Go and See Alan Fletcher

alan fletcher wall

I suppose that’s not really possible so visit this exhibition of his work at the Design Museum instead.

I went on Saturday and it was great. Amazing to see the work of someone who’s both era-defying and defining at the same time – some of his work from the 60s looks like it could have been done today. Other bits look like the very essence of the 60s.

Plus I’ve got a huge huge admiration for people who do type without computers. I’d love to be able to hand draw letters like he could…

He’s probably best known (in the mainstream) for his book: The Art of Looking Sideways – which is an amazing labour of love (or obsession depending on your POV), like much of his work.

Oh and don’t miss the iron alphabet gates to his house. Stunning.

It’s on until Feb 18th. Go.

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Semacode Update

Blogs are great. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I asked a question about semacodes on websites. Went to bed. Then I woke up and someone’s left me a great answer. It’s like a big huge collective brain that goes on thinking throughout the night ;-)

Anyway, thanks Roger for some great thoughts. In fact if this is a topic that interests you, you should head over to his blog ‘All About Mobile Life‘ – which incidentally is QR code enabled ;-)

He makes a great point about QR Codes being used like RSS feeds. You can just snap a picture of the code on a site and boom, you’ve got a subscription to the site on your phone. Or a ‘takaway’ version of the site. Or simply a bookmark. So yes, I can see the point of codes on websites now.

I guess I’m just a bit behind in my cross-device behaviour at the moment.

And James from Collaborate Marketing has chimed in with:

The codes are also used for promotional offers – like coupons. So maybe Nike are saying – take this along to a store or some other Nike event. Also, in Japan the phones have special readers to take the information from screens, posters or instore, which we don’t have yet. I understand Nokia are testing them on the N-series.

Also a very valid use for these codes.

I guess in both examples it’s about transportability. In the ‘olden days’ people would have printed stuff out, now your mobile is easier to carry about than piles of paper (for some of us).

Website with Semacode, Why?

Semacodes are pretty cool.

The all knowing Wikipedia with it’s dazzling array of cross-links describes a semacode thusly:

a URL can be converted into a type of barcode resembling a crossword puzzle, which is called a “tag”. Tags can be quickly captured with a mobile phone‘s camera and decoded to obtain a Web site address. This address can then be accessed via the phone’s web browser

In essence you take a photo of a thing (see top right) and your phone does something interesting.

In Japan (rumour has it) they’re very common. But they call them QR Codes. And they’ve started doing things like putting them on their business cards so that you can just photograph it and then get the contact information into your address book. Kinda Cool.


Where all of these sorts of innovation fall down is using them just for the sake of it. You’ve got to ask yourself that question, “wouldn’t it just be simpler to…?”. For example just taking a disposable photo of an address instead of bluetoothing it to my phone – see my previous post on Photonotes.

So I was puzzled to see this Nike site with a QR code on it:

I’ve sat and thought about it. In fact I’m still thinking about it….I’m sure I’m missing out on something because I don’t read Japanese. But in the best case it’s going to add something to my phone (a graphic, an application, a screensaver, a bit of video?) or, and I really hope this isn’t the case, it takes my phone to a web page. But either way surely getting someone to use their phone to do something when they’re already engaged on a website seems a bit odd.
Or even more bizarrely… If someone was accessing this website on their phone (as many people in Japan do). How are they supposed to take a photo of this QR code?!?!

Please can someone Japanese put me out of my ignorant misery, please. I’d love to know why this is there.

Google Australia Puts People on the Map, Nice.

Damn Google being able to use their own technology to be able to do something really really cool.

Google Australia is celebrating Australia Day 2007 by photographing Sydney Harbour from the air, and we want to make sure as many of us as possible squeeze into the picture.So when you see the Google branded plane flying overhead this January 26th, hoist a sign, arrange your family into a fun formation or just get a bunch of friends together to wave.

Google Rocks Australia Day 2007

Thanks to Knotty for the email tip.

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Better than Tufte

Everyone always bangs on about Tufte and his books about displaying information. And yes, they’re very nice books. But I’ve got a new heroine: Jessica Hagy and her Indexed blog.

Never have so few well-chosen lines on so few index cards said so much.

I felt embarrassed and happy at the same time laughing out loud at graphs :-)

via The Guardian Guide a few weeks ago (I only unearthed my scribble about it today…)

Second Life Sex, Get it Here…

Yuk. I just looked at my stats. And it turns out that the Google search term that brings most people to my blog is…

“Second Life Sex”

Damn, I’ve just realised that by even writing the term again, I’ve probably increased my google ranking. I’m not sure how happy I am being on the virtual sex tourist trail. Mind you I suppose it’s better than last year when the top Google search was ‘Making Crack’.

WikiHow Wow

Do you want to see the real face of user generated content?

Or at least what happens when you open a geeky Wiki to the world. Well, you end up with…

All this and more at WikiHow.com – completely bloody essential reading, obviously.

via: Lifehacker

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