Judith Donath is giving a book talk to launch The Social Machine. I read it
this weekend and it is a rich work that explores the ways in which good
design can improve our online sociality. I’m a fan of Judith’s and am
looking forward to seeing what 25-minutes’ worth of ideas she selects to
talk about tonight, given the richness of her book.
NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key
information. Introducing artificial choppiness. Over-emphasizing small
matters. Paraphrasing badly. Not running a spellpchecker. Mangling other
people’s ideas and words. You are warned, people.
Judith begins by saying that the theme of the book is the importance of
online social interaction and designing for it. Our interfaces may look
sophisticated but they’re primitive when it comes to enabling social
interaction. She uses a Mark Twain story ["Was the Worl... (more)
David Weinberger's Blog
I've used systems before that provide multiple desktops. It's such a sensible
idea. Yet they've never become a part of my usual work environment.
It turns out that the problem may have been something as simple as providing
a visual transition from one desktop to another. With Leopard, desktops
quickly slide out of the way to make room for the one you're entering. That
little bit of eye candy provides a geographical reference that makes the
multiple desktops feel like having multiple screens plugged in to your
computer. That's orientation geographically-cha... (more)
We now have the second iconic moment of the Bush presidency. This is how
he’ll be remembered, if only because shoes seem to be so psychologically
powerful: Khrushchev is remembered in this country for pounding his shoe on
the UN’s lectern, and Adlai Stevenson is remembered for the hole in his
(NOTES: The first iconic moment was Bush speaking under the “Mission
Accomplished” banner. And this post’s title is a Firesign Theater quote.)
[Tags: bush shoes politics worst_president_ever ]
[Reprinted by kind permission of the author. This blog post - except for
copyrighted materia... (more)
Lately it seems like writing blogs is getting out of fashion, what with the
rise of microblogging star Twitter. Something about Twitter is intriguing. I
guess the simplicity of writing your thoughts within 140 characters is a
force larger that anyone expected. Reminds me of the early days of Google, a
sparse screen of white space with ten words. The sheer excitement of entering
any word and hitting the enter key and seeing pages of results was a trip,
whether the result set was of any use or not.
My first reaction to Twitter was like that of many - who wants to know if you
are a... (more)
Today, for the very first time in my experience, The Encyclopedia Britannica
was the #1 result at Google for a query.
It’s good to see the EB making progress with its online offering, but I’m
actually puzzled in this case. The query was “horizontal hold” (without
quotes), and the EB page that’s #1 is pretty much worthless. It’s a stub
that gives a snippet of the article on the topic, but the snippet oddly
begins with definition #4. The page then points us into actual articles in
the EB, but they’re articles you have to pay for (although the EB offers a
“no risk” free trial).