Halloween is later this month, hence my justification for drawing your attention to the following site, which is not for the easily offended.

Ever heard of IFTTT? If This Then That is an intriguing service (currently in beta) that allows you to automate loads of online based things (like social media, calendars) and creating blog posts, changes to docs, SMS alerts and more. I think I read about it after seeing it featured in an issue of Wired magazine. And well, I wondered what it would be like to create a blog that automatically posts updates about things related to a potential zombie apocalypse.

So I made that blog – this is Listening Out For Zombies it uses keyword analysis of posts on Reddit to post most of its content, but its also got triggers set-up to post if the stocks of certain companies (say those who manufacturer guns) suddenly see a share price rise above a certain amount plus a few other tidbits.

One of the main types of post that it near constantly draws out of Reddit are posts about what people would do in the face of a zombie apocalypse. There are some interesting posts among the 2000 plus that have already hit the site. I recently got its Twitter sorted too.

And that’s probably one of the reasons of why I put the site together – I too am one of those people who regularly thinks about what their zombie apocalypse plans would be if not among the undead if it hits.

Several other sources of information for the blog include alerts from the CDC, BBC News and even New Scientist. I’m always open for suggestions for other sources to include, from stocks, to news sources, to keyword triggers.

I would say that I’m very not alone in being interested in the notion of a zombie apocalypse. Of all the plot devices to properly enter the mainstream over the last ten years, the shambling undead really seems to be sticking. From The Walking Dead comics, TV series and videogames to Plants vs. Zombies – the undead have been leaving their mark in our collective consciousness without even biting anyone.

Even my parents watch The Walking Dead and they’d never watched a film by George A. Romero before – and probably still won’t, to be honest. Anyway – zombies are mainstream and have been since the first episode of The Walking Dead aired.

But should zombies, in works of fiction, shamble or run? I’ve seen the slow moving undead of Romero, imagined the awkwardness of Max Brook’s zombies in World War Z (the novel) and then compared them to the runners of the film… Walk or sprint? I think that unless you’re dealing with a form of undead for which the flesh does not continue perishing, that zombies could start out fast, but the longer they’ve been dead, the slower they will become.

(By the way, the image at the top of this post is from the original Dawn of the Dead, which we will be revisiting at as part of our Halloween content this month.)