June 2011 Archives

June 30, 2011

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Toby Young, Johann Hari, “stealth edits” and article metadata

A Storify looking at the timeline of edits on Toby Young’s blog about Johann Hari yesterday, and what they tell us about “stealth edits” and article metadata

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June 29, 2011

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Body language, cults and choice - UPA Redux #1

Last week I was in Atlanta for the UPA conference. Here is part one of my notes from the week featuring Brooke Baldwin, Kathi Kaiser and Susan Weinschenk.

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June 28, 2011

“Just to clarify, as a mere amateur blogger, I never make direct quotes up or deliberately misattribute them”

Pride comes before a fall. In the wake of the Johann Hari affair, I boasted that as an amateur blogger I never misattribute quotes. Only, four hours later, to be notified that I had done just that the previous day...

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“Social by design” as a disruptive force - Paul Adams at UPA 2011

Paul Adams opened the UPA conference in Atlanta with a keynote talk that looked about how the web is being rebuilt around people. With a liberal dose of Facebook’s “Social by design” mantra, he explored the nature of our offline social networks as humans, and the differences between strong, weak and temporary ties between friends and people. Here are my notes from the session.

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June 27, 2011

“Citizen usability testers” debate at the UPA conference

One of the sessions I enjoyed most at the UPA conference was the debate featuring Michael Hawley, Steve Krug, Rich Buttiglieri, Jen McGinn and Bob Thomas. Titled “Dangerous in the Wrong Hands, or Power to the People?”, it tackled the issue of “amateurs” running usability testing sessions.

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June 26, 2011

Steve Buttry on what the reaction to Gene Weingarten’s column tells us about the Washington Post’s brand

I don’t very often post to this blog just to write “Yeah! What he said”. But this is basically just that...

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June 23, 2011

Changing the Guardian through guerilla usability testing

Today at the UPA Conference in Atlanta I gave a presentation entitled “Changing the Guardian through guerilla usability testing”. Here is an essay version of the talk.

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All your UPA 2011 slides are belong to us

Here is my almost certainly doomed attempt to gather together a running linklog in one place the slides, resources, posters and blog posts from the speakers and attendees at the UPA 2011 conference in Atlanta as they appear on the web. If I’ve missed one, let me know in the comments or tweet me the link to @currybet.

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7 things I love about the new Guardian artist pages for Glastonbury

This week, in the run-up to Glastonbury, at The Guardian we have begun publishing the latest incarnation of our artist tag pages. These gives us an automated page for every artist playing at the festival, which mixes together our own content with content drawn from the rest of the web. It is an extension of the work that we did earlier in the year based upon the SxSW festival, and on some even longer-standing prototypes that our development team built in the middle of 2010 as a proof of concept. And this blog post is about why I am so pleased with them.

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June 22, 2011

6 key points from a Twitter conversation about comments on news sites

Yesterday I got involved in a long Twitter conversation about anonymous and pseudo-anonymous comments on news websites involving Adam L. Penenberg, Mathew Ingram, Anna Tarkov, Amrita Mathur and Brad King. It was kicked off as people responded to this piece on the issue by Mathew at Gigaom. I’ve tried to sum up the six main points I was making in bursts of slightly more than 140 characters, and I’ve tried to interweave some of the conversation.

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June 17, 2011

“Come as you are” - Part 4: The Guardian years

This is part four of a five part essay based on my Polish IA Summit keynote talk “Come as you are”, looking at how I do my work at The Guardian.

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June 16, 2011

“Come as you are” - Part 3: The Sony years

Part three of “Come as you are” looks at some of the things that I learned about about being an IA/UX practitioner whilst working for Sony in Austria - including treating internal systems with as much care as you focus on end users, and why sometimes UX cannot rescue a flawed product.

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June 15, 2011

“Come as you are” - Part 2: The BBC years

This is the second part of my essay version of “Come as you are”, a talk I gave at the Polish IA Summit which looks back at my digital career and draws out what I think are the key lessons for information architects and user experience practitioners. This post looks at my time working at the BBC between 2000 and 2005.

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June 14, 2011

Introducing the rNews metadata standard at Hacks/Hackers London

Last night I was at the Hacks/Hackers meet-up to hear Andreas Gebhart, Stuart Myles and Evan Sandhaus talk about the proposed new IPTC semantic metadata standard rNews.

