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Webvanta Video: Jeffrey Zeldman on the State of Web Design

From the floor of An Event Apart Seattle 2011:

Jeffrey Zeldman at An Event Apart Seattle 2011.

“Mobile is huge. The iPhone, iPad, and Android are huge. On the one hand, they are standards-facing, because they all support HTML5 and CSS3, so you can create great mobile experiences using web standards. You can create apps using web standards. On the other hand, there is also the temptation to go a proprietary route. In a strange way, although the browsers are much more standards compliant, it seems like we are redoing the browser war. Only now, it’s not the browser wars, it’s platform wars.”

Video interview, plus transcript: Interview with Jeffrey Zeldman on the State of Web Design. Thank you, Michael Slater.

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"Digital Curation" Advocacy Appearances art direction Authoring Best practices business Community conferences content content strategy Design development editorial Education engagement Ideas Micropublishing Molehill Platforms Publications Publishing Responsibility Standards State of the Web The Essentials The Profession Usability User Experience UX Web Design Zeldman

You are all in publishing!

ON SUNDAY, while leading a discussion on the future of web design and publishing, I noticed a slightly confused look appearing on some faces in the audience. The discussion had been billed as “Jeffrey Zeldman’s Awesome Internet Design Panel,” and I thought perhaps there was a disconnect for some in the audience between “design” and such topics as where content comes from and who pays for it.

So I asked, “Who here is in publishing?”

A few hands were gently raised.

Uh-huh. “And how many of you work on the web?”

Every right hand in the room shot up.

“You are all in publishing,” I explained.

Now, I like a good rounded corner talk as much as the next designer. I’ve given my share of them. Also of line height and measure, color and contrast, how to design things that don’t work in old versions of Internet Explorer, and so on. In the practice of web and interaction design, there will always be a place for craft discussions—for craft is execution, and ideas without execution are songs without music, meaningless.

But right now (and always) there is a need for design to also be about the big strategic issues. And right now, as much as design is wrestling with open vs. proprietary formats and the old challenges of new devices, design is also very much in the service of applications and publishing. Who gets content, who pays for it, how it is distributed (and how evenly), the balance between broadcast and conversation, editor and user—these are the issues of this moment, and it is designers even more than editors who will answer these riddles.

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"Found Objects" Community SXSW twitter

The Twitters of Southby

20110312-NodeXL-Twitter-sxsw by Marc Smith.

From: www.connectedaction.net.

Connections among the Twitter users who recently mentioned sxsw when queried on March 12, 2011 scaled by numbers of followers.

A larger version (zoom for details) is available here: www.flickr.com/photos/marc_smith/5521097041/sizes/o/.

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Applications apps architecture art direction Authoring Best practices Brands business Community content Damned Fine Journalism Design Designers development Happy Cog™ Journalism at its Finest Microblogging Platforms State of the Web The Big Web Show

Episode 39: Crowd Fusion’s Brian Alvey live on The Big Web Show

Brian Alvey

BRIAN ALVEY (home, Twitter) is our guest on The Big Web Show Episode 39, recording live Thursday, February 16, at 12:00 PM Eastern at 5by5.tv/live.

Brian is CEO of Crowd Fusion, a publishing platform that combines popular applications like blogging, wikis, tagging and workflow management, and a leader in the content management world. He co-founded Weblogs, Inc.—home to Engadget, Autoblog, TUAW and more—and built the Blogsmith platform, both of which were acquired by Aol and are essential to their current strategy. Brian has been putting big brands on the web since 1995 when he designed the first TV Guide website and helped BusinessWeek leap from Aol to the web.

Brian built database-driven web applications and content management systems for many large companies in the 1990’s including Intel, J.D. Edwards, Deloitte & Touche and The McGraw-Hill Companies. His 1999 Tech-Engine site was a “skinnable HotJobs” which powered over 200 online career centers including XML.com, Perl.com, O’Reilly & Associates Network, DevShed, and Computer User magazine.

