This looks handy: a video-sharing service designed specifically to work with Silverback
Saturday, September 29th, 2012
Friday, September 28th, 2012
At least one of these will probably drive you crazy.
Andy’s talk from the Smashing Conference in Freiburg.
The Boston Globe’s got nothing on this!
Thursday, September 27th, 2012
When I was writing about browser-developer relations yesterday, I took this little dig at Safari:
Apple, of course, dodges the issue entirely by having absolutely zero developer relations when it comes to their browser.
A friend of mine who works at Apple took me to task about this on Twitter (not in the public timeline, of course, but by direct message). I was told I was being unfair. After all, wasn’t I aware of Vicki Murley, Safari Technologies Evangelist? I had to admit that I wasn’t.
“What’s her URL?” I asked.
“Of her blog.”
“She doesn’t have one.”
The Safari Technologies Evangelist actually does speak at one conference: WWDC. And the videos from that conference are available online …if you sign on the dotted line.
Now, I’m not saying that being in developer relations for a browser vendor means that you must blog or must go to conferences. But some kind of public visibility is surely desirable, right? Not at Apple.
I remember a couple of years back, meeting the Safari evangelist for the UK. He came down to Brighton to have lunch with me and some of the other Clearlefties. I remember telling him that I could put him touch with the organisers of some mobile-focused conferences because he’d be the perfect speaker.
“Yeah,” he said, “I’m not actually allowed to speak at conferences.”
An evangelist who isn’t allowed to evangelise. That seems kind of crazy to me …and I can only assume that it’s immensely frustrating for them. But in the case of Apple, we tend to just shrug our shoulders and say, “Oh, well. That’s Apple. That’s just the way it is.”
Back when I was soliciting questions for this year’s browser panel at Mobilism, Remy left a little rant that began:
When are we, as a web development community, going to stop giving Apple a free fucking pass? They’re consistently lacking in the open discussion in to improving the gateway to the web: the browser.
And he ended:
Even the mighty PPK who tells entire browser vendors “fuck you”, doesn’t call Apple out, allowing them to slither on. Why is it we continue to allow Apple to get away with it? And can this ever change?
When I next saw Remy, I chuckled and said something along the usual lines of “Hey, isn’t that just the way it is at Apple?” And then Remy told me something that made me rethink my defeatist accepting attitude.
But this, I say, waving around at the room, this feels a little odd. I’m getting the presentation from an Apple announcement event without the event. I’ve already been told that I’ll be going home with an early developer preview release of Mountain Lion. I’ve never been at a meeting like this, and I’ve never heard of Apple seeding writers with an as-yet-unannounced major update to an operating system. Apple is not exactly known for sharing details of as-yet-unannounced products, even if only just one week in advance. Why not hold an event to announce Mountain Lion — or make the announcement on apple.com before talking to us?
That’s when Schiller tells me they’re doing some things differently now.
And that, said Remy, is exactly why now is the time to start pushing back against Apple’s opaque developer relations strategy when it comes to Safari: they’re doing some things differently now.
Apple’s culture of secrecy has served them very, very well for some things—like hardware—but it’s completely at odds with the spirit of the web. That culture clash is most evident with Safari; not just a web browser, but a web browser built on the open-source Webkit platform.
I’m sure that Vicki Murley is great at her job. But her job will remain limited as long as she is hampered by the legacy of Apple’s culture.
That culture of secrecy is not written in stone. It can change. It should change. And the time for that change is now.
I like this skewering of the cult of so-called-neuroscience; the self-help book equivalent of eye-tracking.
This (free!) PDF looks like it could be a nice companion piece to Chris and Nathan’s recent book:
Human-computer interaction in science-fiction movies and television.
It’s a work in progress. You’ll notice a lot of placeholders where the images should be. That’s because the studios are demanding extortionate rates for screenshots.
Wednesday, September 26th, 2012
A fascinating look at what happens when you mash up beauty and ugliness in one typeface.
It’s a long one, and it’s kind of meta, but if you have any interest in the idea of programming, this in-depth knowledge bomb from Bret Victor is well worth your time.
