Summer Cleanup: Website Division

Memorial Day has come and gone and, before we know it, Summer will be over. (As a great sage put it, sometimes time goes by so fast that it seems like breakfast every 15 minutes.)

We're in the process of moving Champlain Arts to Drupal 8, so there will be a few discontinuities. The companion site, which focuses on developer issues is independent, so if you're looking for the code downloads that go with Jesse's books, they're still where they always were on 

Product and version information about Champlain Arts apps will be updated by the end of June (as new versions are released to the App Store).


Apps for People and Places

Champlain Arts, created in 2010 by Jesse Feiler,  focuses on the development and design of apps for community and nonprofit organizations with particular emphasis on downtown revitalization; tourism, trails, and multimodal transportation; and smart use of natural resources.

An Apple developer for over 20 years, Jesse has developed with, taught, and written about Apple technologies from Cyberdog and OpenDoc (look them up) to iOS devices and the Mac.

Since creating Champlain Arts, Jesse has focused on the development of apps as well as consulting on app design and marketing for clients in the worlds of publishing, art, and risk analysis. In addition to books for developers and end-users, he writes often for Cutter Consortium.

Read Jesse's series "What To Do When You Hear 'We Need An App.'" It starts here.

Future of Facebook (and other social media)

Social media platforms are just like any other social space -- restaurants, parks, bars and coffee shops, and meetings of all types. Sometimes, the southwest corner of a park is taken over by chess players of all ages and types; other times (or a few years or decades later) it might be the place for new parents to push their kids' strollers. The trendy restaurant of this year is sure to be replaced by another trending restaurant over time (maybe it's a new restaurant or maybe it's a new trend).

Some special cases jump off the merry-go-round of change as they do something so special that is remains away from the churning of social spaces. These social spaces last forever and ever...until they don't. 

Using Search Queries and Little Data (but big analysis) in Health Care

"Microsoft Finds Cancer Clues in Search Queries" NYTimes, June 6, 2016. John Markoff.…

The big take-away isn't pancreatic cancer. Actually, there are two. First of all, this comment about one of the paper's co-authors -- "Dr. White is now the chief technology officer of health intelligence in a recently created Health & Wellness division at Microsoft." Isn't Microsoft a computer software company? And, in a related questions, what's Apple doing with HealthKit and CareKit? 

The fact that Bing can crunch a lot of numbers over a lot of people is very useful (remember Google's flu predictions based on searches?). But the key is that in order for people to do these searches, they had to have a question or a concern. Can we bypass all the big data stuff to get the patient with some vague question or unease directly to relevant information? 

Perhaps the answer isn't big data -- it's small data such as the data and massive data manipulation power that people are carrying around in their pockets. A transition is under way from institution-centered data (see hospitals's patient portals, regional portals, insurance companies, and the like) to patient-centered data (see CareKit). We don't need a lot of data -- we just need the right data, and increasingly, it's in the patient's hands (pocket, whatever) and it's always available because people know where their phone is even if they haven't got a clue how to navigate the myriad of institution-centered databases in which they might participate.

Personally, I have high hopes (very high hopes -- fingers crossed) for the details of CareKit at WWDC next week so that we can connect the person with the relevant information by way of computing power and communications rather than sorting through enormous amounts of data. We may be watching one of those big changes where everything falls into place.