Links, thoughts etc.

Links and inspiration and stuff I found interesting this week, decorated with some thoughts:

GTA street view is a nice use of Google Street View that allows  you to explore the GTA world. It reminds me of these interesting uses of custom Google maps: I’d like to see this sort of stuff used more/pushed futher.

Social Epidemiology

“Sickweather scans social networks for indicators of illness”: Sounds like a  nice idea for networked hypochondriacs. Seems like a logical extension of

Dumb and Dumber

The Wisdom of Crowds effect get less when members of the crowd influence it: (This makes me think we should ban all press once an general election has been announced.)


Looks like a good alternative to CSS resets (that normally do too much). I’ll probably be using it soon:

Content as interface

“Make the content the interface” seems like a compelling design principle: Similar sentiments expressed here on Edward Tufte’s video of the iPhone UI  ( “Computer administrative debris” deserves to be a wider used concept.

Digital decay

Something that has been growing on me recently has been the idea of decay in social media interactions. This blog post on asks if Facebook Likes should have an expiry date:

That’s a very simple example. But what would it be like if Instagram photos faded over time (unless you did something to preserved every so often). Or if friends on Facebook were given access rights to your profile based on how often you interacted with them – if you haven’t interacted with then recently they get fewer and fewer access rights to your profile then drop off your list of friends (“Connect with James in the next month or you’ll lose his connection.”). Or if tweets that weren’t retweeted, replied to, linked to or shared just fell off the bottom – content would have to prove that it’s worth keeping.

People could be made to be responsible for and tend the trail of data they leave behind or it would gradually disappear. It’s easy to suspect that most of it wouldn’t be missed. @adrianshort pointed me towards Wabi-sabi, I’m not going to pretend to be an know much about that, but what if our information system had some of this built in?

A hundred apologies

“A Malaysian social activist will apologise 100 times on Twitter in an unusual settlement with a magazine publisher in a defamation case.”

I love this. It’s a trivial punishment guaranteed to bring huge publicity to the original defamation. If Fahmi Fadzil wanted to spread the message that his friend had been treated badly he couldn’t have wished for anything more effective than his punishment. A nice twist on the Streisand Effect.

We’ve all committed design crimes…

…but there are some fun confessions here:

My confession would be a terrible job of photoshopping an orange faced Martin Brundle into a photo of the other F1 TV presenters. I tried to colour match his skin so it fitted in, but the client said he really was orange and made me put him back to his image’s original day-glow brightness. It was thankfully a long time ago.


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