I like this passwordless log in pattern but only for specific use cases: when you know that the user has access to email, and when you don’t expect repeat “snacking” visits throughout the day.
This wouldn’t be appropriate for every site but I still think it could be a damned fine use of otherwise-neglected 404 pages: including information about missing children.
Well, this is quite something. Matt will be interviewing the creators of Bloom in London this Friday. You might have heard of that Eno chap.
Pointing out a growing movement away from three-dimensionality towards a flatter aesthetic.
RoboHornet is designed to avoid the selective dick-measuring that characterises so many benchmarking results touted by browser vendors in their marketing spiel. Instead, the criteria that RoboHornet tests against are decided by developers like you and me. It’s like Stack Overflow for browser performance.
Sadly, Roger Capriotti from Microsoft used the announcement as an opportunity to engage in even more swaggering selective dick-measuring. Bizarrely, he seems to have completely misunderstood how RoboHornet works. Repeatedly mischaracterising it as “micro-framework”, he takes it to task as a tool that “only focuses on specific aspects of browser performance” …completely glossing over the fact that those “specific aspects” are chosen by us, the developers who build the websites that the browsers are supposed to render.
Instead, he chooses “a real-world scenario” …imitating the scrolling text effect seen in the 1999 movie The Matrix, concluding:
This is a great example of why we have consistently said real-world performance matters when evaluating a browser.
But, y’know, the risible example and complete misrepresentation of RoboHornet isn’t what bothers me about the post. It’s the tone. I’ve had it with this sort of sniping, mean-spirited, playground politics. This does not move the web forward. This does not make a more beautiful web.
On the plus side, crap like this makes you appreciate the professionalism of the people working on Firefox, Chrome and Opera (Apple, of course, dodges the issue entirely by having absolutely zero developer relations when it comes to their browser).
Don’t get me wrong: there are very, very good people working on Internet Explorer at Microsoft. But they’re not the ones writing petulant blog posts. I feel bad for them. If Roger Capriotti—whose job title is “Director, Internet Explorer Marketing”—is supposed to be speaking for them, he is letting them down badly.
I’m really enjoying these thoughts prompted by Paul’s article in A List Apart. I particularly the idea of taking a long-zoom approach to progressive enhancement: evolving the aesthetic of web design over time.
Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
These short pocketbooks from Five Simple Steps look like they’ll be very handy indeed. Shame they won’t be available in dead-tree format: I bet they’d be really cute.
Wow. This might be the stupidest behaviour from a browser that I’ve ever come across: mobile Safari behaves differently depending on the top level domain of the site! Madness!
Mind you… it’s kind of poetic justice for having a ridonkulous .mobi domain in the first place.
The kickass articles just keep on comin’. This one from Dave is a great overview of options for dealing with images in responsive designs.
A really great article from Paul that simultaneously takes a high-level view of the web while also focusing on the details. A lot of work went into this.
Monday, September 24th, 2012
Nice! A feature on Ariel and her spacehacking ways.
Do you live in Charlotte, North Carolina? If so, you might be interested in this event that I’ll be Skyping into.
Oh, dear. Adobe Shadow gets a new name and a hefty price tag. Yesterday it was free. Today it is $119.88 per year. It’s useful but it’s not that useful.
So, lazy web, who’s working on an open-source alternative?
Andy makes a good point here, point out the difference between device testing and design testing:
When I’m designing, it’s incredibly important for me to quickly gain an affinity with how my design feels when I hold it in my hands.
Funny because it’s true.
Open device labs
If you’re running an open device lab, or hoping to set one up, be sure to register at Lab Up, a site that aims to pool resources and hopefully get some device manufacturers to distribute their wares. There’s also a mailing list for open device labs. Sign up if you have or want a communal device lab. Sharing is caring.
Finally, there’s an article on Smashing Magazine that goes into great detail on every aspect of setting up and running a communal collection of devices. If you’ve been thinking about starting an open device lab in your area, now is the time. Do it.
A great article that looks at everything you need to know to set up a communal device lab in your town.
A nice little profile of local Brighton photographer extraordinaire, Lomokev.
Sunday, September 23rd, 2012
In the hippest areas for Street Art, life-sized pictures of people found on Google’s Street View are printed and posted without authorization at the same spot where they were taken.
