Today’s Programming Idea

I’m a gigantic fan of several blogs.

And these blogs have big archives that, realistically, I’ll never go through even if I know (and I do know) they have lots of cool posts that I would find interesting.

So here’s my idea: why not build a little tool that lets you specify a few blogs and, at the push of a button, summons an archived blog post from one at random? I figure there are three possible outcomes:

1. You find a post from the archives you never read.

2. You find a post form the archives you read and remember.

3. You find a post form the archives you read but don’t remember.

Now, I know I like these blogs so I’m likely to enjoy the posts right away. The cool part, though, is that I’m also likely to feel little remorse at refreshing away a post I’m not too keen on and getting another.

I like this idea.

From an implementation standpoint, I don’t much feel building and maintaining an archive of all the blogs I like. So my solution is to do this by date. Here’s the method:

Pick a date to start: let’s say jan 1, 2000.

Pick a random day between today and that date.

Test whether there is a post from that blog in that day. If not, pick another random day. If there is more than one, index the posts from that day and pick one of THEM at random.

This will bias towards older dates, sure, but that’s the idea.

I bet that I would enjoy flicking through a bunch of old posts even more than I would enjoy reading the ‘cutting edge’ posts from my favorite bloggers. Current events don’t tend to interest me much, it’s the thought processes and insights that I love.

So I’m going to build this.

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