Thanks to a new development at WordPress, this blog is now available in more attractive iPad specific user experience. Go check it out ;)
Love/Hate. That’s the relationship I have with my blog these days. I still ‘write’ plenty of blogposts in my head, just don’t get to writing them down for real when I have the time to do it. And that annoys me a little to be honest. Although the blog is not the only part of my online presence anymore since there are also Posterous, Flickr, Twitter and numerous other initiatives it still is sort of central to all initiatives and I’m not ready to turn it off yet.
I still believe strongly in having a central landing page, for people and for brands, around which all the other initiatives gravitate so to say. I don’t agree with Steve Rubel’s view on the concept of the siteless web for that matter. It’s clear that sole focus on your own website is a bit short-sighted today, so extending one’s web presence in social for instance is crucial. What I don’t want to do is put the center of my presence on a service that gives me only limited control, that I don’t own 100%. But hey that’s me.
So enough stuff to share, I’ll be making time again to write them down. Cheers.
Infographics are the new black. Well maybe not, bet they sure are popular these days. And that’s too bad. It’s too bad because today it seems that every JPG including some data and pictures is an infographic. Every day at least one of those pops up in my reader and I don’t know what the name for those JPGs should be but we sure shouldn’t refer to them as infographics.
“The purpose of visualization is insight, not pictures” Ben Shneiderman (1999)
So in case of infographics, if the visualization doesn’t enable you to have a clearer view on the information/data below, it’s pretty much worthless. Because if it doesn’t do that, it’s just another summation of data. Adding ‘clipart’ to it doesn’t change that fact. Manuel Lima did an interesting exercise to create an Information Visualization Manifesto which is worth reading.
“Form Follows Function. Form doesn’t follow data. Data is incongruent by nature. Form follows a purpose, and in the case of Information Visualization, Form follows Revelation. Take the simplest analogy of a wooden chair. Data represents all the different wooden components (seat, back, legs) that are then assembled according to an ultimate goal: to seat in the case of the chair, or to reveal and disclose in the case of Visualization. Form in both cases arises from the conjunction of the different building blocks, but it never conforms to them. It is only from the problem domain that we can ascertain if a layout may be better suited and easier to understand than others. Independently of the subject, the purpose should always be centered on explanation and unveiling, which in turn leads to discovery and insight.”
Keep on sharing those infographics, but stick to the real ones please. The ones that you can find on sites like +Datavisualization.ch. Everything else is a waste of time.
Just a bit of Thursday morning fun, found this via someone on Facebook (forgot who – sorry for that). Did we ever notice how poorly designed the Star Wars universe really was? ;)
“Blasters. A tactical nightmare: They’re incredibly loud, especially for firing what are essentially light beams. The fire ordnance is so slow it can be dodged, and it comes out as a streak of light that reveals your position to your enemies. Let’s not even go near the idea of light beams being slow enough to dodge; that’s just something you have let go of, or risk insanity.”
If I have one problem with SxSW it would be the noise this event generates. From weeks to months in advance people start chatting it up on where to go, what to do, how to survive, … and by the team SxSW is on there is so much live coverage it is hard to find the good stuff.
That is until you stumble on coverage like this. Forget about live blogging, live twittering… here is Mike Rohde live sketchnoting the festival. In a time where speed and quantity seem to drive the online conversation, in a time where it seems to matter more to say a lot and to say it before anyone else… this is just the break you need. Thanks Mike!
Check out the full set right here: SxSW Interactive 2009 – sketchnotes
My marketing colleagues in The Netherlands just launched a new campaign to promote the mobile version of Windows Live Messenger… and I like it a lot. The site is in Dutch so might be a bit hard to understand but you should still go take a look. Click “Geluid aan” (aka Sound on) on the main page and then choose between in browser of full screen play. Once you’ve done all that you get introduced to Mike chatting on mobile Messenger from the metro station. All of this is visualized pretty nifty, but what’s especially nice to it is that you can change between the 4 people participating (by clicking on their names in the status bar, botton left of the screen) while the story continues. Just go and check it out for yourself, kudos to Monique and the team.
Once I know who the agency was, I’ll update right here. The site was created by Red Urban Amsterdam.