Back in the day, one of the earliest assessments of weblogs’ popularity was available through the Beebo Metalog. A couple of days ago, Michael Stillman (the guy behind Beebo) reposted a slice of that from September 2000: Beebo! Metalog and Metalog Ratings. This site, which did exist back then, wasn’t on the list of the top 50 sites, but it was among the pool of sites that made up the rankings. Then, as now, mikel.org kept quite a low profile.
Archives for March 2006
from Amazon, Amazon S3, is very interesting. It’s very simply API-addressable storage on the internet at a very low rate – 15 cents a month per Gig of storage and 20 cents per Gig of transfer. Am I wrong, or would it be trivially easy for the guy who made my backup software to integrate this into his software in some way so that I could have cheap overnight offsite backups? I know I could use Automator to upload a full backup image to Amazon S3 once a week – which is just what I plan to do.
I came across an extended interview with Peter Merholz, published in the NextD Journal. It’s an exasperating interview to read, because although the interviewer, GK VanPatter is clearly a sensitive and intelligent person, he seems completely obsessed with design-as-boundaried-profession, which makes him unable to truly understand the first thing that Merholz says.
It’s a common reaction, the retrenchment of beleaguered fields into professional re-definition and defense. We have also seen it in terms of ‘journalism’ in the past decade as well as they have been faced with blogs and other new media. But it’s pointless. Professions aren’t successful because, as VanPatter’s ridiculous hypothetical about heart surgeons suggests, they define themselves as the ones who can do X task, they are successful because they CAN accomplish X task. A CEO of a hospital can’t redefine ‘heart surgery’ such that the janitor can do it, because to try to do so makes it no longer ‘heart surgery’ at all.
The relevance of this is not only important for design, but for all areas of expertise on the web. The ones who understand, deeply, business – users and customers, relevant financial models, business goals, marketing approaches, all of those – are the ones who will be in leadership of organizations, including leading design processes. Designers can complain about it or do something about it – but it must be understood that doing something about it means learning how business works, not laughing at business and demeaning business people and their aesthetics. As Merholz says, it’s up to designers to define their role.
SXSW Interactive again this year and has posted a great summary of a panel session called “The Future of Darknets”: SXSW to MPAA: STFU. The panel featured a representative of the MPAA, among others. Also check out the links to the MP3 of the session and some video clips. Powazek didn’t just write a summary, though, he added important commentary as well. One quote:
Artists (and I include myself in that word) need to rise up and tell these people to go get stuffed. We can decide when a mashup is perfectly fine with us. We can decide to embrace file traders to build awareness of our work. We don’t need you anymore. You’re just holding us back.
Square St. Louis Story. Square St. Louis is one of the most wonderful places in Montreal. For about 6 years I lived quite literally around the corner from the park, and so I passed a lot of time there. The mix of people – dowagers in black, punks, homeless, mothers with children, students, skateboarders – always made for some great street theater.