Jason Fried, the president of 37signals, had just finished speaking to an admirer.
“It’s always guys,” he said wistfully of his fan base. “Never women.”
Fried’s colleague, Jim Coudal, said, “Women come up to me all the time. They say, ‘oh my God, do you know Jason Fried? My brother LOVES him!’”
Baby A__ , designer Jason Santa Maria and I were leaving everyone’s favorite egg-and-bean breakfast joint. We paused while Baby A__ and I negotiated the fine points of stroller and sippie cup maintenance.
A guy with just a touch of yesterday’s ashtray about him, one arm draped over a parking meter, eyed Jason Santa Maria suspiciously.
“You a Jew?” he asked.
Somehow it didn’t sound friendly.
Jason, who is of Italian American descent, answered truthfully in the negative.
“Have a good day,” I said to the guy, pushing the stroller briskly out of his universe.
A bunch of us had been dawdling in a sunbaked courtyard and now I was alone and late for the green room. Still wearing jet-black sunglasses against the Austin glare outside, I rode the long escalator through the airconditioned cool. Up, up, up.
I was riding up. Others were riding down. My face was turned vaguely in the direction of the people coming down, but I wasn’t looking at them, and wouldn’t have recognized anyone through my dark glasses even if I had been paying attention to them.
Suddenly, one of the people coming down was in my face, leaning across the up-down barrier to confront me.
“Ya know me!” she shouted angrily. “I’m Mary!” [Not her real name.]
It took all of a cartoon moment. By the time I realized what had happened, Mary [not her real name] was twenty feet below me and about to turn onto a lower escalator.
I could see by her gestures that she was furiously complaining to a companion about my perceived rudeness in not embracing her with flowers and song, or at least with a hello, as our bodies passed in the vast anonymous convention center space. That I might not have seen her hadn’t occurred to her.
Off guard and off balance, I tried to rectify a social mistake I hadn’t made by calling down to her rapidly disappearing body.
“Hi, Mary!” [not her real name] I trilled down the escalator, girlishly waving a hand in her direction. My voice was chirpy and strange to me, my gesture artificial and nanocenturies too late.
So now there are two dolls in hell.
There’s the Mary doll [not her real name] that breathes dragon fire and roars, “Ya know me! I’m Mary!”
And there’s the Jeffrey doll, waving girlishly down the vastness of an endless escalator shaft.
To the tune of Mercedes Benz
[tags]flickr, measuremap, istockphoto, weblogsinc, dotcom, dot com, web2.0, web 2.0, boom, bust[/tags]
If you love this issue of A List Apart, give yourself a warm hand. If you hate this issue, slap yourself.
Miss the deadline for submitting your hugs and hates? Not to worry! Join the discussions.
I blame Mark Simonson.
- Four jobs I’ve had
- Four movies I can watch over and over
- Four places I’ve lived
- New York City
- Washington DC
- Bloomington IN
- Pittsburgh PA
- Four TV shows I love
- Four places I’ve vacationed
- San Francisco
- Four of my favorite dishes
- Four sites I visit daily
- Four places I would rather be right now
- Anywhere with Carrie, baby, and doggie.
- That is my answer.
- Home best.
- Four bloggers I am tagging
In web technology, as in fashion, one day you’re in, and the next day you’re out.
In a Fashion Edition of A List Apart, For People Who Make Websites, I take a fair and balanced look at Web 2.0. And Colin Lieberman tells how to pull AAA accessibility out of your hat when the W3C kills
acronym, Microsoft ignores
abbr, and JAWS hates
In A List Apart’s year-end issue, Brian Crescimanno provides an extensive yet compact checklist of ways to make your site’s forms usable. And Molly E. Holzschlag stokes the flames of creativity (or of productive argument) by advising web designers to think outside the grid. The issue also features outstanding illustration work by Kevin Cornell and Jason Santa Maria.
Thanks for making ALA 4.0 great: Erin Kissane (editor), Dan Benjamin (system developer), Eric A. Meyer (CSS genius), Aaron Gustafson (production editor), Erin Lynch (assistant editor), and Damon Clinksales (data migration director). Thanks also to the people of TextDrive for hosting above and beyond. Thanks most of all to all of you for reading, bookmarking, debating, and in other ways contributing to A List Apart. Love on ya.
A List Apart 208
In Issue No. 208 of A List Apart, for people who make websites, we focus on simplicity, both in practice and theory.
- Printing a Book with CSS: Boom!
- Bert and Håkon gave the world CSS. Now they give us another use for it. Namely, controlling real-world printing jobs. Call it a microformat. An innovation. A heresy. The authors call it “boom!”
- Power to the People
- Your dad doesn’t care about AJAX, Mr Robinson discovers.
More Event Apart AIGA podcasts, Mom!
AIGA, the professional association for design, presents “Talking with Jason Santa Maria: An Event Apart, #04” and “Talking with Zeldman: An Event Apart, #03.”
Each week leading up to An Event Apart Philadelphia, AIGA talks with founders and guest artists about what attendees can expect from the conference. Subscribe to AIGA’s Podcast Directory RSS feed to stay abreast.
This week, AIGA’s Liz Danzico talks with Jason Santa Maria about being An Event Apart’s first guest speaker, his involvement with the first critiques, and upcoming plans for Stan, his virtual persona.
Another lecture season kicks off this week with my lunchtime keynote address at Active Insights, WebSideStory’s two-day user forum on best practices in digital marketing. Catch me if you can: Thursday, 10 November, the Grand Ballroom, the Roosevelt Hotel, Madison Avenue at 45th Street, New York City.
A List Apart 207
In Issue No. 207 of A List Apart, for people who make websites, we highlight a few unexpected consequences — both positive and negative — of common interface design and accessibility choices.
- High Accessibility Is Effective Search Engine Optimization
- It’s no coincidence that search engines love highly accessible websites; in fact, by designing for accessibility, you’re already using effective search-engine optimization techniques. Andy Hagans explains yet another reason to pay attention to accessibility.
- Design Choices Can Cripple a Website
- Do you test your designs? If not, Nick Usborne wants you to take responsibility for your design choices and the very quantifiable effect they can have on websites that are built for business.