The web is like an old telephone. 2001
I believe the web may be going through a similar transformation as the telephone in its early years. It is becoming simultaneously unremarkable and pervasive. Unremarkable in itself because it is not that exciting any longer unless you actually DO something exciting with it. Pervasive because the use of email continues to grow and act as a gateway to more complex use of the web.
I expect the web will become a key medium for communication, much as the telephone did, but people will not stop writing letters or talking in person or chatting on the phone. Also that it will pull some of the consumers in who would otherwise be spending time with stereos and televisions and books and newspapers, but that none of those media will vanish either.
If I had time for the project I do think there's probably a fascinating book to be written comparing the advent of the telephone with the arrival of the web. I do wonder if there was the same hubbub over the phone as an end in itself with not enough emphasis given to the activities & businesses it enables. Was there a similar shakedown then of the just plain stupid ideas as we are experiencing now?
or maybe not... 2001
[That's what I posted when my first apres-server-fix post didn't go through, but now it seems things are ok. Actually, Blogger works amazingly well for a 100,000 user service supported by one lunatic.]
More Lance Fluffing 2001
I should have gone to bed 2 or 3 hours ago. 2001
Couldn't seem to get tired. Probably because I didn't burn any physical energy today. Just sat at computers and worked my brain. Oh, I paced around on the phone for a little bit, but not much.
So I keep staying up too late. A sign of discontent, I think. Of energy not being burned off. I have creative projects and I am working on them and enjoying them. I have some interesting things happening at work. Still, somehow, I am in the summertime/student mode; wanting to stay up until two and roll into work around 10something (or not at all).
So, courtesy of tonight's midnight oil, I give you a new Random Synaptic Firing: questions. This is the piece I did at Fray Cafe. (Note: If you were ever in a relationship with me, don't assume it's all about you. I did manage at least one for everyone, but I think you might be surprised at which one it is).
So now it's, what? 1:15am and I'll go to bed because my arm is sore and I have to go to work tomorrow. That's why I'm going to bed. Oh, yeah, and the bed is comfortable. Ok, that's a good enough reason. 'night.
Has anyone who's successfully installed Greymatter got time to give me a hand with it? I'm working on this project which will use it and I can't get past "step 11: run gm.cgi" because I'm getting code errors. :(
Fray Cafe 2001 2001
Nikolai got a picture of me reading at Fray Cafe. No, I'm not really embarrassed, the lighting was red.
What a very interesting nose, uh, I mean, person. Interesting person. Yes. 2001
Ryan is another interesting person I met at South By Southwest (a.k.a. SXSW). (Note to those frightened by the picture on his site: he does not in fact have fluorescent lighting installed in his nose. I know this because I could have named my site www.fivefoot2.com).
Proper Dancing 2001
You really need to study How To Dance Properly. Now if we could only get Brad to similarly illustrate the Gay Man Dances Of St. Louis. One night at the Red Eyed Fly in Austin, a lucky few of us enjoyed these renditions gleaned from Brad's extensive anthropological studies . Afterwards I noticed Joey scribbling energetically in his journal; I think he was quite inspired. [tip o' the Hatlo hat to 37signals' Signal vs. Noise blog for the linky goodness]
If you used my meta folder idea (detailed in my thesis), I'd love to hear how it worked out for you, what problems you ran into and how you worked them out - or what you decided to do instead to document your sites. Just email me at Book1 @ this domain.Thanks!
Oh my. What a magpie I am. 2001
Focus focus focus, I said yesterday. Today? Oo! Shiny!! I'm embarking on a big project, born from an idle conversation. Ah well, it can be a case study for Derek's book. And mine!
[Alas! Life was busy, the book didn't pan out and so tableinthecorner.com never got anywhere. Perhaps I'll do better with kumogeisha.com... - January 22, 2002]
This year is about unmaking myself. 2001
I am taking myself apart and identifying all the bits that are truly me and reassembling myself.
I did this a little with the beginning of a new year and a new century and a new millennium.
I did this in the tearful silence after losing my temper.
I did this much more in Maui, letting unfamiliar scenery make the things I was carrying around in my head stand out in relief.
I did this in the turbulent week, the week of going back to work, of things changing at work, of breaking up, of reworking relationships into new shapes, in the week of not enough sleep.
I did this in Austin with my friends and my medium (by which I mean the web, not some psychic hooha).
I did this in asking the questions I did in the Fray Cafe.
I did this consciously, physically in the creation of My Room.
I have discovered that my highest priority is taking care of my health and sanity.
I have discovered that my next priority is the book.
I have discovered that achieving some measure of financial security and flexibility is also important to me and is represented by paying off my one remaining credit card, getting $1000 in my savings account and leaving it alone, and accelerating the payments on my student loan.
And I have discovered that there are few items on my to-do list which don't fall into one of those three categories.
Dreaming of pasts & futures 2001
Fabulous responses to my questions about documentation & the web have started to roll in. I have brilliant friends.
