom: How do you improve any movie? Burn the first reel.

  3. Andrew

    Many thanks for the idea!
    I spoke to some developer friends of mine and we’re going to take a crack at creating one (or both) of those apps. I’ll be sure to send you the link once they’re completed.


  4. Nils Davis

    I was just looking for app #1 a week ago. My problem is that unlike Rick Liebling, I don’t necessarily know what’s going to be interesting when I look at it, so I want the app to infer, based on my tracks, how a set of pages I visited are related and perhaps even why they’re interesting.

  5. Bruce Morgan

    Agreed App No.2 would be fun. It could be applied to so much more. Arriving 10 or so minutes late for everything then trying to gather pace from the start quite blind of the intro which sometimes has set the scene. If this could be appied to social parties or formal meetings with allowance and respect to others one could quite literally turn into a social hand grenade. Dead funny if not frowned upon by most.

    1. Grant Post author

      Bruce, totally agree, “late for everything” describes my consulting career where someone brings me in to give advice and expects me to make myself useful before I’ve got even the most remote idea of what’s going on. Thanks, Grant

  6. Richad Rutter

    Both ideas seem good. However how will these be acheived?

    It reminds me a little of Carl Pilkington, from Ricky Gervais, who wants
    a watch that will count down life, so that you know when to go to the

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