Grid systems have been used in print design, architecture and interior design for generations. Now, on the web, the same rules of grid system composition and usage no longer apply. Content is viewed in many ways; from RSS feeds to email. Content is viewed on many devices; from mobile phones to laptops. Users can manipulate the browser, they can remove content, resize the canvas, resize the typefaces. A designer is no longer in control of this presentation. So where do grid systems fit in to all that?
Dan Benjamin interviews Jeffrey Zeldman, designer, founder of ALA. They discuss the evolution of the internet, the web, web standards, Happy Cog, A List Apart, An Event Apart, and something new: A Book Apart.
Find inspiration in the ridiculous. See technological quirks as opportunities. Try something previously unheard of with your site design. Laugh in the face of convention. Use and abuse CSS in ways never before imagined. Get away with it. And if it doesn’t work, try something else instead.
Paul Annett, Clearleft Ltd
John Gruber (DaringFireball.net) and Merlin Mann (43Folders.com) discuss the current state of blogging as a medium for creative expression, weighing the opportunities and challenges of building a thoughtful online presence in a world where everybody owns a printing press. They’ll consider the ascendance of Digg-friendly "problogs" and debate the subtler pleasures of careful writing that reaches smaller, but potentially less "profitable" audiences.
- John Gruber, Daring Fireball
- Merlin Mann, You Look Nice Today
Kurt Andersen interviews James Cameron about Avatar and other things. Including Cameron’s favorite movie, The Wizard of Oz.
Here’s a confession. I want to be able to think like Merlin Mann.
He’s really smart on the topic of productivity, and in fact some part of his success comes from 43Folders.com which is a reference to David Allen’s Getting Things Done system. But his work is not just about productivity. It’s about creativity and purpose and striving to stay human and sane in a busy and distracting world and doing work that matters, doing Great Work. And he does all of this in funny, provocative, iconoclastic way.
In fact, writing this introduction and listening to the interview again has already provoked me to shift some of my own commitments in an effort to, as he puts it, “identify and destroy small return bullshit. Shut off anything that’s noisier than it is useful.” Great stuff indeed, and this is a wise and funny interview.
In our conversation we talk about:
* How the present is a “remedial course for the future” – and the pros and cons of those ‘creation myth’ stories of where people find clues for their Great Work * The importance of an open heart and just where that might lead you * The connection between productivity and creativity * The two levels of prioritization (and how freeing it is to know that) * And quite a bit more
You can follow Merlin on Twitter at http://twitter.com/hotdogsladies
The interviews are all between 25 and 30 minutes long. You can either download them here as mp3s, or go to iTunes, type in “Great Work Interviews” and you’ll see them all there.
We talked about more than Pownce and Twitter in this interview. Leah Culver is a developer who launched many projects. Pownce was just the highest profile of them. I asked her about it because I’m insanely curious about why it didn’t crush Twitter.
Here’s what I saw from the outside. In March 2007, when Pownce launched, Twitter didn’t have much of a head start. It only had about 250,000 members, and Twitter’s site was still unstable and often inaccessible. So Pownce launched at a good time. Plus it offered more features. Plus it had a real revenue plan with its premium accounts. Plus it was backed by Kevin Rose a Web celebrity with geek cred. Why didn’t it win?
Managers have long assumed employees will work harder for fiscal rewards. In Drive, Daniel Pink argues that people will do more if they are given the opportunity to work on their own time, to be creative, and to do good.
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