Goodness it's late. I want to be laughing on a rooftop with my pals. I want it to be Friday night with more fun to be had. Instead, my mouth is a bit unhappy from the dentist and I better go to bed because I need to work tomorrow. I think I better pay off all my debts and start building up some retirement money. My folks may have some inconveniences, but they are living such a fine life... Someday spring at Edgewood for me too.
The Horror Out Of Austin! (But dang, think of the websites this mutant creature would make.)
Amusing Marketing Ploy 2001
I appreciate the brilliant idea of those wackos in Taco Bell's marketing department. I'm hoping for my free taco. [thanks to Zannah for linky goodness]
Here's a nice picture of me and my pal Denise at Fray Cafe. Denise says "mmm, root beer float!" while I laugh with delight (and envy, surely).
Don't Make Me Tell You Twice 2001
I've become addicted to comment functionality. 2001
Book Proposal Proposal 2001
I'm working on a book which will probably be called "Documentation And Design On The Web" and I'd like just a teensy bit of help from you.
Those of you who've read my thesis MetaGrrrl Proposal on Documentation of the Design Process in Online Environments know some of how I'll be approaching the topic, but I believe it is important to extend the scope. I intend to reflect the changes of the 3 years since the thesis was written and to present a broader range of solutions to the challenge of creating reproducible design quality. I should mention that I am using the word design in a very broad sense here, encompassing not only creation of visual appearance but also of user experience, information architecture and the underlying code.
To my knowledge, very little has been written about how we can document our work on the web in order to understand the decisions we made in its creation. My goal is to introduce the Why and How of design documentation and to present a roundtable of solutions to draw from. To this end, I would love to hear the answers to a few questions.
Your response to any or (bless you) all of these 10 questions will be very helpful and deeply appreciated. Please send them to book1@ this domain.
1. Would you be interested in a book about documentation of the design process in online environments and/or do you see the need for such a book?
2. Have you ever read any books/articles/websites on the topic? (Pointers to any commendable or offensive examples would be spiffy)
3. If you answered yes to question 1, what would you expect/want to find in such a book? (Follow-on questions: What would make it useful to read once? What would make it a useful resource on an ongoing basis?
4. What about an accompanying website? What would you expect/want to find there?
5. In either the book or the website, what would be essential introductory information on this topic?
6. In either the book or the website, what would be valuable/exciting advanced content on this topic?
7. Do you currently document your web (or interaction or user experience or print or programming) design work? If no, why not? If yes, how and/or using what tools?
8. Are you interested in participating in this project as a critical reader, visual designer and/or as part of the "roundtable" of solutions?
9. Is there someone else I should really talk to too about this? (Please do feel free to forward this email, of course)
10. Is there anything else you'd care to add?
Please accept my deepest thanks for your attention.
Opt Out 2001
If you're a Wells Fargo customer, take a moment to call 1-888-528-8460. It's an automated system where you can opt out of both their internal and external marketing promotions.
Also, if you have a credit card, it's worth asking "Hey, since all these other banks keep sending me info about low rates if I switch to them, what can you do to sweeten my deal so I stay with you?" I just got a 4% drop in my interest rate. I didn't have to fill out any forms and it took about 45 seconds. Happy fiscally prudent Dinah.
Maui, mmm... 2001
Since I doubt I'll get my picks from our Maui pictures up before next weekend, I'll point to Edmond's picks and comments. Take a look. :)
At SXSW, in at least two conversations with very diverse people, when discussing good webloggers one person came up in everyone's list: Catarina Fake. Her post today is one more illustration of her wit, erudition and grace.
D...I...N...A...H, no, N...A...H..., no, there's an H on the end, uh, nevermind. 2001
Gee, no wonder I always have to repeat my name; no one's ever met any other Dinahs. http://www.google.com/search?q=dinah&num=1
Saturday morning. 2001
Things on my mind:
- redesigning this site
- getting my room all arranged nicely (mine mine mine)
- sending out some questions about Documentation and The Web
- going to the library
- cleaning my desk and taking care of all these stupid little 10 minute to-do items
- uploading my pictures from SXSW and writing some commentary
- uploading my pictures from Maui and writing some commentary
- reading Neil Gaiman's The Wake which I've never read
- watching Topsy-Turvy which isn't due back to the video store until Wednesday
What I'll actually do:
Eat and maybe play some games.
Friday morning and all is well. 2001
I got enough sleep last night, but I am still generally fatigued and ready for a weekend. Last night we got about half of The Great Closet Swap done (I'm moving into the sitting room & taking over that closet and Edmond will keep the bedroom and use the closet in there).
Hrm, my idea this morning was that I'd get to work early. Maybe I can just make it on time instead.
I'm back. 2001
I am emptying the south-by-southwesty stuff from my purse and putting back in all my "go to work" things. This is an inherently depressing act.
I got so excited about these wonderful people. I know I work with wonderful people and we're doing exciting things, there are just so many things I want to do it gets tough changing gears.
Now, I'm a tired gal, with 2 workdays before the lovely, lovely weekend. I'll tell you more about it all tomorrow.