Aha! moment — 43 Emacsen — feel free to steal this idea! =)

| emacs

Feel free to Make This Happen, or get in touch with me if you want to
hack on this with a Ruby/Rails newbie. =)

You know how geeks do _really_ crazy things with their favorite
applications? Like the way I practically live in Emacs? And the way
some people practically live in Microsoft Excel? We use applications
for _far_ more than they were originally imagined to do.

So let’s help people think out of the box. Let’s show them what geeks
push their applications to do.

What would be ultracool?

Think of the way 43things lets you say
you’ve either done something or you plan to do something. Add a
software context and support screenshots. For example, you could add
“Do mail” to your list of things, set “Emacs” as your software, and
post a screenshot (optional) of Gnus (or even Rmail). Tick a little
checkbox if you don’t mind if people to ask you for help, and add a
short note about your experience if you want… Oooh, and throw
tagging in there somewhere.

Why is this ubercool?

– You see what other people do with a certain application. (And you

will begin to appreciate the insane flexibility of the Emacs text

– You see how other people do something, and maybe even how popular

something is.

– You see what friends and similar people use. =)

I want this. I think it would totally rock. I’m crazier about it than
the Eclipse snippets project my research supervisor wants me to
consider. I think we might get all sorts of useful data about geek
program usage, if we can get people to do this. For example, I’d
_love_ to find out what other crazy geek things people who have
similar usage patterns for Emacs might be doing, or what other
applications they’re crazy about… For example, I’m crazy about
Mozilla Firefox—but I know people out there are doing even cooler
things with it!

Steal this idea. Run with it. Make it happen. If I can use it for free
and I can copy my data easily, I’ll be one of your first users and evangelists! =)

Tracing the thoughtpath for fun: how did I get to thinking about that?

  1. Well, I was thinking about Google and how I want to be an evangelist
    more than I want to be an engineer.
  2. Then I thought about evangelism and what I usually get excited about.
  3. Which naturally made me think about Emacs.
  4. So I thought about all the crazy stuff you can do with Emacs.
  5. And then I thought about Danny O’ Brien’s lifehacks talk and how
    power users do crazy things with applications.
  6. Which made me wonder what other people are doing with Emacs.
  7. Which made me want to start a blog (or revive emacstidbits).
  8. … but then I wanted to see _other_ people’s stories…
  9. … and although some stories are on http://www.emacswiki.org , they’re still
    buried in technical information…
  10. … so wouldn’t it be cool if we could bring those stories out and make them

    easy to capture and browse?

  11. Which made me think of other services that did that, like 43things.
  12. Which gave me that aha! moment!

N degrees of Sacha Chua’s mind. Emacs is my Kevin Bacon. ;)

You can comment with Disqus or you can e-mail me at sacha@sachachua.com.