Oh heck yes, baby.
Oh heck yes, baby.
It’s easy to get lost in the tedium of a project and not see the big picture, isn’t it?
ht to Likecool
My best ideas don’t just happen. They arrive. It’s not that I think of new ideas– often I feel like the idea was floating around the planet and it found me.
Sometimes I’ll be out on my bike or taking the dog for a walk or even listening to the sermon at church and an idea will explode into my mind.
The key to that moment is capturing both the momentum which the idea generates and actually writing it down. Dozens of times in the past two years I’ve actually stopped walking or biking or in the middle of a conversation, pulled out my phone or a notebook and furiously written everything down. (Evernote is brilliant for this if you have a mobile device.)
The moment of inspiration is sacred. It’s free from both plausibility and implausibility. It’s not something to be understood so much as it’s something to be captured and cherished.
The next step for me is two-fold.
I’ve been building websites on various platforms for more than 10 years. And I’ve been building websites for other people for nearly that long.
If I could say one thing to people over and over again it’d be this: Move from complexity to simplicity.
Having a complex layout may be cool. It might even be an artistic expression. But what would be really cool is if you clearly communicated.
ht to xkcd
That’s why I was stoked to discover a new web app combining those two things. Check out Real Time Farms.
What is it?
It’s a site for consumers to help them understand where all the food items from a particular restaurant or farmers market is coming from. Just click on the location and BAM, it shows you. Very cool mash-up of a lot of apps, user input, and eatery transparency. It has a ton of potential.
Who is behind it?
Karl & Cara Rosaen from Ann Arbor, Michigan. They weren’t exactly on my radar either. But a little digging shows that Karl was on the product launch team for Google Adwords and Google Android. So I suppose that Real Time Farms is just another one of the growing start-ups from Google alumni.
Very cool indeed.
Photo: Boing (ht to Discover Magazine)
Discover Magazine reported this today:
The U.S. Navy wants to put powerful lasers on its ships to shoot down artillery shells and even cruise missiles at the speed of light (and really, who wouldn’t). But there are a few scientific details to sort out before sailors can deploy the beams. “First we want to make sure the physics is right before throwing buckets of salt water over the thing,” says Ed Pogue. Read the rest
Now, we know a crappy $163 million PhotoShop job when we see one. And it got us thinking… what are some more Top Secret laser projects the Navy is working on?
Unsuspectingly friendly and fast. The dolphin is an ideal candidate for laser attacks on small vessels.
Development contract awarded to Sea World San Diego. Cost: $122 million.
This patriotic performer leads a double-life. He’s part rock star, part live event assassin. He was equipped with laser eyes controlled by the Navy during a USO tour in 2005. Cost: $92 million, unlimited supply of camo & Bud Light Lime.
Navy trainers plant a decoy pelican for tourists to photograph until operatives are done with their interrogations. As soon as teams clear the area, KAPOW!
Cost: $74 million (Included $25 one time donation to Pelican Pals)
Veiled as a telescope, Navy operatives with special quarters can bounce lasers off of the roof of homes in New Jersey to destroy spy satellites.
Cost: $50 million
Who can resist the gift of a free kitten from the Vice President? But this is the gift that keeps on killing. When these kittens hear Hail to the Chief their eyes are activated to destroy their target.
Cost: $12 million each
Hanging, electric chair, firing squad. I really just can’t choose which way I want Internet Explorer to be executed*. It is the bane of any sane designers life and simply deserves the death penalty.
Why? Need I mention the security issues with IE6 that made world news? Or the fact that it doesn’t read a website correctly?
More modern browsers, such as Chrome or Safari, support these new technologies that are emerging. HTML5 and CSS3 are part of the web whether you like it or not. Yet, for some reason certain browsers don’t support these various advances.
We are staying on top of these advances by designing for the future, sites that are coded to web standards and allow space for expansion. (And we’ve gotten quite good with hacks that allow IE users to utilize our sites despite their inferior browser choice.) Our style certainly embraces the future of the internet, and does away with wasting time trying to kill Internet Explorer dragons on Insane Difficulty.
Now back to killing Internet Explorer…
*Internet Explorer 9 is given a state pardon (for now)
BONUS: If your IT department (another thing we’d like to implode) requires you use Internet Explorer on your network, try this hack which makes Chrome look like IE to a network.
Image credit: Gadgetsteria
Whether you are a t-shirt company, a religious organization, or a blogger, your brand is pretty much what you have. Your name is your reputation in the marketplace.
That’s why it shocks me when people are sloppy about blurring the lines between what’s marketing, what’s paid content, and what’s just content.
People are so greedy (and stupid) that they are willing to mix up advertising with their name.
Don’t do that. People see right through you. People are sophisticated when it comes to sniffing out ulterior motives. They know what’s an ad and what is you.
And typically, the loss in trust in that transaction will never be regained.
Blurring the lines between ads and content is a short-term strategy you will regret later.
As soon as people have a hard time telling the difference between what is an ad and what is your product, you are sunk.
Absolutely. (Though, I don’t recommend it. Some people need to in order to pay the bills.) My advice is simply to protect your brand by never mixing advertising with content. Have a place for ads, that is called out as such, and a place for content.