Friday reading #21

Martin Belam by Martin Belam, 21 September 2012

Here is my regular weekly round-up of long reads and essays that I found interesting from around the web this week - this week with a specific focus on mobile content, design, publishing and software development. You can grab nearly the whole thing bundled up as a handy Readlist which will work for your Kindle or iOS device.

Friday reading

“Adapting Ourselves to Adaptive Content” - Karen McGrane
“Lately, I’ve been talking a lot about how we need to adapt our content processes and workflow for multi-channel publishing, especially for mobile.”
A must read article for anyone putting content on mobile devices

“Shift Happens: Through the Looking Glass” - Rachel Coldicutt, Caper
“We’ve heard a lot recently about how video is the saviour of the arts. That filming things and putting them on the Internet will make it all okay – that this is what digital was here to do. Make the TV all over again, but even better. But sometimes putting a camera in front of things is the path of least resistance – it’s simply allowing a chink for technology to see through, not allowing it a way into the process, just offering it a hole in the wall.”
Read the full article

“Why I write” - Simon Schama, FT.com
“When I handed over my two shillings and sixpence for the essays, I knew both that I would never write anything that good, and that it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to spend my life trying.” [via @solle]
Read the full article

“Price War Could Kill Industry (And Indeed So Could Industry)” - Nick Harkaway, Futurebook
“I think - though I’m not sure - that the traditional industry is suffering somewhat from a perspective issue; because individual [publishing] houses have made enormous internal infrastructural changes to meet the digital age, they feel strongly that they are doing a lot. The trouble is that none of these changes are really visible externally. Ebook pricing remains absurd, and the text is still often poorly laid out or botched. Ebook deals with authors remain contentious and retain the appearance of being a fiddle. The industry’s digital engagement with the audience remains in most cases negligible. Fundamentally, publishing remains cut off in its silo.”
Read the full article

“Philip Roth and Wikipedia” - Quominus, Non-Commercial Use
“People should perhaps start having a debate about the way authors are treated in ‘proper’ sources. The New Yorker, the Guardian, ABC News and the Los Angeles Times – all respected bodies. And all, without being able and/or willing to do their own research, happily published or republished Roth’s assertions. We rely on these organisations for reporting what our politicians do, what our armed forces do, how entities with the power of life and death over humanity are accountable to the people. And they happily gulp down the glorified press releases of anyone who offers to let them touch his Pulitzer. And you think Wikipedia is what we should be concerned about?”
Read the full article

“Why I’m Quitting School” - Kate Wilhelm, Follow the UX leader
“I also found that some of my knowledge of the discipline was more current or practical than the readings and projects that I was assigned. And while I tried to sync up my courses with what I needed to understand more deeply for work, that wasn’t always possible. It reached the point where my formal learning got in the way of my more pragmatic needs.”
Read the full article

“Are Woolly Definitions Of ‘Success’ At The Heart Of Software Development’s Thrall To Untested Ideas?” - Jason Gorman, Software People Inspiring
“The irony is that those few teams who knew exactly what they were aiming for often measure themselves more brutally against their goals, and are more pessimistic, despite in real terms being more ‘winning’ than teams who were prematurely doing their victory lap.”
Read the full article

“There is something magical about Firefox OS” - Rob Hawkes
“Firefox OS fits this gap in the market perfectly. It offers a smartphone experience on cheap, low-end hardware that is comparable to an Android experience on mid-range hardware.”
Read the full article

“Will Apple’s Tacky Software-Design Philosophy Cause A Revolt?” - Austin Carr, Co.DESIGN
“Sure, real-life visual metaphors still exist in the UI--an envelope to represent the mail app, a camera to denote the photo app--but the icons are without embellishments: no bevel, no 3-D flourishes, no glossiness and no drop shadow. It’s Microsoft’s stripped-down UI that many find appealing--a welcome alternative to Apple’s approach to software design.”
Read the full article

“The Graphing Calculator Story” - Ron Avitzur
I was reminded of this when doing some research for my Uxer book this week – great, great story about a guy who kept sneaking into Apple when his project was cancelled, and ended up delivering a software product that shipped.
Read the full article

Things you may have missed

“How to make friends. And influence robots” - Martin Belam at BrightonSEO
“Every time you disappear down the rabbit-hole of some very nerdy SEO activity that is effectively chasing the algorithm, ask yourself about the opportunity cost of not improving something else on your site for humans instead.”
Read the full article

“4 things I’m looking forward to seeing at EuroIA” - Martin Belam, currybetdotnet
“EuroIA in Rome is only a couple of weeks away, and I’ve been rifling through the programme planning what I want to see whilst I am there. Here are four talks that I’m particularly looking forward to.”
Find out the four...

“Are you a Uxer?” - Melanie Thompson
“Martin quite rightly asked likely bloggers not to give too much detail about the content of the evening which, as an occasional visiting tutor myself, I definitely endorse.”
Read the full article

Forthcoming talks and events

I’ll be talking and teaching at the following events over the next couple of months:

Keep up to date on my new blog