Rounding up dConstruct 2012
It’s been two weeks since the mind-blowing awesomeness of dConstruct 2012 and I’ve still got a brain full of the amazing knowledge bombs dropped by each and every speaker.
I’ve been keeping track of other people’s write-ups of the event too:
Sjors Timmer wrote a review that cites Italo Calvino.
- Digital is about beauty and about layers.
- The power of play.
- The interconnectedness of things through chance.
There’s a write-up over at info.nl called Playing with the future at the seams.
But I think my favourite write-up comes from Laura who did a report for Ubelly called Our Positions Of Power. It’s a thoughtful piece that pulls together multiple strands that emerged throughout the day. And you’ve gotta love the opening sentence:
After a weekend of reflection, I’ve decided that dConstruct 2012 had the best talks of any conference I’ve ever attended.
Some people took some great pictures at dConstruct. I like this set on Flickr.
If you want to re-live the magic, have a listen to the audio from dConstruct 2012.
Saturday, September 22nd, 2012
Aw, this is so nice!
There’s an open device lab starting up in Washington DC. If you’re in the area, get in touch and share your devices.
Friday, September 21st, 2012
Excellent! Scott has his own URL now. If you haven’t read everything he has written so far, start from the start and read every single post.
Chris and Nathan’s book is finally out. I’m going to enjoy reading through this.
A nice round-up of some of the themes that emerged at Smashing Conference. As with An Event Apart, there was a definite focus on process.
This looks like a great idea: a centralised place for listing open device labs (and hopefully getting some sponsorship from device manufacturers).
This is right up my alley: a timeline of the history of hypertext, starting with Borges.
Return to Freiburg
I was in southern Germany this week to speak at the inaugural Smashing Conference. It was a really good event, packed with in-depth talks and workshops for web developers. Its practical nature contrasted nicely with the more inspirational value of dConstruct. I always say it’s good to have a balanced conference diet: too much code and I start itching for big-picture thinking; too much big-picture thinking and I start jonesing for some code.
That said, I have to admit that I missed out on quite a few of the talks. That’s because I was outside exploring Freiburg. Or should I say, I was outside rediscovering Freiburg.
I used to live there. I lived there for about six years, all told, during the ’90s. That’s where I met Jessica.
To start with, I was playing music on the streets of Freiburg. Later, I got a job in a bakery, selling bread, pretzels and all manner of excellent baked goods. Meanwhile, I was playing in a band (two bands actually: for a while I was the bassist in Leopold Kraus, the finest surf band in the Black Forest). At some point, the band decided we needed a website. I said I’d give it a go. That’s when this whole web thing started for me. I started freelancing on the side. Before too long, I was able to give up the bread-selling day job.
But after six years, Jessica and I decided that we were done with Freiburg. We moved to Brighton, where we’ve lived for twelve years now.
So it was with some excitement and a certain amount of nervous anticipation that we returned to Freiburg for the Smashing Conference. What would Freiburg be like now? Would it feel weird to be back there?
Well, Jessica has written all about what it was like to go back. I highly recommend that you read what she’s written because she puts it far better than I ever could.
Jessica has been publishing online at wordridden.com since we lived in Germany. Reading back through her posts from way back then about life in Freiburg makes me wish that I had started writing on adactio.com sooner. I don’t have much evidence of my time there: a box of cassettes (cassettes!) that the band recorded; a handful of photographs.
On this trip, I took quite a few photographs. In three days, I recorded an order of magnitude more data than I had done in six years of living in Freiburg.
Thursday, September 20th, 2012
I like this suggestion. If you’re using minified CSS in production, it would be a nice gesture to have an easily-discoverable unminified version for people to view source on.
Quite a story.
Hey look; Anna’s in a CSSquirrel comic! And for good reason: Kyle is as impressed as I am with Anna’s research into browsers on gaming devices.
There’s also a call for more community device labs. I approve.
This looks great! It’s a CC-licensed book by Cody Lindley (whose work I’ve admired for many years) aimed at teaching DOM Scripting for modern browsers. You can read the whole thing online or wait for the paper version from O’Reilly.
