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Jeffrey Zeldman Presents: the Daily Report. Web design and entertainment.

31 May, 2000
[1 am; revised 1 pm]
Jeffrey Zeldman Presents is five years old today. ::: We did not know that: 0sil8.com is four years old today. Congratulations, Mr. Kottke.

30 May, 2000
[4 pm]
The open discussion about promoting independent content on the web has moved from its initial location at Dreamless.org to a new page at that same forum. (The old page was simply running on too long.) One web project is under development in response to these issues, and additional projects may result as well. Everyone is welcome to share their ideas.
        ::: After working 'til 5 am (the last bit of business was Friday's A List Apart), we were awoken at 9 am by a client in Amsterdam, calling via transatlantic cell phone with a question about streaming media on his site. The day has continued in much the same vein, one crisis after another. This is not a complaint. It's good to be busy, as the Puritans used to say. It's also good to be alive.
        ::: Late last night, we learned of the death of a man we once knew. He was quite young, and he leaves behind a family. They are in our thoughts today.

[3:30 am]
We just unearthed an ancient (1996?) 15 Minutes demo page still online at warnerbros.com. Check the source code on that thing! And in the "meet your host" writeup, dig the names of those long-gone awards. Don Buckley of Warner Bros. wrote most of the text, and Steve McCarron created the illustrations. We honestly thought we were on the verge of launching a streaming interview show for the web. (Sigh.)

29 May, 2000
[6 pm]
A word about Memorial Day.

[3 am]
The web is made by people. Therefore it has all the characteristics of people. Including greed, pettiness, stupidity, insecurity, egomania, cruelty, and callous indifference to the suffering of others. And that's just on our site.

Unfiltered for Your Protection
Venture capitalists, listen up. What are the two fastest-growing trends among hip young upwardly mobile urban professionals? That's right: veganism and "alternative lifestyles." But nobody has come up with a product that meets the needs of both groups. Until now.
        Introducing Mock-leather S&M gear. Like the sturdy mock-leather whip we have right here. It swishes, it stings, it looks like the real thing – but it's made from organically grown vegetable matter. No animals were harmed. (Only people.)
        The branding possibilities (if you'll excuse the expression) are endless. And for, oh, a mere 20 mill, we can transform it from an idea into a full-fledged concept. Send money now. Our operators are standing by.

Shiny, Happy
Can the web bring us closer together? Earlier today, our JazzRadio clients were attending a party in Berlin while we worked on their site here in NYC. As we uploaded files to their server, they gathered around a monitor to watch the site take shape. Then, since the web is a two-way medium, they beamed us this lovely webcam greeting (warning: pop-up window). Isn't that cute? (Is it too cute? We never know.)

Quick Bytes
::: The Apocalypse is nigh. Steven Champeon has a web log.
::: Seeking inspiration? This may help.
::: Previous item removed.
::: In two days, this site will be five years old. Did we mention that already?

28 May, 2000
[noon]
On 31 May, this site will be five years old. A glance at some of the older pages here will attest to that fact. Unlike some other web designers whom we admire greatly, we do not update every page of this site when we redesign. For one thing, there are too many pages. For another, much of the ancient content does not merit a makeover. It is what it is.
        In its first year, this site was at www.inch.com/~jeffz. There are still links to that location at some of the older directories.
        ::: The lack of news since Friday does not mean we don't love you; it means we are hip-deep in the JazzRadio project, and applying the finishing touches to the Populi project, and don't have a lot to say for ourselves. To maintain sanity, we will take a break today and accompany Joan to her painting studio in our old stomping grounds west of Soho.

[2 am]
Removed meaningless entry of 27 May. We're just workin', here, boss.
 
26 May, 2000
[1:40 pm]
In this week's issue of A List Apart Magazine, for people who make websites:
        WALKING BACKWARDS: Supporting Non-Western Languages on the Web. And you think you've got problems. Try building web sites in a bi-directional language like Hebrew or Arabic. Israeli web developer Shoshannah L. Forbes discusses the mind-boggling hardships involved, and looks at what the latest browsers are doing about it. Now online for your pleasure at alistapart.com.

