The RSS vine is humming with point and counterpoint this week.
Adobe revealed their new range of icons, based on mashing up a colour wheel with the periodic table of the elements. Lots of people don’t like ‘em: Stan doesn’t; Dave doesn’t. Some people do like ‘em: Veerle does. I can’t say I’m all that keen on them but I honestly can’t muster up much strength of conviction either way.
Let us leave the designers for a moment and cast our gaze upon the hot topic amongst the techy crowd…
Dave Winer looked at JSON and didn’t like what he saw:
Gotta love em, because there’s no way they’re going to stop breaking what works, and fixing what don’t need no fixing.
James Bennet wrote an excellent response:
Of course, this ignores the fact that the Lisp folks have been making the same argument for years, wondering why there was this great pressing need to go out and invent XML when s-expressions were just dandy.
The debate continues over on Scripting.com, where the best comment comes from Douglas Crockford:
The good thing about reinventing the wheel is that you can get a round one.
The discussion continues. Be it icons or data formats, the discourse remains remarkably civil. Perhaps it’s the seasonal spirit of goodwill. Whatever happened to the good ol’ “Mac vs. Windows”-style flame wars?
In contrast, Roger has posted a refreshingly curmudgeonesque list entitled Six things that suck about the Web in 2006. He had me nodding my head in vigourous agreement with point number six:
Over-wide, fixed width layouts. Go wide if you must. Use a fixed width if you don’t know how to make a flexible layout. But don’t do both. Horizontal scrolling, no thanks.
Perhaps I should post my own list of things about the Web that suck, but I fear it would be a never-ending roster. Instead I’ll restrict myself to one single thing, specifically related to blogs:
Ads on blogs. They suck. I find them disrespectful; like going into somebody’s house for a nice cup of tea only to have them try to flog you a nice set of encyclopedias.
Just to be clear: ads on commercial sites (magazines, resources, whatever) I understand. But on a personal site, they bring down the tone far more than any use of typography, colour or layout could ever offset.
I used to wonder why people put those “Digg this” or “Delicious this” links on their blog posts. I couldn’t see the point. But combined with google ads, I guess they make sense. They’re a way of driving traffic, eyeballs, click-through and by extension, filthy lucre. That’s fine… as long as you don’t mind being a whore.
Remember the term “Cam whore?”:
A Cam whore is a term for people who expose themselves on the Internet with webcam software in exchange for goods, usually via enticing viewers to purchase items on their wishlists or add to their online accounts.
I think it’s high time we coined the term “Blog whore” to describe people who slap google ads all over a medium intended for personal expression.
Alas, most of my friends, colleagues and co-workers are Blog whores. Scrivs manages to be Blog whore, Digg whore and pimp all at the same time with his 9 Rules bitches. In his recent round-up of blog designs, he says of Shaun’s site:
In a perfect world there are no ads, but we don’t live in that kind of world yet for the time being we can escape to the land of make believe when visiting Inman’s site.
Well, I see no reason why we can’t all live in that perfect world. In the style of Robert’s ludicrously provocative hyperbole, I hereby declare that a blog with ads isn’t really a blog. So there.
Ah, that’s better. There’s nothing like a good rant to counteract all that civilised discourse.
Happy holidays, Blog whores!