25 January 2005 8 am est

ALA 193

Issue 193 of A List Apart, for people who make websites, features Norm Carr and Tim Meehan’s gentle introduction to use cases:

One of the biggest problems in creating and delivering a site is how to decide, specify, and communicate exactly what we’re building and why. Use cases can help answer these questions by providing a simple, fast means to decide and describe the purpose of your project.

Also in this issue, please note that ALA’s translation policy has changed.

21 January 2005 1 pm est

Picture for a Friday afternoon

As the weekend approaches, I leave you with two good links and one interesting stinker:

The Mindness of Strangers
Over three months, Danish designer Simon Hoegsberg stopped 150 strangers on the streets of Copenhagen and New York City and asked them what they had been thinking about the second before he hailed them. Using a microphone and a dictaphone, he recorded their answers, then snapped their photos. The result, launched today, is The Thought Project.
Dooces Loaded
Dooce.com, the website of Heather B. Armstrong, continues to provide the pleasures of real human writing (see, for instance, “Why simply enjoy an organism when you can experience a sensational organism?”) in an enviably clean yet smartly branded blog layout. There are even nifty Categories for those who like to slice reality into comprehensible pieces. If you like your personal sites personal, this Dooce is for you.
Not so bright
Mensa International is a society of people who are much, much smarter than you or me. (You or I? See, that’s one reason I’m not a Mensa member. Them cats knows they grammar.) Anyway, the people of Mensa are bright, which makes deliciously ironic the fact that their website is kind of dim.
For openers, when you go to mensa.org, you are redirected to mensa.org/home.php. No, I am not kidding.
According to the home page, Mensa “‘provides a forum for intellectual exchange.’” (I use double quotations because Mensa wraps quotation marks around its own site copy.) Perhaps they should exchange intellectual ideas with someone who knows how to configure a web server. There’s tons more but I’ll leave it as an intellectual exercise for the reader with time on his or her hands to list all the bone-headed mistakes on the smart folks’ site.