Here’s something that Josh debuted at Smashing Conference: a script for responsive designs to adjust font-sizes based on a desired line-length.
Inevitably, it’s a jQuery plugin but I’m sure somebody could fork it to create a standalone version (hint, hint).
A really enjoyable interview with Neal Stephenson.
Yet another write-up of this year’s dConstruct.
A really great set of photos from this year’s dConstruct by Geri. Just look at the smile on my face!
A nice write-up of dConstruct that focuses on three ideas that were threaded throughout the day:
- Digital is about beauty and about layers,
- The power of play, and
- The interconnectedness of things through chance.
Tuesday, September 18th, 2012
Jason has set up a mailing list for open device labs. If you are running one, or thinking of setting one up, you should sign up to share ideas and knowledge.
I had a lot of fun chatting with Chris and Dave on the Shop Talk Show. It is now available for your listening and huffduffing pleasure.
Monday, September 17th, 2012
There’s an open device lab in Cape Town now. Excellent!
Brad’s notes from my opening talk at the Smashing Conference in Freiburg.
Saturday, September 15th, 2012
Listen to Brighton SF
But you don’t have to take my word for it. Thanks to Drew’s tireless efforts, the audio is now available for your listening pleasure on Huffduffer. I’ve also published a transcript.
I highly recommend giving it a listen: readings from Jeff and Lauren, together with wonderful tales from the life of Brian Aldiss …superb stuff!
If that whets your appetite, there’s more audio goodness from each of the authors to be found on Huffduffer:
In the meantime, enjoy Brighton SF with Brian Aldiss, Lauren Beukes, and Jeff Noon.
Brighton SF with Brian Aldiss, Lauren Beukes, and Jeff Noon.
On the eve of dConstruct 2012, I hosted an evening of readings and chat with three of the brightest stars of the science-fiction world at the Pavilion Theatre in Brighton.
My case for the obsoletion of longdesc (Was: 48-Hour Consensus Call: InstateLongdesc CP Update) from James Craig on 2012-09-15 (email@example.com from September 2012)
James Craig is a mensch. This is how you give feedback to a working group.
Friday, September 14th, 2012
Another thoughtful write-up of this year’s dConstruct, weaving a thread between the talks from Jason Scott, James Burke, and Tom Armitage with a detour via Italo Calvino.
A list of open device labs around the world (mostly Europe).
Thursday, September 13th, 2012
Why mobile Web accessibility matters - best practices to make your mobile site accessible | mobiForge
There’s some great practical advice for building accessible mobile web apps here.
There was an attempted break-in at the Clearleft office this week. Don’t worry—nothing was taken.
I mentioned the attempted break-in on Twitter (and Instagram). While most people offered sympathy and support, one person took me to task for talking about the incident at all. Not good for client confidence, apparently. And it gives us a bad reputation to boot.
I had gotten mugged in front of my rental apartment—on Christmas Eve, no less—and had posted the time and location of my mugging to the Park Slope Parents list, a generally helpful, crunchy, and supportive message board for people raising kids in that section of Brooklyn and beyond. Within an hour, my email inbox was filling with messages from concerned neighbors. Scratch that: angry neighbors.
They wanted to know exactly why I had posted the exact location where the mugging had taken place. Didn’t I realize what this could do to their property values? No, these folks had no immediate plans to sell their homes—yet they were still more considered with the short-term asset value of their real estate than they were the long-term experiential value of their neighborhood!
Wednesday, September 12th, 2012
This ticks all my boxes: a podcast by Eric and Jen about the history of the web. I can’t wait for this to start!
This is my favourite write-up of dConstruct so far. I love that way that, rather than simply giving a linear description, Laura weaves together the implicit strands that were running throughout the day — a very thoughtful, considered approach.
And how about this for an opening line:
After a weekend of reflection, I’ve decided that dConstruct 2012 had the best talks of any conference I’ve ever attended.
A great collection of layout, navigation, and interaction patterns for responsive sites, delivered by Brad.
Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
I like this! Andrew Johns found a thread in this year’s dConstruct that ran parallel to its official tagline of “Playing With The Future”: Education.
