Serendeputy - your personal news assistant.

Welcome to Serendeputy!

Serendeputy is your personal news assistant.

Your deputy:
- learns what you like and don't like,
- lovingly compiles a list of news and blogs for you.

You can help your deputy learn by searching, clicking links and pressing the little smiley faces.
How it works.

What to do:
  1. Click links to teach your deputy
  2. Click smileys and frownies
  3. Find favorite topics and sources
  4. See how much better your deputy is getting at finding you good stuff.
  5. Sign in for free to save your profile, or please tell me why you won't.

I want to take a minute to thank some of the folks who have helped Serendeputy along the way. Please let me know if I've missed anyone.


The original visual design for Serendeputy was done by Lynn Cyr. I highly recommend Lynn, she was professional and prompt, and you can see for yourself how good the design is.


I need to thank Nik Wahlberg at Scandia Consulting for translating the designs into XHTML. I think Nik did a great job, and he turned it around within a day or so.

If there are any validation or coding errors, they are certainly mine, as opposed to Nik's.

Tools of the Trade

Aquamacs is the Mac port of Emacs. I do all the coding and most of my writing in Aquamacs. Once you get good at it, it becomes a part of you.

Transmit is my favorite FTP client. I've used it for years, and it's never let me down.

Photoshop is Photoshop. Can't do much without it.

Subversion is my source-control application. If you're not using source-control, you might just be a little insane.

FogBugz is my bug tracker. Fog Creek, the makers of FogBugz, has an outstanding deal. If you are a startup, you can use the fully-hosted version of FogBugz for free. This is an outstanding deal for me, and I want to thank them for offering it. Professional bug-tracking software is critical, even if you are just a one-man band. And, when I start hiring outside people, I'm going to migrate the paid plan. Everybody wins.

Tinderbox is an amazing product, one I've bought and upgraded continuously since 2002. It's hard to explain, but I use it for all my high-level thinking and planning. Author Mark Bernstein's thinking on NeoVictorian Computing also influenced a bit of what I'm trying to do here with Serendeputy.

NovaMind is an excellent mind-mapping application. I often use it when I'm building out diagrams for presentations, and when I'm constructing some complicated logic trees.

OmniGraffle is an outstanding diagramming product. When I'm deciding how things need to fit together, I often reach for it.

Programming Languages and Frameworks

Serendeputy's librarian and personalization applications are written in Ruby. is built on top of the Ruby on Rails framework. All the dynamic pieces are built on top of jQuery, the outstanding JavaScript library.

Serendeputy is run on an entirely open-source stack: Linux, Apache, MySQL, Memcached. I highly recommend it.

The backstop news search engine is Yahoo BOSS.


Serendeputy is hosted by the good folks at Slicehost. It's been incredibly useful to be able to scale up and down the separate machines as I've been scaling the different applications. Plus, their tutorials are insanely good.


This site was proudly built on a Mac.