Archive - March, 2006

rumours of attention scarcity have been greatly exaggerated

People have a boundless interest in those that they think worthy of their attention.

So says Stowe Boyd of /Message, and I agree entirely.

If you think something is important or interesting or worthy of your interest. You’ll make time for it. You’ll make it a priority.

Even when you have 300 blogs in your RSS aggregator, there are some that you will always have time to read.

When you scan for news online, there are some keywords that will always get your attention.

You’re not *supposed* to know everything or be interested in everything. If that were the case, we’d all be remarkably boring and alike. Stowe says:

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Platial – mashup with meaning

Platial

Have you had a chance to check out Platial yet?

It’s a big call, but I think this is possible my favourite Google Maps mashup to date.

Platial allows you to create your own maps using the Google Map interface, as well as add to other people’s maps. You can map *anything* you like. So, because it’s about people making meaning with maps/places, you end up with some really interesting content.

Some of the maps are very personal – trips that people have taken, places they frequent regularly, places they’ve had car accidents. Others are useful community tools – Stereo shops that don’t suck, restaurants, commuter public transportation, band tour maps. Here’s a little sample:

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great error msgs (part 2 : wordpress)

Wordpress Error

Previously I wrote about how taking a little time to write a good error message can turn what is potentially a catastrophic user experience into one that actually endears you to your customers.

Here’s another great example from WordPress that turned a potentially frustrating experience (not being able to reach someone’s blog when I wanted to), into an experience that confirmed my experience of the WordPress brand, *and* made me smile.

Even though they’re personifying the server here, the voice of the clever and friendly and humorous people who make up WordPress comes through loud and clear.

As the Cluetrain guys say (which you should all know from heart by now):

These markets are conversations. Their members communicate in language that is natural, open, honest, direct, funny and often shocking. Whether explaining or complaining, joking or serious, the human voice is unmistakably genuine. It can’t be faked.

Unless you saw this error message too many times (and nothing can turn chronically poor performance into a good user experience), you’d be hard pressed to come away from this experience thinking poorer of WordPress.

You may even be so impressed you have to write a blog post about it :)

Nice work WordPress people.

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the turning, tim winton

The Turning, Tim WintonI’m a Tim Winton fan. Have been for ages.

CloudStreet is one of my most favourite books ever. I love the way this man writes.

But, I’ve been putting off reading The Turning because its a book of short stories and I always tell myself that I find short stories unsatisfying.

This is actually untrue, but I manage to convince myself of this fact regularly. I’m a short story snob.

If you are too and you’re avoiding this book for that reason – give it up for the turning now. It’s amazing and you must read it.

Now, it’s not as amazing as CloudStreet, but the intertwining of characters between each story, picking up the same story from various aspects in time or space or character perspective makes the book a really rich experience. I found myself thinking back on stories I’d read earlier, now with a new piece of information found in the story I’m currently reading… rethinking occurs regularly. Its part of the experience. I really liked that.

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