The web – by its very nature – foregrounds the connections between different clusters of knowledge. Links link. One article leads to another. As you make the journey from destination to destination, all inevitably connected by that trail of links, you begin to tease out understanding.
It’s this drawing together, this weaving together of knowledge, that is the important part. Your journey is unique. The chances of another pursuing the same path, link by link (or book by book), is – statistically – impossible. Your journey leads you to discovery and, through reflection, comprehension. You see the connections others haven’t, because your journey is your own.
When you’re struggling to write something that sounds clear and sounds human (two of the essential basics of a good blog post, I’d argue), just use the words normal people would use. The best way to find out what those words are is to try talking the thing through to someone who doesn’t know anything about it. Remember what you just said, then write that.
Maciej has published the transcript of his magnificent (and hilarious) talk from dConstruct 2013.
A magnificent presentation from Maciej that begins by drawing parallels between the aviation industry in the 20th century and the technology industry in the 21st:
So despite appearances, despite the feeling that things are accelerating and changing faster than ever, I want to make the shocking prediction that the Internet of 2060 is going to look recognizably the same as the Internet today.
Unless we screw it up.
And I want to convince you that this is the best possible news for you as designers, and for us as people.
But if that sounds too upbeat for you…
Too much of what was created in the last fifty years is gone because no one took care to preserve it.
We have heroic efforts like the Internet Archive to preserve stuff, but that’s like burning down houses and then cheering on the fire department when it comes to save what’s left inside. It’s no way to run a culture. We take better care of scrap paper than we do of the early Internet, because at least we look at scrap paper before we throw it away.
And then there’s this gem:
It finishes with three differing visions of the web, one of them desirable, the other two …not so much. This presentation is a rallying cry for the web we want.
Let’s reclaim the web from technologists who tell us that the future they’ve imagined is inevitable, and that our role in it is as consumers.
The text of Nicole’s excellent talk on writing helpful, human microcopy.
I’m quite touched by this—I had no idea anyone was paying that much attention to my 100 words project.
Jaime Caballero on Instagram: “Live blogging by @adactio. He almost didn’t make it for his 100 words challenge.”
When you’re out celebrating at the end of Responsive Day Out and realise it’s just a few minutes to midnight and you haven’t published your 100 words yet.
This is nifty—Nicholas is also going for the 100 words exercise that I’ve been doing.
A look at the risks of relying on a purely graphical icon for interface actions. When in doubt, label it.
Luke continues to tilt against the windmills of the security theatre inertia that still has us hiding passwords by default. As ever, he’s got the data to back up his findings.
A fascinating look at how the humble password gets imbued with incredible levels of meaning.
It reminds me of something I heard Ze Frank say last year: “People fill up the cracks with intimacy.”
A new essay from Maciej on Idle Words is always a treat, and this latest dispatch from Yemen is as brilliantly-written as you’d expect.
I love the thinking behind this plugin that highlights the weasel words that politicians are so found of.
I bet you’re going to just keep clicking and clicking and clicking…
Improve your word power: here’s a timeline of terms used to describe male genitalia throughout history. And yes, there is a female equivalent.
Dan’s blog is rapidly turning into one of my favourite destinations on the web.
I hope he comes to an Indie Web Camp.
There’s something quite lovely about this: pairs of tweets that are anagrams of one another.
I love this. I love this sooooo much! The perfect reminder of what makes the web so bloody great:
You and I have been able to connect because I wrote this and you’re reading it. That’s the web. Despite our different locations, devices, and time-zones we can connect here, on a simple HTML page.
Just like in the Borges short story, you can now see everything at once …from Project Gutenberg, or from Twitter, or from both.
This may be the only legitimate use case for (truly) infinite scrolling.
I concur completely with Luke’s assessment here. Most password-masking on the web is just security theatre. Displaying password inputs by default (but with an option to hide) should be the norm.
Chloe uses interactive text in an attempt to explain what lexical-gustatory synesthesia is like.
Quite a story.
Neal Stephenson would like your help in making a video game about sword-fighting that doesn’t suck.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse than “webinar.”
A swear word a day, typeset.
Hexadecimal colours and their corresponding dictionary definitions. Cute.
An intriguing writing exercise. If I weren’t such a procrastinator, I would try it out.
A fascinating explanation of why Instapaper is migrating away from its passwordless sign-up.
Enterprise HTML - Provides proven high performance, enterprise-level and scalable HTML tips and best practices.
It's funny (and painful) because it's true (and painful).
An excellent resource for deciphering corporate business-speak gibberish (I'm going to need this when I'm eavesdropping on Andy Budd making phone calls).
Captchas reinterpreted into art.
Making it up so you don't have to — somewhat like my New Media Company Name generator from a few years back.
Glad to see "webinar" on this list. Shame about "lifestream."
I'm being credited with hauling this wonderful phrase over from the original Dutch.
It's The Meaning Of Liff all over again. Creating and rating neologisms.
Ridiculing the empty language of the corporate world one putrid word at a time.
I had a very pleasant chat on the phone with Ben Worthen from the Wall Street Journal. He likes my social buzzword generator.
Really; it's not that difficult.
The Economist style guide: the "dos and don'ts" section is particularly useful.
The word w00t has been voted Merriam-Webster word of the year 2007. Slow year.
A language blog from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
A collection of books with beautiful typography.
A blog dedicated to cataloguing snowclones. Brilliant!
He's right, y'know.
Fun with words. It's like an interconnected hangman.
Like Flickr, but without the photos. This, I like.
Send a six word message to Twitter prefixed with "smithmag" and you could win an iPod nano. Go on, give Earnest Hemmingway a run for his money.
This <a href="http://bingo.adactio.com/">looks familiar</a>. Great minds think alike. (For some reason, this page has 76 divs and 50 tables. Yikes!)