He has been the art director of three print magazines (I met him in 1995 when he was art director for “Net Surfer” or something like that) and was the Chief Technology Officer of Rising Tide Studios where he developed The Venture Reporter Network, which is now a Dow Jones property.

In 2003, Brian invented and launched Blogstakes, a sweepstakes application for the blogging community. He is a former Happy Cog partner of mine; at Happy Cog, Brian built content management systems for customers including Capgemini, A List Apart, and the Kansas City Chiefs. He was also the creator and host of the Meet The Makers conference, a series of talk show-style events that were so compelling, they helped inspired me to create An Event Apart with Eric Meyer.

And I’ll stop there. Ladies and gentlemen, a legend and true creative force in this medium. Please join us at tomorrow on 5by5.tv/live for a lively and wide-ranging discussion.

The Big Web Show (“Everything Web That Matters”) records live every Thursday at 12:00 PM Eastern. Edited episodes can be watched afterwards, often within hours of recording, via iTunes (audio feed | video feed) and the web. Subscribe and enjoy!

The Big Web Show #39: Brian Alvey.

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Community Design engagement Teaching

Teaching at School of Visual Arts

Mike Essl at School of Visual Arts

I teach a class called “Selling Design” in the MFA Interaction Design program at School of Visual Arts in New York.

Although the class’s name focuses on persuasion, it’s really about learning where great ideas come from, recognizing and fostering our best ideas, choosing the right partners to collaborate on those ideas, and finding and growing an audience/market. Persuasion is a key part of all those phases, but we focus on the entire process.

Guest lecturers from various backgrounds contribute their experiences and insights each week.

My students are amazing. They’re about to become the first group to graduate (is that the word for it?) from SVA’s fledgling program created by Liz Danzico and Steve Heller. Hire them if you can. Watch them make their mark.

Teaching at School of Visual Arts is a small but growing set on Flickr documenting our class—and the nearly two years I spent waiting to teach it. (I’m the last faculty member in the two-year program to actually teach a class, as my class is the last in the sequence.)

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business Community Design glamorous work

My Backpack

…AND WHAT’S INSIDE. A work- and workout backpack by Jeffrey Zeldman at Bagcheck.

Bagcheck is a fun and easy way to share the stuff you love with the people you love.


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Big Web Show Code Community Design The Big Web Show

Episode 35: Jen Simmons on Drupal, experience design, and how designing websites has changed since 1996.

JEN SIMMONS is our guest today, January 20, 2011, in Episode No. 35 of The Big Web Show, co-hosted by Dan Benjamin. Tune in to 5by5.tv/live at 12:00 PM Eastern (new time!) to be part of the live recording.

Jen (jensimmons.com, @jensimmons), is a designer who builds stuff too. She designed and created the new default theme for Drupal 7, named Bartik. And she’s currently leading a movement to bring HTML5 to Drupal. Jen began using Drupal in early 2007, when it was frighteningly hard to use. She started creating websites in 1996, and used many flavors of technology over the years.

Besides designing for the web, Jen has 20 years experience designing for live performance and for print. She’s created seven-channel digital projections for an opera about Nikola Tesla. She’s created short films that toured the globe in film festivals. And she’s taught media arts to high school kids in San Antonio. Jen has a MFA in Film and Media Arts from Temple University, where she taught as an Adjunct Professor.

The Big Web Show (“Everything Web That Matters”) records live every Thursday at 12:00 PM Eastern. Edited episodes can be watched afterwards, often within hours of recording, via iTunes (audio feed | video feed) and the web. Subscribe and enjoy!

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apps Best practices Community content Design social networking software Standards State of the Web Tools Usability User Experience UX

Own Your Data

Captured from Twitter, here is Tom Henrich’s partial reconstruction of my conversation with Tantek Çelik, Glenda Bautista, Andy Rutledge and others on the merits of self-hosting social content and publishing to various sites rather than aggregating locally from external sources.

via Own Your Data / technophilia

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Community music

Music is the best.

