It’s been a bit since settling in San Francisco.
I was forced to face a lot of my biggest fears. The biggest one of course, being anxious about how your work is perceived by others.
Shedding off layers of personal insecurities was no easy task, but I found an unbelievable amount of creative insight during the process. Throwing yourself out of your comfort zone conjures all kinds of emotional bursts, good and bad. But I’ve found multiple outlets to keep me going, and focusing on creating (or more like releasing) the true identity of the person I am. With art, honesty – in tandem with technique and ability, will propose the medium/content in an opaque fashion.
My first project was InfiniteScan.com. A new version of the original product created by @jarcanum, who by the way, is the greatest friend/roommate/coworker anyone could ask for. He put up with me when I was an emotional wreck, and vice versa. It’s always great to work with someone who is so driven on a project that’s near and dear to everyone.
@jarcanum was on UX/UI duty, and I was doing the services and thick-client work.
I set up the usual CodeIgniter LAMP stack, originally from a self-hosted VM Cordova/PhoneGap wrap, which we later ditched – it was primarily for local development.
We built numerous fast PHP scrapers, that would scrounge the web and gobble up Internet Radio station data. We have over 50,000 or so in our database now, will full analytics, listener/song tracking data, click throughs and more than you could imagine.
I grabbed the amazing Phil Sturgeon REST API Library for CI, and built out a simple API that did a small number of simple things:
1.) Get a station at random.
2.) Get a station from the stack.
3.) Get a station’s information (who’s playing, station meta data).
4.) Get a song’s info.
5.) Get an artists info.
Twitter Bootstrap provided the easy HTML5 responsiveness. We originally tried things like jQuery Mobile but it was a beast. Twitter Bootstrap is small and fast, and provided the quickest response from user interactions.
REDIS in tandem with socket.io let me create a super simple chat system spread across stations, and also a global chat. We’ve got some social things in the works, very similar to turntable.fm in way.
After working on the project for a few months, we did a demo/pitch night to a rather unresponsive group of folks. It was also the first time we mingled with startup people. Some ok, some very… well, how should I put it? Misguided.
After putting the finishing touches on a rather buggy beta, we set it loose to do it’s thing. One simple task, scan Internet Radio stations.
After wrapping that version of InfiniteScan.com, I wound up taking a great gig at a service-focused startup. It’s a very exciting time for them, and I’m enjoying the challenges faced in that particular niche.
It was right about that time, while going through my emotional spring cleaning, that I was finally inspired to write my album. More of a demo/EP, but it’s something that’s been in the works for awhile. I’m about halfway through it, and I’m very excited how it’s coming out and the direction my music is going. It’s not an easy project, but I’ve got the motivation.
Do what you’re best at. It’s the path of least resistance. Exploit your strengths as much as you can.