Another really good description of this year’s dConstruct that describes each talk.
A lovely write-up of this year’s dConstruct:
Curated well by the Clearleft team, its speakers are always intelligent, insightful, and on the whole, world-class. Pouring out insights through divergent thought, challenging norms and touting innovation.
An excellent in-depth article from Anna on the many gaming devices out there that have both an internet connection and a web browser.
Note’s from Joanne’s presentation at Improving Reality.
Eva-Lotta’s sketchnotes from this year’s dConstruct.
The email notification anti-pattern: a response
Give it to us. I applaud you shouting at us from a rooftop. I also hate defaulting to all notifications and agree that it was a douchebag startup move but can assure it was one made accidentally - a horrible oversight that the entire team feels bad about and will work to amend for you and the rest of our users.
We try to be a site for the common user - nothing like Facebook taking cheap shots wherever they can. I hope we haven’t forever turned you off from our site. Relaunches are hard and mistakes were made but nothing like this will happen again.
Apart from the use of the passive voice (“mistakes were made” rather than “we made mistakes”), that’s a pretty damn good response. She didn’t try to defend or justify the behaviour. That’s good.
She also asked if there was anything they could do to make it up to me. I asked if I could publish their response here. “Yeah, feel free to post”, she said.
I think it’s important that situations like this get documented. It could be especially useful for new start-ups who might be thinking about indulging in a bit of “growth hacking” (spit!) under the impression that this kind of behaviour is acceptable just because other start-ups—like Findings—implemented the email notification anti-pattern.
As Lauren said:
I think every startup manages to mess up one of these at some point in their life, either willingly or unwillingly. A clear listing of all offenses could be useful to everyone.
The purpose of this pattern library is to “name and shame” Dark Patterns and the companies that use them.
- For consumers, forewarned is fore-armed.
- For brand-owners, the bad-press associated with being named as an offender should discourage usage.
- For designers, this site provides ammunition to refuse unethical requests by our clients / bosses. (e.g. “I won’t implement opt-out defaults for the insurance upsells because that practice is considered unethical and it will get you unwanted bad press.”)
The email notification anti-pattern isn’t yet listed on the wiki. I’ll see if I can get Harry to add it.
A nice set of photos from this year’s dConstruct.
Bruce’s thoughts on the proposed inclusion of a “content” or “maincontent” element in HTML5.
Personally, I don’t think there’s much point in adding a new element when there’s an existing attribute (role=”main”) that does exactly the same thing.
Also, I don’t see much point in adding an element that can only be used once and only once in a document. However, if a “content” or “maincontent” element could be used inside any sectioning content (section, article, nav, aside), then I could see it being far more useful.
The email notification anti-pattern
I see you have introduced some new email notifications. I have also noticed (via my newly-overstuffed inbox) that by default, these new email notifications are checked.
WHAT THE FSCK WERE YOU THINKING‽
Sorry. Sorry. I lost my temper for a moment there. And the question is rhetorical because I think I know exactly what you were thinking …“traction”, “retention”, “engagement”, yadda yadda.
I realise that many other sites also do this. That does not make it right. In fact, given the sites that already do this include such pillars of empathy as Facebook, I would say that this kind of behaviour probably has a one-to-one correlation with the douchebaggery of the site in question.
You’re better than this.
Stop. Think. Spare a thought for those of us who don’t suddenly—from one day to the next—want our inboxes spammed by emails we never opted into.
Didn’t anybody stop to think about just how intrusive this would be?
As part of the Services, you may occasionally receive email and other communications from us, such as communications relating to your Account. Communications relating to your Account will only be sent for purposes important to the Services, such as password recovery.
Contrary to appearances, I don’t want to be completely negative, so I’ve got a constructive suggestion.
How about this:
If you’re about to introduce new email notifications, and all my existing notification settings are set to “off”, perhaps you could set the new notifications to “off” as well?
All the best,
Monday, September 10th, 2012
If you liked the music that was playing in the breaks during dConstruct, here’s the playlist of CC-Attribution tracks as chosen by Tantek.
The mind-blowing awesomeness of dConstruct 2012
Where do I start?
