The Oaks Ignore Their Pleas

Experiments in Sharing

Posted in General by Jeff Graves on November 2, 2013

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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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