Jeffrey Zeldman's Music Library on Last.fmJeffrey Zeldman's Music Library on Last.fm

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Adobe Community creativity

Layer Tennis Championship Today.

Ladies and gentlemen, prepare for the game of all games, a design denouement one incredible year in the making, the ultimate test of two unlikely heroes with even less likely names.

Noper vs. Reyes. Layer Tennis 2010 Season 3 championship. Fought live, with live commentary by yours truly. Presented by Adobe CS5 via Coudal Partners.

The Match begins 1:00 pm Chicago time (2:00 pm in NYC, 9:00 pm in Bucharest).

See you there.

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An Event Apart Announcements Community Design

An Event Apart Gives Thanks

To thank you and the universe for five brilliant, sold-out shows in 2010, we’ve partnered with Network for Good to donate $5,000 to Computers for Youth (CFY), a non-profit foundation that brings computing and educational resources into the homes of children who wouldn’t otherwise have these advantages. Read more.

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A Book Apart books Brands Browsers Code Collectibles Community content CSS CSS3 Design E-Books editorial eric meyer HTML HTML5 Small Business Standards State of the Web The Profession This never happens to Gruber Web Design Web Design History Web Standards work writing XHTML

Top Web Books of 2010

It’s been a great year for web design books; the best we can remember for a while, in fact!” So begins Goburo’s review of the Top Web Books of 2010. The list is extremely selective, containing only four books. But what books! They are: Andy Clarke’s Hardboiled Web Design (Five Simple Steps); Jeremy Keith’s HTML5 For Web Designers (A Book Apart); Dan Cederholm’s CSS3 For Web Designers (A Book Apart); and Eric Meyer’s Smashing CSS (Wiley and Sons).

I’m thrilled to have had a hand in three of the books, and to be a friend and business partner to the author of the fourth. It may also be worth noting that three of the four books were published by scrappy, indie startup publishing houses.

Congratulations, all. And to you, good reading (and holiday nerd gifting).

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Community Design tweets twitter Urbanism Usability User Experience UX

Anatomy of the Goodreads.com Friend Spam Dark Pattern

Goodreads.com is social cataloging service for books. In this post you will see how they’ve used the friend spam dark pattern, but how they’ve also failed to make it go viral. This makes it interesting to carry out a post mortem and work out what they should have done.”

Anatomy of the Goodreads.com Friend Spam Dark Pattern

(Hat tip: Andrew Travers.)

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A List Apart Acclaim An Event Apart Announcements Applications apps Authoring Best practices Browsers Code Community conferences content creativity CSS CSS3 Design HTML5 Ideas industry javascript Microsoft Scripting Standards State of the Web UX W3C Web Design Web Design History Web Standards

Awesome web apps in 10k or less

The 10K Apart Challenge had a simple premise: Could you build a complete web application using less than 10 kilobytes? … A joint effort between An Event Apart and MIX Online, the 10K Apart reaped 367 web applications in 28 days—everything from casual games to RIAs—that demonstrate, even with their tiny footprints, what is truly possible with modern [web] standards.

Read about the winning entries: 10K Apart – IEBlog.

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blogger Blogs and Blogging Community content content strategy Happy Cog™ Ideas

Cognition: Behind the Music

Happy Cog president Greg Storey describes the thinking behind our latest little experiment in online publishing and community:

Last week we launched Cognition, a studio blog, that replaced the traditional open-mic text area commenting system with two options: Either post a response via your own Twitter account or link to a post on your own blog.

As the primary instigator, Mr. Storey explains his and the agency’s rationale for doing away with traditional comments:

The problem with most comment threads is that they can reach that useless tipping point very quickly. Without having an active moderator to keep up with all of the various threads it’s practically impossible to provide any sort of conversational value.

Meanwhile we have also informally noticed a decline in blog usage since the wider adoption of Twitter within our community. … Happy Cog loves blogs. … What if we could help bring some life back into the old network by encouraging people to write blog posts when they have more to say than what can fit into one-hundred-and-forty characters?

Read more and comment if you wish: Airbag: Babylon.