I could start by saying that dConstruct 2012 was one of the best days of my life. But let me back up a bit…
Here’s what I did last week:
- Sunday, September 2nd: The amazing PixelPyros at Jubilee Square with Seb, followed by The Geekest Link pub quiz at The Caroline of Brunswick.
- Monday, September 3rd to Wednesday, September 5th: non-stop Reasons To Be Creative.
- Thursday, September 6th: Improving Reality with the brilliant Warren Ellis followed by Brighton SF, which exceeded my wildest expectations.
- Friday, September 7th: dConstruct. Indescribably brilliant.
- Saturday, September 8th: Mini Maker Faire, a fantastic collection of hackers and hardware in one place.
- Sunday, September 9th: IndieWebCamp UK round at The Skiff with some of the smartest people I know.
That was just one week in the Brighton Digital Festival! And the weather was perfect the whole time—glorious sunshine.
I was sitting outside with Christopher Priest (I told him how much I liked Inverted World) and Joanne McNeil when the Brighton SF authors showed up, met one another, and started chatting. That’s when I knew everything was going to be fine.
The event was so good. Each of the authors were magnificently charismatic and captivating, the readings were absolutely enthralling, and I end up thoroughly enjoying myself.
Thank you for sending in questions for the authors. On the night, things were going so smoothly and time was flying by so fast, I actually didn’t get a chance to ask them …sorry.
It was a wonderful event and Drew very graciously agreed to record the audio so there’s going to be a podcast and a transcript available very soon. Watch this space.
When the day of dConstruct dawned, I was already in a good mood from Brighton SF. But nothing could have prepared me for what was to come.
I had the great honour and pleasure of introducing an amazing line-up of speakers. Seriously, every single speaker was absolutely superb. It was all killer, no filler.
Ben’s keynote set the scene perfectly. And boy, what a trooper! He really wasn’t a well chap, but with classic English stoicism and moustachioed stiff upper lip, he delivered the perfect opening for a day of playing with the future.
From there, it was just a non-stop delivery of brilliance from each speaker. After each talk, I kept using the words “awesome” and “mind-blowing”, but y’know what? They were awesome and mind-blowing!
And at the end …James Burke.
(this is the point at which I really needed to study the dreams/reality diagram because I was beginning to lose my grip on what was real)
What can I say? I was really hoping it would be as good as an episode of Connections but what I got was like an entire season of Connections condensed into 45 minutes of brain-bending rapid-fire brilliance. It was mind-blowing. It was awesome. It broke my brain in the best possible way.
When James finished and the day was done, I was quite overcome. I was just so …happy! I had the privilege of hosting the smartest, most entertaining people I know. And I’m not just talking about the speakers.
At the after-party—and on Twitter—attendees told me just how much they enjoyed dConstruct 2012. I felt very happy, very proud, and kind of vindicated—it was something of a risky line-up and tickets were selling slower than in previous years, but boy, oh boy, that line-up really delivered the goods on the day.
If you weren’t there …my commiserations. But here’s something that might serve as some consolation:
Thanks to Drew’s tireless work through the weekend, the audio from Friday’s conference is already online! Browse through the talks on the dConstruct archive or subscribe to a podcast of the talks on Huffduffer.
But you really had to be there.
The opening keynote from Warren Ellis for this year’s Improving Reality. I’d like to walk into space with this man.
Unsung Heroes of Web and Interaction Design: Derek Powazek – Jeffrey Zeldman Presents The Daily Report
Jeffrey quite rightly singles out Derek Powazek for praise.
It was his site Fray that made me realise I wanted to build things on the web.
A beautiful sight: the digital and the physical interacting through glowsticks.
A classic piece of design fiction written by Mark Weiser 21 years ago.
The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.
James muses on the physicality of ebooks in this week’s Observer.
Sunday, September 9th, 2012
A great write-up of this year’s magnificent dConstruct and its theme of playing with the future.
Wednesday, September 5th, 2012
Not long now ‘till Brighton SF on Thursday evening with Brian Aldiss, Lauren Beukes, and Jeff Noon. I’ll be the host for the evening so I should make sure that I’ve got lots of incisive questions for the three authors…
What the hell am I thinking‽ I have no idea what I’m doing. Damn it, Jim, I’m a sci-fi fan, not an interviewer!
