Would You Rather Use a Node, or Create Gold?
Before becoming an Evangelist, and going to work for a huge enterprise organization, before getting my start at a mid-level shop, I was a one-man start up. Ok it was really two, but you get the idea. When I’m in a work position that forces you to wear a lot of hats, I end up picking up things that I hadn’t set out to. And although, I was developing software, it was a no brainer to realize I FELT better about what I was doing when I could articulate it in ways that allowed the people around me to share in my excitement.
I learned what it means to be able to capture somebody with words and ideas instead of demonstrations. I had to. If I could get someone to share the excitement and regurgitate some words, it was like free advertising and I didn’t have to be there to do the demo.
The interesting part of this is that sometimes the worst products have the best, catchiest, most memorable marketing/branding, and the stuff you actually love falls by the wayside for every reason under the sun. Ultimately though the reason boils down to: It couldn’t connect with the people who would fall in love with it if they had the right spark. Think – Tomagotchi (utterly ridiculous and super popular) vs. the Removable Game component of Sony’s Dreamcast (incredibly cool, but got a bad wrap early on).
As I use & teach people about IFTTT.com and Octoblu.com including creating the Udemy.com course, I realize that even though I like Octoblu.com more it’s harder to describe because of the terms that they use.Octoblu.com uses the word node so often that it becomes almost as big and ubiquitous as the Internet of Things itself. Node is used so interchangeably that it makes a discussion about the possibilities more confusing than it needs to be.
I propose that we stop using the word node to describe the Octoblu.com platform and use it strictly when referring to Gateblu or Meshblu.
For you and I Octoblu.com is the triplet that we will be using 75% of the time, the other 25% is in Gateblu, but really that just means a couple drags here, and mouse clicks there. Since Octoblu.com is where the ‘consumer’ will spend so much time there should be names for the UI components, that make sense to non-technical users.
I start by proposing that we do not use the same terms as IFTTT.com to describe the services that Octoblu.com uses. I think since IFTTT.com uses the analogy of a recipe then it would be appropriate to consider Octoblu.com something like a chemical reaction with the idea of alchemy in mind. The analogy that we would use for Octoblu.com being chemistry or alchemy would have us refer to the larger component pieces like services or devices that IFTTT.com refers to as ‘channels’ Octoblu.com should refer to them as ‘elements’. They are elements of a reaction and the reason I choose ‘element’ is because, elements have properties.
The word ‘properties’ is developer speak and when you think about what the property technically describes – it’s really an attribute. We all learned what attributes were in grade school grade science
So, from here forward, I will be referring to the services that Octoblu.com implements like Instagram, Twitter, blink(1), Travis CI, Google Places, etc… and others as elements. I will refer to the component pieces as attributes:
The Username of a Tweet’s Author
The URL of An Instagram Photo
The Name of A GooglePlaces Place
Now that we’ve covered the new names, you might be thinking … why?
Flows become Reactions.
When you mix a known amount of 1 element with a known amount of another, and allow them to react you get the same result every single time (as long as the test conditions are the same). Every time you take the geo location of a tweet, and ask GooglePlaces for suggestions close by, you will always receive a list in response… even if that list happens to be empty.
Mixing Elements and picking the Attributes to interact with, will always cause the same Reaction.
Reactions always have a result. When I apply heat to water, it will heat up, boil and eventually it will all evaporate.
Earlier I mentioned alchemy along with chemistry. Much like chemistry, Octoblu.com can make two elements that are weaker on their own, stronger by causing a reaction between them. But, the reason I mentioned Alchemy is that using Octoblu.com you can actually mix the base elements in a way that literally creates GOLD (Ok, you got me its figurative gold if you have a bank account and physical $100 bills). The website makes it so easy to add logic to info that it can grab from other OpenAPIs, that we have bucket to use to pull coins from the ocean of money that is coming into the Internet of Things.
Aside from the imagery, I think this will make it a lot easier to describe what is going on by swapping out for more descriptive terms
'flow'=> 'experiment '
'node' => 'element'
'property' => 'attribute'
'output/broadcast' => 'reaction'
I’m gonna give it a shot, we’ll see how it works.
I’ll test and validate the experience and hopefully will start a trend that gets Octoblu.com on board as well.
Today I made a new experiment that mixes the Twitter element with the GooglePlaces element and creates reaction of 5 restaurant suggestions.