10 Dec 2010 8 am eastern

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.)

Filed under: Community, Design, tweets, twitter, Urbanism, Usability, User Experience, UX

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15 Nov 2010 10 am eastern

Blue Beanie Day Haiku Contest – Win Prizes from Peachpit and A Book Apart

Attention, web design geeks, contest fans, standards freaks, HTML5ophiles, CSSistas, grammarians, bookworms, UXers, designers, developers, and budding Haikuists. Can you do this?

Do not tell me I
Am source of your browser woes.
Template validates.

Write a web standards haiku (like that one), and post it on Twitter with the hashtag #bbd4 between now and November 30th—which happens to be the fourth international Blue Beanie Day in support of Web Standards.

Winning haikus will receive free books from Peachpit/New Riders (“Voices That Matter”) and A Book Apart.

Ethan Marcotte, co-author of Designing With Web Standards 3rd Edition and I will determine the winners.

Enter as many haikus as you like. Sorry, only one winning entry per person. Now get out there and haiku your heart out!

See you on Blue Beanie Day.

P.S. An ePub version of Designing With Web Standards 3rd Edition is coming soon to a virtual bookstore near you. Watch this space.

Filed under: Blue Beanie Day, books, Browsers, creativity, CSS, CSS3, Design, Designers, DOM, DWWS, E-Books, editorial, Happy Cog™, HTML, HTML5, Ideas, industry, tweets, twitter, Voting, W3C, Web Design, Web Design History, Web Standards, webtype, XHTML, Zeldman

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25 Feb 2010 7 am eastern

You cannot copyright a Tweet

Contrary to popular belief and Twitter’s terms of service, you cannot copyright a Tweet. Under US law, copyright is granted on publication to “original works of authorship” finalized in “fixed forms of expression” but this does not extend to names, titles, or short phrases (PDF).

As messages sent via Twitter cannot be longer than 140 characters, they cannot be copyrighted. However original, witty, or profound they may be, nothing more than good manners protects your original expression of authorship. If you wish to let other people quote or use your Tweets, you need not “license” them; indeed, technically, you cannot license them, since they are in the public domain the instant you publish them.

If you write a clever Tweet and wish to assert ownership (and if money is no object), you may apply for a trademark. Good luck with that.

Otherwise, your Tweets are like the air. Anyone can do anything like to them, including quoting them with or without your permission. If an enterprising company wants to take something you said on Twitter and slap it on a tee shirt, they may do so. If a gent of the disturbed persuasion wants to engrave your tweet into a 600-foot swastika, he may do so.

If this disturbs you, suck it up, or stop using Twitter—or mark your Twitter feed as private. This will not copyright your Twitter mutterings but it will keep many people from seeing them.

If it deeply disturbs you (and money is no object), mount a case to change the law.

Me, I plan to use Twitter forever. And any party so inclined may make a whistle of my Tweets. But my saying so here is irrelevant because you cannot copyright a Tweet.


Update: Comments are now closed, but you may read what others had to say. Thanks to all for a lively and illuminating discussion.


Filed under: business, content, copyright, creativity, The Essentials, tweets, twitter

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24 Feb 2010 10 am eastern

Recent Tweets

  • The Ultimate Hipster Irony http://bigthink.com/ideas/18758
  • Why You Can’t Work at Work | Jason Fried | Big Think: http://bigthink.com/ideas/18522
  • Seeing too many ultra-minimal/undesigned blogs labeled “beautiful” cuz they use a @typekit font or two. Uh-uh.
  • I love what @typekit is doing for the web, how it’s shaping the agenda *and* delivering the needed tools.
  • In other news, I’ve come up with a title for my book of short stories. KAFKA FOR BEGINNERS.
  • Selection pseudo-element. Choose text color/BG color when user selects text! Try it at http://bit.ly/9sjnai . (Not supported in IE).
  • “IRS bomber Joe Stack captured the news for days, but his African American, Vietnam vet victim has gone unheralded” http://j.mp/a9U12B
  • Must-read column, NYTimes: I Cost More, but I’m a Specialist http://s.nyt.com/u/Byb
  • It’s probably a good thing that I didn’t get that XHTML2 tattoo. Probably.
  • I just received a lovely “Happy New Year” card from the W3C. Repeat, I just received it.
  • Watch Happy Cog’aoke 2 / Lesson Two: Solo-tunities on Vimeo! http://vimeo.com/9556324

Follow me on Twitter: @zeldman


Filed under: links, tweets, twitter

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7 May 2009 10 am eastern

AEA Seattle after-report

Armed with nothing more than a keen eye, a good seat, a fine camera, and the ability to use it, An Event Apart Seattle attendee Warren Parsons captured the entire two-day show in crisp and loving detail. Presenting, for your viewing pleasure, An Event Apart Seattle 2009 – a set on Flickr.

When you’ve paged your way through those, have a gander at Think Brownstone’s extraordinary sketches of AEA Seattle.

Still can’t get enough of that AEA stuff? Check out the official AEA Seattle photo pool on Flickr.

