We're always interested in how many folks are viewing our WNYC Data News projects at a given moment, and Chartbeat answers that question. But we don't always want to watch Chartbeat's dashboard for the latest info.
Enter the blinkies.
Using a string of colored LEDs, an Arduino and a little bit of code, we now have an ambient indicator that generally reflects our traffic and alerts us when thing get intense. A program running on my desktop computer checks Chartbeat for the latest number of simultaneous and passes that information across the room using Bluetooth, something I've wanted to play with for a while.