ARCHIVE: February, 2007

Going to SXSW

This will be my first trip to the venerable SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin. If any of you, my fair readers, are attending I would love to meet up and chat. Drop me a line via email or in the comments…

Of course, we wouldn’t chat about blogging…probably more along the lines of Texas BBQ and beer. 🙂

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Designing Relationships

Cluetrain Manifesto co-author Doc Searls, in the must-read Building an Relationship Economy:

‘”All markets work at three levels”, he said. “Transactions, conversations and relationships”. Eric is an atheist. Sayo is a Christian. With those two triangulating so similarly on the same subject, I began to figure there was something more to this relationship business.’

Doc starts this excellent piece by wondering what we can learn about economy from open-source practices. A lot, it seems. When we look at something like the incredible creation of Linux, what does that tell us about what we value and why and how we get stuff done?

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Rebuilding the Old Boss

Looking down the headlines at Techmeme lately has been like looking at the news headlines from the big corps in the world.

Of the first five big stories at the moment, 3 come from the New York Times, 1 from Google, and 1 from Microsoft.

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Can we talk about politics and design at the same time?

Last week I wrote about How to prevent valueless design in social web sites. My main point was that most of the value people get from the sites comes over time from the interactions with other people, not from the sublimity of the visual design.

In that post, I used an analogy that pissed people off. I used the analogy that great-looking interfaces can at times be like a public speech out of touch with an audience…solidly executed but sending the wrong message…

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Bokardo has been cowblogtipped

Did you know that February is Blogtipping month?

I didn’t, but Bokardoan Bill D’Alessandro, who writes the nice blog Ready, Fire, Aim, does. He wrote up Bokardo in his February is Blogtipping post, which from what I can tell is when you do a super quick review of a blog that you read and add a tip at the end (neat idea). Bill does exactly that, and points to probably the weakest part of my interface:

“I’m not sure I’m a fan of the excerpts on the front page. Some of them aren’t long enough to indicate the subject of the article. I’d suggest reducing the number of posts that appear on the frontpage, but including their full text.”

Bill’s right. I have to do something different with the excerpts…

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Judgment happens quickly, value happens over time

A simple observation:

  • Most of the judgments that we make about web sites are made quickly.
  • Most of the value that people get from web sites happens over time.

3 years ago I wrote: The Dangers of Judging Web Designs Superficially.

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How to Prevent Valueless Design in Social Web Sites

How an over-focus on technology and visual design can hide the real value of social software.

In a fascinating piece on the amazing growth of the photo-sharing site Fotolog, Jason Kottke clearly articulates a growing problem in design:

Fotolog…relative to Flickr…has changed little in the past couple of years. Fotolog has groups and message boards, but they’re not done as well as Flickr’s and there’s no tags, no APIs, no JavaScript widgets, no “embed this photo on your blog/MySpace”, and no helpful Ajax design elements, all supposedly required elements for a successful site in the Web 2.0 era. Even now, Fotolog’s feature set and design remains planted firmly in Web 1.0 territory.”

How do sites with sub-optimal visual design and technology grow so big and become so successful?

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Folksonomies in Mac OS X?

Tagging is growing like wildfire on the Web. Maybe it can work on the desktop, too.

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Digg Scraps Top Diggers List

This is huge news: Digg is scrapping their top diggers list:

Kevin rose explains the decision…

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Pew Study: 28% of Online Americans are Taggers

In a Tagging Report released just yesterday, this number from the Pew Internet and American Life Project is astounding.

28% of online folks have tagged content (U.S)

At first glance this number seems extremely high. Over 1/4 of online Americans have tagged content? This is way more than the single digit %s (or lower) that have been reported previously (Dave Weinberger reports seeing 0.5%).

However, there may be more merit to the number than it may seem…

Continue Reading: Pew Study: 28% of Online Americans are Taggers