Wonder what people said about the event? Check these Twitter streams: AEA and AEA09.

And here are Luke W’s notes on the show.

Our thanks to the photographers, sketchers, speakers, and all who attended.

[tags]aneventapart, aeaseattle09, AEA, AEA09, Seattle, webdesign, conference, Flickr, sets, Twitter, photos, illustrations, sketches, aneventapart.com[/tags]

Filed under: An Event Apart, Appearances, Browsers, Career, client services, Code, Community, content, creativity, CSS, Design, eric meyer, events, Happy Cog™, HTML, HTML5, Ideas, Images, industry, Information architecture, jobs, Redesigns, Seattle, speaking, Standards, State of the Web, Surviving, The Profession, tweets, twitter, Working, Zeldman

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25 Mar 2009 10 am eastern

On Spec

Spec = asking the world to have sex with you and promising a dinner date to one lucky winner.

(In case you missed my Tweet.)

Comments off. Feel free to respond on Twitter.

[tags]spec, design, business, clientservices, twitter[/tags]

Filed under: business, Design, Respect, spec, tweets, Working

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2 Jul 2008 7 am eastern

Lube Tube

Friedrolling: vt. Gratuitously posting Basecamp referral links disguised as tweets or blog posts.

“Man, damn the internets! That’s the third time today I’ve been Friedrolled when I thought I was clicking on porn!

[tags]37signals, basecamp, referral[/tags]

Filed under: 37signals, Blogs and Blogging, tweets

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29 May 2008 7 am eastern

Fish tacos FTW nom nom nom

You can look at Twitter as text messaging or as micro-blogging.

If it’s text-messaging, of concern only to your closest friends, then content such as “Dude, where are you? We’re in the mezzanine” is perfectly appropriate, and “Fish tacos FTW nom nom nom” is practically overachievement.

If it’s micro-blogging, then you may be obliged, like any writer, to consider your reader’s need for value.

Writers inform and enlighten. They create worlds, ideologies, and brochure copy.

In 140 characters, a good writer can make you laugh and a great one can make you march.

You thought I was going to say “cry.” That, too.

Not everyone who blogs is Dostoevsky, and with ten Twitterers for every blogger, the literary riches are spread thin.

Fine writers are using Twitter—they’re using it even more than they’re using their personal sites, because it’s an even faster means of distributing what they have to offer, which is jokes, poems, and ideas.

The good writers are easier to discover thanks to tools like Favrd. (The best thing about Twitter is its unfulfilled potential. Some developers reach their highest level of attainment creating some of the many features Twitter didn’t come with.) Tools like Favrd also change the discourse: writers write differently when they think someone is reading, and self-consciously clever Twitterers have responded to Favrd by posting stuff that’s more likely to get favored—like directors playing to critics.

But nobody just follows on Twitter. Sure, you follow, but you also create. And you might consider that an obligation to occasionally create meaning, color, and richness.

I don’t view http as a medium for phone chatter. I don’t mean you can’t place phone calls over the internet—of course you can. I mean I’m old-fashioned enough (or have been doing this long enough) to view the web mostly as a publishing medium, with all the obligations that implies. So while I sometimes use Twitter as a homing device, I mainly try to think of it as the world’s smallest magazine, published by me.

In my ceaseless effort to impose my views on others, I recently declared a moratorium on banal tweets about food and drink.

The public was overwhelmingly supportive.

Whether it’s good for your readers or not, approaching Twitter as a writer’s tool (or the world’s smallest magazine, published by you) can be good for you. Getting off a nice Tweet can be like popping a breath mint or finishing a work-out at the gym. It refocuses the day, relieves tension, empowers constructive criticism, and generally helps clarify the muddle of your thoughts.

Conscious Twittering FTW.

[tags]writing, twitter, publishing, the web[/tags]

Filed under: Community, Design, tweets, twitter, writing

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22 May 2008 4 pm eastern

A Tweet Too Far

Ariel Waldman’s “Twitter Refuses to Uphold Terms of Service” makes a disturbing read and a depressing revelation.

To summarize: Twitter’s Terms of Service (TOS), modeled on Flickr’s, forbid one Twitter user to harass another. If you harass, you lose your account, according to the TOS. Yet Twitter user Ariel Waldman experienced painfully offensive harassment from another Twitter user for months. Unable to make him stop or to get help through normal Twitter channels, she escalated the issue to Twitter’s CEO and asked him to fulfill Twitter’s Terms of Service, i.e. to warn or ban the harasser. Instead of dealing with the harassment, the CEO decided to alter Twitter’s TOS. (Alter them to what, one wonders.)

Disappointing.

One expects corporations to behave in cowardly and callowly self-interested ways, but one expects more from one’s heroes and friends.

Comments off.

Comments have now been turned off, although you’re welcome to read what the first 77 people had to say.

[tags]arielwaldman, twitter, TOS[/tags]

Filed under: tweets, twitter

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6 May 2008 9 am eastern

Content precedes design

Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration. [Cit.]

[tags]design, definitions, tweets[/tags]

Filed under: Design, tweets

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