From humble beginnings in a one-room schoolhouse. A look back at twelve years of Jeffrey Zeldman Presents.
Guestbook spam gambit of the week
Among the messages I receive via this site’s contact form, I was thrilled to see a letter that began thusly:
I stumbled upon your site today and was quite impressed. I really liked the design. Did you make it yourself?
Yes, Jennifer, I did. I made it myself. How kind of you to inquire.
The note then went on to inform me about a non-profit library website similar to Bartleby, “except its far better organized and user friendly.”
The grammatically daft “its” is key to making the message seem like it was written by an average person and not by an internet marketer.
I love the smell of guestbook spam in the morning.
A Business Week slide show, “Thinking Outside the Design Box,” profiles “10 professionals working at the very edges of their disciplines in order to redefine their industries.” Included are designers Lisa Strausfeld of Pentagram, who helped design the interface for One Laptop Per Child; Robin Chase, the founder of Zipcar; and (ulp!) me.
I’m in there because they needed a pretty face, and because of the whole web standards thing.
The piece is part of “Cutting-Edge Designers 2007,” a Business Week Special Report focusing on innovation that arises out of crossing disciplines and combining technologies.
It’s worth reading, which is lucky, because I would have blogged it no matter what.
Our “Twelve Years of Web 1.0 Goodness” theme continues with a mini-retrospective of Daily Reports from 1997 on. (Earlier Reports are lost due to over-writing.) You don’t need the WayBack machine to go way back in zeldman.com history. Enjoy these representative Daily Report pages from …
Damn, that’s good eatin’. There are thousands of entries; these are just some I found while clicking idly along. As I look at them, I mostly focus on column width, font, text size, and color. I can’t bring myself to read them (although I’m sure some are okay). What is the value, anyway, of an old blog entry? Compared to an old song, an old valentine, not much. What an odd activity for so much human energy to have been channeled into.
15 Minutes (interviews with movie stars and “cyber stars,” 1996–1999)
Ask Dr Web (an early guide to designing websites; taken offline because the presentational HTML techniques it advocated have long since become outdated thanks to web standards)
Mr Jenkins’s Last Martini (1996, the web’s first alcoholic haiku contest)
… and all the other juicy Web 1.0 Goodness™. Not to mention a couple dozen discarded designs, legions of obsolete splash pages, and a certain Daily Report that was initially dumped onto a page called coming.html and maintained daily and steadily for years before it became conscious of itself, acquired a title, and moved to the site’s front page.
The web found me and claimed me. Everything else followed. Maybe you feel that way, too. Thank you for what you bring to the web, and thank you for twelve years or your part of it.