Archive of: 2011

  • Communicating with humans

    Take time to think about your own professional communications. Don’t accept biz-speak as the right solution, regardless of how ubiquitous it is. Be human, and engage directly with people – they’ll respect you for it, and be more willing to give your business a chance.

    Matt Gemmell rewrites Adobe’s press release announcing the end of Flash for mobile. It’s like Adobe never read the Cluetrain Manifesto.

  • Failure

    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    Samuel Beckett

  • Goodbye Steve

  • Text lasts

    Text lasts. It’s not platform-dependant, you don’t just get it from one source, read it in one place, understand it in one way. It is not dependent on technology: it is what we make technology out of. Code is text, it is the fundamental nature of technology. We’ve been trying for decades, since the advent of hypertext fiction, of media-rich CD-ROMs, to enhance the experience of literature with multimedia. And it has failed, every time.

    James Bridle – The New Value of Text.

  • It's going to happen

    From Ben Hammersley’s speech to the Information Assurance Advisory Council:

    [Moore’s Law means] that anything that is dismissed on the grounds of the technology-not-being-good-enough-yet is going to happen.

    It’s a fantastic speech on pre and post Cold War generations, networks vs hierarchies, and the failure of governments to come to terms to what is happening in society. Highly recommended.


  • Post hoc filtering

    In a world where publishing is expensive, the act of publishing is also a statement of quality — the filter comes before the publication. In a world where publishing is cheap, putting something out there says nothing about its quality. It’s what happens after it gets published that matters. If people don’t point to it, other people won’t read it.

    Clay Shirky, in a marvellous essay on ontologies, categorisation, links and tagging.

  • Building experiences

    Digital media requires something different, though. It’s not sufficient to just publish a narrative to the Internet. You have to build an experience around it, a system that lets the user experience the narrative but also one that responds to his or her inputs and contributions.

    Khoi Vinh

  • It's got dents and burns

    You look at the shuttle, it’s not as if it’s this pristine, shining, gleaming piece of metallic technology – it looks like a ship, it’s got dents and burns and inside multiple crews have whacked the paintwork and you can see scratches and things. They are ships that have been operated and lived in and done these incredible voyages all with their individual characters.

    Piers Sellers, meteorologist and NASA astronaut.

  • People do things

    Agencies, departments, and organizations don’t do things – people do things. People’s names should be on things to foster both accountability and pride.

    Edward Tufte.

    (via John Gruber)


  • Akscyn's law

    Hypertext systems should take about 1/4 second to move from one place to another. If the delay is longer, people may be distracted; if the delay is much longer, people will stop using the system. If the delay is much shorter, people may not realize that the display has changed.

    Akscyn’s law, coined in the early 80s during the development of the ZOG hypertext system.

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