Friday reading #24

Martin Belam by Martin Belam, 12 October 2012

Well this seems to have come around rather quickly - but then I didn’t publish last week’s “Friday reading #23” until Monday, which kind of explains that. Anyway, the internet did good this week - lots of very long reads await you. You can download it all in one ebook-ish thing packaged for iOS and Kindle via Readlists.

Friday reading

“Stop attacking ‘web-first’ as if the world is going to stand still” - Paul Bradshaw, Online Journalism Blog
An important post from Paul with the depressing opening line “This week feels very much like 2009.”
Read the full article

“Advertising is dying. Long live design” - George Prest, A Version of Events
“Product design is still the king. If what you are selling doesn’t deliver the beef, go home. The packaging has got to be right. The product has got to be right. It’s all got to add up. Experience design. Retail. Websites. Apps. Events. All of these are spaces, to be architected and perfected to be as frictionless and true to the product and its values as possible.” [via @malbonster]
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“Why a NYT journalist wrote a self-published e-book” - Mark Oppenheimer
Mark gives five reasons, but what really struck me was this from the comments: “Well, Mark, Join the other 1,000,000 self-published authored who have discovered the joy of self-publishing. But also, consider that you are actually engaging in a very subversive act that reveals the trend of the future.”
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“Life after a Twitterstorm” - Alan White, New Statesman
“I’m conscious that what I’m attempting to articulate is one side of a double-edged sword. Of course, there’s an alternative view – the world of riot clean-ups, of the Internet as the great step forward in human development, of it being the new printing press. As others have pointed out, those who sell this narrative often ignore the fact that the printing press was quickly used by authoritarian regimes to disseminate their ideas; that this invention may ultimately have helped propagate enlightenment and tolerance, but those ideas were hard-won from history as much as from any books.”
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“The Alphabet Porridge Idea” - Ben King, Made by Many
“The workshop was structured around a single fill the gap sentence: ‘If we have_____ that can_____ , what games can we play?’”A look at a Made By Many project to make prototypes exploring the marriage of mobile devices with physical objects.
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“The Idea Factory: Insights on Creativity from Bell Labs and the Golden Age of Innovation” - Michelle Legro, Brain Pickings
“The story of The Idea Factory is one of individuals, architecture, millions of tiny moving parts, deliberate work, and, of course, luck and timing. It was a culture of creativity that worked for its age, impossible to reproduce in quite the same way, nor would we want to. Today, we might subscribe to the philosophy that “creativity is just connecting things,” as Steve Jobs once said about his own idea factory, but first someone has to test, apply, develop, and manufacture all of those connectors.”
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“Deblobbing your chunks: Building a flexible content model” - Jeff Eaton, Lullabot Ideas
“The long-term impact of a bad model on a site's maintainability can be frustrating, but it's also impossible to predict every future application the content will be used for. Iteratively testing the model against real-world content and potential applications is critical.”
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“What Happened to the Facebook Killer? It’s Complicated” - Alec Liu, Mother Board
“Tired of being bullied, technologists rallied behind the burgeoning startup spectacle, transforming what began as a fun project into a political movement. Before a single line of code had been written, Diaspora was a sensation. Its anti establishment rallying cry and garage hacker ethos earned it kudos from across an Internet eager for signs of life among a generation grown addicted to status updates.”
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“Why Facebook is the Worst Thing That Ever Happened to Social Media” - Megan Murray
“Facebook's assertions are rarely backed up with actions that match and that's the why FB is the worst thing ever to happen to social media. They are inauthentic, and lack integrity. They still don't understand their civic responsibilities. Pretty harsh statements, I know. But precedent has been set, that with a thin demonstration of acceptable human behavior and a little bit of code, you can launch an app, create a network, then hold that network hostage.”
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“The story of Nokia MeeGo” - Sampsa Kurri, Taskumuro
A lengthy and amazingly detailed case study into something which looks like an absolute nightmare to have been involved in, with lots of concept screens and illustrations of Nokia UI and OS development that never made it out the door.
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“Cosmic rays offer clue our universe could be a computer simulation” - Ian Steadman, Wired
Who could resist an article that opens: “If recent measurements of cosmic ray particles are correct, then we may have the first evidence that the universe as we know it is really a giant computer simulation.”
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Things you may have missed

I didn’t manage to write any blog posts of my own this week. Well, truth be told, I did write one angry long rant about something, but then decided not to publish it. I think I’m still a bit tired after having a complete blogging blitz during the weekend I was at EuroIA. You can download the full set of those blog posts as an ebook for iBooks, for Kindle or as a a PDF.

I did contribute to one thing this week though - Rachel McAthy’s piece for journalism.co.uk about the user experience of news sites, which also features contributions from Raju Narisetti and Max Gadney: “Content and the journey: Building a good user experience for news sites

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