In the past decade, we’ve seen the rise of powerful social networks of unprecedented scale, connecting millions or even billions of people who can now communicate almost instantaneously. But many of the promises that were made by the creators of the earliest social networking technologies have gone unfulfilled. We’ll take a look at some of the unexamined costs, both cultural and social, of the way the web has evolved.
Tagged with “web” (49)
We riff about design process and tools, but I start off talking about public speaking, the destructive effects of cynical criticism and I issue a challenge to those who complain about regular conference speakers.
In the early days of CSS the web industry cut its teeth on blogs and small personal sites. Much of the methodology still considered best-practise today originated from the experiences of developers working alone, often on a single small style sheet, with few of the constraints that come from working with large distributed teams on large continually changing web projects.
The mechanics of CSS are relatively simple. But creating large maintainable systems with it is still an unsolved problem. For larger sites, CSS is a difficult and complex component of the codebase to manage and maintain. It’s difficult to document patterns, and it’s difficult for developers unfamiliar with the code to contribute safely.
How can we do better? What are the CSS best practises that are letting us down and that we must shake off? How can we take a more precise, structured, engineering-driven approach to writing CSS to keep it bug-free, performant, and most importantly, maintainable?
A presentation on interaction design from An Event Apart 2010.
Interaction is the secret sauce of the web. Understanding interaction is key to understanding the web as its own medium—it’s not print, it’s not television, and it’s certainly not the desktop.
File API spec maintainer Arun Ranganthan joins Jen Simmons to explain what new file handling capabilities will be coming to browsers soon. They also talk about the drag & drop API, open standards, and how the sausage gets made.
Universal access to all knowledge, Kahle declared, will be one of humanity’s greatest achievements. We are already well on the way. "We’re building the Library of Alexandria, version 2. We can one-up the Greeks!"
Start with what the ancient library had—-books. The Internet Library already has 3 million books digitized. With its Scribe Book Scanner robots—-29 of them around the world—-they’re churning out a thousand books a day digitized into every handy ebook format, including robot-audio for the blind and dyslexic. Even modern heavily copyrighted books are being made available for free as lending-library ebooks you can borrow from physical libraries—-100,000 such books so far. (Kahle announced that every citizen of California is now eligible to borrow online from the Oakland Library’s "ePort.")
As for music, Kahle noted that the 2-3 million records ever made are intensely litigated, so the Internet Archive offered music makers free unlimited storage of their works forever, and the music poured in. The Archive audio collection has 100,000 concerts so far (including all the Grateful Dead) and a million recordings, with three new bands every day uploading.
Moving images. The 150,000 commercial movies ever made are tightly controlled, but 2 million other films are readily available and fascinating—-600,000 of them are accessible in the Archive already. In the year 2000, without asking anyone’s permission, the Internet Archive started recording 20 channels of TV all day, every day. When 9/11 happened, they were able to assemble an online archive of TV news coverage all that week from around the world ("TV comes with a point of view!") and make it available just a month after the event on Oct. 11, 2001.
The Web itself. When the Internet Archive began in 1996, there were just 30 million web pages. Now the Wayback Machine copies every page of every website every two months and makes them time-searchable from its 6-petabyte database of 150 billion pages. It has 500,000 users a day making 6,000 queries a second.
"What is the Library of Alexandria most famous for?" Kahle asked. "For burning! It’s all gone!" To maintain digital archives, they have to be used and loved, with every byte migrated forward into new media evey five years. For backup, the whole Internet Archive is mirrored at the new Bibliotheca Alexadrina in Egypt and in Amsterdam. ("So our earthquake zone archive is backed up in the turbulent Mideast and a flood zone. I won’t sleep well until there are five or six backup sites.")
Speaking of institutional longevity, Kahle noted during the Q & A that nonprofits demonstrably live much longer than businesses. It might be it’s because they have softer edges, he surmised, or that they’re free of the grow-or-die demands of commercial competition. Whatever the cause, they are proliferating.
Dan Benjamin joins Jen Simmons to talk about how to keep up with the changing technologies of the web. Where do we learn?
How best to design for a touch screen? How are interfaces changing with the multitude of devices at our touch? Author, speaker, consultant and expert Josh Clark explains his insights into touch design.
Episode #9 • November 30, 2011 at 4:15pm All about grid systems for the web — why and how. What makes a grid great? How do you create your own? What about responsive web design? Expert Mark Boulton explains.
This week Shawn and I had the chance to sit down and shoot the breeze with the man behind July’s featured advertiser, Authentic Jobs. Cameron Moll is a web veteran with charm and a desire to live a balanced life.
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