Scott Andrew has started to add a ‘google it’ link to each of the posts on his blog, allowing each to blossom into as many related ‘user-journeys’ as Google will allow. What an awesome little idea, that I’m sure will soon get taken up by others.

“Here’s something fun: see the “Google It!” link following each post? Click it to initiate a Google search on the topic of that particular post. Since the search text is based on the title of the post (something you don’t see here, but appear in the syndicated XML and JS feeds) I’ll have to be careful and make sure each post title is descriptive and makes sense.”


Is it another example of the growing glue-layer of stuff that Jason Kottke was writing about? Or as Steven Johnson refers to it – the web’s “neo-cortex”:

“I was thinking that what the Web needs is a big neo-cortex. There are all these very specialized smart, focused tools being developed, and data that’s being mined, and collective intelligence on specific problems. But we’re not as good yet at, not just filtering all that stuff, but figuring out what belongs connected to what else. Google is, in a way, the beginning of that. It’s letting the Web solve that pattern itself, looking at patterns and links of what should be connected to other things.”

Discussed earlier here…

Art vs Design, number #542

Okay okay, even I’m getting bored with this debate, but last word (here) goes to the inestimable Mr. Eric Zimmerman, who seems to have a pretty good grasp on the matter:

“I don’t think of myself as an artist. I think of myself as a designer. For me it has to do with the fact that, and here comes an arbitrary definition, design is more about problem solving and art is more about expression of idea or self. On the other hand, if I’m doing work for a gallery space then I feel obligated to engage with the idea that what I’m doing is art because that is part of the context towards which I’m designing. To put a game in an art space could be just a game in an art space. However, it is also an interesting opportunity to explore a game in a new context. The whole cultural context that you’re designing for is part of the design problem. I’m extremely interested in context of reception. Maybe that’s why I see myself as a designer.”

» Interview with Eric Zimmerman and Jenelle Porter

DoCoMo’ Money

“The lesson that DoCoMo learnt early is the obvious one: that content and services sell. Technology does not.

It is the services – picture messaging, easy direction finding, finance, games, and hundreds more – which took i-mode to critical mass and beyond.

That, and a payment model which meant that independent companies automatically get a sizeable slice of the one-off payment which each service adds to a user’s bill at the end of the month.

That model stands in sharp contrast to
Europe’s Wap services, where getting beyond a “walled garden” of operator-sanctioned services was too complicated for the average punter.

That made sure that they kept most of the money. But DoCoMo and its peers saw that a smaller slice of the cake was fine – as long as the cake just kept on growing.”

» BBC News: The secret of NTT’s i-mode success

Blogmergence / Johnson / Kottke

Read Jason Kottke’s musing on the blogworld (in as much as it can referred to as such) as an ecology displaying qualities of ’emergence’ – and be sure to follow through to the Stephen Johnson links he features, but there’s some real juice in the comments off this post, especially where the author himself gets to feedback into his own system:

“It’s important to note that weblogs are not acting in a vacuum in this process. Weblogs are but a part of a larger information network that includes public mailing lists, private mailing lists, Wikis, ezines, private email correspondence, instant messaging, IRC, Usenet, etc.

The primary roles of weblogs in the system are to tie all these other entities together and provide a record-keeping function for the network as a whole (i.e. information is being written down in a public place so everyone can read/use it).”

The ad-hoc collaborative filtering done by the tools Jason mentions above have been the subject of a lot of thought, conjecture, and maybe research in a limited way; but does anyone know of any research done on sites/businesses/entities that are the germs of such ecologies, and how they can best adapt to being integral and vital parts of such ‘systems’.

Obviously I’m thinking particularly of stuff I deal with at the BBC – the News site is already the spin of many a discussion forum, MeFi thread or /. story; but how to make other BBC content as central to community? Obviously there’s some… well, obvious stuff, like have a decent URL policy that identifies content in a suffciently granular way to serve as the germ of discussion or blog-piece – but what more subtle features and facets must content have to ‘go viral’ (ugh!) in the bloggerverse?

» Jason Kottke & friends on emergence and blogging

Trend-based store layout and online user-experience design.

Dan Hill holds forth on the parallels between real world store architecture and information architecture online. I know taking TOO direct a metaphorical relationship between them annoys some people, but there’s some food for thought here if not taken too literally, imho.

» cityofsound/blog/The Information Architecture of Liberty, London


“Socrates: Maybe McLuhan was right about artists being the only ones who really see the importance of context in communication. I came across a website about a Japanese laptop artist called Oblaat, a New York-based sound curator called Keiko Uenishi. Even the name Oblaat contains a reference to McLuhan’s insight: in Japanese ‘oblaat’ means the colourless, tasteless, self-dissolving gel which surrounds pill capsules. You can’t taste it, but it gives definition to the shape of the pill, helps you swallow it. It’s a perfect symbol of making defining, invisible contexts visible.”


“This, then, was the sound of humanism. It shone like an exit sign in the palace of mirrors.”

» Momus: Thought For The Day:
The Electroacoustics of Humanism