I could do with your help. If you have anything—anything at all—that you’d like to ask one or all of these luminaries, please share it with me. We’ll be taking questions from the floor on the night too, but I’d feel a lot better if I had a nice stack of good questions to get the ball rolling.
So please, leave a comment and let me know what I should be asking these three masters of sci-fi.
Monday, September 3rd, 2012
Maptales of Brighton
The first is a map of all the places where you can discounts with your dConstruct badge—very handy for lunch and dinner on the day of the conference.
The second is one I put together a while back of recommended Brighton coffee establishments.
And of course, while you’re in town, be sure to check out all the events that are going on as part of the Brighton Digital Festival; at the very least, make sure you check out the Maker Faire that’s on the day after dConstruct—it’s going to be fantastic!
Oh, and I almost forgot: the Big Sussex Market will also be going on the day after dConstruct, all along New Road and Jubilee Square.
With quality, local produce firmly at its heart, the Big Sussex Market features over 80 stalls of growers, producers and restaurants.
This is a rather lovely history of the first two years of Lanyrd, starting with that honeymoon-turned-startup.
I really like the way that Lanyrd’s communications reflect the personalities of Simon and Nat: utterly brilliant, but also a little bonkers, with far more animals than would be reasonably expected.
Y’know, I’m on board with pretty much every item in this manifesto.
From Chicago to Brighton
I was in the States last week for An Event Apart Chicago. I had a most excellent time. Partly, that’s because An Event Apart is always excellent, and partly because Chicago is such a great city.
I did the Architecture Foundation’s river cruise (again), which I would highly recommend to anyone with the vaguest interest in either architecture or just cruising down rivers in boats.
I also went to my the second bases-ball game of my life. The first one was at Fenway Park, so going to Wrigley Field feels like the logical next step—maybe I should work my way through all the bases-ball field diamond pitches in chronological order.
To balance out such sportsness, I made sure to spend plenty of time in the Art Institute Of Chicago, taking full advantage of the Lichtenstein exhibition that’s currently running there.
I had the opportunity to meet some of the hard-working web geeks of Chicago. I had a look around the Obama campaign HQ, thanks to Daniel Ryan. I also got a tour of the whacky Tribune Tower, thanks to Chris Courtney, and I got to see first-hand how the web team at The Chicago Tribune are doing some very cool stuff with data.
Unsurprisingly, I’ve started having dConstruct dreams this week. I have to remind myself to actually enjoy myself and not spend the whole time stressing out. I think it should be fairly easy to enjoy myself, what with that kick-ass lineup.
Grab a ticket if you haven’t already. See you there.
Saturday, September 1st, 2012
Watch the video to see Jonty’s rather good tour of EMF.
Heather Champ just announced that the Mirror Project is being revived and it has brought back a flood of memories for me. Heather evocatively describes the origins of the Mirror Project from a time “when the web was younger, when home pages were what we made.”
The premise was simple: Take a picture of yourself in some reflective surface. That’s it. It seems so very straightforward in today’s age of ubiquitous photography and instant updates but there was a thoughtfulness that went into every picture posted. Keep hitting the “surprise me” link to see what I mean.
My first Mirror Project shot was taken eleven years ago. I have a few more in there. I used to blog about The Mirror Project every time one of my pictures was posted. I even used to have a little widget on this site to show a random Mirror Project shot.
Back then, I never could’ve imagined in my wildest dreams that I would get to know Jeffrey Zeldman, much less call him my friend. Here I am, eleven years later, writing and speaking about web design with my hero from way back when. Crazy!
Within a year, the Mirror Project reached its 10000th picture (just look at those fresh-faced kids).
My last Mirror Project shot was taken at South by Southwest in 2005.
My first pictures on Flickr date from the same time—when the worst-kept secret at that South by Southwest was that Flickr was being bought by Yahoo. Online digital photography was changing.
The Mirror Project has been gone for six years. It warms my heart to see it return, its URLs restored, its images reflecting back.