I was listening to a talk on Monday about accessibility. The speaker was talking about how to make web content accessible to people with all kinds of disabilities including those without sight, hearing, or the abilitity to control their hands. One of the more interesting parts of the talk was when he pulled out his business card which is printed in text and also brailled. The point of the brailling is not so that his card can be read by blind people, in fact only about 10% of blind people actually read braille, it’s to remind people, generally sighted ones, to think about the fact that a standard business card can’t be used by everybody and that a lot of things that we use and expect other people to use aren’t always universally accessible.
I noticed the e-mail signature for a friend at work does the same thing. Below her title and contact information reads: “Please consider our environment before printing this e-mail or its attachments–thank you!!” I rarely have the need to print out her e-mails or attachments but just the idea that the line is in there reminds me to stop for a second and think about my use of the resources around me. I like the idea of small ways to remind me to be more aware of the people and things around me and look forward to stumbling upon and incorporating more of them into my routine.
Something I saw today though is quite possibly the coolest map I’ve ever seen.
Information Architects Japan mapped out the 200 most successful websites on the web right now and orders them by category, proximity, success, popularity and perspective. It’s also really great looking because it’s modeled after the map of the Tokyo subway system. It reminded me a lot of a graphic called “Linkology” that I saw in New York magazine in February ’06 but I like this one much better. See for yourself: the clickable online version is here.
A talk with Adam and a few days in Vermont with Alex and Michelle reminded me that I should update this space more often. I’m going to try.
Lately I find myself signing up for every new website I hear about. For the past few weeks that has included Pownce, ooVoo, and Spock. It’s getting a little overwhelming because you can’t really do very much on most of these sites unless a good number of your friends are signed up for them as well; so far none of the new services seem to be so great that I feel the need to truly evangelise them to all of my contacts. I came across Greg Verdino’s marketing blog from a random del.icio.us recommendation and I like how he articulates the overwhelming feeling of signing up for all of these sites.
Facebook seems to be a nice exception to the overwhelming feeling. It seems to finally be catching on with everyone I know. It used to be that all of my Facebook contacts were the same kind of people but now a number of my friends are the kind who don’t even know what to do with their Facebook pages but know that they should have them anyway.
Random but related — Twitter notified me today of a new follower but he’s someone I don’t know. I realize this is pretty common among regular Twitterers but so far I have only been watching (and have only been watched) by people I actually know. Who is Darius Jahandarie and why does he care what I am up to? I’m intrigued. . .
I leave for New York and Vermont tomorrow. If any of you are around Monday night, July 2, please come join Jonathan and me at Room 18:18 Spring Street between Elizabeth and Mott Streets. We’ll be there from 8:30 on and would love to see you.
I give so much legitimacy to blogs that I often forget that a lot of the world still finds them a distant second to mainstream news and other media.So, while I am happy to see my friends and family touted on the best blogs out there, I also recognize that it’s pretty cool that two family members made it into the papers this week.Today, another letter from my Dad made it into the New York Times’ Letters to the Editor section and Michael’s new book got a favorable review in the Washington Times.He was also reviewed in the Washington Post a while back but I conveniently lost the link. . .
It’s hard to believe but surprisingly I was not always the cultured erudite person you know today. When I was 14, I began a series of high school foreign exchange programs. At the time, I assumed I would naturally be the cool and mysterious “studying abroad” student to the people I met in Italy, Japan, Israel, and Costa Rica. But, as it turns out, I was a lot more American than I thought.
Fortunately, I kept a journal of my time away. So, if you’re in LA next week, I invite you to see a completely new side of me when I read from my teenage travel journals out loud and on stage. I’ll be joined by 7 other people who will also be reading from their 100% real journals, diaries, poems and love letters from their teenage years. It’s a hilarious show called Mortified and I’ll be in the lineup on Wednesday, June 27th at 8PM at King King in Hollywood.
I heard about iminlikewithyou.com last week and I am obsessed. I was reading PSFK who linked to a talk by Josh Spear about the way the digital generation communicates. I was familiar with almost every reference except for iminlikewithyou so I spent some time figuring it out.
First of all for the moment, the site is invitation only. I appreciated that the main link suggested I find someone on Facebook who could send me an invite. I joined the iminlikewithyou group and voila, an invitation was in my inbox about 2 hours later. I also got an e-mail from an old friend who told me her friends started the site and she could get me an invitation if I still needed one. They might be a good interview for POTW. Now that I am a member I have invites to spare as well so if you need an invitation, let me know.
But back to my point about it being so cool. Essentially, it’s just another social networking site but I like its twist. The only way to network with, talk to, flirt with (which I assume is mainly what the site is for) or date other people on the page is by competing for their attention and winning. This is exactly what life is like, right?
Users play “games,” essentially asking questions of one another and other users “bid” (with points allotted to them when they signed up initially and have more chances to earn later) to win the game. When the game ends, the owner of the game gets to pick a winner from the top 5 bidders. It’s only at that point that users get to connect with each other: the one who started the game and the one who was picked to be the winner can now talk. The website will connect you via e-mail or even by phone without either party ever having to reveal their contact information.
Of course this game would be a lot more fun if I was single but for now I’m finding a lot of other people on it who are just like me, out there to meet other networkers.
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