I wanted to let share with the group a new project I just started working on this week using the same technology as the @tamaletracker (twitter.com/tamaletracker). I spend a lot of time walking around Chicago and always notice interesting things going on – from people getting arrested, to celebrity sightings and news-worthy events. I tweet about these sort of things, but have always thought it would be nice to have something or someone to tweet these to, a common data source and place to go for this sort of information. That’s where @Spotd (twitter.com/spotd) comes in, it is an aggregated, user-submitted news feed for interesting things going on, specific to the city you live in - Chicago for now.
I, like many people, always want to be on top of things going on in Chicago (from the standpoint of locals) – this is the perfect way for people to stay updated on what’s going on, right now, in their city. This includes and is not limited to crime reports, breaking news, celebrity sightings, traffic incidents, etc. Best of all with the support of Twitpic users can get actual footage of things that are happening instead of waiting for the major news networks to get out and report on them.
The functionality is the same as the @tamaletracker system. Users tweet a reply to @spotd when they witness said arrests, celebrity sightings and news-worthy events. The system then will relay their message through the http://twitter.com/spotd user account.
In the next couple days(I hope) I am going to whip up a web page and some more descriptive text about the service and make it more extensible than the built in Twitter functionality. As of now I only created an account for Chicago, however this can easily be expanded in a manner of minutes.
I hope you can see the value in this as much as I do, if you'd like more information or have any suggestions, please feel free to contact me.
So, it looks like we've got about 12 (ok, exactly 12) members registered for the Chicago chapter of DIYcity.
I think this sounds like a quorum.
Who's up for having an informal meeting soon? Will be a good opportunity to get to know one another, figure out what our aggregate skill set is, talk about directions for our chapter, and perhaps float some potential project ideas...
When / where works for people?
My vote would be some time next week, ~6pm, meet for drinks somewhere downtown.
Looking forward to working with everyone to help make Chicago a better place.
Hey all -
You may have seen on the main thread that the DIYtraffic Bot is up and running in beta and we've got it tracking traffic right here in Chicago!
There are a couple ways you can interact with it:
1) follow traffic_chicago on Twitter to receive real-time updates (to your mobile phone, if you wish)
2) send a reply to @traffic_chicago to post your own traffic info if you see an accident or jam (no texting and driving, 'natch)
3) send the account a direct message with the name of a street to find out if there have been any recent traffic reports containing that street name (note, if you follow traffic_chicago, it will take about 30m for it to follow you back so you can send DMs to it).
Let me know if you have any problems / questions / comments or suggestions!
Transit Television Network, a subsidiary of Torstar (owner of Canada's biggest daily newspaper), has filed for bakruptcy.
In Milwaukee and other cities where it set up on buses, TTV seems universally loathed for reasons mentioned by this LA blogger: http://metroriderla.com/2006/12/03/transit-tv-how-we-hate-thee/
Worst of all, TTV has been an infection in public space. As a local rider puts it, TTV content screams one message over and over: "You are a Bus Rider; You are a Loser. This xxxxxx will save you from your misery. $19.95 and operators are standing by." Or a free PC by giving up your phone number and checking account number. Or the scams that came to us with the SAME actor, different names for the scams, but just call 800 xxx xxxx and your life will be turned around -- $500,000 from your home in one month. No one in their right minds would call such a number but that shouting sent a clear coherent message: You Are A Loser. And that message has pervaded bus service for the last decade.
My question: is there any way the existing hardware might be repurposed by creative groups to have a more publicly edifying message?
Everyone loves tamales and everyone loves late night situations where a friendly stranger delivers hot fresh tamales right to your bar stool. So, after some intense conversations surrounding the Tamale Guy here in Chicago, we came up with a great idea. What if it were some how possible to follow the Tamale Guy via Twitter as he made his rounds? A user community that would tweet when and where they saw the tamale guy and then users could be able to follow the progress by following the twitter.com/tamaletracker (tamaleguy was already taken).
How it works:
- twitter users send a @Reply to @tamaletracker when they see the Tamale Guy at their favorite pub in Chicago.
- then a scheduled listening service looks for any @Replies that have come into twitter.com/tamaletracker.
- when a new tweet comes in, the twitter.com/tamaletracker account then ReTweets on their behalf.
- twitter users sign up to follow twitter.com/tamaletracker or simply go to twitter.com/tamaletracker.
- choose to recieve sms alerts when twitter.com/tamaletracker tweets.
I created this the other day and have not tested it beyond my own tweets up until now. So if anyone does choose to use this little tool please let me know what bugs you find or if it just plain doesn't work for you.
... and was psyched to see that someone has already create a group for Chicago!
I *love* the idea of this site. The whole think global / act local mantra actually put into action in a formalized and repeatable manner ...
So let's get this party started! Unfortunately, there are no shortages of problems in our city. Corruption, rising cost of public transportation, insanely high taxes, homelessness, FREEZING COLD (though I suspect we can't do anything about this :)
So I'll throw something on the table: I would suspect that given the recent hike in the cost of the El to a non-even number of dollars ($2.25), a lot of CTA cards with money still on them (though not enough for a full trip) get tossed. Is there any opportunity here?
I'm also really interested in topics pertaining to sustainability, especially in the context of how and what we eat, and given Chicago's quest for 'green,' this could be another good place to start.
Any feedback / suggestions?