[3 am]
There are five big sections in the upcoming jazz site, and Wednesday we finished the first section – a.k.a. the boring (marketing) section. Starting with the boring stuff is always useful. It's easy to belive your design works when the material is innately interesting. But when the deadly-dull stuff looks good, you know the interesting parts will be sweet.
        Thursday we finished rewriting the upcoming Macworld article, and put a second coat on the last big chunk of the design curriculum. We also said a reluctant "no" to some tantalizing opportunities, because God has turned down our request for a 32-hour day.
        Later today, if we're very, very good, we should have a new issue of A List Apart for you. Then it's on to an exciting round of client meetings. (People who think web designers are rock stars probably don't work in the business.)

25 May, 2000
[3:30 am]
Inspired by the open discussion at Dreamless.org, novelist Rory Ewins has posted his thoughts about creativity, audiences, and gatekeepers. Worth reading.  
        ::: In a daring departure from their usual, breathless coverage of young white guys making tons of money on the web, the Industry Standard finally considers the subject of web design. Well, okay, they actually write about how much some designers get paid. But, darn it, it's a start. Isn't it? (This is what Kioken does. And this is the Industry Standard's coverage.)
        ::: Thanks for asking. Yes, we are still overwhelmed, but we're making progress.

24 May, 2000
[8 pm]
The tee-shirt design contest is on at Design is Kinky. ::: 'Tis a fine, manly smell, but we like it too. ::: Much ado about niceness. ::: Happy Belated Birthday to the big, scary bald man. ::: After brief vacations, Spoonfed and An Entirely Other Day are back online. ::: Why all the external links? Why no new stuff here today? Refer to the previous entry.
 
[4:30 am]
It's official. We are now overwhelmed. (But it's all good.)

23 May, 2000
[1 am]
"While some of us were sitting around with curly fries hanging out of our mouths, the Revolution happened. And it wasn't even televised." Our new HTML Hell column, Creative Revolution on the Web, has gone live at adobe.com.
        ::: Also going live at this moment; A List Apart Digest # 223, featuring "Look Ma, No Tables!" and "Do Designers Need to Know HTML?" The ALA mailing list is free (and ad-free), and is read by over 15,000 designers, writers, and programmers. Subscribe at will. The archive of past digests has also been updated (thanks, Brian), so you can read the most recent issues and decide if ALA is for you.

22 May, 2000
[10:30 pm]
And here all this time we thought it meant original writing, artwork, and design, for the purpose of sharing ideas. Thank goodness these people have come along to explain what "content" really means. Better yet, they clue us in about the rules,too. (Hat tip: Jim McCormick.)

[12:55 pm]
Web Awards, threat or menace? Leigh Baker-Foley wraps up the hotly-debated topic in Cooliosity, an impressionistic visual tour of the Cool Site of the Year Awards. Note to CSOTY honcho Mike Corso: If you want bigger play from the "design community," move next year's show to San Francisco, and be sure to nominate Kottke.

21 May, 2000
[5:35 pm]
We've upgraded this page to HTML 4.01 Transitional in order to better support old, stupid browsers (as well as better, newer ones) with fewer validation errors. Some page elements that still cause errors will be phased out as better browsers come onto the market and into wider use. Most of the "problem" elements have been commented in the source code.
        ::: Worth reading: Teresa Martin's observations on the meaninglessness and devaluation of the word "content" in Web Space. For the time being, we're still using "content" as shorthand for a wide range of stuff – from abstract art to entertainment, to information, etc. Hmmm. This seems to be a "you are right but we're still doing these dumb things" kind of day.
        ::: Actually, it's a "finish large and small client projects" kind of day, though we also managed to update this site's About the Daily Report page, just to give you something else to click on here. Need to click somewhere else? Mmmm ... Chocolatey Shatner! (Yes, it's yet another web log. Nice one, though.)

20 May, 2000
[8:15 pm]
Congratulations to Michael, Token, and Per, whose k10k.net took the design prize at Reboot. Good design wins! Hooray! (Sharp-eyed conspiracy theorists will note that today's k10k links to our Slashdot interview. More evidence of an evil cabal at work.) (Eager-beaver consistency buffs will note that we left out the TITLE tags and JavaScript rollovers from some of today's links. This is not a policy shift; we're running late for a social engagement, and had no time for textual trickery.)

 

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