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.
HEY, YOU WITH THE STARS in your eyes. Yes, you, the all too necessary SXSW Interactive attendee. Got questions about the present and future of web design and publishing for me or the illustrious panelists on Jeffrey Zeldman’s Awesome Internet Design Panel at SXSW Interactive 2011? You do? Bravo! Post them on Twitter using hashtag #jzsxsw and we’ll answer the good ones at 5:00 PM in Big Ballroom D of the Austin Convention Center.
Topics include platform wars (native, web, and hybrid, or welcome back to 1999), web fonts, mobile is the new widescreen, how to succeed in the new publishing, responsive design, HTML5, Flash, East Coast West Coast beefs, whatever happened to…?, and many, many more.
Comments are off here so you’ll post your questions on Twitter.
The panel will be live sketched and live recorded for later partial or full broadcast via sxsw.com. In-person attendees, arrive early for best seats. Don’t eat the brown acid.
paidContent UK’s NLA Ruling Summary: How PRs Break Copyright Law Online offers the highlights of a 148-paragraph ruling by the British High Court “that PRs who subscribe to paid news monitors are breaking UK law by effectively copying a substantial part of online news articles.”
The product in question is Meltwater News, an online global media monitoring service that allows subscribers to track “keywords, phrases, and topics in over 130,000 sources from over 190 countries and 100 languages, monitored consistently throughout the day.”
The judge argues that in reprinting publications’ headlines or summaries of longer than 256 characters, the service is “stealing” the publishers’ content, even though Meltwater quite naturally provides links so users who are interested in a given piece of content can click through to the original. Since these summaries and headlines are cached on my computer, as an end-user I am complicit in the theft of content I didn’t pay for, says the judge.
If this ruling sticks, and if it ripples out, it will cripple or kill existing and emerging services that help people find content.
“Here it is, our next Web Trend Map. No Metro lines, no URLS. This time, it’s the 140 most influential people on twitter, sorted by #name #handle #category #influence #activity. Plus: When they started tweeting and what they first said. …”
Where does the data come from?
“We analyzed the data in our Web Trend Engine (30gigs), got a sneak peek into the top 100 list from the Max Planck Institute PDF Twitter research team (200KB), we talked to Twitter directly, and we asked our audience to make sure that we get international tweeters in there as well.”
iA » Cosmic 140—Final Beta
Headed to SXSW Interactive? Concerned about the future of books, magazines, and websites? Attend “New Publishing and Web Content,” a panel I’m hosting on the creative, strategic, and marketing challenges of traditional and new (internet hybrid) book publishing and online magazine publishing, and how these fields intersect with content strategy and client services.
Joining me in a thoughtful exploration of new and old business models and creative challenges will be people who’ve spent a decade or two butting up against and reinventing these boundaries:
- Mandy Brown, creative director, Etsy; former creative director (web and print), W.W. Norton, the oldest and largest publishing traditional house owned wholly by its employees; contributing editor, A List Apart Magazine; publisher, A Working Library; and co-director (with Jason Santa Maria and me), A Book Apart, a new publisher of mid-length books “for people who make websites.” (We’re talking book-books, made of paper, printed, bound, and distributed—not PDFs.)
- Paul Ford, critically respected novelist (Gary Benchley, Rock Star) and short fiction writer; blogger since practically the Civil War, most famously of Ftrain.com, where he has penned such classic posts as “Learning to Fear the Semantic Web;” print and web editor, Harper’s, the very definition of a traditional printed magazine of quality—also web developer, designer, and webmaster of Harper’s website since forever; and frequent contributor to The Morning News and to NPR’s “All Things Considered,” where he once offered a dissenting view on “web standards”—not that I’m bitter.
- Lisa Holton, Founder and CEO, Fourth Story Media (“a fresh perspective in storytelling”). The company “develop[s] compelling intellectual property and distribute[s] it across traditional and nontraditional channels including books, collaborative web fiction, and social media.” Previously, Lisa was President of Scholastic Trade Publishing and Book Fairs, where she managed the publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and initiated and oversaw development of The 39 Clues, a widely heralded book- and web-based venture. Prior to that, she was SVP and Publisher, Disney Global Children’s Books, running all aspects of the domestic and international children’s book business at the Walt Disney Company. Before that, Lisa was Vice President, Associate Publisher and Editor-in Chief of HarperCollins Children’s Books. She serves on the Board of Directors of the New York Women’s Foundation and the Board of Trustees of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.
- Erin Kissane, publisher, Incisive.nu, a website about strong language, writing tools, and other aspects of content strategy; content strategist and editorial strategist, Happy Cog Studios; former editor-in-chief (for ten years), A List Apart Magazine; author of numerous articles on web writing, editing, and content strategy, including “Attack of the Zombie Copy,” “Your About Page is a Robot,” and “Content Templates to the Rescue;” founding strategist, A Book Apart; and author of an upcoming book on content strategy for content strategists.
As moderator, my job will be to let these geniuses speak, to occasionally lob the right question to the right genius, and to help field your questions from the audience.
If you work in web or print publishing, or just care about the written word, please join us at 5:00 PM Central Time in Ballroom A.
(What else am I doing at SXSW Interactive? Here’s my schedule so far. I also hope to see some of you at OK Cog’aoke II, SXSW Interactive’s premiere karaoke event and best party, hosted by your friends at Happy Cog.)
- http://webtrendmap.com/ by IA Inc. is farking amazing and beautiful. Congratulations, @iA.
- OH: “Type means the letters.”
- http://www.biggestapple.net/ is an exquisite new blog by a Wodehouse fan and non-designer (but you’d never know).
- My 5-year-old just spent 10 minutes showing me the correct way to massage her foot. My little girl is becoming a woman.
- HTML5 Super Friends declaration of support: http://www.zeldman.com/superfriends/
- In the park with the kid and friends, watching the sunlit hours melt away. It is the mellow end of summer and our bodies know it.
- http://bit.ly/InfXh Installing Snow Leopard: What you need to know. Fewer options make for simpler installation.
- The difference between marriage and divorce is, in divorce, the person who’ll never have sex with you again has her own apartment.
- “HTML 5 and me” by Jeremy Keith: http://bit.ly/sOqt7
- Dreamed about Mackenzie Phillips and woke up with a $500 a day habit.
- RT @leeclowsbeard Every client wants something new. And three examples of where it’s worked before. (via @Coudal)
- #twitterwit is now in bookstores. It’s an honor to have my work appear in the same volume as real writers like Ashton Kucher.
- Laura Dern’s hair is the scariest thing in Blue Velvet.
- @sourjayne At a certain level, you don’t write a resume, you write a paragraph.
- @sourjayne A multi-page resume suggests you’re narcissistic or inexperienced. These are not desired qualities in an employee.
- @sourjayne A 1-page resume shows you’re aware the person reading it has no time to waste — proving you’re experienced + have people skills.
- Actually, Barnes & Noble, I think I’ll save *100%* on Dan Brown’s follow-up to The Da Vinci Code.