Web dev at the end of the world, from Hveragerði, Iceland

Friday links and reading

From http://www.niemanlab.org/2011/08/accessibility-vs-access-how-the-rhetoric-of-rare-is-changing-in-the-age-of-information-abundance/:

Because here’s the thing: Knowledge is not a lean-back process; it’s a lean-forward activity. Just because public domain content is online and indexed, doesn’t mean that those outside the small self-selected group of scholars already interested in it will ever discover it and engage in it.

The article references the curator buzzword, but the basic point is sound. Access isn’t expertese. You can inform and delight people by connecting them to publicly availabe information in ways they couldn’t previously imagine.

From http://www.alistapart.com/articles/making-up-stories-perception-language-and-the-web/:

In the last chapter of each installment, [Dickens’s] sentences grew shorter, more active, and more visual. This made the text dynamic and active, compelling further engagement. Take the last lines of the first installment of David Copperfield (the close of chapter three):

I’m lukewarm about the article as a whole, a lot of it seems to reaching, rather, but I didn’t know that about Dicken’s.

Fun fact: Dickens is one of the few major 19th century author’s I haven’t read. Not a single book. They’re on my to read list along with another gazillion things.

From http://justinelarbalestier.com/blog/2011/08/25/writing-liar-with-scrivener/:

In the acknowledgements of Liar I wrote the following: “Without Scrivener this book would most likely not exist.” Ever since people have been asking me to please explain. Here, at long last, is my explanation.

A good overview of the capabilities Scrivener offers. For the record: I love Scrivener. One of my favourite apps.

From http://blog.fawny.org/2011/02/02/gaylives/:

When you tell us it’s wrong to report on gay public figures, you are telling gays not to come out of the closet and journalists not to report the truth. (What you’re telling us as gay journalists is even worse.)

When you insist being gay couldn’t possibly matter less, what you actually insist is that the subject never be brought up in the first place.

A few months old, but good. Joe Clark wrote this when Tim Cook was made interim CEO.

From http://blog.fawny.org/2011/08/25/cowardsplus/:

It is the height of hubris to assume that, since all your tech friends scurried up the gangplank onto the Google Plus ocean liner, a host of other groups you claim to give a shit about will inevitably do the same, and their right to be known by a pseudonym is one you will defend to the death. Can’t you do something that would really help those you claim to defend – even if it hurts, like adopting a homeless gay teenager or donating a couple of grand to a real-world charity every year till the end of the decade?

Whenever I read Joe Clark I’m reminded of this exchange from Die Hard 2:

John Mclane: “Maybe you’re not such an arsehole after all.”

Special Forces Leader: “Oh, I’m an arsehole, all right. I’m just your kind of arsehole.”

Joe Clark, as awkward as it is when you’re the subject of his scorn, is my kind of arsehole.

And as much as I hate to say it, after my fretting and worrying about the pseudonym issue, he makes an excellent point.

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