Tracking A Nomad’s Whereabouts

One of the unique challenges I encounter as a nomad who also leads a team is accessibility, both to my team and my coworkers in general. While I can predict when my team will be working based on their locations, they cannot do the same for me.

Following a rather entertaining conversation in which I asked a coworker about the weather where he lives and he couldn’t respond in kind, I created Currently it’s just a series of scheduled posts, but I would eventually like to tie it either to TripIt or Foursquare. As it happens, I’m running Beau Leben’s excellent Keyring Social Importers, so I already have data from those services accessible within the multisite installation that runs all of my sites.

Are there other, non-homegrown, solutions to accomplish the same? I’ve found a few, but all try to do too much for my needs. One of these days, I suppose I’ll get around to leveraging the data I already have so I can automate this process.

If you travel frequently, have you encountered the same problem? How did you address it?

Foursquare’s Fail Whale

Foursquare, the location-based service where users check in and earn badges1, is becoming a victim of its own success. Recently surpassing one million checkins per week, the service has experienced very short, intermittent interruptions.

Twice in the last two weeks, I’ve encountered Foursquare’s version of Twitter’s now-infamous “Fail Whale.” In Foursquare’s case, the outage notice depicts a a mayor2 adorned with a cracked crown accompanied by the message, “Looks like we’ve got some problems on our end. We’re on it though – stay tuned!”

Granted, a short outage once a week is nothing to complain about, but it further confirms the service’s growing popularity.

Foursquare: Looks like we've got some problems on our end. We're on it though - stay tuned!

  1. Badges are awarded based on various accomplishments, such as checking in at 50 different venues or check in to one location with 50 or more people.
  2. Any Foursquare user who checks in to one location the most number of times in a two-month period is labeled the mayor of that location.