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“Come as you are” - Part 1: The Reckless years

Over the next few days I’ll be publishing an essay version of “Come as you are”, my Polish IA Summit keynote talk, which looked back over how I came to be an Information Architect, and what I’ve learned in the process.

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June 13, 2011

“Forgetting in the digital age” - Viktor Mayer-Schönberger talk at the Guardian

Just recently at the Guardian we were visited by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Professor of Internet Governance & Regulation from the Oxford Internet Institute. He was talking about “Forgetting in the digital age”, and how “digital permanence” was a problem for humans and society. Here are my notes from the session.

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June 10, 2011

“To clean or not to clean” - Placr’s Jonathan Raper talks open data at FutureEverything

At FutureEverything I took part in a panel session about data journalism, and also saw a couple of presentations that touched on how the use and reuse of data was making a difference to 21st century services. One of the most passionate of those talks was by Jonathan Raper of Placr. Here are my notes from his session.

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June 9, 2011

“Robots and Weavrs” - David Bausola, Dan Catt and Meg Pickard at FutureEverything

Whilst I was at FutureEverything I did a video interview about the panel session I was on, and when asked what I hoped to get from the festival, I blurted out “Giant robots smashing up the city skyline” or something to that effect. The actual robot count at the event was very low, but a couple of talks did at least have robots in their titles or subject matter. Here are my notes from talks by David Bausola and the Guardian double-act of Meg Pickard and Dan Catt.

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June 8, 2011

Do psychics now pose just as big a threat to journalistic verification skills as social media?

The “Texas mass grave” that wasn’t demonstrates that the rush to get a story on air before it has been fully verified isn’t just something that happens when news is being broken on social media.

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“UX Workshops - Writing”: Cennydd Bowles on the value of editing

Sitting down to write a blog post about the UX Writing workshop we just had in London is a little intimidating. I feel compelled to follow my own rules about having an SEO-friendly headline and a “grabby” opening paragraph, and demonstrate that Cennydd’s talk has improved my writing style. If you can’t spot the “standalone tweetable quote”, or you see me using the passive voice or convoluted sentences, then shoot me down in the comments below...

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Guardian.co.uk in an 1821 style

I’m not sure we made enough of this when we launched it the other week - the 1821 vintage edition of the Guardian website. Using a bit of CSS wizardry, some of our tech and design team quickly turned out an approximation of The Manchester Guardian’s first front page - but filled with today’s live news from the website.

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June 7, 2011

"Urbicomp & the new new media" - Chris Heathcote at London IA

Just because I wasn’t blogging at the time doesn’t mean I wasn’t taking notes at events, and so I thought this week I’d post some write-ups of events I went to in April and May. This post is about Chris Heathcote’s talk at April’s London IA. It was about “urbicomp”, and the increasing pervasiveness of computing in our lives.

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June 6, 2011

"Designing for doubt" - Michael Blastland at London IA

Whilst I was taking a break from actively blogging I was still taking notes at the events I was attending, so I thought this week I’d whizz through some of the things I went to in April and May. One of the speakers at April’s London IA event was Michael Blastland. It was the second opportunity I’ve had this year to see him speak, having attended a panel session he spoke at about reporting crime statistics. For London IA, his theme was “designing for doubt”.

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June 3, 2011

Guardian 190 and digital permanence

“It is ironic that you have to print the website out” someone said to me at the Knight-Mozilla News Innovation Jam at the weekend, and the Guardian’s 190th anniversary exhibition asks questions about how we preserve our digital products.

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June 2, 2011

But who actually answered the question: “What time does the Super Bowl start?”

A link was doing the rounds today to a thought-provoking blog post by Donald Mahoney about journalism in a “post-content farm” world. Unfortunately, the thoughts it mostly provoked in me were: “You’ve missed the point”.

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Thinking "Beyond comment threads" at #mojo

As I blogged earlier in the week, on Saturday I was at Kings Place, not for work, but to attend the Knight-Mozilla News Innovation Jam. Once the ideas generation got underway, I ended up on a team with Nicola Hughes, Jonathan Austin, David Asfaha and my colleague - and it turned out later judge - Daithí Ó Crualaoich. We ended up pitching four ideas around the theme of community.

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June 1, 2011

Sainsbury's know me a little too well

I think this might be what happens if you buy lentils, muesli and a pair of sandals from Sainsbury’s in a single shop...

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