Introducing 30YearsAgoToday.com July 10, 2012
We already had an installation of ThinkUp running on our server capturing all our tweets and related information from our various accounts, so I added 30YearsAgoToday as a new user and let it harvest the tweets to date. Because it's running on our server, I can prod and poke the database and get the data I want in the format I want. Which is handy!
I toyed with the idea of writing it in python/django, but as it is such a simple site, I returned to good ol' php and took the HTML5 Boilerplate code as a starting point for the structure etc. I created a (very) simple design, added a few navigation links, and grabbed the data from the thinkup database and within a few hours had a very basic site showing me the tweets. I chose colours originally based around the colours in the 1982 diary that I'm using as the basis for this project but it got a bit busy, so I focussed on the blues that are in the flowers. I picked fonts for the title and dates that imitated script, and chose the ones that were closest to Mum's handwiting.
The next time I had some spare time, I started to implement a glossary. I read through the tweets to date, and those scheduled and identified places or events that I thought I could find wikipedia or other sources of information for - standard information, not personal information at this stage. So, spotting terms like "England v West Germany in the World Cup" and making that a link to this youtube video or the place name Hornsea linking to this wikipedia page. The injection of this additional information is currently being done at server side.
I plan to extend this so that the glossary can include both standard links, but also personal information (i.e. a small bio of me displayed when the word "Jane" is hovered over or something similar). The intention being thatdifferent layers of information can be seen if the reader is interested in finding out more about a subject - this concept of building up layers of meta data is something I've been thinking about recently, and so this is a good test bed to see how easy it is to author, and consume.
As with the rest of this project, it's prime audience is me, and I frequently take a look at it and see how themes are emerging and how many ways my Mum has found to describe my 10 year old self (contrary is the favourite to date)