It’s interesting. But through the sessions it’s becoming very clear that it’s a world of 2 halves.
One half is people who believe that it’s just business as normal. Everything conforms to the old rules in the end. It’s all about talent, content, films and monetization through advertising. And things like fragmentation are just are just an irksome inconvenience than can be sorted out later using old-school big money hammers. There’s glimpses of new thinking. But rightly or wrongly there’s lots of clinging to old stuff too.
The other world is made up of designers, inventors and entrepreneurs. People who love making things. Guys who understand online culture and user experience. They value simplicity, focus, single mindedness and more often than not have built something for themselves that it turns out (and I don’t think by accident) other people love too.
And then there’s the anomalies. Guys like the New York Times who you’d expect to be in the first group, but quite brilliantly exist fairly firmly in the second.
I’m not saying that one or other of the groups is necessarily right or wrong. They can both be right and do their thing. But one costs less, is more fun and feels like the spot where ‘real’ creativity is occurring.
I just lazily took a cab ride from the other side of town back home (and it wasn’t the taxi of the beast as pictured above – that was the first picture I found on Flickr). Anyway…
The cab driver was a chatty and charming young guy. He asked me what I did. I tried to explain, wriggling hard not to fall back on the easy (but commonly understood) ‘web design’ answer. We were chatting around it. Then, just as I’d paid him a fiver, he dropped an awesome question:
I feebly answered ‘a bit of both’.
What a brilliantly insightful question. And one that I’m going to ponder a bit.
Artist Kenny Irwin posts under the name perfectlymadebirds on Flickr. His photos and their descriptions are totally amazing. I found myself getting sucked into his weird universe for more time than is strictly acceptable for someone on the right side of the mentalist line.
I’m not going to say any more, I’ll only spoil it. I’ll just suggest a couple of ‘drop-in points’…
I just went to enable Flickr Stats so that I could see what’s been going on in my world of photos. And imagine my surprise and joy when the ‘processing stats’ page threw up an assortment of the finest in old-skool animated giffery…
Offered up this:
But it made me wonder… I get the joke. Some of the people I know would get the joke. And lots of the folk on Flickr would get the joke. But what happens to the people who don’t get it? Does it matter? If you were a ‘design’ person who didn’t get the reference would you just think it was a bit of duff design. Or would you even notice? Or does everyone get what Flickr are doing? Or am I thinking too much again?
Sophie’s away. So I spent most of the weekend geeking out and re-building my blog. I learned a lot of CSS stuff. But it did quite often feel like it was the boss of me rather than the other way round. Which I’m sure isn’t how it’s meant to be.
But I think it’s mostly working again, There’s still a few more yellow highlights than I wanted. I’m hoping I can find a helpful person at work to help me to get my head around the bits I couldn’t figure out on my own.
Anyway I hope the new look doesn’t make anyone feel too sick…
Big up the Danish company Yakkay. I’m so glad that someone’s made cycling helmets that don’t look like some piss-poor Tron rip-off or a bit of Super Mario fancy dress. It’s been on my list of things to sort out in the world for a while.
With the Yakkay system you buy the base helmet, and then you can choose nice covers for them…
I’ve got a couple of reservations though…
They might just look like really big comedy “It’s A Knockout” hats. How do I know this model hasn’t got a massive head that makes the helmet look OK?
And also I’m not sure that this looks like the most robust and safest type of helmet in the world. I wouldn’t trust myself to get the pads in the right places to save my life…