The Oaks Ignore Their Pleas

Experiments in Sharing

Posted in General by Jeff Graves on November 2, 2013


As you can probably tell if you’re looking at my previous blog entries, I took my son into Boston this morning for the Red Sox “Rolling Rally” to celebrate their 2013 World Series victory.  I knew that I’d want to take some pictures of the event, and share them with friends, but I really did NOT want to view the entire parade through the screen of my iPhone.  I also didn’t want to spend a ton of time fiddling with Twitter or Facebook to share my pictures, but I wanted to find a way to share them in real time, along with the thousands of other images and thoughts that flooded the metaverse.  I decided to try out some ways to automate some of the “busy work” of digital sharing, and looking back, some of my experiments worked, and some didn’t.  Here’s what I learned today…

I set up a few recipes on IFTTT last night to help me with automating the sharing process.  The first allows me to automatically send any tweet that I mark as a Favorite (including pics) to this blog, which let me capture a number of really nice professional photos from the event with a minimum of fuss.  That worked really well, was quick and seamless, and despite a couple of “missing link” tweets, performed as I’d hoped.  Count that a success!

My second recipe wasn’t as successful, but it wasn’t an issue with IFTTT, it was an iPhone problem.  I set up a recipe to take any photo I took with Instagram and publish that on this blog as well.  Unfortunately, in my tests last night, Instagram performance was so slow that I abandoned the idea of using it today.  I just didn’t want to spend a ton of time waiting for my pic to render and upload while the parade was coming.  This was the first time I’ve used Instagram since upgrading to iOS7, and I believe that the combination of the new OS and the Instagram app, mixed with my iPhone 4, caused my issues.  Disappointing, but at least I tested it last night, and didn’t waste time as the parade rolled by.

Another issue, which was shared by many others, I suspect, was the complete overload of the wireless network in downtown Boston as the parade approached.  Refreshing Twitter and uploading photos took a ton of time even before the parade reached us, and I noted that several other folks on Twitter were reporting similar issues.  I elected to abandon “real time” sharing, and just use the iOS Photo app natively to take my pictures, and share them later in the day, when I was home in range of my wifi network.  I also think that the overloaded wireless network may have contributed to a really fast drain of my iPhone battery, due to the need for the wireless radio to transmit and receive for a longer time than normal to conduct “typical” tasks like refreshing Twitter and Facebook feeds.  As a result, my iPhone, which was fully charged when I left the house at 8am, was down to a 3% charge by 1pm.  It didn’t prevent me from taking the pictures I wanted, but I did end up leaving the phone in my pocket more than I might have otherwise.

However, that wasn’t a bad thing at all, because the main reason I went,  (and spent time on my experiments last night) was to enjoy the time with my son, and to be “in the moment” for a pretty special event.  While not all of the things I tried worked exactly as I’d hoped, I was able to capture and share some memories of the event with my friends, and spend a really great morning with my 9 year old.  On that front, the morning was absolutely a success!! Go Sox!


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