Jason Fried gets real

Posted in Business, Leadership by solle on 24/11/2008

Everyone – I mean everyone – who is working in any way on anything related to online from the new start to the oldest hand should listen to Jason Fried’s (37signals) presentation at the recent IDEA 2008 conference  – the recording of which can be found a third or so of the way down this Boxes and Arrows page.

Most folk who have come across Jason know how good he is but even though I am aware of 37signals and I use its products, until I listened to his spot at above and played it to a few of my colleagues I wasn’t aware of how he could become a real force in doing business in a new way.

Meetings: 1 person having an hour long meeting is an hour of productivity wasted, 2 people having an hour meeting is 2 hours lost, 3 people &etc

Offices: Majority of productive work done early in the morning, at night and over the weekend. no one is productive in an office environment

Remote working: To be a success no need to be in the same office, in fact far preferable to not be in same space

Trust/Respect: If you trust your employees then they will respect you. obviously but rarely practiced.

You can also watch a bunch of his appearances on Google Video

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should we keep writing?

Posted in content by solle on 24/11/2008

 at Information Architects recently published another decent thought-provoking post. 

I don’t think we can help writing. But we should all really cut back. Keep it short or not at all. Remember Scott Karp’s Join the Web Content Conservation Movement:

“We should also be working on the INPUT problem.

How do you reduce noise on the web? Simple.

Produce less content.”

We all struggle with the filter problem but we’d probably all moan if there was a dearth of content.

Try this plan for a week:


“sentenc.es is a personal policy that allemail responses regardless of recipient or subject will be a pre-determined number sentences or less. It’s that simple.”

New Financial Times homepage

Posted in content, information architecture by solle on 11/11/2008

What does everyone think of the new ft.com homepage?

Dogs dinner?

Lacking authority?

Not thought through?

Text too big?

Text way too big?



None of the above?

All of the above but worse?



Please add your thoughts

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Getting a snapview on Twitter

Posted in Twitter by solle on 10/11/2008

Twitter offers a snapshot on the world at any given point. A look in, a spyglass and as I increasingly like to call it – a snapview. If you get the balance of who you follow and am followed by just right (almost like adjusting the dials of a shortwave radio) and then take a quick scroll of whatever client you are using on whatever system/connection (my present favourites: Tweetdeck and Twitterified) you get a little picture of the world: from Mars Expedition and asteroids zapping past the earth, to London Tower Bridge opening/closing, to Wildlife protection in the Mara Triangle, to the US presidential election, to Halloween dress codes, to the credit crunch, sports results. 

Like a snow scene paperweight – shake it (refresh/scroll up and down within your profile so to speak) and the picture comes alive – a refresh of your snapview on the world Twitter-style.

The variation is enormous. Want to find out what’s going on in the Brazilian development community? The Idaho farming community? The US Penny Shares scene? Or the soft porn industry in Israel? Here’s how and it’s pretty damn easy with tools such as Monitter and Twitter Live Search. (But of course it’s such a fast moving development community that you need to be keeping a sharp eye on Everything Twitter and the Twitter Wiki.)

What other way can you get this kind of detail so easily and with such clarity – and so readily – and so damn quickly? (especially now the time of the whale seems to be in the past, fingers crossed).

And of course anyone can see. You don’t even require a sign up (though of course signing up is far more rewarding) – and no need for personal data.

It’s alive and very much kicking, on such a small scale while also being so large.

Will it continue to scale?

Arrive truly in the public eye?

Be seen within/as part of major advertising campaigns (re free Facebook access being offered as an incentive for an Orange mobile billing plan in a billboard campaign – will include a photo as soon as I get one)?

Be excepted as not another passing trend?

I’m not sure. Some are comparing it to Facebook but there is no comparison. Facebook from an early stage had its eyes firmly on the monetising of its users through focused advertising and hoping friends would sell each other down the advertising river but ultimately just giving everyone a lot of what they didn’t want (compare it’s advertising model with Google where you get exactly what you do want – because that’s what you searched for).

There is none of that with Twitter, first and foremost it is not walled in. Plus it is just doing one thing very well and letting others in orbit of it develop even better ways of doing that one thing. It is a new internet but it isn’t the new internet. Obviously any single offering that thinks it can be the internet is deemed to failure – there is no way to manage such an expanding ‘thing’ with seemingly no centre and no edges.

Facebook will return to its roots – education; going the same way as Friends United – a niche product after all the fanfair.

And Twitter may just become the way we communicate – micro style.

(Please also read Luke Weaver’s recent Twitter presentation – a must read and nicely presented.)

More really nice Twitter stuff:

Twitter Grader


Alltop: All the top Twitter news

Axure RP Design Library

Posted in information architecture by solle on 09/11/2008

The excellent Luke Perman and Ian Fenn have put together what we’ve all been crying out for: an open Axure design library. They’ve made a really good start but it now requires the rest of the iA community to donate some input.

The Google group can be joined here as well as the design library

2008 US Election time

Posted in Politics and links, Uncategorized by solle on 04/11/2008

How you going to watch/listen/read it?

A lot of Twitter, online TV and your usual suspects: The Times, CNN, BBC, Yahoo, Google, The Telegraph, AP &etc

Most of the links you need are here 

Twitter, Plodt Election 2008, Twitter Election &etc

US Election 2008: Who’s making the most of the web? (Online Journalism Blog)

US Election 2008: Coming to a computer near you, live, tonight (The Guardian)

after all the fun need to add these couple of afterthought links:


2008 Election Maps from Kottke