Brian Feeney
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A bunch of really nice web and app design details being collected at Design Spells.

March 27, 2024

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Fun and beautiful interactive timeline displaying the contemporaneous lifespans of notable people. Starts at 3345 BC, but really gets going around 600 BC. You can also really see why 500 to 1000 AD is called the Dark Ages; hundreds of years with almost nothing happening.

March 27, 2024

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Austin & San Antonio

Lisa and I spent a lovely weekend in Austin and San Antonio. Flew into Austin where we stayed a night at The Line. Met our friend Mikey for a quick lunch and walk. Relaxed at the pool for a few hours, then dinner at Arlo Gray, hanging at the bar. 

The next morning, we went for runs along Ladybird Lake before making the short trip to San Antonio where we stayed with our ex-NYC friends, the main purpose for the trip. We miss them! Spent all day Saturday and Sunday with them and their two girls. I lost a few MarioKart races to their 7 year old, G, so I'm nursing that burn.

We then stayed a night at The Emma hotel on the canal. A treat to ourselves, as we love seeing a lux hotel. Really great bar. Super friendly staff. A+, would recommend. To cap off the trip, a morning 4 mile stroll down the canal and back.

March 26, 2024

journal


From the Washington Post, a "mile-by mile map of the total solar eclipse" that will happen this April 8th. Nice visual for confirming its path, if you weren't sure. Lisa and I will be in Indianapolis for it. Total coverage at my parent's house!

March 15, 2024

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News Orgs on the Fediverse

Ben Werdmuller:

Subsequent conversations have convinced me that I'm right about the assertions I made about the Fediverse for media organizations. There's a huge need, a huge opportunity, and the underlying technology is there.
...
What if we had a great experience that ties together both short-form discussion and re-sharing and long-form reading, in a way that better showcases both kinds of content and realizes that the way we consume both is different? What if it had a beautiful, commercial-level design? And what if it remained tied to the open social web at its core, and pushed the capabilities of the protocols forward as it released new features and discovered new user needs?

I'm on the same page. Media companies and newspapers everywhere could really benefit from a first-class fediverse client built for their exact needs. Posting to social media could be much more functional than sending out a small bit of text and an unfurled URL. I haven't done any exploration on this myself, but I sense in my gut that Ben's correct.

Three immediate ideas. 1) Full control over what content is pushed out to the Fediverse and direct ownership of the conversation which takes place around it. 2) Reporters for a newsroom can post from accounts on that instance, essentially bringing their official social media presence into a verified and trustworthy location. 3) A more controlled environment for publishing breaking news or simple updates.

I'm particularly intrigued by the idea of reporters and editors having their own accounts on a newsroom's fediverse instance. You can't beat the kind of legitimacy that provides. It also greatly extends a paper's reportage, piggybacking off of the personalities they employ. Because of social media, tons of reporters have higher profiles these days. It only makes sense to offer them an official place to break and discuss news related to the coverage of their paper. Of course, plenty of reporters would still prefer to have social media accounts outside of their place of employment. I'm just imagining how fruitful this kind of collaborative opportunity could be.

March 14, 2024

blog


March 13, 2024

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Zach Seward of the NYT has published as an article his 2024 SXSW talk on AI and journalism. It's very good! I'm in full agreement with his conclusions. Approved usage for AI: providing assistance with search, data organization, and other creative research methods. What it should not do: write content while pretending to be something it is not. There are legitimate ways to incorporate AI into newsrooms, and Seward has outlined great boundaries around how one might.

March 13, 2024

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Ideal Process versus Reality

Matej Latin provides good advice for young designers. Namely, that the ideal process learned from books is not true to life.

[T]he double diamond design process which has been often cited as the design process doesn't reflect reality. It's the perfect ideal that designers strive for but rarely achieve. Designers simply don't have that much control over the influencing factors so a design manager reading through a perfect, cookie-cutter case study, even if it uses the double diamond process, knows immediately that it's fake.

Frankly, I sometimes see advanced designers demanding excessive adherence to process from their reports. I suspect that comes from a lack of faith in their designers, and also anxiety from not knowing every detail of the project. Delegating work means trusting that your staff can handle the job. Overemphasizing a double diamond process (or the related documentation) for every single thing creates a classroom-like environment. It feels less than professional despite being by the book.

March 12, 2024

blog


The Pudding takes a look at the differences between two Rolling Stone's lists of the best records of all time from twenty years apart. Obviously, it's a subjective process, but it's interesting to see what drops off after white boomers begin to lose their voting majority.

March 11, 2024

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It’s so exciting to see XOXO return for one more conference. I had an amazing time there in 2018. If I make the list this year, I’m definitely going to find a way to get to Portland in August. 

March 06, 2024

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